CNN: Hackers have breached organizations in defense and other sensitive sectors, security firm says

CNN: Hackers have breached organizations in defense and other sensitive sectors, security firm says. “Suspected foreign hackers have breached nine organizations in the defense, energy, health care, technology and education sectors — and at least one of those organizations is in the US, according to findings that security firm Palo Alto Networks shared exclusively with CNN.”

New York Times: Ignoring Sanctions, Russia Renews Broad Cybersurveillance Operation

New York Times: Ignoring Sanctions, Russia Renews Broad Cybersurveillance Operation. “Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched another campaign to pierce thousands of U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks, Microsoft officials and cybersecurity experts warned on Sunday, only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of sophisticated spy operations it had conducted around the world.”

Microsoft Blog: Russian cyberattacks pose greater risk to governments and other insights from our annual report

Microsoft Blog: Russian cyberattacks pose greater risk to governments and other insights from our annual report. “During the past year, 58% of all cyberattacks observed by Microsoft from nation-states have come from Russia. And attacks from Russian nation-state actors are increasingly effective, jumping from a 21% successful compromise rate last year to a 32% rate this year. Russian nation-state actors are increasingly targeting government agencies for intelligence gathering, which jumped from 3% of their targets a year ago to 53% – largely agencies involved in foreign policy, national security or defense. The top three countries targeted by Russian nation-state actors were the United States, Ukraine and the UK.”

University of Texas at Austin: Ransomware Attacks Are Another Tool in the Political Warfare Toolbox

University of Texas at Austin: Ransomware Attacks Are Another Tool in the Political Warfare Toolbox. “Strategic inaction on the Kremlin’s part is an inducement to experiment with malicious software aimed at Western targets. There are documented instances of individuals and groups being co-opted by Russian security and intelligence services. The state provides them legal protection and occasional targeting guidance in exchange for information and corrupt material gains. In this way, ransomware has entered the Gray Zone. This is a realm where plausible deniability is achieved because of the cooptation and weaponization of private proxies.”

BBC: Spying concerns fuel the market for more secure tech

BBC: Spying concerns fuel the market for more secure tech. “‘People do not seem to understand that security and smartphones as one [single] concept simply do not exist,’ says Pim Donkers. Mr Donkers is a co-founder and chief executive of Switzerland’s ARMA Instruments, a technology company which produces super-secure communication devices. So, more than most, he is keen to warn people about the potential security weaknesses of their smartphones.”

CNN: Pro-China misinformation operation attempting to exploit US Covid divisions, report says

CNN: Pro-China misinformation operation attempting to exploit US Covid divisions, report says. “A pro-Chinese government online influence operation is targeting Americans in an effort to exploit divisions over the Covid-19 pandemic and ‘physically mobilize protestors in the US in response,’ according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Mandiant and experts at Google.”

NPR: China’s Microsoft Hack May Have Had A Bigger Purpose Than Just Spying

NPR: China’s Microsoft Hack May Have Had A Bigger Purpose Than Just Spying. “NPR’s months-long examination of the attack — based on interviews with dozens of players from company officials to cyber forensics experts to U.S. intelligence officials — found that stealing emails and intellectual property may only have been the beginning. Officials believe that the breach was in the service of something bigger: China’s artificial intelligence ambitions. The Beijing leadership aims to lead the world in a technology that allows computers to perform tasks that traditionally required human intelligence — such as finding patterns and recognizing speech or faces.”

Wired: Phantom Warships Are Courting Chaos in Conflict Zones

Wired: Phantom Warships Are Courting Chaos in Conflict Zones. “According to analysis conducted by conservation technology nonprofit SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch, over 100 warships from at least 14 European countries, Russia, and the US appear to have had their locations faked, sometimes for days at a time, since August 2020. Some of these tracks show the warships approaching foreign naval bases or intruding into disputed waters, activities that could escalate tension in hot spots like the Black Sea and the Baltic. Only a few of these fake tracks have previously been reported, and all share characteristics that suggest a common perpetrator.”

Washington Post: Human rights activist and close ally of detained Dubai princess had phone hacked by NSO spyware, forensic test finds

Washington Post: Human rights activist and close ally of detained Dubai princess had phone hacked by NSO spyware, forensic test finds. “A phone belonging to a prominent supporter of two princesses who fled Dubai was infected with Pegasus spyware last year, a new forensic examination shows, offering more evidence that government clients of the Israeli surveillance giant NSO Group have used its phone-hacking tool to target human rights activists.”