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The CyberDiplomat Daily



Cyber Security Act not for persecution,’ NGE faults journalists abduction


The Nigerian Guild of Editors has strongly condemned the increasing incidents of journalists being abducted and arrested under the pretext of enforcing the Cyber Security Act. The editors warned of the severe implications such actions could have on press freedom in the country and called for a proper understanding and intention of the Cyber Security Act. They also emphasized the role of a free press in a democracy and urged the government to implement economic policies to sustain the media industry. Additionally, they expressed optimism in the government's capability to tackle security challenges and highlighted instances of journalists being harassed or abducted while carrying out their duties.



Children’s addresses leaked in UK cyber attack


A UK school fell victim to a cyber attack, leading to the leak of children’s personal information and forcing the closure of the Billericay School. The compromised data has left 1700 pupils unable to access the premises until the issues are resolved. Despite implementing security measures, the school's IT system was compromised, leaving it inaccessible. The school is taking precautions to protect sensitive information. The IT team is working on resolving the issues while making alternative teaching arrangements. The school aims to operate safely and effectively before reopening, with an update promised next week.



'Cyber terrorist' who reported fake 911 calls across US and Canada sentenced to prison


A man named Ashton Connor Garcia, 21, from Bremerton, has been sentenced to three years in federal custody, followed by three years of federal supervision, after pleading guilty to federal charges of extortion and threats. Garcia was found guilty of calling in fake emergencies to law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada while live streaming the calls on Discord in 2022, a practice known as 'swatting'. He used deceptive language to prompt law enforcement to respond with force, often claiming someone was dead or injured, others were being held hostage, and that the perpetrator had access to deadly weapons. This led to armed officers arriving at the homes of unsuspecting victims. It was alleged that Garcia targeted dozens of people in at least 13 states and Canada, and in one case, caused a major police presence at the home of a mother and her 8-year-old son in Edmonton, Alberta, by reporting a fake emergency.



Canada does not have the tools to fight cyber crime, says watchdog


Canada's Auditor General Karen Hogan reported that the federal government is ill-equipped to combat cyber crime due to bureaucracy and staff shortages. Canada's national signal intelligence agency warned of cyber crime threats from Russia and Iran. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) faced delays in implementing a new technology system, with 30% of cyber crime team positions vacant. In response, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced a new strategy to protect economic interests from cyber threats.



Australia regulator files lawsuit against Medibank over data breach


Microsoft is facing complaints from privacy advocacy group NOYB regarding its 365 Education suite. The first complaint alleges that Microsoft is shifting its responsibility for processing user data to schools. The second complaint focuses on concerning data tracking practices using cookies in Microsoft 365 Education. NOYB has urged the Austrian Data Protection Authority to investigate these complaints.



Marines fast track qualified cyber, signals recruits to rank of gunny


The Marine Corps has launched a pilot program allowing qualified recruits to enter the Corps directly as gunnery sergeants. The program, aimed at addressing shortages in cyber and signals intelligence fields, targets Marine veterans, qualified prior service members, and civilians with specific qualifications. Participants could receive up to the rank of gunnery sergeant, E-7, and progress through standard promotions to master sergeant, E-8, and master gunnery sergeant, E-9. However, they won't be eligible for promotion to first sergeant, E-8, or sergeant major, E-9. This initiative aims to leverage private-sector talent to rapidly fill critical capability gaps.



Critical incident declared as cyber attack affects major London hospitals


Several major hospitals in London have declared a critical incident due to a cyber attack that has disrupted operations and patient care. The attack targeted Synnovis, a company providing pathology services to large hospitals and GP surgeries in the capital. All of Synnovis' IT systems have been affected by a ransomware attack, leading to interruptions in its pathology services. As a result, some procedures and operations have been canceled or moved to other NHS providers while hospital officials assess the situation to determine what can be safely carried out. This incident has caused a "significant impact" on hospitals such as King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, as well as the Royal Brompton and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, along with GP services in south-east London.



Paris Hilton and CNN among accounts targeted in TikTok cyber attack


A source at TikTok told Reuters news agency the account of reality TV star Paris Hilton was targeted but had not been compromised. TikTok parent company ByteDance is currently challenging a law that requires it to sell TikTok by next January or face a ban in the US. The White House said it wants to see Chinese-based ownership ended on national security grounds.



The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Modern Cyber Defense


Cyber threats have advanced far from simple viruses and worms of the past. Modern cyber attacks are more complex, often orchestrated by organized crime syndicates or state-sponsored actors. These attacks can involve advanced persistent threats (APTs), ransomware, phishing schemes, and zero-day exploits, which can bypass traditional security measures. The dynamic nature of these threats necessitates a more advanced approach to threat detection and response. AI and ML technologies offer significant advantages in cybersecurity. Their ability to analyze vast amounts of data at unprecedented speeds enables them to identify patterns and anomalies that might indicate a cyber threat.




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