25 Jun

Brexit will make the UK more vulnerable to cybercrime

Brexit will make the UK more vulnerable to cybercrime

The likelihood of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union will put a huge strain on agencies tasked with protecting citizens, businesses and government entities from cyberattacks, said security experts.

Assuming a Brexit does take place — and many are still hoping it will not — expect a rise in hacktivism, a reduction in tech talent, a decrease in information-sharing and increase in regulatory complexity, at least for the foreseeable future, they said.

Hackers thrive in environments of chaos and uncertainty, and the political and economic turmoil the UK finds itself in presents an opportunity.

“Cyberspace is one place where people vent their steam and take action with relatively few risks of consequences,” said Stephen Cobb, Senior Security Researcher at ESET, a Slovakia-based internet security software firm. “It does not take many activists to cause a lot of problems.”

It is already happening. On Monday, hackers hijacked an online petition calling for a second EU referendum, erroneously adding more than 77,000 votes (which have since been removed.)

And even as armies of malicious hackers add to their ranks, cybersecurity experts are in short supply globally. The UK has been a foothold for international firms looking for an entree to Europe, and uncertainty around how Brexit will impact work visas for non-UK residents could dampen its appeal, said Bill Ho, CEO of secure communications provider Biscom.

“If the talent pool is reduced by travel and employment restrictions, firms may experience some tech-focused personnel shortages which could impact a firm’s cybersecurity stance,” said Ho. “Technical skills are always in high demand around the world, and it’s no different in the UK – Brexit will have a negative impact on firms trying to bring on smart people who may not reside in the UK.”

Exiting the EU will also pose new challenges for the UK when it comes to combating organized online criminal activities, which experts agreed are best tackled from a cooperative, supra-national approach. In recent years, the European Union published the EU Cybersecurity Strategy and created the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) to bolster defenses against attackers. EC3 had become a cornerstone in the Union’s fight against cybercrime, supporting member states and institutions in building operational and analytical capacity for investigations and international cooperation, said ABI Research director Michela Menting.

“The UK’s isolation that may result from Brexit would be an unwelcome development in the fight against cybercrime,” said Menting. “Further to this, new cybersecurity information and asset sharing structures will need to be put in place between the EU and the UK.”

 

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29 May

Botswana launches cyber security strategy

Botswana launches cyber security strategy

Honourable Tshenolo Mabeo, Minister of Transport and Communications of Botswana, has officially launched the country’s project to develop a cybersecurity strategy for the country. The Honourable Minister made the announcement during the opening day of the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum 2015 taking place on 22 – 24 April 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

Botswana welcomes and appreciate offer by the United Kingdom government through the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation to assist with the development of the national Cybersecurity Strategy

The Honourable Tshenolo Arithur Mabeo, Minister of Transport and Communications, Republic of Botswana,-

The launch ceremony took place in the presence of delegates from 26 countries attending the London event where challenges and solutions to cybersecurity within its wider legal, social and economic context are discussed.

Speaking on the timing of the project, Honourable Mabeo said that the opportunity comes “at the right time for the country” since Botswana “is in the process of commencing the Electronic and Transactions Act and the Electronic Evidence Act in order to facilitate e-commerce”.

Source: http://www.cto.int/news/botswana-launches-national-cybersecurity-strategy-project-at-commonwealth-cybersecurity-forum-2015/

28 May

Ransomware: The smart person’s guide

Ransomware: The smart person’s guide

This guide covers the history of ransomware, the systems being targeted in ransomware attacks, and what you can do to avoid paying a ransom in the event of an attack.

In the past, security threats often involved scraping information from systems that could be used for other crimes such as identity theft. Now, criminal organizations have proceeded to directly demanding money from victims by holding their devices—and data—hostage. This trend of ransomware, in which data is encrypted and victims are prompted to pay for the key, has been growing rapidly since late 2013. TechRepublic's smart person's guide about ransomware is a quick introduction to this security threat, as well as a "living" guide that will be updated periodically as new exploits and defenses are developed.

Executive summary

What is it?

Ransomware is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.

Why does it matter?

Because of the ease of deploying ransomware, criminal organizations are increasingly relying on such attacks to generate profits.

Who does this affect?

While home users have traditionally been the targets, healthcare and the public sector have been targeted with increasing frequency. Enterprises are more likely to have deep pockets from which to extract a ransom.

When is this happening? Ransomware has been an active and ongoing threat since September 2013.

How do I protect myself from a ransomware attack? A variety of tools developed in collaboration with law enforcement and security firms are available to decrypt your computer.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a subclass of malware that is characterized by holding device control—and therefore locally stored data—for a ransom, which is typically paid using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, though often premium SMS messaging and prepaid credit cards are alternative options. Sophisticated ransomware attacks employ disk or file-level encryption, making it impossible to recover files without paying the ransom demanded by the hackers.

Historically, ransomware has invoked law enforcement to coerce victims into paying—displaying warnings such as the FBI logo and a message indicating that illegal file sharing has been detected. More recently, the authors of ransomware payloads clearly indicate that a device has simply been hacked.

Ransomware payloads are typically distributed on file-sharing networks, but have also been distributed as part of a malvertising campaign on the Zedo ad network, as well as through phishing emails that disguise the payload as maliciously crafted images or as executables attached to emails.

Why does ransomware matter?

For criminal organizations, the use of ransomware provides a very straight line from development to profit, as the comparatively manual labor of identity theft requires more resources. As such, the burgeoning growth of ransomware can be attributed to the ease of deployment, and a high rate of return relative to the amount of effort put forth.

More Details in Part 2

27 May

Project DeadLine

Project DeadLine

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26 May

Coffee Breaks

Coffee Breaks

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25 May

Little Meeting

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24 May

Corparate Secretary

Corparate Secretary

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23 May

Future Project

Future Project

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22 May

Safety Equipment

Safety Equipment

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