With the approach of the United States’ 2018 midterm elections, concerns have been expressed by many regarding the security and integrity of the voting process. Given the news how suspected Russian agents actively sought to use hacking and influence operations to sway voters in a particular direction during the presidential election, the concern is legitimate, even if there was no evidence that votes were actually altered in 2016. The preservation of the democratic voting process has been thrust into symbolic “red line” territory that needs and should be protected against foreign interference. Indeed, the Department of Homeland Security re-enforced this by elevating election infrastructure to the status of “critical infrastructure” in early 2017.
Clearly, hacking and gaining unauthorized access to those systems and devices associated with the election process is something that deserves immediate attention. After all, many countries would ostensibly agree that breaking into computers is a criminal offense, regardless if data is taken, destroyed, or altered. In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there were clear incidents where suspected Russian hackers stole data, and even compromised voter-related records, resulting an indictment of Russian nationals on a wide variety of charges ranging from conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and identity theft, to name a few.
Cryptocurrency appears to be gaining traction among governments seeking to establish their own digital currencies, despite questions regarding the potential volatility associated with it. Currently, the countries that have already created digital currencies include China, Ecuador, Senegal, Singapore, and Tunisia, with Estonia, Japan, Palestine, Russia, and Sweden potentially following suit. Even a small country like the Marshall Islands has announced its intent to create its own digital currency in order to boost its economy, and will be on part with the U.S. dollar as a form of payment. What seemed like a novel thought exercise as to whether cryptocurrency could be a legitimate alternative to the established norm appears to be an option that governments are more closely considering. In fact, some have speculated that further adoption of the country-specific cryptocurrencies could have serious implications for the established international monetary system.
Whether that transpires remains another intellectual exercise in the possibilities of what “could-be” one thing is clear – states on the receiving end of stringent economic sanctions are turning to cryptocurrency as a way to assuage these penalties. One of these countries is Iran, who is reported to be very interested in creating a digital currency, a major shift from its initial stance on banning banks from dealing in cryptocurrency . According to one news source, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace envisaged the use of cryptocurrencies to “smoothen trade” between Iran and its partners in the wake of renewed U.S-imposed sanctions. The same individual revealed that a state-backed cryptocurrency was accepted as an industry in the government and related organizations such as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
It is not a secret that many people nowadays do not pay much attention when they surf the web at home or at work. There are new data breaches and exploits on a daily basis and still avoiding to take any precautions may result in a catastrophic consequences. Even the biggest corporations are paying millions of dollars so they can improve their cybersecurity and remain safe. However, if you still believe in some of the cybersecurity myths you may put your own computer or even your whole organization to a huge risk. We from CyberDB have decided to bust some of the top 5 cyber security myths and make it clear for you.
Space Force picture, an independent military branch by 2020. The move is designed to counter the weapons that China and Russia have already developed that threaten U.S. satellites. The U.S. Vice President quickly assured that the force did not and would not be created from the ground up, but would leverage the personnel and material resources already existing in the service elements. The goal is to streamline efforts and maximize efficiency, a noble endeavor given the difficulties that invariable arise when mission responsibilities traverse and overlap so many different organizations.
The protection of U.S. civilian and military space assets are considered a national security concern. In December 2017, U.S. Department of Defense officials expressed concern that the United States’ anti-satellite capabilities were not up to par as some of its adversaries. In contrast, adversary adoption of anti-satellite weapons been documented in the news. In April 2018, a report detailing global counterspace capabilities (that include direct ascent weapons, co-orbital, directed energy, electronic warfare, and cyber warfare) underscores how adversarial nations are actively pursuing the development of such weapons and the threat that they pose to U.S. space interests. The report reveals that such investment by these states started in the mid-2000s.
In late July 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, a new organization dedicated to threat evaluation particularly as they pertain to potential hacking against the U.S. critical infrastructure. According to news reports, the center will initially commence with narrowing its focus on the energy, finance, and telecommunications sectors. This new initiative is designed to improve risk assessment across the critical infrastructures and serve as the primary “one-stop shop” to help private companies manage their cyber security risks.
Coinciding with this announcement is the Congress-lead “DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act of 2018” that seeks to create permanent incident response and threat hunting teams in the DHS. Such a bill further empowers DHS to help improve cyber security via trained professionals to mitigate and remediate cyber incidents against Federal entities and critical infrastructure entities. The bill passed the House of Representatives on March 19, 2018 and goes to the Senate for its consideration.
In 2018 the number of cyber threats is rising every day, but there are still many gaps that needs to be filled in the world of cybersecurity. There is definitely a talent shortage as many people still think that there is no place for women in information security. Currently, women represent only 11 percent of the cybersecurity force worldwide.
As we already hear and read news related to cyber warfare and espionage on a daily basis, maybe it’s the right time for women in cybersecurity to step in and help to solve more related cyber problems. Although some people may say that the lack of interest is the main reason why there isn’t many women in InfoSec there is a huge potential for this to change in the future. We from CyberDB have created a list with some of the top women in cybersecurity so you can learn more about them and their accomplishments. Feel free to check it out!
Internet of Things (IoT) security is the latest product category to emerge in cybersecurity. Even though this is a relatively new segment of the security market, it has already diversified and includes multiple vendors.
What is IoT?
IoT is the latest group of Internet-enabled devices to be added to the technology world. At first there were mainframes, then desktops and laptops, and finally mobile devices came along. All of these products are well-defined and require no further explanation.
IoT, however, is comprised of every Internet-connected device that is not mentioned above, including smart home appliances, water meters, security cameras, smart-city devices and many more. These devices are basically miniature computers running on Linux devices, with some computing power and the ability to communicate via web protocol (i.e. they have an IP address).
Smaller, less sophisticated connected devices are also part of the IoT landscape. These often function as sensors, are equipped only with short range communication capabilities and are deployed in a mesh configuration, meaning that they communicate with the Internet using an IoT gateway, which is an industrial modem with some compute power.
Thus far, there has been no confirmed retaliatory cyber strikes conducted by a victimized government against a suspected aggressor state. There has been some speculation that after the Sony Pictures attack, the United States “knocked” North Korea off the Internet for a brief period of time, although this has never been corroborated. Despite being a cyber power, the United States has demonstrated restraint in punishing against those transgressor states it believes to have been orchestrators of cyber attacks against its interests, preferring to level sanctions as a punitive alternative.
The question that governments ask is how to deter hostile acts in cyberspace? And while an important question to raise, perhaps the reality is that there is no viable answer. There is a reason why international efforts continually fail when trying to gain consensus on cyber norms, Internet governance, and the legalities and criteria of hacking back – there is lack of a fundamental desire to actually find a solution. Governments willing to agree to the standards and principles of any of these issues are stating their willingness to abide by them, and while that may fit the current situation, the dynamism of cyberspace has proven unpredictable. Being cuffed to such an agreement that no longer has relevance while other governments operate without constraints is not an ideal situation. Therefore, without an agreement in place, the status quo remains.
Nowadays the cyber security is essential for individuals, companies, economies, governments and nations as a whole. The reality is that all of them are trying to stay on track against the latest cyberattacks, but there are some countries committing most to cybersecurity.
One of the best ways to determine where most of the cyber attack really come from in real time is by using the map created by Norse.
Another great alternative if you want to find out which are the countries best prepared against cyberattacks is to use the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). As described by them it is “…a survey that measures the commitment of Member States to cybersecurity in order to raise awareness.” The GCI covers the five pillars of the ITU Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA): legal, technical, organizational, capacity building and cooperation.
In June 2018, Vietnam’s National Assembly passed a new cyber security law that has generated much concern for its stringent restrictions on popular social media organizations. Per the law that will go into effect January 1, 2019, tech companies would be compelled to store data about Vietnamese users on servers in-country, a move designed to improve the security of Vietnamese nationals. Vietnam has been historically weak when in it comes to cyber security, and has been ranked among the bottom regionally. According to a 2017 report by the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union Global Cyber Security Index (GCI), Vietnam ranked 101 out of 165 countries in terms of being vulnerable to cyber attacks. The GCI is a survey that measures the commitment of member states to cybersecurity to classify and project development process at the regional and global levels.
There are several critics of the new cyber security law. Such a move – as has been expressed with regards to China’s new cyber laws – can potentially impact economic development and deter foreign investment. Perhaps more alarming, dissenters and even some Vietnamese lawmakers signed petitions and conducted peaceful demonstrations to denounce the new law. At the crux of this protest is the potential for the government to use this law in order to stifle human rights and privacy concerns such as online freedoms of speech and expression. According to the law, Vietnam’s authorities will have the discretion to determine when expression might be identified as “illegal” and restricted. It bans Internet users in Vietnam from organizing to conduct activities for “anti-state purposes” or to be allowed to distort the nation’s history. Unsurprisingly, Amnesty International has underscored how the law could empower the government to monitor everything people say online.