“You Cannot Give Up Now!” – Report 190, July 18, 2020

Black Lives Matter
It’s been a dramatic week of emergencies. Privacy Shield shut down, Twitter down, Cloudflare down, Iran and China, a growing trend to move companies out of China and numerous others that I will leave for you to discover.
There’s a sampling below.

We lost two great men yesterday. Here’s a brief celebration of their lives.
America lost two civil rights icons in less than 24 hours, Rep John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian Bloomberg 1:43

american flag


Cloudflare DNS goes down, taking a large piece of the internet with it
Tech Crunch, Devin Coldewey
“’This afternoon we saw an outage across some parts of our network. It was not as a result of an attack,’ the company said in a statement. ‘It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available. We believe we have addressed the root cause and monitoring systems for stability now. We will share more shortly—we have a team writing an update as we speak.’” Blog report

CIS0A, Christopher C. Krebs, Director
“The last few weeks have been something else, indeed. CISA and our cybersecurity partners have responded to several major vulnerabilities such as Trek TCP/IP (Ripple 20), F5 BIG-IP Traffic Management User Interface (CVE-2020-5902), SAP, and now Microsoft Windows Server. Each of these presents its own unique risks, and our team has worked to amplify awareness of them throughout the cybersecurity community.
However, due to the wide prevalence of Windows Server in civilian Executive Branch agencies, I’ve determined that immediate action is necessary, and federal departments and agencies need to take this remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Server’s Domain Name System (DNS) particularly seriously.”

FBI investigates Twitter attack on high-profile celebrities
OpenAccess Government
“The FBI stated on Thursday (16 July) that it has launched an investigation into the cyberattack after twitter accounts belonging to Kim Kardashian West, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Kanye West were accessed by hackers to use them to solicit digital currency.”

Bipartisan Members and Experts Agree that H.R. 7331, the National Cyber Director Act, is Essential to Protecting National Security
House Committee on Oversight and Reform
“Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee of Oversight and Reform, held a hearing to examine U.S. cybersecurity preparedness and the bipartisan H.R. 7331, the National Cyber Director Act, which would create the position of a National Cyber Director to lead national-level coordination of cyber strategy and policy.”

Navy cyber security experts say they plan to deploy shipboard cyber defenses aboard 180 ships by next year
Military and Aerospace Electronics via Defense News
“Delivering cyber baselines enables Navy experts to identify capability risks during a ship’s availability or scheduled modernization.”
dust storm


Massive Rise in Cybersecurity Awareness Across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa
IT News Africa, Jenna Delport
“Nearly two thirds (66%) of remote workers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa say they are more conscious of their organisation’s cybersecurity policies since the lockdown began – according to a new study from Trend Micro.”


AU Manufacturing
“Ellie Vaisman, co-founder at Sourci, says there’s a definite trend for medium- and large-sized businesses to shift manufacturing out of China. ‘We’ve actually been helping quite a lot of businesses to diversify their supply chain into countries such as India, which is a really good emerging manufacturing economy, as well as Vietnam and Indonesia as well,’ he tells @AuManufacturing.”


Canadian minister promises review after security contracts awarded to Chinese-state tech company
Global News, Sam Cooper & Andrew Russell
“Nuctech, a high-tech company connected to former Chinese president Hu Jintao, has been awarded sensitive contracts in Canada”

Ottawa in talks with Lloyd’s of London for insurance partnership to withstand ‘black swan’ events
Financial Post, Barbara Shecter
“The Canadian government is interested in an “exploratory discussion” with the Lloyd’s of London about creating a public-private insurance partnership to help withstand systemic risks to the economy from “black swan” events such as the coronavirus pandemic, says John Neal, chief executive of the U.K.-based global insurer.”


Defying U.S., China and Iran Near Trade and Military Partnership
New York Times, Farnaz Fassihi and Steven Lee Myers
“The investment and security pact would vastly extend China’s influence in the Middle East, throwing Iran an economic lifeline and creating new flash points with the United States.”


EU court kills Privacy Shield, wreaks havoc on digital economy
SCMedia, Teri Robinson
“Factoring into the decision by the European Court of Justice is the jumble of state privacy laws currently governing personal data.

The EU court decision in the Schrems II case that effectively kills the Privacy Shield pact hammered out four years ago between the U.S. and EU could cripple multinational companies’ ability to operate as they scramble to scrutinize their data transfer mechanisms.”

ENISA unveils its New Strategy towards a Trusted and Cyber Secure Europe


Iranian Spies Accidentally Leaked Videos of Themselves Hacking
Wired, Andy Greenberg
“ IBM’s X-Force security team obtained five hours of APT35 hacking operations, showing exactly how the group steals data from email accounts—and who it’s targeting.”


Cyber attacks again hit Israel’s water system, shutting agricultural pumps
Times of Israel TOI STAFF
“Two cyber attacks were carried out against Israeli water infrastructure in recent weeks, the Ynet news site reported late Thursday. The Water Authority confirmed the report, but said no damage was done to Israel’s water system.”


Japan to Pay at Least $536 Million for Companies to Leave China
“Fifty-seven companies including privately-held facemask-maker Iris Ohyama Inc. and Sharp Corp. will receive a total of 57.4 billion yen ($536 million) in subsidies from the government, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. Another 30 firms will receive money to move manufacturing to Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, according to a separate announcement, which didn’t provide details on the amount of compensation.”


North Macedonia Probes Election Day Cyber Attacks
BalkanInsight, Bojan Stojkovski
The state electoral commission website is still reeling from a cyber attack on Wednesday’s election day and is not yet functioning properly.

“’It is not clear whether the [SEC] website was tested to withstand a large amount of connections for a short period of time, and whether it had the necessary DDoS protection,’ cyber-security engineer Milan Popov told BIRN on Friday.”



Pakistani InfoSec researchers to debut at DEFCON Hacking Conference
PtProfit,Babar Khan Javed
“Two top-ranked ethical hackers from Pakistan have been invited to speak at the world’s largest hacker convention.”


Make $100,000/Year By Filling The Cyber Skills Gap
Forbes, Christos Makridis
“A groundbreaking new report by Emsi finds that the United States has less than half the cybersecurity candidates that it needs to handle increasing demand. In other words, help wanted!

While some cities exhibit a bigger gap than others—with Washington DC touting the largest gap—in nearly every case, demand outstrips supply.”


UK and allies expose Russian attacks on coronavirus vaccine development
“The NCSC assesses that APT29, also named “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear” almost certainly operate as part of Russian intelligence services. This assessment is also supported by partners at the Canadian Communication Security Establishment (CSE), the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).”

Start-Up That Detects Fake News Raises £2.5m To Prepare For US Elections
“Logically – a tech start-up using AI to detect misinformation and to provide a fact-checking service to combat fake news – has raised £2.5m to further develop its product in time for the US election.”


4 Steps to Prevent Ransomware Attacks (Contributed)
Samuel S. Visner is the director of the National Cybersecurity Federally Funded Research and Development Center, operated by MITRE. He is also a professor of cybersecurity policy, operations, and technology at Georgetown University. The opinion expressed is the author’s and does not necessarily reflect the views of MITRE.

“While COVID-19 has made continuity of public services more critical than ever, it has also made them more vulnerable. A few guidelines can help organizations prepare for and prevent ransomware incidents.

City officials in Florence, Ala., recently found themselves between a rock and a hard place when confronted by a ransomware attack that disrupted the city’s email systems and led to a continuing network outage. Paying ransoms can undermine public trust in the government to protect its citizens and ensure their quality of life. But, as Florence Mayor Steve Holt noted, not paying could jeopardize citizens’ personal and financial data.

Florence, unfortunately, is not alone in having to respond to and recover from these kinds of attacks. And the dangers are even greater now as ransomware attackers are making urgent demands of the state and local

mind the gap

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