War and Peace – ICD Brief 97.

ICD Brief 97.


Greetings from a nation’s capital in escape mode. It’s the end of July and this will be our last Brief until early September. We’ve left you with a mega edition for August reading with substantial updates from the US, Australia, Baltics, China, EU, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, ITU, Japan, Montenegro, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and the UK.

On observing a darkening summer sky, my mother in law would warn: “The leaves are turned towards rain.” This week’s headlines bring a similar sense of foreboding as we watch our world reorganize to attack and return fire. We lead with a summary of the cyber defense policies in the US 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House Thursday, due to be passed by the Senate next week. Be sure and check out The Case for Treating Cyber Attackers Like Enemies of Mankind an opinion piece by Professor Sandeep Gopalan.


Defense Policy Bill Nudges US Toward More Aggressive Cyber Posture

“The final defense policy bill unveiled Monday would overhaul U.S. cyber defense policies, putting the country on a more aggressive footing against digital adversaries. The compromise fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5515), hammered out by House and Senate lawmakers, features several modified proposals from the upper chamber draft, such as setting the nation’s first cyber warfare policy, affirming the authority of the Defense secretary to conduct clandestine military activities and operations in cyberspace, and authorizing the president to direct U.S. Cyber Command to take steps to counter Russia, China, Iran and North Korea in cyberspace.”

Lawmakers: Use Cyber Attacks on Countries that Meddle in US Elections

“As part of the fiscal 2019 defense budget, the Senate Armed Services Committee wants the U.S. to launch offensive cyber attacks in retaliation against Russia or any other country that tries to “significantly disrupt the normal functioning of our democratic society or government.””

Pentagon Creating Software “Do Not Buy” List to Keep Out Russia, China

“The Pentagon is working on a software “do not buy” list to block vendors who use software code originating from Russia and China, a top Defense Department acquisitions official said on Friday.”

DHS Plots Multiple Cyber Initiatives

“DHS will use its upcoming cybersecurity summit to reassert its leadership role in federal cyber efforts, a senior department official said in an interview. “We will launch at least three noteworthy new ideas and initiatives” with 90-day timelines for producing results, Christopher Krebs, the Under Secretary of DHS’s cyber wing, the National Protection and Programs Directorate, said on the inaugural episode of CyberCast, a new cybersecurity podcast co-hosted by Kiersten Todt and Roger Cressey. One announcement at the July 31 event in New York will focus on supply chain security, as part of DHS’s effort to reframe how it approaches cyber risk management. The department will also encourage a greater focus on the security of industrial control systems. Krebs called these utility control networks “a space from a risk perspective that needs quite a bit of attention.”

Where Do Information Operations Fit In the DoD Cyber Enterprise?

“Events such as interference in the 2016 election are demonstrating how the internet has amplified the reach and impact of age-old military tactics such as information or influence operations. These new cyber-enabled information operations have many in the U.S. government and thought leadership community concerned both about the United States’ ability to counter and coordinate similar activities, especially given the Department of Defense divested a lot of its information-related capability at the conclusion of the Cold War.”

The Law of Military Cyber Operations and the New NDAA

“How will the soon-to-be-enacted NDAA alter the legal framework for military operations in the cyber domain? The House version of the bill would not have impacted this question much, but as I wrote here and here the Senate version had several interesting provisions. Well, those Senate provisions have now emerged largely intact from the conference process, and the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2019 almost certainly will become law soon. Here is the full text and accompanying conference report, what you need to know about how those cyber provisions turned out.”

Cosco’s US Operations Hit by Cyber Attack

“The US operations of Cosco Shipping Lines has apparently been hit by an apparent cyberattack causing some disruption to the network there, however global operations have not been affected.”

Study Warns of Cyber Hacking Risk to Firms Using SAP, Oracle Management Software

“The Department of Homeland Security issued an alert citing the study by security firms Digital Shadows and Onapsis that highlights the risks posed to thousands of unpatched business systems from software makers Oracle and SAP.”

Dem, GOP Senators Join to Ask Trump to Get Tough on Russia Cyber Threat

“A bipartisan duo of U.S. senators is urging President Donald Trump to pay more attention to the threat posed by Russia against critical infrastructure like the nation’s electric grid, and to provide an analysis of the risk and a plan of action within 90 days.”

California’s New Data Privacy Law Rivals EU’s GDPR

“Since May 25, 2018 and the rollout of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and even before, data privacy has been top of mind. A part of that sentiment has carried over to the U.S. with the passing of California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).”


Cyber Deal with US Signals More Assertive Counter-Hacking Operations

“Australia will work more closely with the United States on offensive cyber capabilities in a deal that presages a more aggressive approach by the nation’s electronic spooks in carrying out operations abroad.”

Australia Boosting Cybersecurity Cooperation within Asian Countries

“2017 saw Australia sign an agreement with Thailand in a bid to boost regional community security and they are now working in tandem with other Asian countries such as Singapore and China in a bid to tackle cybercrime within the Asia Pacific region.”


Estonia’s Guardtime Develops Cybersecurity Solution for US Elections

“Estonian software security company Guardtime in cooperation with Swiss security technology company SICPA has developed a new election security solution for US elections which will offer blockchain-enabled protection of voter registries.”


Why Congress May Have Just Boosted China’s Cybersecurity

“Congressional negotiators reconciling the annual defense authorization act decided not to reinstate penalties on Chinese cellphone company ZTE, despite criticism that the company is a potential conduit for cyber espionage.”

Why the UK Has National Security Fears Over China’s Huawei

“For years the UK government has provided assurances that Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, posed no risk to Britain’s national security by having supplied big chunks of the kit used in the country’s phone and broadband networks. But last week something changed.”


How GDPR Is Affecting Email Marketing

“The European Union’s General Data Protection Requirement, or GDPR, has been a hot topic since its enforcement date took effect in May 2018. Companies have faced multiple dilemmas: Is their business one that needs to comply with the GDPR privacy law? If so, what is the best way to comply? And how does a business comply without losing valuable customers?”


In Cyber, Germany Needs to Counter-Attack, Minister Says

“Germany is considering laws that would let it respond actively to foreign cyber-attacks, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as he presented a domestic intelligence agency report showing Iran was the latest power to ramp up hack attacks on German systems.”


Israel Looking to Work with India on Cyber Security

“As dozens of official websites, including those of defence and home ministries, were hit by cyber hacking two months ago, Israel has sought to support and collaborate with Indian agencies to prevent such attacks in the future.”

93% of Indian Companies Plan to Increase IT Security Spending: Survey

“Global electrical infrastructure company Thales, recently, surveyed over 100 Indian IT security managers for its Global Data Threat Report 2018 which polled 1,200 IT security managers in eight countries and across four major vertical markets. The survey found out that a striking 93 per cent of Indian respondents’ plan on increasing IT security spending this year, the highest among countries surveyed and well above the global average (78 per cent).”


Iranian Cyber Activity on the Rise with Leafminer, OilRig Leading the Way

“Iran has once again found itself in the crosshairs of cybersecurity researchers with Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, Symantec and German intelligence all pointing accusatory fingers at Tehran over several recently revealed cyber campaigns.”


Israelis to Train Czech Cyberspace Fight Specialists

“The Czech Defence Ministry plans to have dozens its officers trained in anti-hacking methods by experts from the Czech-Israeli company CyberGym Europe, a step showing the state’s efforts to enhance its cyberspace protection, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote on Monday.”


ITU’s Critical Cybersecurity Role and the 2018 Plenipotentiary

“In the rather unique world of public international law for cybersecurity, the treaty provisions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stand alone. They form the multilateral basis for the existence of all communication networks, internets, and services worldwide and have obtained the assent by every nation in the world. They also contain the only meaningful multilateral cybersecurity provisions that have endured over a century and a half through all manner of technological change. Indeed, it was radio internets a hundred years ago that gave rise to the greatest cybersecurity challenges.”


Japan Crafts New Cybersecurity Strategy for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

“The government crafted a new cybersecurity strategy Wednesday as it steps up preparations for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. During a meeting at the prime minister’s office, it also decided to introduce a five-stage index to classify the severity of cyberattacks to help people understand the magnitude of threats and take necessary action.”


Montenegro to Join NATO Cyber-Defence Centre

“Montenegro is to join the NATO cyber defence centre based in Estonia by 2019, to tighten up its cyber protection abilities after coming under a series of attacks in 2016 and 2017. The government has approved the accession of the Ministry of Defence and the signing the two memoranda on the establishment of operations and functional relationships with NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, based in Tallinn.”


Russian Hackers Apparently Take First (Known) Aim at Midterms

“The first allegations have surfaced of Russian hackers targeting a candidate in the midterms. Vulnerable Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said on Thursday that Russians attempted to infiltrate her Senate computer network, but were thwarted. And she added that she wouldn’t back down from her criticism of President Vladimir Putin. “Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy,” McCaskill said in a statement. “I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable. While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.’”


Smart Nation Agenda Needs Rethink on Cybersecurity

“Singapore’s Smart Nation push is yielding results. Identified as one of the most technologically ready economies in a recent Economic Intelligence Unit study, Singapore also ranked relatively high in cybersecurity preparedness, one of the key aspects of a strong digital infrastructure and a principal element of the ranking.”

South Korea

South Korea, US, Japan Agree to Continue Cyber Cooperation

“Cyber experts from South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Friday to continue cooperation on issues affecting cybersecurity, the State Department said. The trilateral meeting was held in Washington to build on a commitment made by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to boost cyber cooperation, the department said in a press release.”


New Alliance Seeks to Bridge Cyber Skills Shortage

“Following on from the government’s plans to develop a national professional body for cyber-security a large number of organisations and companies have formed the Collaborative Alliance to shape national cyber-security standards, drive advances in education and advise the government.”

Former Trump Cyber Adviser Tapped for Top Intelligence Role in UK

“Rob Joyce, President Donald Trump’s former cybersecurity coordinator, has been tapped to serve as the National Security Agency’s top representative in the United Kingdom, according to a former senior intelligence official and a second source familiar with the matter.”


The Case for Treating Cyber Attackers Like Enemies of Mankind

By: Sandeep Gopalan

“Consider this thought experiment: You are an American or British owner of a small business that regularly uses the internet. Are you a legitimate target in a war with Russia or Iran while you conduct your affairs in New York or London?”

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