Cyber Roundup (6/11): Fallout from the Stuxnet leak, Google is warning users, and Flame’s connection to Stuxnet

A quick survey of some recent cyber news . . .


On 6/5, Jason Ryan reported for ABCNews on Google’s new effort to warn its users of state sponsored cyberattacks.  The article cited a blog post written by Google’s VP of Security Engineering which explained that Google will warn its users by displaying the following banner message: “Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer. Protect yourself now.”


David Jackson reported for USA TODAY on another cyberattack exercise conducted by the Obama administration . . .


According to Evan Perez and Adam Entous of The Wall Street Journal, the FBI will probe the disclosure of classified information surrounding the US’ involvement with Stuxnet. 


Kim Zetter reported for Wired on how Kaspersky Labs have connected Stuxnet to Flame.  Considering that the NYT reported that the US and Israel were behind Stuxnet, can we connect Flame to the US/Israel?  For that matter, should we add Duqu and Conficker to the list? 

The Telegraph also analyzed the news about the Stuxnet-Flame connection . . .


Take this for what it's worth, but the Iranians claim to have traced a recent cyberattack on their oil industry to the US.  This, according Ladane Nasseri of The Detroit News.


The NYT had a great segment discussing whether the Stuxnet news has somehow made the US more vulnerable.  The NYT's "Room for Debate" featured opinion pieces from Mikko Hypponen, James Lewis, and Ralph Langer.

I've seen a number of articles over the past few days on how the Stuxnet leak has somehow made the US weaker.  The argument goes that official recognition that the US was behind Stuxnet would set some precedent for other nations, or cost the US the moral highground in international cyber treaty negotiations.  I don't buy that.  Anyone with a passing interest in cyber could have guessed that the US and Israel were behind Stuxnet.  Nation-states had to know it too, or at least assume it.  All in all, I don't think the calculus has changed all that much.

As usual, I love James Lewis' thoughts on the matter (from the NYT article):

Nor do cyberattacks against Iran increase the risk of damaging cyberattacks against the United States. It is true that we are defenseless; efforts to make us safer are hamstrung by self-interest, ideology and the gridlock of American politics. But we are no more vulnerable today than we were the day before the news. If someone decides to attack us, they may cite Iran as precedent, but it will only be to justify a decision they had already made.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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