Byte Sized News has gone to video! Check out the newest episode in video form below. Don’t worry though, you can still read the transcript below if you prefer to get your news in text-form.
As always, this series isn’t intended to provide readers with details on every story and topic but rather to fill busy professionals in on the most compelling developments in the field.
Our first article from the week comes from Krebs on Security and details a credible threat against U.S. hospitals.
The threat comes from a Russian cybercrime gang that is known for deploying ransomware. The attack aims to disrupt information technology systems at hundreds of hospitals, clinics, and medical care facilities across the United States.
On Wednesday, the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security assembled a conference call with healthcare industry executives to give a warning about an “imminent threat” to these hospitals and healthcare providers. The goal of the conference call was the sharing of information to “provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.”
In the last few days ransomware attacks in the health industry have been extremely scattered, but it seems like the U.S. government is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Our next article comes from InfoSecurity Magazine and relates to the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.
The article reports that a cyber-attack has been carried out on President Donald Trump’s campaign website. Malicious attackers defaced the “About” section of the campaign’s website earlier this week with a message that spoofed typical domain seizure notices deployed by the United States Department of Justice.
Attackers also claim to have obtained “confidential information” about the U.S.’s 45thpresident. However, the motivation for the attack appears to be purely financial and not an attempt to defend democracy or expose an alleged crime. The Trump campaign has come out with a statement that the website has been restored, and that “no sensitive data was exposed because none of it is stored on the website.”
Our third article from the week comes from Threatpost and offers new details on the Russian advanced persistent threat, or APT, Turla.
The APT Turla is focused on targeting government organizations using custom malware, including an updated trio of implants that give the group persistence through overlapping backdoor access. Turla is a Russian-tied cyber-espionage group that’s been around for more than a decade.
The group is primarily known for its wide and complex collection of malware and command-and-control implementations. Turla appears committed to consistently upgrading their suite of malware. Recent upgrades revolved mostly around creating built-in redundancies for remote communication. For example, Turla used disparate C2 configurations in order to allow re-entry points in case one of them became blocked.
Our fourth story from the week comes to us from the folks at Cyberscoop.
While a new U.S. military program meant to extend educational cybersecurity resources to historically black schools has been received positively by most, not everyone is completely on board yet. For years, the Department of Defense has remained committed to extending opportunities in cybersecurity to historically black colleges, or HBCUs. However, a new initiative proposed to further that access is being met with skepticism by some cyber practitioners and education advocates.
The goal of the initiative is to connect HBCUs with colleges that already meet NSA cybersecurity curriculum standards in order to share resources like labs, range time, and advice on curriculum development. Camille Stewart, the leader of the #SharetheMicinCyber campaign, states that “A lot of these programs end up being lip service.”
Ty Couey, president of the National HBCU Alumni Association Foundation claims that the announcement of the idea sounds like a great idea but wants to know more about how the program doles out the $300,000 in funds.
Our last article from the week comes from the Wall Street Journal and details a push by many lawmakers to make cybersecurity a larger priority at the Federal level.
Federal officials’ recent warning of disinformation campaigns and hacking attempts to shape the 2020 presidential election suggest cybersecurity will affect the next president in profound ways. Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine, states that “whoever the administration is, they need to understand that this is one of the most urgent challenges facing the country.”
Although the issue of cybersecurity has received very little attention in a campaign trail largely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, cybersecurity could play an outsize role in the next four years of economic and foreign policy in the White House. Cybersecurity is often considered an apolitical issue, with most major bills tending to be bipartisan. However, it remains clear that whoever is elected as our president in the upcoming election will have to make our nation’s cybersecurity a priority.