15 March 2019

IRM Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: Cyber-attacks on US Navy and more

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US Navy under threat from cyber-attackers

According to an internal review, the US Navy are currently under a “cyber siege” war against hackers, including those attacking the Chinese government. Not only are the cybercriminals targeting the Navy, they have been attacking their defence contractors and partners.

So far in their efforts, it has been reported that the attacks have stolen national security secrets, such as undersea warfare plans for a supersonic anti-ship missiles.

The U.S Navy is aware of cyber-attacks by foreign hackers, but are currently struggling to respond to a number of breaches and have failed to warn its defence contractors.

You can read more here.

2020 budget boosts funding for AI in the US cyber forces

According to the White House’s summary, the Defense department’s 2020 $718 billion budget request includes a large sum of the money for cyber, boosting AI and emerging technology research.

The increase in budget coincides with the growth of military cyber forces, DoD cyber workforce development and investments in network information and system defences.

The increase comes after US cyber Commander Gen Paul Naksone told the Senate Armed Service committee that, due to the expanding threats, they would need to keep pace with current issues.

The DoD is investing in new technologies to compete, deter, and if necessary, fight and win the wars of the future.

You can read more here.

RSA Conference sees America selling its Chinese hacking fears

San Francisco’s Moscone Center recently catered to 50,000 attendees for the biggest cyber security conference in the world, RSA. Known for attracting industry start-ups to top government officials, this year saw American spies and security officials sounding the alarm on what they say is their top priority: The Chinese hacking threat.

Although most conversations have been hyper-focused on Russia following the system shock of 2016 US elections, the biggest fear surrounds China as the DOH security official Chris Krebs implies “China is trying to manipulate the system to its ultimate long-term advantage.”

This stems from a recent focus on the Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei and the US government’s actions towards suing the titans over a federal ban on government contracts with the firm. This was due to claims of national security threats coming from the company’s relationship with Chinese government, which Huawei has strongly denied.

Hauwei aims to be one of the principle suppliers of the fifth generation mobile network. 5G is a serious game-changer, It has the power to connect technology, smart cities, self-driving cars and will seriously speed up connectivity whilst carrying huge amounts of data. With this mass of data, US officials say that the 5G infrastructure will give China intelligence, economic and even military advances which could lead to spying or sabotage.

You can read more here.

Why are cyber-attacks up by 160% in Finance?

In the last 12 months, a reported 67% of financial organisations have had an increase in cyber-attacks, whilst destructive attacks over the last year have increased by more than 160%. This has more than doubled.

79% of these attacks are a form of ‘cyber intrusion’ where criminals use several stages in the preparation of an attack. These hackers assess necessary background information and contact the victim by gaining their trust and getting access to critical resources.

For the most part, a large number of attacks are via Trojans called ‘Emotet’. Criminals are attaching ‘Emotet’ via e-mails and once processed, they upload more malware, causing even more damage.

You can read more here.

Quick Fire Updates:

GCSE coursework lost in cyber-attack at a Dorset school – Year 11 students have lost their coursework due to a member of staff mistakenly opening a virus riddled email that claimed to be from another school in Dorset. No other school information or personal data has left the building. Read more here.

Self-driving cars could cause gridlock in NYC – A pair of hackers broke into the Uconnect system of a Jeep Cherokee and remotely manipulated the car entirely, showing just how easy it can be. This could pose a potential risk for New York and other large cities, if you can hack one car could hackers manage multiple simultaneously and cause havoc in major metropolitan cities? 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.