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The CyberDiplomat Daily

Date : 28th May 2024



Klein ISD student accused of orchestrating cyber attack that disrupted STAAR testing


An 18-year-old student at Klein Forest High School is wanted by police for allegedly disrupting STAAR testing by initiating cyber attacks using his school-issued Chromebook. The attacks caused internet disruptions during the testing days in April, affecting thousands of students across the district. The disruptions led to students being locked out of their tests and having to restart, impacting a total of 24,279 students. The student admitted to accessing websites to launch the attacks when confronted by school authorities. The district's Accountability Rating from the Texas Education Agency may be affected as a result of the incidents.




Kyndryl partners with Rubrik to strengthen its cyber-resilience portfolio


Kyndryl has partnered with Rubrik to enhance its cybersecurity and cyber resilience offerings. This collaboration aims to help organizations manage, secure, and protect their data, as well as understand disaster recovery scenarios. The partnership will integrate Rubrik's solutions into Kyndryl's portfolio of services, starting with the launch of Kyndryl Incident Recovery with Rubrik, a managed backup and disaster recovery cloud service for on-premise and cloud workloads.



With the support of Kapital Bank, the "Cyber Bootcamp" at NDU has been in the law. ( Azerbaijan) 


The Kapital Bank, the first bank of the country of Azerbaijan, held a 'Cyber Bootcamp', which was conducted by Naxçıvan Dövlət University (NDU). There was simulation and training exercise organised and certificates were presented at the end. 



Cyber insurance: an unprecedented price reduction for French companies


The average price of cyber insurance has been declining since last year in France, for both large groups and smaller companies, according to Amrae. A first on this niche market.



Members of the ruling and opposition parties verify the emergency situation in Taiwan, assuming a power outage in Kyushu and Okinawa due to China's cyber attack


Volunteers from both the ruling and opposition parties in the Japanese Diet met to assess Japan's preparedness in the event of a Taiwan emergency. They simulated a cyber attack by China aimed at disabling the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in Japan, leading to a power outage in Kyushu and Okinawa. Lawmakers representing the Prime Minister's official residence and the Okinawa Prefectural Government, as well as experts from the Japan Foreign Policy Society, discussed issues such as resident evacuation. The event, organized by the Japan Foreign Policy Society, saw the participation of 40 individuals, including former law minister Yoshihisa Furukawa and House of Representatives member Ken Noma. Concerns have been raised about China's upcoming military exercises near Taiwan on the 23rd and 24th, with Japan and the United States expressing worry about escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait.



DEAS and Fincantieri united to strengthen cyber resilience of military and commercial fleets


During the Mare Aperto 24/Polaris exercise in the Tyrrhenian Sea, crews from the Italian and French navies conducted a cyber resilience test aboard the Italian Navy's aircraft carrier Cavour. The exercise aimed to assess the impact of cyberattacks on naval platforms and mission accomplishment. The test was part of a partnership between DEAS Spa and the Fincantieri Group, which developed cyber-resilient technologies for military and civilian sectors. The crews engaged in simulated cyber scenarios using a product called "Archimedes" to generate cyber-attacks and assess their responsiveness. The exercise provided valuable insights for both military and civilian defense against cyber-attacks.



PHL faces highest rise in cyber threats in region


The Philippines saw a 243% surge in web threats in 2023, the highest increase in Southeast Asia. Singaporean and Thai businesses also experienced notable increases. Despite this, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam had lower web threats in 2023 versus 2022. In total, there were 13.41 million attacks in Southeast Asia last year. Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, emphasized the importance of businesses in the region prioritizing strengthening their cyber defenses against online threats. This urgency is in line with the ongoing digitalization efforts in Southeast Asia.



Cyber Attacks Hit DeFi Protocols for a Combined $25 Million


In mid-May, DeFi protocols experienced cyber attacks resulting in the theft of over $25 million in cryptocurrency. Sonne Finance, BlockTower, and ALEX Lab were targeted. Sonne Finance suffered the largest loss of about $20 million due to an exploitable bug, while ALEX Lab lost around $4 million likely due to a compromised private key. BlockTower Capital reported a partial theft of about $1.5 million from its hedge fund. Some DeFi protocols are turning to AI solutions for security, such as Sonne Finance enlisting the help of web3 security firm Cyvers.AI to mitigate the damage and investigate the cyber attack. While there have been improvements in DeFi security, more robust network-level security is needed to reassure investors and businesses.



College graduates are on the front lines against cyber attacks


Cyber attacks are increasingly common in Canada, targeting organizations like London Drugs and Laurentian University. To address the growing threat, Ontario colleges, such as Cambrian College, are offering cybersecurity programs. The program coordinator, Myles Peterson, emphasizes the high demand for cybersecurity professionals and the need to integrate cybersecurity as a fundamental business unit. The program includes training in setting up protective systems, responding to cyber attacks, ethical hacking, and malware analysis. In the final semester, students work with local businesses to enhance their cybersecurity measures, with some businesses participating in the CyberSecure Canada certification program for small and medium businesses.



Cyber Security Authority warns of rising social engineering attacks as WhatsApp scams surge



The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has reported a significant increase in incidents of individuals falling victim to social engineering, resulting in unauthorised access and account takeovers on WhatsApp. The CSA noted that 187 reports have been recorded as of April 2024, matching the total number reported for the entire year of 2023. Victims are being tricked into sharing their WhatsApp verification codes with malicious actors, leading to these breaches. The CSA urges users to remain vigilant and avoid sharing verification codes with anyone.




Participation of the Chief of the Cyber Command in the Cyber Commanders Forum


Divisional Simon Müller, Chief of Cyber Command, and Brigadier Martino Ghilardi, Commander of the Command Assistance Brigade 41, attended the Cyber Commanders Forum on May 27 and 28, 2024 in Tallinn, Estonia. The purpose of the Cyber Commanders Forum (CCF) is to facilitate knowledge exchange among different countries and strengthen connections between military cyber organization leaders. By participating, the Swiss Army aims to enhance its international network. The CCF provides a platform for cyber specialists and military leaders to discuss capacity development, organizational structures, and other important topics. It also serves as an opportunity to address common challenges and collaborate on solutions to improve cybersecurity. The involvement of Divisional Simon Müller and Brigadier Martino Ghilardi underscores the Swiss Army's commitment to fostering international cooperation in the cyber domain. Sharing knowledge and experiences with other countries is also essential for leveraging potential synergies.




City focuses on Internet safety for juveniles


A seminar on protecting minors online was held in Xuhui, Shanghai, focusing on creating a healthy online environment for minors. The event addressed regulation of online content, promotion of online literacy, protection of personal information, and prevention of Internet addiction among minors. Initiatives to protect minors online include coordinated efforts by government agencies and industry associations, as well as the unveiling of the "Juvenile Online Protection Risk Identification Checklist.




Automotive Cyber Security market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% by 2034: Visiongain


Visiongain's new report "Automotive Cyber Security Market Report 2024-2034" provides forecasts for various aspects of the market and projects a 19.4% CAGR during 2024-2034, with a value of US$2,991.6 million in 2024. The automotive cybersecurity market is expanding due to growing consumer awareness of cybersecurity risks in modern vehicles. This presents an opportunity for cybersecurity firms to provide advanced solutions and collaborate with automotive manufacturers to develop integrated security features. Regulatory bodies are also implementing measures to enhance vehicle security. The rising consumer awareness is driving demand for aftermarket cybersecurity solutions such as intrusion detection systems and secure communication protocols.



Optus loses appeal to keep Deloitte cyber attack report secret


The Australian Federal Court has ruled that Optus cannot keep a report it commissioned from Deloitte regarding its 2022 cyber attack out of the hands of lawyers representing a class action against the telco. The report must now be shared with law firm Slater & Gordon, which is pursuing the class action on behalf of Optus customers impacted by the data breach. Ben Hardwick, class actions practice group leader at Slater & Gordon, is pleased by the Federal Court’s decision and believes that Optus's efforts to shield the report indicate a refusal to accept responsibility for its role in the data breach.




Class 9 students' AI-generated nude photos circulated in Bengaluru, parents file complaint with Cyber Cell


The perpetrator could be known to one of the students as her parents suspect that the photo of the girl used in morphed nude photos was taken from her private Instagram account



Hacktivists strike Africa’s North Korea in “massive” cyber attack


The small African nation of Eritrea has said that it foiled a “massive cyber attack” on its Independence Day. The country is known for its many human rights violations and militarism, so much so that it is called “Africa’s North Korea.” It is likely that protestors were behind the attack in a rare example of African hacktivism.



Govt has developed capacity to tackle all cyber security issues – PS Zawedde


In an increasingly digitalised world, the ICT sector is taking centre stage in enabling Uganda’s socioeconomic growth and, therefore, the ministry of ICT and National Guidance is making deliberate efforts to grow the sector.




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