Weekly News Roundup February 8-12, 2021

Posted on by Kacy Zurkus

Welcome, readers! As we close out on the week, it’s clear that the hack on a Florida water system has unnerved many, raising concerns about the security of our nation’s critical infrastructure. The headlines couldn’t have been more serendipitous for Nicole Perlroth, whose book, This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, was released this week. Perlroth opens the book with her traveling to Ukraine in 2019 to bear witness to the aftermath of Russia’s massive cyberattack on Ukraine, which she calls, “a campaign of cyberaggression and destruction the world has never seen.”

Fast-forward to February 8, 2021—only two months after the SolarWinds hack—when officials in Florida announced an unlawful intrusion into the City of Oldsmar’s water treatment system. Some believe this was the work of either a disgruntled insider or an unsophisticated actor. Still, others speculate whether this attack has any connection to a similar attack that occurred in Israel nearly a year ago. At the time, it was alleged that the attack in Israel could be the work of Iranian hackers.

There is much we still don’t know, but in his testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee, Dmitri Alperovitch made one thing quite clear: “We do not have a cyber problem; we have a China-Russia-Iran-and-North Korea problem.” We don’t want to get swept away in fear, uncertainty and doubt, but the advice David Colberg, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Palo Alto Networks, shared in an RSAC 365 interview this week should resonate loudly, “Especially after SolarWinds, a false sense of security moving forward is probably really dangerous.”

Let’s take a look at other cybersecurity headlines from this week.

Feb. 12: A new draft of a cybersecurity law in Myanmar has raised concerns that the country’s military leaders may have more spurious intentions of actually using the law to undermine Internet freedom and quiet voices of dissent.

Feb. 12: The Washington Post 202 reported, “President Biden will sign an executive order in the coming weeks to address a shortage of semiconductor chips used by U.S. industries.”

Feb. 11: Infosecurity magazine reported a study from researchers at MIT and the UK’s Exeter University found that, “Americans are three-times as likely to follow strangers on Twitter if they share the same political views.”

Feb. 10: Dell is offering an educational initiative in Singapore that would deliver skills training in cloud computing, data protection, data science and big data analytics to 3,000 qualifying candidates.

Feb. 10: Plans for Oracle and Walmart to potentially purchase TikTok have been put on hold so that President Biden can review the potential security risks.

Feb. 10: “A federal election commission on Wednesday approved new national guidelines to overhaul voting equipment standards, including boosting security, privacy and the use of paper ballots as well as the auditing of election results,” The Hill reported.  

Feb. 9: During code analysis, security researchers at Unit 42 identified some novel “highly malleable, highly sophisticated” Chinese shellcode dubbed “BendyBear” that is reportedly associated with the cyber espionage group BlackTech.  

Feb. 9: NBC News reported, “...hackers had managed to access [CD Projekt’s] internal network, collected certain data and left a ransom note threatening to release the source code of its games.”

Feb. 8: After Elon Musk had tweeted about his purchase of Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency spiked, catapulting the coin into the cryptocurrency Top 10 list.

Kacy Zurkus

Senior Content Manager, RSA Conference

Hackers & Threats Privacy

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