In June 2015, the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach targeting the records of as many as four million people. The final estimate of the number of people impacted is 22.1 million. This includes records of people who had undergone background checks, as well as their friends and family, many of whom were not government employees. It has been described by federal officials as among the largest breaches of government data in the history o
Our friends from the US Department of Homeland Security have provided an open source Threat Assessment for October 2020 - which is Cyber Security Awareness Month. The following is the Cyber Threat Assessment Section.
Cyber threats to the Homeland from both nation-states and non-state actors will remain acute. U.S. critical infrastructure faces advanced threats of disruptive or destructive cyber-attacks. Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as the private sector, w
In a recent study by CrowdStrike regarding cyber threat activity show more intrusion attempts in the first six months of this year than in all of 2019. The pandemic-related shift to remote work and the growing availability of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) were two major drivers. Red Sky Alliance has reported on many of these ransomware groups and actors in detail in 2020. These reports can be found at no charge at https://redskyalliance.org.
The security vendor's threat-hunting team blocked
The alert is from the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA), the Department of Defense's Cyber Command (CyberCom), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The three US government agencies report they have observed Taidoor being used in new attacks. The n
Red Sky Alliance has written extensively about China regarding their many aspects of the Belt and Road Initiative; most recently about its creation of their “new” Internet. The US think-tank Brookins Institute has provided an excellent report on China’s electric grid, which has direct connection and implications to their “new” Internet capabilities. See below for their Executive Summary and link to full report.
Brookins Institute Executive Summary:
The importance of China’s elec
A new ransomware strain called PXJ ransomware (also known as XVFXGW ransomware) was first discovered in late February 2020. Half of the known samples were uploaded from Korea, and it uses a Korean website for a C2, showing predominantly Asian targeting.
The earliest PXJ ransomware sample is from 24 February 2020. It received its name for the .pxj extension that it adds to the files it encrypts. Its alternative name, XVFXGW, refers to the strings in two contact emails (xvfxgw3929@pr
The coronavirus outbreak in China has forced several countries to resort to stringent quarantine checks in their battle to contain the spread and the measures are starting to have a knock-on effect on the global commodities shipping market.
Delays in loading and delivery of cargoes in the tanker, dry bulk and container shipping segments are being reported due to ships being forced to sit idle amid a lack of crew availability.
Merchant ships arriving in A
On 27 Dec 2019, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution proposed by Russia for the formation of an “ad hoc intergovernmental committee of experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.” The first meeting of this committee is scheduled for August 2020.
The US has objected to this effort, and many democratic countries have also spoken against this proposal yet is als
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has just released a report examining the economic losses expected if Asian port systems, including several in China, were subjected to a major cyber-attack. This report did not assess the cyber vulnerabilities of Asian ports but rather postulated a major attack in order to calculate economic impact, with a focus on losses in the insurance industry. The report concluded tha
A reexamination of the academic work published by the Nanjing Military Region First Technical Reconnaissance Bureau showed its primary focus was on network security and computer operations issues. This suggests that, like some other Tech Recon Bureaus (TRB’s) in the Chinese military, this unit has likely developed a cyber operations mission.
Details about this unit were revealed by searches for its cover designator, the “73610 Unit.” This element is located in central Nanjing in a large admini
TikTok is a popular social media app for sharing short user-created video clips. TikTok is a youth-oriented app that is used primarily by those in the 16-24 age demographic. TikTok is hugely popular with about 500 million monthly users worldwide and more than 26 million users in the United States.
The problem is that TikTok is a Chinese social media app, developed in China by a young engineer named Zhang Yiming and the AI development company, ByteDance, that he founded. TikTok is the internat
The recent leakage of millions of resumes from Chinese job sites has provided the opportunity to research, among other things, the work histories and expertise of thousands of Huawei Technologies employees. Christopher Balding of Fulbright University Vietnam has conducted such a search to determine if Huawei has links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) or the Ministry of State Security (MSS). He recently published his conclusion that, “there is an undeniable relationship between Hua
The People’s Republic of China has claimed the whole of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory ever since coming to power in 1949. However, several other countries have historical claims over some of the islands, and the Law of the Sea Treaty gives several of these countries rights to economic zones that overlap with Chinese claims. This has led to conflict between China and the United States, which supports the claims of its allies to parts of the South China Sea under international l
In February 2019, conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Kashmir escalated into the worst violence there is decades. An Islamic extremist suicide bomber with a vehicle packed with explosives attacked an Indian police convoy in Kashmir, killing 40. This provoked a military response by India, with Indian Air Force fighter jets carrying out a bombing raid into Pakistan proper for the first time since 1971. India claimed they were attacking a terrorist camp, but no inj
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