I recall thinking several weeks ago that I wasn’t seeing a lot of ransomware attacks in the headlines. Rather there were whispers of a potential decline, but this week appears to have more than made up for any perceived lull in malicious activity. After news that a hospital clinic in Barcelona was the victim of a ransomware attack, Bleeping Computer then reported, “the IceFire ransomware operation now actively targets Linux systems worldwide with a new dedicated encryptor.”
Reading about the success international law enforcement agencies are having in their fight to bring down ransomware criminals and juxtaposing that with the latest figures of The Record’s ransomware tracker has felt like a rollercoaster ride, inducing both thrill and fear.
But the reality is that the ride will never be over because security is not a destination. It’s a journey, and it’s one that a growing number of women are choosing to take. In a blog post on International Women’s Day, Mahima Jaiswal wrote, “Women will hold 30 percent of cybersecurity jobs globally by 2025.” That’s great progress. And in celebration of this month’s focus on women, I want to highlight my most recent podcast featuring another brilliant female who’s doing great things to secure digital identity.
Now let’s take a look at what else made industry headlines this week.
Mar. 10: Reuters reported, “A U.S. judge is expected on Friday to consider what restrictions Sam Bankman-Fried should face while free on bail, and whether the FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder’s Oct. 2 fraud trial should be pushed back.”
Mar. 10: According to Federal News Network, “The Pentagon on Thursday rolled out a new plan to build and develop its IT and cyber workforce — an employee population that spans across at least 150,000 military and civilian positions, but as of now, suffers from a 25% vacancy rate.”
Mar. 9: Security researchers at Secureworks identified a fake Twitter profile allegedly created by Iranian-linked hackers belonging to an APT group named COBALT ILLUSION but also dubbed Charming Kitten, APT42, or Phosphorus.
Mar. 9: “Security researchers have uncovered a new Iranian state-backed cyber-espionage campaign aimed at rooting out female human rights activists causing trouble for the regime,” Infosecurity Magazine reported.
Mar. 8: The data breach at DC Health Link potentially exposed the personally identifiable information of “hundreds of lawmakers and staff.”
Mar. 8: Joint federal agencies issued a Royal ransomware advisory detailing indicators of compromise and the group’s tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Mar. 8: “To embrace women and support their journey, ESET, a global leader in IT security, will once again #EmbraceEquity with its eighth annual Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship, awarding the prize to four women in North America,” ESET announced in a press release.
Mar. 7: In testimony presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Cyber Command Director General Paul Nakasone reportedly said election interference from nation-state actors continues to be an issue for the United States.
Mar. 6: “Public cloud adoption represents both a security upgrade and a risk factor — a paradox reflected in the banking industry’s mixture of enthusiasm and reticence toward cloud adoption,” CIO Dive reported.