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The CyberDiplomat Daily

Date: 8th June 2024



Pro-Russia cyber attack targets Netherlands parties on first day of European elections


Several Dutch political parties reported a cyber attack on their websites on the first day of the European Parliament elections, carried out by a pro-Russian hacker collective. The attack aimed to make the parties’ websites temporarily unavailable. The European Parliament has expressed concern about defending European democracy and elections against disinformation and manipulation, noting a rise in disinformation campaigns and an estimated increase in voter turnout.



Panasonic Australia confirms cyber incident following Akira ransomware claim


The Akira ransomware gang claims to have hacked Panasonic Australia but the company says no data has been stolen. Panasonic reassures that its network is secure and day-to-day operations are continuing as normal. The company is investigating the unauthorized access claim. Meanwhile, Akira has threatened to share the data they claim to have taken from Panasonic Australia.




Largest Moscow internet provider faces bankruptcy after DIU cyber attack


The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) and a civilian cyber group led to a large-scale disruption in the work of Moscow's largest Internet provider. The cyberattack disabled 10,200 ISP switches, destroyed customer databases and blocked the company's website. The attack's consequences included the termination of Internet services for thousands of the company's customers, including large enterprises and government institutions. The company's losses have already exceeded 178 million rubles, and even greater losses are expected due to customer claims demanding compensation for damages. Customers are complaining about merging their data, and hackers are warning that the final losses may exceed 200 million rubles.



CYBERCOM Plans to Consolidate Army, USAF Software Factories Under Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture; Khoi Nguyen Quoted


U.S. Cyber Command is consolidating the software factories of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force under the Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture (JCWA) to streamline operations and reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This includes establishing a new program executive office with six program managers representing different program offices. The goal is to provide a common platform for software development efforts, enabling the use of the same technology stack and improving supply chain defense. The common platform, expected to be deployed in various environments, will be provided to all program offices as Government-Furnished Equipment.



Oil sector’s cybersecurity vital for economic protection, says Kuwait


The Ministry of Oil in Kuwait emphasized the importance of cybersecurity in protecting their operations and sensitive information during a recent seminar. Sheikha Tamadhur Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Head of PR and Media at the Ministry of Oil, highlighted the necessity of advanced technology, strategic security integration, and periodic training programs to safeguard their assets. Furthermore, Colonel Abdulrahman Al-Shatti of the Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Cybersecurity emphasized the various cyber threats present at individual, institutional, and governmental levels, including espionage, pirating, and recruitment for organized terrorist groups. Al-Shatti also provided insights on evaluating and managing cyber risks through a visual presentation during the seminar.



Let’s push for robust cybersecurity measures in Africa – Executive Chairman, KRIF Ghana


Rev. Kennedy Okosun, Executive Chairman of KRIF Ghana, emphasized the need for collaboration between the government and private sector to establish resilient cybersecurity frameworks to protect Africa's digital landscape. He highlighted the rapid digital adoption in Africa and the lack of robust cybersecurity measures, leaving many vulnerable to cyber threats. Additionally, he addressed the risks associated with the digital revolution and emphasized that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.



MTN and Cloudflare join forces to secure Africa’s digital future


This strategic alliance is set to redefine cybersecurity across the continent, reinforcing our commitment to safeguarding businesses, governments, and individuals as they navigate Africa’s digital transformation.



Cybersecurity Expert: Parents need to set the tone with unsupervised summer screen time


As summer break approaches, it's important to be aware of the risks of unsupervised internet use for kids and teens. Cybersecurity specialist Alun Hughes suggests parents model responsible internet usage, set boundaries, and use tools to monitor their children's online activity. While it's okay to allow some device use during summer vacation, parents should encourage outdoor activities and explore events happening around the Ottawa Valley.



CISA warns of cybersecurity risks in Baxter products


The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency posted two notices last week regarding vulnerabilities in Baxter products that could allow unauthorized users to compromise machines or access credentials. The notices outline cyber risks in a Baxter Welch Allyn patient monitor and a Baxter Welch Allyn configuration tool. The notice for the configuration tool stated that Baxter found “no evidence to date of any compromise of personal or health data,” while the notice for the patient monitor said that no known public exploitation “specifically targeting this vulnerability has been reported to CISA at this time.” Baxter, which posted cybersecurity bulletins on its website on May 30, declined to comment on how the vulnerabilities were identified and whether they were found due to a breach or cyberattack.



Spain, a bargain for hackers: a bad habit with the WiFi router is to blame


Spaniards are diligent with mobile and computer updates but often neglect to update their WiFi routers, making Spain an easy target for cybercriminals. This is due to a low culture of firmware updates in the country, leaving routers vulnerable to cyberattacks. Incidents in 2018, such as VPNFilter and GhostDNS malware, highlighted the severity of the situation. The increasing number of IoT devices using routers for internet connectivity has expanded the potential targets for cyberattacks. Spain's vulnerability is further exacerbated by the fact that routers from internet service providers are not configured to update automatically, increasing the risk of cyberattacks. A study indicated that Spain is highly impacted by malicious email campaigns, pointing to the country's vulnerability compared to others with better infrastructure and cybersecurity policies.



AI records more than 90% accuracy in the detection of cyber threats, says EY study


Artificial intelligence is increasingly used to defend companies from cyber threats, with an average accuracy of over 90% in detecting spam, malware, and network intrusions. It has accelerated automation and allows continuous monitoring for faster response to security incidents. Despite advancements, many companies lack structured cybersecurity efforts. Cybersecurity integration includes incident response, forensic analysis, cyber threat intelligence, and third-party risk management. Ethical hacking tests are conducted to train employees and assess the company's resilience in security incidents.



L.A. Schools Investigates Data Breach as FCC Approves $200M Cybersecurity Pilot


America’s 2nd-largest district is probing claims its data is for sale on the dark web as feds mobilize to thwart school cyberattacks nationwide.



FCC Pilots Cybersecurity Funding Initiative


The Federal Communications Commission has approved the Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program, allocating up to $200 million over three years for cybersecurity services and equipment in public schools and libraries. The program aims to study and address cybersecurity needs, but the budget may not fully meet the challenges. Organizations see it as a step in the right direction. The American Library Association emphasizes the need for long-term funding to ensure continued access to information.



Deepfakes, fraudsters and hackers are coming for cybersecurity jobs


Companies in the market for cybersecurity professionals could face a new method of attack, made harder to spot because of artificial intelligence: Hackers posing as job applicants. Companies in the market for cybersecurity professionals could face a new method of attack, made harder to spot because of artificial intelligence: Hackers posing as job applicants. As cyber threats targeting U.S. companies multiply, some security leaders have increased scrutiny during hiring to weed out bad actors—or simply applicants with over-embellished résumés.



Universidad Siglo 21 anunció la primera edición del Córdoba Cybersecurity Conference


La conferencia se centrará en tres ejes fundamentales: técnico, educativo y de seguridad ciudadana digital. El primer eje abordará soluciones técnicas para prevenir y mitigar ciberataques y promover la ciberconcientización. El eje educativo incluirá tanto la formación de expertos como la alfabetización digital. El tercer eje se enfocará en la importancia de la seguridad ciudadana en entornos virtuales, el desarrollo de smart cities y la colaboración público-privada para la protección informática.



New Cyber Security Rules For Maritime Shipping


The US Coast Guard (USCG) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in late February 2024 regarding cyber security for US-flagged vessels. Industry feedback on the proposed new cyber-security regulations for US-flagged vessels is critical of the level of burden, practicality of implementation, and lack of alignment to existing measures. The proposed changes aim to establish minimum cyber security requirements for US-flagged vessels and related facilities. Feedback from industry members, including Maersk and Liberty Global Logistics (LGL), highlights concerns about the practicality and financial burden of the proposed regulations. Additionally, there are concerns about the reporting requirements for ransomware attacks and the role of cyber-security officers. Tug boat operators have also expressed concerns about the need to develop risk-based plans, the inclusion of cybersecurity in Alternative Security Plans, incident reporting, and the frequency of proposed cyber security drills. The feedback from industry members will be considered before the final regulations are put in place.



Seattle Public Library goes low-tech after cyberattack


The main Central branch of the Seattle Public Library is facing a digital outage after a cyberattack on May 25, causing 130 computers to be out of service. This has disrupted many digital services, inconveniencing users like Sarah Wright. The library's 27 branches remain open, but checkouts are being done manually, and a temporary solution using Microsoft Excel has been implemented. The digital catalog is also down, making it difficult for patrons to search for books. The library is encouraging patrons to hold onto any borrowed materials until they can be processed again, and no late fees are being charged. The disruptions are an inconvenience for some patrons, but the stakes are much higher for Seattleites who rely on the library's technology services. Many rely on the library's free public computers and wifi for various purposes.



Advance Auto Parts Probes Potential Cyber Incident Linked To Snowflake


A recent report from Axios suggests that around 380 million customers' information may have been stolen from an automotive aftermarket company and shared on a dark web hacker forum. Additionally, hackers gained data from around 358,000 employees and exposed approximately 44 million loyalty and gas card numbers. Advance spokesperson Darryl Carr stated that the company is aware of the reports linking it to a security incident involving Snowflake, but there has been no impact on its operations or systems. Snowflake, a cloud computing company, asserted that the leaked data was not due to vulnerabilities in its systems but was a result of insufficient security measures by some customers. The company is working on a plan to mandate advanced security controls, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), for its customers to prevent future threats.



FBI Albany cyber squad leader discusses impacts and dangers of AI


The rise of artificial intelligence has had a profound impact on various aspects of society. This includes rapid growth in the value of technology companies, entertainment businesses using the likenesses of deceased performers, and academia focusing on ensuring the originality and authenticity of works. However, AI is also being exploited by malicious individuals to facilitate and enhance criminal activities. Samantha Baltzersen is actively involved in efforts to thwart such nefarious actions. As the supervisory special agent of the cyber squad and task force at the FBI's Albany Field Office, she discussed her team's work and the role of AI in law enforcement with WAMC. Baltzersen emphasized that the cyber task force consists of agents, technical personnel, and task force officers who investigate both cyber criminal and national security cyber crimes. They aim to integrate and leverage consequences against cyber actors whenever opportunities arise.



Marine Corps Pilot Program Allows Qualified Signals, Cyber Recruits to Join Service Up to Rank of Gunny


The Marine Corps has initiated the Marine Corps Talent Acquisition Pilot program (MCTAP) to recruit signals and cyber personnel at higher ranks, such as gunnery sergeant. The program targets individuals with technical skills in cyberspace warfare and signals intelligence to address critical capability needs in the Corps. Marine veterans do not have to undergo boot camp again, but others participating in the program do. During recruit training, veterans from other services or college graduates will receive pay for the rank they qualify for, up to gunnery sergeant at over $3,625 per month for those with less than two years of service. Applicants will be recommended an initial rank based on education, certifications, relevant work experience, and an interview process, with the final determination made by the deputy commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Members in this program can promote to master sergeant and master gunnery sergeant, but not to first sergeant or sergeant major. The Marine Corps has been considering lateral entry for cyberwarfare, but there are currently no plans in place for this. Additionally, members of ‘The President's Own’ Marine Corps Band have been exempt from recruit training and have an entry rank of E-6 or staff sergeant for years. There are no plans to allow skipping boot camp as part of any lateral entry program.



Healthcare Records Restored At Ascension St. John After Cyber Attack


The healthcare system nationwide was hit by a cyber attack, disrupting patient access to medical records. Ascension St. John has now restored its online patient healthcare records after the cyber attack. Patients were diverted and medical staff resorted to manual record-keeping. Kylie Willis experienced delays in treatment at St. John due to the cyber attack, ultimately seeking emergency surgery elsewhere. Ascension has restored electronic health records, allowing their facilities to resume normal operations. Amie Mitchell emphasized the need for businesses to proactively develop security plans. Ascension continues to investigate the cause of the cyber attack and commits to contacting affected patients if their information was compromised.



GitHub Repos Targeted in Cyber-Extortion Attacks


An attacker known as "Gitloker" is extorting GitHub users by compromising their accounts and demanding payment to prevent the exposure of their data. The attackers are exploiting GitHub's features to send phishing emails and manipulate sender names. GitHub is investigating these incidents and encourages users to report any abusive or suspicious activity on the platform.



Learn countermeasures against cybercrime Aioi Nissei Dowa Insurance, Seminar in Matsusaka Mie


Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance organized an "Information Security Seminar for Business Continuity from Information Leak Accidents" in Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture. The seminar aimed to raise awareness about cybercrime and countermeasures. Around 60 attendees, including managers and system personnel, learned about the current cyber attack situation in the region. The speakers included experts from the Cybercrime Countermeasures Division of the Prefectural Police Headquarters and the Information Technology Analysis Division of the Chubu Regional Police Bureau. They highlighted the importance of cyber insurance for early recovery and economic preparation in case of a cyber attack.













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