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Government/Defense

Is TikTok out of time? Experts mull implications of ban

Edicts by Wells Fargo, India and the U.S. military forbidding use of popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, may portend a national ban and raise questions if such a prohibition would be practical and enforceable, and what the greater implications would be. Owned by Beijing-based internet technology company ByteDance, TikTok has been downloaded more than 2…

Ex-CIA exec: Covid-19 has created ideal ‘crisis’ conditions for malicious hackers

Companies trying to stave off business disruption caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic may be ripe for compromise as they introduce new risks in the scramble to maintain business continuity, warned a retired senior CIA executive in a keynote presentation Wednesday at the InfoSec World 2020 digital conference. In essence, the coronavirus has created ideal…

Australia says state-based actor is behind surge of sophisticated cyberattacks

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned late last week that a sophisticated, state-sponsored cyber actor has been attacking the country’s government and corporate institutions, as well as critical infrastructure operators, with increasing regularity. Morrison did not name-and-shame the specific country that is responsible for the alleged attacks. But inside sources told Reuters that China is…

OMB: Federal agencies reported 8 percent fewer cybersecurity incidents in FY 2019

A new report issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says federal agencies reported eight percent fewer cybersecurity incidents in fiscal year 2019, compared to 2018 — an improvement it attributes to the recent “maturation of agencies’ information security programs.” High-value IT assets (HVAs) remain a work in progress, however: In FY…

‘Sandworm Team’ hackers from Russia are exploiting Exim, warns NSA

The U.S. National Security Agency on Thursday issued an advisory alleging that hackers from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) have been actively exploiting a remote code execution vulnerability in Exim Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) software, found in Unix-based systems. Researchers and analysts reacting to the agency’s warning say the announcement is an important reminder that…

’Havex’ malware strikes industrial sector via watering hole attacks

Israeli cyber defenders warn of attacks on water supply

Israel’s National Cyber Array issued a notification that cyberattacks have been launched against a variety of water control critical infrastructure targets. The Cyber Array report noted it was informed on April 23 that attacks had been launched on control and control systems of wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and sewers.  In response the agency is…

APT32 actively spearphishing Chinese officials in a search for COVID-19 data

The suspected Vietnamese threat group APT32 has been conducting a spearphishing campaign against Chinese targets in an attempt to glean information on COVID-19. FireEye’s Mandiant Threat Intelligence Team reported the attacks have been conducted throughout the pandemic, from early January to date, with the targets including China’s Ministry of Emergency Management as well as the…

U.S. offers up to $5M for info on North Korean cyber activity

Four U.S. federal agencies on Wednesday jointly issued an advisory that warns of ongoing North Korea-sponsored cyberthreat operations, and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information on such operations. The communication, issued by the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department and the FBI, details the Democratic People’s Republic…

Locky Ransomware

Ransomware attacks vs Kimchuk, Visser reveal supply chain threat to DOD

The operators behind DoppelPaymer ransomware reportedly attacked electronics manufacturer Kimchuk earlier this month, disrupting the company’s operations and stealing sensitive data that they have been publishing online as part of an extortion plot. Meanwhile, the cybercriminal outfit has continued to also publish information stolen earlier this year from Visser Precision, a parts maker and manufacturing solutions…

Fed report castigates U.S. ability to fend off a cyberattack, suggests major reforms

Fed report castigates U.S. ability to fend off a cyberattack, suggests major reforms The Cyberspace Solarium Commission issued a 182-page report stating the United States in dangerously insecure when it comes to defending itself from a cyberattack and offered a litany of recommendations to shore up the nation’s defenses. The Commission, headed by Sens. Angus…

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