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Cyberwar and information operations. Pressure to prevent another incident like the Hafnium-driven exploitation of Exchange Server zero days.
At a glance.
- Cyberwar and information operations as combat support.
- US Administration feeling pressure to clean up after Hafnium.
War in cyberspace, and information operations as combat support.
War on the Rocks surveys the new patterns and aims of cyberwarfare, and the reasons it tempts so many. Cyber is often described as “the great equalizer” since it puts countries with weaker armed forces in a position to do considerable damage to superpowers, on the cheap. A score of nations now have offensive cyber divisions. The piece claims that effective operations are more challenging than they may appear, however, and require careful targeting and advanced intel. Furthermore, cyber conflict risks five drawbacks: unintentional escalation, prolongation of the struggle through softer strikes, closure of channels through which peace could be negotiated, difficulty assuring the defeated that attacks will cease, and postwar disruptions to the stability of the global order.
Defense One describes a gap in the US’ offensive capabilities where information ops are concerned. This week Defense officials told Congress that Beijing is poised to unseat Moscow as the information warfare champion, and US forces aren’t keeping pace. Possible reasons for the lag include an over-focus on kinetic and defensive action, inadequate workforce development, lack of organization between units, under-resourcing, and deficient civilian oversight.
While Washington and Beijing engage in some “tough” conversations, which the Washington Post details, Inc42 Media examines India’s state of preparation for cyber conflict with China, recommending a renewed focus on automation instead of surveillance.
Exchange Server exploitation puts pressure on the US Administration to address vulnerabilities.
President Biden is facing growing calls to strengthen US infrastructure and defenses as effects of the Microsoft breach continue to domino, The Hill reports. Last week the US announced that it would be joining a cyber task force with Canberra, Tokyo, and New Delhi, and this week Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber Neuberger affirmed the Administration’s commitment to modernization and public-private collaboration. According to Reuters, a meeting by the Unified Coordination Group (UCG) convened to respond to the hack produced discussions about the ongoing threat and potential responses. Microsoft also created a “one-click mitigation tool” at the request of the UCG.
The Anatomy Of Cyberwarfare: Is India Ready To Take On China? (Inc42 Media) As India’s critical infrastructure has witnessed increasing cyberattacks from China, what should be the top priority for India's cybersecurity agencies? Can mass surveillance be the response?
Biden administration begins first faceoff with China amid worsening relations (Washington Post) The Biden administration’s first faceoff with China began in Alaska on Thursday with a testy exchange between Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who chided Beijing for “cyberattacks on the United States” and “economic coercion toward our allies,” and China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, who detailed the United States’ own human rights problems, citing recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Marine Corps commandant says China, Russia to pose biggest challenges for years (TheHill) Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday that China and Russia will pose the greatest threats to the United States for the foreseeable future.
Putin Responds Icily After Biden Says He Considers Russian Leader a Killer (Wall Street Journal) Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. should recognize its own shortcomings, a day after Biden said he considered the Russian leader a killer.
Russia Recalls Its Ambassador to the U.S. for Consultations (Wall Street Journal) Moscow’s move follows a critical U.S. intelligence report about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
Russia’s Failure to Throttle Twitter Isn’t a Sign of Weakness (Wired) Widely cast as an indication of frailty, the Kremlin’s bungled crackdown shows the lengths it will go to to control the Russian internet.
China's facial recognition paradox (Protocol) Beijing sours on facial recognition, unless it’s the one doing it
WSJ News Exclusive | China to Restrict Tesla Usage by Military and State Personnel (Wall Street Journal) People familiar with the effort cited concerns that Tesla cars could be a source of national security leaks.
House panel advances industrial control systems bill (FCW) New legislation puts the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the center of federal response to threats to computerized industrial systems.
The Cybersecurity 202: Wyden calls for 'time out' in government cybersecurity contracting (Washington Post) A top Senate Democrat says the government needs to call “time out” and take a closer look at its cybersecurity spending in the wake of cyberattacks on SolarWinds and other software, as well as on Microsoft Exchange.
The Battle of the Bills Begins: Proposed Federal Data Privacy Legislation Aims to End Patchwork Problem But Increases Enforcement (The National Law Review) After years of advocacy from both sides of the aisle and growing concerns about challenges created by state-based solutions, 2021 is poised to be a bellwether year for Congressional debate over federa
Oklahoma considers adding anti-ransomware laws amid growing threats (Oklahoman) Proposed Oklahoma law would make malicious programs like viruses, spyware, Trojan horses and ransomware a crime.
Counterpoint: Why Fla.’s New Privacy Law Must Have a Private Right of Action (Daily Business Review) Hardly a week goes by where I or a member of my family fail to receive a notification from a company disclosing that its computer systems were compromised and that our private and sometimes immutable personal information—provided to the company based on express promises of adequate, “industry standard” data security—now lies in the hands of criminals due to the company’s reckless handling of that information.
Senate confirms William J. Burns as the next director of the CIA (Washington Post) The Senate confirmed William J. Burns as the next director of the CIA on Thursday, placing one of the country’s most experienced career diplomats in charge of the spy agency.