Tag Archives: cyber

Save the date! Timing the hack for the biggest impact.

Save the date: Timing the hack for the biggest impact

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There are now three certainties in life – there’s death, there’s taxes and there’s a foreign intelligence service on your system’ – Head of Cyber at MI5 (2013)

Over the last two decades, the scale and severity of cyber attacks has been very variable. It  is probably safe to suggest that the secret sabotage of a nuclear facility by the Stuxnet worm is in a slightly different league to the theft of payment card data held by a commercial brand like Chipotle. Nonetheless, there are several underlying attributes that provide a common framework to compare unconnected incidents. The Diamond Model of Intrusion Analysis indicates that for every incident, there is:

  • An Adversary
  • The Capabilities of the Adversary
  • A Victim
  • Infrastructure over which the attack occurs
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Bank Reconnaissance, A Hacker’s Guide

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For much of the time, cybersecurity researchers can find themselves limited to informed speculation and assessment about the sort of activity that cybercriminals perform, prior to launching a large cyber-theft operation. We believe that they will be performing reconnaissance on employees at the bank, particularly those in privileged positions linked to the payment and IT platforms, but some of the more precise details are limited. However, every now and again, information will be leaked which can provide some unique insight into the activities of cybercriminal groups and what they look for in a victim.

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Digital sovereignty in the age of connectivity: RuNet 2020

Digital sovereignty in the age of connectivity: RuNet 2020

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The Russian Federation is currently pursuing a radical transformation to internet connectivity within the country. RuNet 2020 is an ambitious project to establish a national government-controlled network which is intended to function in an insulated environment from the broader internet in the event of a crisis.

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Regional Conflict and the Establishment of Cyber Warfare Testing Grounds

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Regional conflict almost invariably brings with it consequences beyond its initial cause. The surrounding countries and regions suffer in a multitude of ways – from the massive and immediate human misery to ongoing political, economic and civil instability, and more long term diplomatic tensions and wounds that take time to heal.

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Horizon Scanning: Hacktivism

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Our historical understanding of protest as a means of political upheaval tends to be rooted in the idea of direct conflict between two clearly defined agendas or ideologies – between grassroots activism and state apparatus, for instance. We imagine crowds marching and holding placards, voicing their dissent in unison.

However, as we become increasingly interconnected and conduct more of our lives online, technology is changing our conceptions of protest and direct action altogether.

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The Stacked Vulnerabilities Behind Mega-breaches

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On the 23rd October 2015, it became public knowledge that 156,959 TalkTalk customers had their personal data exposed due to the insecure retention of customer records.

The breach dealt a major reputational blow to the telecommunications provider, and for many, the company has joined a growing list of brands that are now synonymous with a major breach of personal data.

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The dark reality of cyberspace: the case of CVE-2017-0199

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Threat actors do not exist in a cyber vacuum. Hackers, organised criminal gangs, and nation states all operate within the same cyberspace and have access to the same systems and vulnerabilities. Whilst the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) vary between different threat actor categories (in  terms of method, capability and sophistication), the infection vectors they target remain the same.

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Election Hacking: an old threat in new clothes

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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.

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