Tag Archives: cyber weapon

Security & Privacy: China watching: Indian President, PM, key Opposition leaders, Cabinet, CMs, Chief Justice of India…the list goes on

Abtract

Calling itself a pioneer in using big data for “hybrid warfare” and the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” a Shenzen-based technology company with links to the Chinese government, and the Chinese Communist Party, is monitoring over 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of “foreign targets,” an investigation by The Indian Express has revealed.

The range of targets in India identified and monitored in real time by Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co. Limited is sweeping — in both breadth and depth.

From President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and their families; Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot and Amarinder Singh to Uddhav Thackeray, Naveen Patnaik and Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Cabinet Ministers Rajnath Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad to Nirmala SitharamanSmriti Irani, and Piyush Goyal; Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Singh Rawat to at least 15 former Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force; Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde and brother judge AM Khanwilkar to Lokpal Justice P C Ghose and Comptroller and Auditor General G C Murmu; start-up tech entrepreneurs like Nipun Mehra, founder of Bharat Pe (an Indian payment app), and Ajay Trehan of AuthBridge, an authentication technology firm, to top industrialists Ratan Tata and Gautam Adani. 

Read more in

https://indianexpress.com/article/express-exclusive/china-watching-big-data-president-kovind-pm-narendra-modi-opposition-leaders-chief-justice-of-india-zhenhua-data-information-technology-6594861/

News of the day: 2,000 Georgia websites hacked in cyber attacks

A huge cyber-attack has knocked out thousands of websites – as well as the national TV station – in the country of Georgia. 

Some 2,000 websites in Georgia, including those of the president, courts, and media were hacked in a massive cyber attack on Monday, officials and media said.

Court websites containing case materials and personal data have also been attacked.  In many cases, website home pages were replaced with an image of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, and the caption “I’ll be back”.  The origin of the attack is not yet known.

Reference

https://www.france24.com/en/20191028-2-000-georgia-websites-hacked-in-cyber-attacks

Aviation security: A serious issue

Abstract

The issue of airplane security is certainly being taken very seriously. Separately, the U.S. Air Force will also be taking a bigger role in identifying security problems in commercial aviation systems–many of which are used by the military.

So far, cyberattacks targeting airlines have focused on the IT systems rather than aircraft themselves. U.K. airline British Airways is facing a huge fine after passenger data from around 380,000 bookings was breached, including bank card numbers along with cvv codes.  

But in the future, this could change. “The U.S. Airforce and most other airforces use airframes and systems that are often the same as their civilian counterparts,” says Philip Ingram, MBE, a former colonel in British military intelligence. He says the restarting of the program suggests “that secret intelligence has identified nation state and non-nation state actors potentially looking at vulnerabilities in aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Ingram (Cyber Expert) says the threat from terrorism is real, but the main players have not found a way of hacking aircraft yet: “If terrorists could find a way of hacking an aircraft to bring it down, they would. The ISIS Cyber Arm, the Cyber Caliphate Shield has lots of ambitions to carry out these sorts of attacks, but they don’t have the technical capabilities.”

Reads more in

U.S. Government Confirms New Aircraft Cybersecurity Move Amid Terrorism Fears

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateoflahertyuk/2019/10/01/us-government-confirms-new-aircraft-cybersecurity-move-amid-terrorism-fears/?ss=cybersecurity#45d23cd469e1

Supply-chain is becoming huge National security issue

Abstract

The Huawei problem is simple to explain. The company is based in China and subject to the rules and dictates of the Chinese government. The government could require Huawei to install back doors into the 5G routers it sells abroad, allowing the government to eavesdrop on communications or — even worse — take control of the routers during wartime. Since the United States will rely on those routers for all of its communications, we become vulnerable by building our 5G backbone on Huawei equipment.

It’s obvious that we can’t trust computer equipment from a country we don’t trust, but the problem is much more pervasive than that. The computers and smartphones you use are not built in the United States. Their chips aren’t made in the United States. The engineers who design and program them come from over a hundred countries. Thousands of people have the opportunity, acting alone, to slip a back door into the final product.

……….

Technical solutions fall into two basic categories, both currently beyond our reach. One is to improve the technical inspection processes for products whose designers provide source code and hardware design specifications, and for products that arrive without any transparency information at all. In both cases, we want to verify that the end product is secure and free of back doors. Sometimes we can do this for some classes of back doors: We can inspect source code this is how a Linux back door was discovered and removed in 2003 or the hardware design, which becomes a cleverness battle between attacker and defender.

Read more in

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/09/supply-chain_se_1.html

Must read: The 7 Most Dangerous Technology Trends.

Abstract

1.  AI Cloning 

With the support of artificial intelligence (AI), all that’s needed to create a clone of someone’s voice is just a snippet of audio. Similarly, AI can take several photos or videos of a person and then create an entirely new—cloned—video that appears to be an original.

2.  Drone Swarms 

The British, Chinese, and United States armed forces are testing how interconnected, cooperative drones could be used in military operations.

3.  Spying Smart Home Devices 

For smart home devices to respond to queries and be as useful as possible, they need to be listening and tracking information about you and your regular habits.

4.  Facial Recognition 

There are some incredibly useful applications for facial recognition, but it can just as easily be used for sinister purposes. China stands accused of using facial recognition technology for surveillance and racial profiling.

5.  Ransomware, AI and Bot-enabled Blackmailing and Hacking 

When high-powered technology falls into the wrong hands, it can be very effective to achieve criminal, immoral, and malicious activities. Ransomware, where malware is used to prevent access to a computer system until a ransom is paid, is on the rise according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

6.  Smart Dust 

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), the size of a grain of salt, have sensors, communication mechanisms, autonomous power supplies, and cameras in them. Also called motes, this smart dust has a plethora of positive uses in healthcare, security, and more, but would be frightening to control if used for evil pursuits.

7.  Fake News Bots 

GROVER is one AI system capable of writing a fake news article from nothing more than a headline. AI systems such as GROVER create articles more believable than those written by humans. OpenAI, a nonprofit company backed by Elon Musk, created “deepfakes for text” that produces news stories and works of fiction so good, the organization initially decided not to release the research publicly to prevent dangerous misuse of the technology.

Reference

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/09/23/the-7-most-dangerous-technology-trends-in-2020-everyone-should-know-about/#166c16177780