At a glance.
- Belarus shuts down its Internet.
- Germany will get a cyber-DARPA.
- Private sector responsibilities for securing critical infrastructure under Australia's Cyber Security Strategy 2020.
- Market penetration and state security.
Minsk's clampdown continues.
Internet disruptions that began at the end of the country’s Presidential election continue. Belarus has taken the official view that its Internet outage is the work of ill-intentioned foreign operators, but as Meduza says, domestic dissidents claim (and most observers are with them on this) that it's the work of Minsk itself. The opposition had predicted, as voting began, that the government would clamp down on the Internet, and that’s what appears to have happened. The country’s top-level domain, dot by, was also rendered largely inaccessible to people outside Belarus. The Guardian sees it as a high-stakes gamble aimed at disrupting the ability of protestors to organize. most such communication has moved to Telegram, which offers a degree of anonymity, is hosted where Minsk’s writ doesn’t run, and which has shown itself relatively resistant to being taken down.
Germany stands up a new cybersecurity agency.
Deutsche Welle reports that the German government is moving forward with plans to create a cybersecurity agency whose mission will include development of advanced cyber defense capabilities. The new organization will receive initial funding of €350 million ($412 million) through 2023. Its interim headquarters will be in Halle, eventually moving to permanent facilities at the Leipzig/Halle Flughafen. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called the measure a "milestone in the protection of our IT systems," adding, "The development of ideas and innovative approaches particularly in the field of digital security deserves our special commitment," This suggests that the organization's purpose will be research and development. When its creation was mooted in the Bundestag, Deutsche Welle quoted government officials who likened its purpose to that of America's DARPA. As is normally the case in German political discussion, such opposition as the proposed agency faced turned on concerns that its defensive research could be repurposed into offensive capabilities.
Clarification of Australia's Cyber Security Strategy 2020.
ZDNet reports that Australia's Department of Home Affairs has clarified some of its expectations of the private sector, implicit in the recently released Cyber Security Strategy 2020. A Departmental discussion paper explains that companies who run critical infrastructure, "systems of national significance," can expect to be required to share certain data with Home Affairs. The sectors specifically called out include "banking and finance, communications, data and cloud operators, defence industry, education and research, energy, food and grocery, health, space, transport, and water." The paper says, "The primary objective of the proposed enhanced framework is to protect Australia's critical infrastructure from all hazards, including the dynamic and potentially catastrophic cascading threats enabled by cyber attacks." Specified entities will have a "positive security obligation," and will be required to take an "all-hazards" approach to securing their operations. They must also accede to "reasonable requests" for information from regulatory bodies.
More on Papua New Guinea's National Data Centre, and the significance of market penetration.
Data Center Dynamics reminds us that Australia, more-or-less on behalf of Papua New Guinea, continues to point out that Papua's National Data Centre was compromised from the outset by Chinese-funded Huawei installations. Data Center Dynamics’ account is interesting for its emphasis on the role generous Chinese government financing plays in Huawei’s successful market penetration. That coincides with the longstanding position of the US State Department, which maintains that the affordability of Huawei components is achieved through the razzle-dazzle of predatory lowball pricing and the smoke-and-mirrors of heavy state subsidies.