Cyber Round Up: White House Breach Linked to Russian Government; New Law Against Cyber Squatting in Nigeria; DHS Probes Cybersecurity Dangers in Medical Devices; New Report Links Cyber Espionage Group to Chinese Intelligence; Justice Official Speaks on Government-Business Cooperation to Improve Cybersecurity

  • The Washington Post reports that hackers thought to be working for the Russian government breached the unclassified White House computer networks in recent weeks resulting in temporary disruptions to some services while cybersecurity teams worked to contain the intrusion.  However, the article also states that the intruders did not damage any of the systems and that, to date, there is no evidence the classified network was hacked.  Nevertheless, sources state that the nature of the target is consistent with a state-sponsored campaign, according to the article.  These findings are consistent with recent reports by private security firms which have identified cyber-­espionage campaigns by Russian hackers thought to be working for the government. The New York Times reported on some of these recent reports by online experts linking breaches to the Russian government, click here for that full article.
  • The Nigerian Senate has passed into law, a seven-year jail term for all kinds of computer-related fraud, computer-related forgery, offences relating to pornography, cyber-stalking and cyber-squatting on October 24, reports 360nobs.com.  Read the full article here.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now looking into at least two dozen cases of possible cybersecurity flaws in medical devices ranging from artificial heart implants to hospital infusion pumps, reports IEEE Spectrum. According to the article, the agency wants to help manufacturers fix software bugs and other vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.
  • A highly sophisticated cyber espionage group has been linked to Chinese intelligence according to a report that was issued as a result of a joint effort among private cyber-security companies to identify and counter “a sophisticated advanced threat actor group.”  The Diplomat wrote an in-depth article on the findings of the report, stating that the cyber threat, named “Axiom” in the report, is said to have targeted everything from government offices to NGOs and media outlets in a global campaign over the past six years.  For the full report click here. For analysis by The Diplomat click here.
  • The Justice Department speaks out on the importance of government and private businesses becoming allies in the fight to improve the nation’s cybersecurity, reports the Washington TimesThe article quotes John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security:  “The attackers we face range in sophistication, and when it comes to nation states and terrorists, it is not fair to let the private sector face these threats alone.”  To read more about the perspective of the Justice Department on this issue, read the full article here.  For a look at the same topic from a different viewpoint, former Congressman Tom Davis from Virginia discussed the obstacles standing in the way of Congress creating these connections in an article by ThreatPost; to view that article click here.

 

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Authors

Untitled Document
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. 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. She is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. 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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