The UK’s Ministry of Defence defines intelligence as the directed and co-ordinated acquisition and analysis of information to assess capabilities, intent and opportunities for exploitation by decision-makers at all levels.
Information, on the other hand, is defined as unprocessed data of every description that may be used in the production of intelligence.
I describe intelligence as actionable information
The key question to ask when presented with ‘intelligence’ is:
“what can I do with it?”
Within the corporate world, the spectre of insider threat is one that is difficult to come to terms with. A malicious insider in an organisation has, by virtue of their position, access to privileged information and functionality that an outside attacker would be able to leverage only with great difficulty.
There is a general consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential Elections. According to the US intelligence community, it has been assessed with ‘high confidence’ that Russia used nation state proxy groups to influence the outcome of the presidential election in favour of Donald Trump.
In April 2017, PwC and BAE Systems released a report that investigated the activities of a Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) actor, known as APT10 or Stone Panda (amongst other things).
The report assesses that this group’s primary technique is to target managed service providers (MSPs) as a pivot point to gain a foothold into the network of their clients. In other words, this threat actor is using the supply chain as the infection vector into their target’s environment.
The use of biometric information for security is on the rise, as every week a new article proclaims that the biometric revolution is just around the corner. Is it time to bid farewell to conventional passwords?
It’s easy to forget that cybercrime is a relatively new term that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Today, excluding some violent crimes, it appears that almost every conceivable crime can have a cyber element to it. Cybercrime can be described as any illegal activity that is dependent on a computer or network-connected device. But as devices are increasingly network connected, could we see a blurring of the line between traditional crime and cybercrime?
Online anonymity has become very popular with users becoming concerned about their privacy when using the Internet. TOR is one of the most widely used (and arguably, most effective) ways of maintaining a level of online anonymity. Although TOR has some great advantages, it nevertheless has its limitations.
One possible alternative to TOR is the Riffle anonymity network. But how does it the answer to the call for better online privacy?
Generally when conducting threat assessments, a tried and tested method is to assess the threat from four categories of threat actor:
- Nation state / Nation state proxies / Intelligence services
- Organised criminal gangs
- Hacktivists and hackers
- Malicious and unintentional insider
What is the Dark Web?
Like ‘machine learning’ and ‘quantum computing’, ‘dark web’ is a term that has achieved buzzword status in recent times. But what are the dark web, deep web, and dark net – besides a vague place where the bad guys live?
“Amazing”, “extreme”, “one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.” These were the words of a cyber forensics expert who was tasked with investigating the biggest breach of an insurance company in history. Respectively, these words describe the operational security, stealth tactics, and malware engineering of the group that stole the personal information of almost 79 million policyholders in the US in 2015. The forensic team claim that 1000 boxes were infected, and roughly 7000 MD5 hashes (distinct file identifying numbers) were assigned to the ever-changing malware used to conduct the breach. What the details of this breach show is that the insurance sector has become a particularly attractive target for well-resourced and highly skilled cybercriminals.