A Mix of Real Threats with Real Danger – ICD Brief 78.

ICD Brief 78.


Greetings from the night skies as I return to DC. This week’s updates are mixed: more ominous news mixed with more evidence of maturing perspectives.

We are delighted to share ICD reader Goran Samuel Pesic’s just released article for the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary: Surviving and Thriving in the Digital Economy

Here are three leads:

The Inaugural NSA Cyber Exercise, Former Cyber Defense Exercise, Brings New Cyber Competition to U.S. Service Academy Cades and Midshipmen

Russian Hackers Attacking U.S. Power Grid and Aviation, FBI Warns

EU Cybersecurity Act: Time for a Two-Way Street on Cybersecurity Information-Sharing


The Inaugural NSA Cyber Exercise, Former Cyber Defense Exercise, Brings New Cyber Competition to U.S. Service Academy Cades and Midshipmen

“Since 2001, NSA has tested the defensive skills of cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Service Academies in the Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX). To stay ahead of ever-evolving cyber threats, NSA has evolved the program to test the cadets and midshipmen in near full-spectrum cyber operations. Teams from the five U.S. Service Academies will compete head-to-head in what is now called the NSA Cyber Exercise (NCX).”

Suspected Chinese Chinese Cyber Espionage Group (TEMP.Periscope) Targeting U.S. Engineering and Maritime Industries

“Since early 2018, FireEye (including our FireEye as a Service (FaaS), Mandiant Consulting, and iSIGHT Intelligence teams) has been tracking an ongoing wave of intrusions targeting engineering and maritime entities, especially those connected to South China Sea issues. The campaign is linked to a group of suspected Chinese cyber espionage actors we have tracked since 2013, dubbed TEMP.Periscope. The group has also been reported as “Leviathan” by other security firms. The current campaign is a sharp escalation of detected activity since summer 2017. Like multiple other Chinese cyber espionage actors, TEMP.Periscope has recently re-emerged and has been observed conducting operations with a revised toolkit. Known targets of this group have been involved in the maritime industry, as well as engineering-focused entities, and include research institutes, academic organizations, and private firms in the United States. FireEye products have robust detection for the malware used in this campaign.”

Russian Hackers Attacking U.S. Power Grid and Aviation, FBI Warns

“Russian hackers are conducting a broad assault on the U.S. electric grid, water processing plants, air transportation facilities and other targets in rolling attacks on some of the country’s most sensitive infrastructure, U.S. government officials said Thursday.”

Lawmakers Move to Expands DHS Cybersecurity Role

“House and Senate lawmakers advanced two bills last Wednesday that would expand the Department of Homeland Security‘s cybersecurity mission. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed a DHS reauthorization bill that would reorganize the department’s National Protection and Programs Directorate; secure personally identifiable information; and support cybersecurity research, Covington & Burling‘s government contracts unit said Friday.”

DHS Targets Cybersecurity Risks in IT Supply Chains

“The new initiative will give actionable information to government technology buyers and users to help them protect agencies’ systems and networks.”

DHS Science and Technology Directorate Releases Cybersecurity Research Portfolio, Technology Guides

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) released Monday two new guides that outline the S&T’s cybersecurity research portfolio and describe research and development (R&D) efforts that are at or nearing the transition phase. The two publications, the 2018 Cyber Security Division Portfolio Guide and the 2018 Cyber Security Division Technology Guide, are available for free download from the S&T website.”


Microsoft Australia Prepares Cyber-Awareness Micro-Credential

“Microsoft Australia has partnered with the University of Adelaide and the Defence Teaming Centre to pilot and launch a cyber-awareness micro-credential, with the support of the local defence industry.”


Surviving and Thriving in the Digital Economy

By Goran Samuel Pesic

“Cyber-crime is growing exponentially and Canadian governments at all levels have not kept pace quickly enough to protect both themselves and private enterprise. Evolving technology allows for ever-more sophisticated cyber-threats to intellectual property, but some businesses and governments have neither changed their pre-internet thinking nor established adequate safeguards.”

Embedding Canadian Values in Cybersecurity Policy

By: Neil Desai

“Embedding Canadian values, including protecting the vulnerable, into cybersecurity policy could bridge a growing global chasm and create prosperity.”


EU Cybersecurity Act: Time for a Two-Way Street on Cybersecurity Information-Sharing

“Europe can minimize and prevent repeats of WannaCry, Heartbleed and other criminal exploitation of large-scale software vulnerabilities. The way to do that is to advance a norm encouraging governments to establish internal processes to review and share information which they have obtained about software vulnerabilities. The proposed EU Cybersecurity Act is a good place to start, with ENISA, the EU Cybersecurity Agency, supporting Member States in sharing and implementing best practices.”

EU Needs One Set of Vulnerability Disclosure Rules, Says Expert Task Force

“Cybersecurity researchers in the European Union need legal certainty and consistent standards across its 28 member states if they are to hunt for software vulnerabilities, according to a blue-ribbon commission established by the Center for European Policy Studies.”


India’s Cyber Security Chief Avoids Netbanking

“Even as the government promotes more digital transactions, the country’s cyber security chief Gulshan Rai said on Thursday he rarely does any internet banking himself because he understands the “issues there”, hinting that people doing online transactions must be aware of the risks.”


How Israel Is Becoming the World’s Top Cyber Superpower

“Israel, or “Startup Nation” as some call it, has become a world leader in cyber security. And the nation’s military is fueling its supremacy. Although Israel makes no cars of its own, the world’s top auto-security companies are all Israeli. The country also receives roughly one-fifth of the world’s global private investment in cyber security. As independent and state-sponsored hackers wreak havoc, Israel continues to revolutionize its military and lead the way in the field.”

South Korea

Korea Cyber Security Association and D-Forensic Korea Joint to Set Up a International Cybersecurity Hotline

“Foresensic Korea and chairman of Korea Cyber Security Association (KCSA), has announced a plan to establish an international hotline for internet security. KCSA and D-Forensic Korea are committed to searching for, blocking and deleting illegal pornographic images, videos, etc. that are related to children and adolescent young people, and are working pro bono to assist sexually exploited children and adolescent people.”


Are Your Employees Unwittingly Invalidating Your Cyber Liability Insurance?

By: Kirsten Bay

“Just because you have home insurance it does not mean you should stop locking your front door. Equally travel insurance does not give you free rein to leave your valuables scattered around the hotel pool. All insurance policies expect the holder to take reasonable care to reduce risk – indeed not doing so can often invalidate the policy – and cyber liability insurance is no different.”

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