At a glance.
- UK trials of COVID-19 contact tracing app continue; changes may be in the offing.
- Cyberattacks in the Middle East raise regional tensions.
- US authorities release malware analysis reports on DPRK tools.
UK trials of COVID-19 contact tracing app continue; changes may be in the offing.
As trials of Britain's contact-tracing app proceed on the Isle of Wight (where roughly a third of the population has enrolled itself), the NHS is hinting that preliminary results may take them in a different direction, ComputerWeekly reports. The UK's Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said, “We are now building the network that we need through track and trace… We are also paying attention to what is happening in other parts of the world. This [the Isle of Wight test] is a pilot and we’re trying to get as many people to sign up for it as possible – 50,000 have downloaded it. We are learning lessons from other apps elsewhere in the world, and if we need to change our app, we will do, and that is the point of piloting this before we take it nationally across the country.” There's no second app under development, but the government is open to suggestions.
Cyberattacks in the Middle East raise regional tensions.
Iranian officials acknowledge that Shahid Rajaei, the port of Bandar Abbas, sustained a minor cyberattack last week. They characterize it as a failure, ZDNet reports, with only a few computers affected and operations of the port undisrupted. The authorities offered no specific attribution beyond saying that the attack had a foreign origin. Whether that foreign actor was a state, a hacktivist group, or a criminal gang wasn't specified.
The circumstances of Iran's disclosure are interesting. "Media pressure," ZDNet says, pushed the authorities into revealing the attack as a way of controlling rumors about a test accident in the Gulf of Oman. As the BBC describes that accident, the Iranian naval support vessel Konarak had been deploying targets to be used in live-fire tests of an anti-ship missile. Konarak remained too close to the targets and was hit by a missile launched from the frigate Jamaram. Sadly, nineteen sailors were killed; fifteen were injured.
The Jerusalem Post wonders if the Shahid Rajaei attack and the cyberattack on Israeli water systems (which the newspaper says caught the Israeli cabinet by surprise) are harbingers of a wider cyberwar in the Middle East. Attacks against water supply and treatment facilities intended for civilian use would generally be prohibited under international rules of armed conflict.
US authorities release malware analysis reports on DPRK tools.
CyberScoop reports that the US FBI and Department of Homeland Security this morning released malware analysis reports on tools used by North Korea's Hidden Cobra threat group. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) summarizes the three reports in an announcement posted to its site. Two Trojans and one remote access tool are described: