At a glance.
- UK, Canada, Australia, and the US blame Russia's Cozy Bear for hacks.
- CISA issues emergency directive n Windows DNS Server vulnerability.
- The Twitter hack and the potential for disinformation.
Four of the Five Eyes scowl at Cozy Bear.
Australian intelligence services have joined their Five Eyes sisters in the UK, Canada, and the US in pointing to Russia's Cozy Bear as the actor behind cyberespionage directed against such research, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Herald also has an explanation of how the stolen trade documents British Foreign Secretary Raab mentioned were used in last year's British general election: they served to drive the Labour Party's retrospectively absurd contention that the Tories intended effectively to privatize the National Health Service and sell it to the Americans.
Russia's embassy in London, responding to "unfriendly statements by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab," said that Russia didn't hack any biomedical research, didn't attempt to influence any "democratic elections," and that it reiterated its offer to jointly investigate and adjudicate cyber issues. The statement closed with this: "We have also taken note of the Foreign Secretary’s suggestion that the UK Government reserves the right to respond with appropriate measures in the future. In this regard, we would like to state once again that any unfriendly actions against Russia will not be left without a proper and adequate response."
CISA directs US Federal agencies to patch the wormable Windows DNS Server vulnerability.
CISA is quite serious about the Windows DNS Server vulnerability mitigated this week. Emergency Directive 20-03, issued yesterday, told most US Federal agencies to apply the patch by 2:00 PM Eastern time today.
Twitter hack raises concerns about disinformation and influence operations.
The midweek Twitter hack appears to have been, probably, a clever but poorly thought-through criminal caper. The Verdict has a useful rundown of early speculation. But a great deal of concern has been expressed about the potential of such Twitter hijacking to serve the purposes of disinformation and influence operations. It didn’t in this case. But given the extent to which, alas, people get a lot of their news in the form of tweets, the prospects are sobering. They’re even more sobering when one considers how Twitter has come to be used for emergency notification.
Twitter’s own security certainly took a black eye. Perhaps the incident will serve as a learning experience for social media generally, but there have been op-eds (like this one in the Financial Express) calling for a regulatory solution to a problem that seems rooted in human credulity.