Can Authorities Assist Win The Cybersecurity Arms Race?

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The U.S. government is teaming with Wall Street experts, DEF CON hackers and others to shore up cyber-vulnerabilities and improve cybersecurity.

</div> </div> <p>The U.S. Defense Department is already working with executives from high-frequency trading firms and others on Wall Street, exploring how hackers might exploit <strong>market vulnerabilities</strong>, according to <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon-turns-to-high-speed-traders-to-fortify-markets-against-cyberattack-1508065202" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a>. There are even bills in Congress to <a href="https://financialregnews.com/house-financial-services-approves-measure-prevent-cyberattacks/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">help the SEC improve cybersecurity</a> and <a href="https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/10/13/House-bill-would-allow-cyberattack-victims-to-hack-back/1141507912123/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">empower hacking victims</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/gdpr-and-cloud/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">an EU data privacy regulation</a> that goes into effect next year.</p> <p>“Regulators are training their sites on policies, practices and people,” <a href="https://www.fa-mag.com/news/regulators–cybersecurity-crackdown-already-in-full-swing–are-firms-ready-35111.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Financial Advisor</em></a> stated last week, noting the SEC’s renewed focus on its own cybersecurity — and that of others. “The agency is making it increasingly clear that it expects those it regulates to up their games as well.”</p> <p><strong>Governments mandates for cybersecurity</strong> are increasingly essential as threat actors continue to change tactics. For example, a group responsible for billions of dollars in cyber-theft across the globe has <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/carbanak-threat-group-change-plan-of-attack/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">recently escalated its game</a>, making its intrusions even more difficult to detect.</p> <p><strong>The Evolving Cyber-Battlefield</strong></p> <p>More than half (58 percent) of small businesses in <a href="https://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Small-Companies-Often-in-the-Dark-About-Cyberattacks-84865.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a survey released last week</a> had been hacked, but most of the victims didn’t even realize it until after researchers showed them a list of cyberattack methods. And hackers have found other ways to sneak into your network — apart from your laptops and mobile devices — including the <strong>IoT sensors</strong> you use to collect massive volumes of critical useful data.</p>

<p>“Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) brings many great things to the table … a plethora of functions designed to make modern plants functional and streamlined,” <a href="https://pacetoday.com.au/complacency-biggest-challenge-cyber-attacks/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>PACE</em></a> stated last week. “However, modernizing manufacturing plant to include the IIoT also means it will become vulnerable to cyber-attack.”</p> <p>Other cybercrime evolutions include skyrocketing sales of nefariously lucrative ransomware on the <strong>dark web</strong> — up more than 2,500 percent since 2016 — according to <a href="https://www.carbonblack.com/2017/10/11/dark-web-ransomware-economy-growing-annual-rate-2500/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a report released last week</a>. This out-of-the-box technology doesn’t require much software savvy, and increasingly popular <strong>cryptocurrencies</strong> such as bitcoin offer unprecedented anonymity to perpetrators.</p>


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The FBI is trying to expose hackers — and pursuing steep penalties for them, such as prison time and “battlefield death.”

</div> </div> <p>But U.S. officials want to undercut that anonymity.</p> <p><strong>Are the Bad Guys Winning?</strong></p> <p>The FBI is trying to expose hackers, especially those of the state-sponsored and organized criminal varieties, according to <a href="http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2017/10/fbis-cyber-strategy-shame-hackers/141543/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Nextgov</em></a> this month. And the bureau’s cyber response team isn’t messing around; the penalties it seeks for cyber-attackers include public shaming, prison sentences and even “battlefield death.”</p> <p>Some of those state-sponsored actors are going after U.S. elections, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/30/politics/states-targeted-by-russian-hackers/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the Department of Homeland Security stated last month</a>. So researchers associated with the <a href="https://www.defcon.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">DEF CON hacking conference</a> — where hackers successfully breached more than 25 pieces of election equipment this year — announced last week that <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/10/technology/defcon-hackers-voting-machine-coalition/index.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">cyber-community members will team up with national security leaders, academic institutions and others</a> to seek ways of making U.S elections more secure.</p> <p>“No matter the level of nation-state hacking or interference in 2016, if our enemy’s goal is to shake public confidence about the security of the vote, they may already be winning,” the DEF CON report stated.</p> <p>So the government is putting its money where its mouth is, increasing cyber-spending from about $20 billion this past year to about $43 billion by 2020, according to <a href="https://federalnewsradio.com/cybersecurity-2017/2017/10/increased-tension-in-cloud-operations-opens-new-doors-for-cybersecurity-vendors/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Federal News Radio</a> this month. But growth in <strong>cyber-defense</strong> — actions that prevent an attack — may be slowing in favor of building up <strong>cyber-resilience</strong>, an agency’s ability to continue operations during an attack.</p> <p><strong>An Act of War</strong></p> <p>Government responses to cyberattacks still haven’t gone far enough, according to a former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate.</p>


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“Cyberattacks on vital information sources should be treated as an act of war,” former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this month.

</div> </div> <p>“Cyberattacks on vital information sources should be treated as an act of war,” <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Hillary-Clinton-warns-cyberattacks-are-growing-12260156.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hillary Clinton said at Stanford University</a> this month. “The Russians are working to turn Americans against each other … they want to fan the flames of division and weaken us.”</p> <p>Clinton’s words may have taken on more significance on Tuesday, when <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/mueller-trump-russia-matt-tait-michael-flynn-investigation-2017-10" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>Business Insider</em></a> revealed that FBI special counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed a cybersecurity researcher regarding e-mail messages stolen from Clinton during the election. Meanwhile both major American political parties’ national committees have amped up their cybersecurity efforts, <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/353945-dnc-rnc-step-up-cyber-protections" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>The Hill</em></a> noted this month.</p> <p>For example, in the two months since former Uber executive Raffi Krikorian took over IT operations for the Democratic National Committee, staffers have ditched text messages in favor of a secure messaging app, and they’ve started running cybersecurity drills. But even if they’re on more secure footing than last year, they’re still on guard.</p> <p>“No security person would ever admit that they are confident or not confident,” Krikorian told <em>The Hill</em>. “It’s an arms race.”</p> <p><em>This story originally appeared on the <a href="https://blogs.sap.com/2017/10/22/can-government-help-win-the-cybersecurity-arms-race/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">SAP Community</a>. Follow me</em><em>&nbsp;</em><em><a href="https://twitter.com/DKlobucher" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@DKlobucher</a>.</em></p>”>

It’s not cliché to consider cybersecurity as an arms race. Cyber-attackers and their victims have been scrambling for a leg up over one another for ages, so governments are noticeably ramping up their ranges of intervention. And rightly so.

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The U.S. authorities is teaming with Wall Avenue specialists, DEF CON hackers and others to shore up cyber-vulnerabilities and enhance cybersecurity.

The U.S. Protection Division is already working with executives from high-frequency buying and selling corporations and others on Wall Avenue, exploring how hackers may exploit market vulnerabilities, in response to The Wall Avenue Journal. There are even payments in Congress to assist the SEC enhance cybersecurity and empower hacking victims, in addition to an EU knowledge privateness regulation that goes into impact subsequent 12 months.

“Regulators are coaching their websites on insurance policies, practices and folks,” Monetary Advisor said final week, noting the SEC’s renewed focus by itself cybersecurity — and that of others. “The company is making it more and more clear that it expects these it regulates to up their video games as nicely.”

Governments mandates for cybersecurity are more and more important as risk actors proceed to vary ways. For instance, a gaggle answerable for billions of in cyber-theft throughout the globe has lately escalated its sport, making its intrusions much more troublesome to detect.

The Evolving Cyber-Battlefield

Greater than half (58 %) of small companies in a survey launched final week had been hacked, however a lot of the victims didn’t even understand it till after researchers confirmed them a listing of cyberattack strategies. And hackers have discovered different methods to sneak into your community — aside out of your laptops and cellular gadgets — together with the IoT sensors you employ to gather huge volumes of essential helpful knowledge.

“Industrial Web of Issues (IIoT) brings many nice issues to the desk … a plethora of features designed to make trendy crops practical and streamlined,” PACE said final week. “Nonetheless, modernizing manufacturing plant to incorporate the IIoT additionally means it’ll turn into weak to cyber-attack.”

Different cybercrime evolutions embrace skyrocketing gross sales of nefariously profitable ransomware on the darkish net — up greater than 2,500 % since 2016 — in response to a report launched final week. This out-of-the-box know-how doesn’t require a lot software program savvy, and more and more fashionable cryptocurrencies equivalent to bitcoin supply unprecedented anonymity to perpetrators.

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The FBI is making an attempt to reveal hackers — and pursuing steep penalties for them, equivalent to jail time and “battlefield demise.”

However U.S. officers wish to undercut that anonymity.

Are the Dangerous Guys Successful?

The FBI is making an attempt to reveal hackers, particularly these of the state-sponsored and arranged felony varieties, in response to Nextgov this month. And the bureau’s cyber response workforce isn’t messing round; the penalties it seeks for cyber-attackers embrace public shaming, jail sentences and even “battlefield demise.”

A few of these state-sponsored actors are going after U.S. elections, the Division of Homeland Safety said final month. So researchers related to the DEF CON hacking convention — the place hackers efficiently breached greater than 25 items of election gear this 12 months — introduced final week that cyber-community members will workforce up with nationwide safety leaders, tutorial establishments and others to hunt methods of creating U.S elections safer.

“Regardless of the extent of nation-state hacking or interference in 2016, if our enemy’s objective is to shake public confidence in regards to the safety of the vote, they might already be profitable,” the DEF CON report said.

So the federal government is placing its cash the place its mouth is, rising cyber-spending from about $20 billion this previous 12 months to about $43 billion by 2020, in response to Federal Information Radio this month. However development in cyber-defense — actions that forestall an assault — could also be slowing in favor of increase cyber-resilience, an company’s means to proceed operations throughout an assault.

An Act of Warfare

Authorities responses to cyberattacks nonetheless haven’t gone far sufficient, in response to a former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate.

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“Cyberattacks on important info sources needs to be handled as an act of struggle,” former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned this month.

“Cyberattacks on important info sources needs to be handled as an act of struggle,” Hillary Clinton mentioned at Stanford College this month. “The Russians are working to show People in opposition to one another … they wish to fire up division and weaken us.”

Clinton’s phrases might have taken on extra significance on Tuesday, when Enterprise Insider revealed that FBI particular counsel Robert Mueller had interviewed a cybersecurity researcher relating to e-mail messages stolen from Clinton throughout the election. In the meantime each main American political events’ nationwide committees have amped up their cybersecurity efforts, The Hill famous this month.

For instance, within the two months since former Uber govt Raffi Krikorian took over IT operations for the Democratic Nationwide Committee, staffers have ditched textual content messages in favor of a safe messaging app, and so they’ve began operating cybersecurity drills. However even when they’re on safer footing than final 12 months, they’re nonetheless on guard.

“No safety particular person would ever admit that they’re assured or not assured,” Krikorian instructed The Hill. “It’s an arms race.”

This story initially appeared on the SAP Neighborhood. Comply with me @DKlobucher.

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