Cyber Round Up: REGIN Malware; Egyptian Cyber Army; Potential Iran Cyber Attacks; State-Sponsored Hackers VS Human Rights Groups

  • REGIN  – Top-tier espionage malware that Symantec and Kaspersky reports indicate was created by a nation state has been described as a highly sophisticated back door-type Trojan that is customizable with an extensive range of capabilities depending on the target.  Stay tuned to Crossroads Blog this week for an in-depth look at “The Five Ws of Regin,” but until then, read the full reports here: Symantec; Kaspersky.  As for which nation state is responsible for this malware, reports are inconsistent.  While most articles circulating the news cycle claim uncertainty, the following reports attribute Western Sources: Wired; Intercept; The Guardian.
  • An Egyptian Cyber Army is the hacktivist group behind ISIS propaganda attacks online, according to an article by Mashable.  With its anti-ISIS stance, the group seems to join “a motley crew of hacktivists who are trying to counter the terrorist group’s influence on the Internet,” according to the article.  The article points out that it is unclear whether the group is sanctioned by the Egyptian Government.
  • Fears are growing that Iran will unleash cyber warfare on U.S. companies if negotiators are unable to reach a nuclear deal that would require Tehran to limit its nuclear program, according to The Hill.  According to the article, the companies that could be targeted include U.S. financial firms, oil and gas companies, and water filtration systems.  While researchers cited in the article describe Iran as a close fourth behind the U.S., Russia and China in terms of its ability to launch cyber attacks, they make up for their lagging position in their apparent willingness to go on the offensive.
  • The Globe and Mail recently reported the findings of a study by The Citizen Lab into human rights groups targeted by state-sponsored hackers.  The four year study examined eight groups engaged in “rights issues related to China and Tibet” and two larger human-rights groups operating globally.  According to the report, a powerful hacking team run by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is thought to be responsible for targeting one China-focused group and one international rights group.  For the full report, click here.  For a link to the actual study behind the report, click here.

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Authors

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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. 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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