Mixed News and Views – ICD Brief 105.

ICD Brief 105.


Today’s Brief reflects my impressions brought back from the last weeks in Europe. While the mood is unsettled, the attitude has shifted from concern to context. Building context for the cyber sphere gives it a newly identified “place” where it will be properly considered. All opinions expressed are those of the authors, not the ICD Brief.


UK-US Cyber Accord to Be Announced by Defence Secretary

ITV Report

“Britain and the US will sign an accord to ensure the two nations dominate and out manoeuvre adversaries in the cyber battlefield, the Defence Secretary will announce. Gavin Williamson is expected to reveal the agreement during a Trafalgar Night dinner onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is currently anchored two miles from Manhattan in New York.”

White House Policy Adviser: Basics Really Matter

Tim Starks,Politico

“ A smorgasbord of federal officials and other experts at the CyberTalks conference weighed in on the state of cybersecurity, especially around especially around election security. Here are a few of the big takeaways.”

FDA and DHS to Collaborate on Boosting Med Device Cybersecurity

 Callum Little, Medical Plastic News

“As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity in health care, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have entered a partnership to help address cybersecurity in medical devices.”

Top Cybersecurity Centre Set to Open in New York    

Software Testing News

“A new $100m cyber security centre is set to open in New York next year. New York is pushing to lead the world in becoming a leading cyber security hub, this year attracting firms with a $30m initiative.”

Securing Middle America: Small Towns More at Risk of Ransomware, Phishing and More   Robert Abel ,SC Media

“Cybersecurity firms may be leaving money on the table chasing big fish in the form of large enterprise deals, while smaller local government entities go unprotected. While cyberattacks target entities of all sizes in both the public and private sector, small towns can find themselves especially vulnerable as the result of a lack of funds and knowledge. Within the last month, ransomware shut down the operations of a North Carolina water utility company, an Idaho county, and most recently the Indiana National Guard.”

Maryland’s “Cyber Town USA” Will Have Tenants by 2020

Government Technology from Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun

“The first companies to commit to moving to South Baltimore’s massive Port Covington redevelopment see themselves as more than tenants. Three cybersecurity industry firms, which announced plans Thursday to open headquarters by 2020 in the project’s first development phase, are in the business of investing in and nurturing cyberfirms. And they see themselves attracting dozens of companies with hundreds of workers to what they call “Cyber Town USA,” making Port Covington the epicenter of a Silicon Valley of the East Coast.”


Australia Encryption Bill Will Weaken Cybersecurity, Warns Apple

Eleanor Dickinson ARN-CIO from IDG

“Apple has hit back against Australia’s controversial surveillance bill by raising concerns about the Assistance and Access Bill, arguing its “dangerously ambiguous” wording will create a risk to weakened cyber security.”

UN Rights Expert Warns Australia’s Proposed Cybersecurity Bill Too Extreme

Tate Brown, Jurist

“Australia’s proposed cybersecurity bill is “fatally flawed” and should be dropped, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy said Thursday.”

Australia Lawyers’ Group: Draft Cyber Laws Would Curb Rights

Rod McGuirk ,Associated Press

“The president of Australia’s top lawyers’ group told a parliamentary inquiry that proposed cybersecurity laws to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by extremists and other criminals would significantly limit individuals’ privacy and freedom.”


Estonia and Other EU Countries Push for Sanctions for Cyber Attackers

Sten Hankewitz, Estonian World

“Estonia, the UK, the Netherlands and other European Union countries are pushing for the EU’s sanctions regime to include cyber attacks after the alleged attempts by Russian and Chinese operatives to break into the computer systems of European agencies.”



China’s New “Legal” Cyber Espionage: Time to Respond

Claud Barfield , American Enterprise Institute

“Even if belatedly, the Trump administration is stepping up counterattacks on widespread (and possibly increasing) Chinese government-backed theft of US firms’ intellectual property and trade secrets. Last week, the US Department of Justice indicted an official of China’s Ministry of State Security on charges of economic espionage and attempting to steal trade secrets from American aviation and aerospace companies. The indictment followed an extraordinary extradition from Belgium in which the Chinese operative had been lured by US agents.”


Digital Skills Gap and Disinformation: How Public Libraries Can Help

Ilona Kish, Euroactiv

“It’s a statistic we’ve heard time and time again in recent years: while 90% of future jobs will require digital skills, almost half (44%) of Europeans lack even the most basic digital skills, warns Ilona Kish.”

Fearing Election Hacking, EU Leaders to Ready Sanctions

 Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com with Reuters

“EU leaders agreed at a summit on Thursday (18 October) to impose sanctions to stiffen their response to cyber attacks and to rush through new curbs on online campaigning by political parties to protect next year’s European election from interference.”


European Cybersecurity Challenge: Germany Wins, UK Takes Bronze

Conor Reynolds, Computer Business Review CBR

“Team Germany has won this year’s European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC) narrowly beating France in a hectic and competitive final.”


Hungary Increases Its Scientific Cooperation with NATO 

NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme

“Scientists and other experts from NATO and Hungary discussed future projects of cooperation at the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme Information Day held in Budapest on 11 October 2018.”


Indian Firms Are “Over Confident” About Cybersecurity, Report Says

Bala Yogesh ,Cybersecurity Investing News

 “Indian companies are “overly confident” in their cybersecurity preparedness despite having limited cybersecurity tools at their disposal, says a report from Fico (NYSE:FICO), released on Thursday (October 18).”


NATO Cyber Command Grapples with Attack Rules  

Robin Emmott,ITNews

“A new NATO military command centre to deter computer hackers should be fully staffed in 2023 and able to mount its own cyber attacks but the alliance is still grappling with ground rules for doing so, a senior general said on Tuesday.”


Small Companies Less Affected by Cyber Attacks   

Statistics Netherlands- CBS

“Small businesses are less often the victim of cyber attacks than larger ones. In 2016, 9 percent of businesses with between 2 and 10 persons employed were faced with an ICT security incident with an external cause. This was the case for 39 percent of the businesses employing 250 or more persons. In both groups, cyber crime resulted in extra expenses for half of all affected businesses. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of the Cyber Security Monitor 2018.”


Ukraine, Poland Said Hit in New Cyberattack        

Orsolya Liddiar,TOL

“IT company says three companies were compromised in attack similar to takedown of Ukraine’s power grid in 2015.”


Russia Dodges Bullet of EU Sanctions on Cyber – For Now

Laurens Cerulus,Politico

“If there ever was a window for European leaders to name and shame Moscow for carrying out cyberattacks against networks in the EU, Thursday’s Council meeting would have been it. They chose to let the chance go by.”


Inside the Agency that Protects Britain from Cyberattacks         

 Short video

“NBC’s Ken Dilanian visits the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which protects British consumers, companies and government agencies from hackers.”

NCSC Annual Review 2018

“CEO Overview

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre

Cyber security is a tough, complex challenge. But the UK is making significant progress in strengthening our defences against those who seek to harm us online. This matters as we look to an ever more digital future for our prosperity.

In this report – GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre’s second Annual Review – we set out:

  • the latest overview of the threats we face;

  • the progress we’ve made in meeting them, including some world-leading initiatives to rectify some of the systemic security weaknesses of the modern Internet;

  • the cyber security challenges facing families, businesses, critical network owners and government, and what they can do to meet them; and

  • our plans for the future.”

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) was created in 2016 as part of the government’s five-year National Cyber Security Strategy. Since then, our goal has been to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.”

UK to Be Hit by “Category 1” Cyber Emergency, Intelligence Chief Warns 

Samuel Osborne, The Independent

“Britain will be hit by a life-threatening “category 1” cyber emergency in the near future, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned. The NCSC’s annual review revealed it is currently repelling around 10 attempted cyber attacks every week, with “hostile states” said to be responsible for the bulk of thwarted strikes.”

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