15 February 2019

IRM Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: Israeli Airport cyber-attack attempts and more

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Israeli airports fend off 3 million attacks per day

Israeli Cybersecurity Head

The Head of Cyber and Information security at the Israel Airports Authority has reported that they block three million cyber-attack attempts on its systems each day.

The blocks are mostly by bots, creating a “virtual fence” of cybersecurity protection.

There has been a country-wide effort to increase the level of cybersecurity, which has involved a group of Israeli cybersecurity firms setting up a new cyber consortium last November. The group hopes to offer comprehensive, end-to-end cybersecurity solutions for airports, airlines and aircraft throughout Israel.

You can read more here.

Hackers destroy email provider’s data

This week, hackers managed to breach the servers of VFEmail.net, wiping all the data from its US servers and destroying all customer data in the process.

Unlike most cyber-attacks of this kind, there was no demand for ransom. Instead, the attack simply left the company attempting to find a way to restore customer data, which is unlikely to be recovered.

You can read more here.

Maltese Bank shuts down operations after cyber-attack

The Bank of Valletta had to shut down operations on Wednesday after hackers managed to infiltrate the systems and transfer €13 million overseas.

The Bank has managed to trace the activity and hopes to reverse the fraudulent transactions.

To minimise risk, they suspended operations, closing ATMs and disabling their website. Customers have been reassured that deposit and customer accounts were not affected by the attack.

You can read more here.

Pentagon to pump tens of millions into cyber training for soldiers

The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia

The Pentagon is investing tens of millions of dollars into cyber training centres for the American military.

The decision is part of the initiative to take more offensive operations in cyberspace after the contribution from American soldiers was labelled as “insufficient” by experts.

The project will kick off with a $30 million expansion to set up a new cyber research and testing facility in Colorado. As the project develops, it is thought that the training centre will also become home to the Department of Homeland Security Center of Innovation.

You can read more here.

Russia to turn off internet during security test

Russia is considering disconnected its internet service for a short period to test the security of its data as part of the NDEP bill. It’s believed that the test will only impact the national territory.

The test comes as other countries call for Russia to be penalised over the multiple cyber-attacks of which the country is accused of facilitating.

The test will involve ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to demonstrate the ability to route data to government-controlled routing points. This level of control leads some to believe the efforts are part of a plan to create a mass censorship system, similar to China.

You can read more here.

Quick fire updates

Australian Parliament investigate attempted cyber-attack – Last Thursday night, a security incident on the Australian parliamentary computing network occurred. It’s believed that the security agencies are looking into whether it was a state actor behind the attack. Read more here.

Study shows CISOs are under increasing pressure – A new study which surveyed 408 CISOs in the UK and US has shown that 60% rarely “disconnect” from their job, with lack of resources and lack of senior buy-in being the two main sources of stress. Read more here.

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If you have any questions about this week’s roundup, or want to understand how you can improve your cybersecurity strategy, get in touch with IRM.