Government


  • Biden gave Putin list of 16 critical infrastructure entities ‘off limits’ to cyberattacks

    June 17, 2021

    President Biden told reporters Wednesday he gave President Vladimir Putin a list of 16 critical infrastructure entities that are “off limits” to a Russian cyberattack. Those entities include energy, water, health care, emergency, chemical, nuclear, communications, government, defense, food, commercial facilities, IT, transportation, dams, manufacturing and financial services. “We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement ...

  • New SkinnyBoy malware used by Russian hackers to breach sensitive orgs

    June 3, 2021

    Security researchers have discovered a new piece of malware called SkinnyBoy that was used in spear-phishing campaigns attributed to Russian-speaking hacking group APT28. The threat actor, also known as Fancy Bear, Sednit, Sofacy, Strontium, or PwnStorm, used SkinnyBoy in attacks targeting military and government institutions earlier this year. SkinnyBoy is intended for an intermediary stage of the ...

  • Australian Cyber Security Centre using classified capabilities to warn local entities of impending ransomware hit

    June 2, 2021

    While the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is engaged in helping a local organisation remove and recover from a ransomware hit or cyber attack, its overseer, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is able to use its more secretive powers to find out if any other organisations are on the attackers hit list. Speaking about the attack ...

  • Russian gang behind SolarWinds hack returns with phishing attack disguised as mail from US aid agency

    May 28, 2021

    Nobelium, the Russia-aligned gang identified as the perpetrators of the supply chain attack on SolarWinds’ Orion software, has struck again, Microsoft vice president Tom Burt in a blogpost Thursday. Burt’s post says the attacks saw Nobelium gain access to accounts on the email marketing service “Constant Contact” operated by The United States Agency for International Development ...

  • Re-Checking Your Pulse: Updates on Chinese APT Actors Compromising Pulse Secure VPN Devices

    May 27, 2021

    Mandiant published detailed results of our investigations into compromised Pulse Secure devices by suspected Chinese espionage operators. This blog post is intended to provide an update on our findings, give additional recommendations to network defenders, and discuss potential implications for U.S.-China strategic relations. Mandiant continues to gather evidence and respond to intrusions involving compromises of Pulse ...

  • Various Japanese government entities had data stolen in cyber attack: Report

    May 27, 2021

    Data from various Japanese government entities has reportedly been stolen by hackers that gained access to Fujitsu’s ProjectWEB platform. Fujitsu’s software-as-a-service platform has since been taken down and the Japanese tech giant is currently investigating the scope of the attacks, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said in a report. Among the impacted government entities are the Ministry of ...

  • How Myanmar’s military moved in on the telecoms sector to spy on citizens

    May 19, 2021

    In the months before the Myanmar military’s Feb. 1 coup, the country’s telecom and internet service providers were ordered to install intercept spyware that would allow the army to eavesdrop on the communications of citizens, sources with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters. The technology gives the military the power to listen in on calls, ...

  • Legislation to secure critical systems against cyberattacks moves forward in the House

    May 18, 2021

    Multiple bills meant to secure critical infrastructure against cyber threats were approved by the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday afternoon, just a week after a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline caused fuel shortages across the nation. The committee unanimously approved the Pipeline Security Act, introduced last week by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and a ...

  • UK government seeks advice on defending against supply-chain cyberattacks

    May 17, 2021

    Today, the UK government has announced a call for advice on defending against software supply-chain attacks and ways to strengthen IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) across the country. The move comes after last week when President Biden had issued an executive order to increase cybersecurity defenses across the U.S. The government’s invitation to provide feedback that will ...

  • Incremental improvements are not enough as Biden signs order boosting US cyber posture

    May 13, 2021

    United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to boost the cyber posture of the federal government. The order points to recent incidents including the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, Exchange vulnerabilities that led to the FBI removing web shells from US servers, and the SolarWinds attack. The order said the federal government must ...

  • Australia: 328 weaknesses found by WA Auditor-General in 50 local government systems

    May 12, 2021

    The Auditor-General of Western Australia on Wednesday tabled a report into the computer systems used at 50 local government entities, revealing 328 control weakness across the group. It was Auditor-General Caroline Spencer’s intention to list the entities, but given the nature of her findings, all case studies included in Local Government General Computer Controls omit ...

  • Researchers found three flaws in ACT e-voting system that could affect election outcomes

    May 12, 2021

    The Australian Capital Territory Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety has been looking into the 2020 ACT Election and the Electoral Act, covering among other things, systems for electronic voting. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Legislation Amendment Act 2020 introduced temporary amendments to the Electoral Act for the October 2020 election. These included the deployment of ...

  • UK’s Computer Misuse Act to be reviewed, says Home Secretary as she condemns ransomware payoffs

    May 11, 2021

    Priti Patel has promised a government review of the UK’s 30-year-old Computer Misuse Act “this year” as well as condemning companies that buy off ransomware criminals. The Home Secretary pledged the legal review in a speech at the CyberUK conference this afternoon, organised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). “As part of ensuring that we have ...

  • Google teams up with Stop Scams to tackle financial fraud in the UK

    May 8, 2021

    Google has joined Stop Scams and outlined new measures to try and clamp down on financial fraud in the United Kingdom. On Friday, Vice President and MD of Google UK & Ireland, Ronan Harris, said that Google is the first major tech giant to partner with Stop Scams UK, an industry-led group that aims to tackle ...

  • Biden Administration Drafting EO to Help U.S. Government Secure Digital Supply Chain

    May 3, 2021

    Biden Administration Drafting EO to Help U.S. Gov’t Secure Digital Supply Chain The Biden administration said it’s drafting an executive order to help the United States government better defend itself against digital supply chain attacks. A Step Up for Federal Procurement According to NPR, the executive order that’s being drafted will include several initiatives designed to strengthen the ...

  • Ransomware Task Force: Ransomware is now a National Security risk

    April 30, 2021

    Ransomware is a growing international problem and it needs global cooperation in order to prevent attacks and take the fight to the cyber criminals behind the disruptive malware campaigns. A paper by the Institute for Security and Technology’s (IST) Ransomware Task Force (RTF) – a coalition of cybersecurity companies, government agencies, law enforcement organisations, technology firms, ...

  • Multi-Gov Task Force Plans to Take Down the Ransomware Economy

    April 29, 2021

    Ransomware has reached crisis levels across business sectors and across the globe, but a public-private Ransomware Task Force aims to stem the tide of attacks by disrupting the crooks’ business model. The Institute for Security and Technology (IST) put together the coalition, which includes more than 60 members from software companies, government agencies, cybersecurity vendors, financial ...

  • Cyberspies target military organizations with new Nebulae backdoor

    April 28, 2021

    A Chinese-speaking threat actor has deployed a new backdoor in multiple cyber-espionage operations spanning roughly two years and targeting military organizations from Southeast Asia. For at least a decade, the hacking group known as Naikon has actively spied on organizations in countries around the South China Sea, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, for ...

  • Passwordstate password manager hacked in supply chain attack

    April 23, 2021

    Click Studios, the company behind the Passwordstate enterprise password manager, notified customers that attackers compromised the app’s update mechanism to deliver malware in a supply-chain attack after breaching its networks. Passwordstate is an on-premises password management solution used by over 370,000 security and IT professionals at 29,000 companies worldwide, as the company claims. Its customer list includes ...

  • White House: Here’s what we’ve learned from tackling the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Server cyber incidents

    April 21, 2021

    Lessons learned from responses to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange cyber incidents will be used to coordinate action against future cybersecurity and hacking incidents, the White House has said. Both incidents required the United States to react to cyberattacks by nation-state hacking operations affecting thousands of organisations across the country – Russian intelligence compromised SolarWinds in ...