Cyber Round Up: Aviation Cyber Risks; Sony Update; Interview Dark Web Leader; Other Cyber News in Prevention and Malware

    • SONY BREACH UPDATE: As many are well aware, two weeks ago a hacker group calling themselves “Guardians of Peace” seized the computer system of Sony Pictures Entertainment.  Many link the group to North Korea, who denounced Sony’s upcoming movie “The Interview” which centers around two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  North Korea has denied any involvement with the hack, but has said they’re glad it happened.  Since then, the group has initiated a number of cyber attacks against the company, revealed Sony employees’ personal information, leaked five unreleased Sony films on the web, and threatened current Sony employees through email.  Business Insider has done an excellent job recapping the major events involved in this breach in a timeline accessible here.
    • CYBER SECURITY FOR AIRPLANES AND DRONES: Reuters recently reported on the rising cybersecurity risks surrounding airplanes and drones.  The Reuters article discusses a recent review of aviation safety published by German insurer Allianz which states: “Cyber terrorism may replace the hijacker and bomber and become the weapon of choice on attacks against the aviation community.”  As for commercial drones, whose use is expanding in surveillance, crop dusting, news gathering and sporting events and for which there is no standard international regulation, Allianz states the following: “[t]he potential risks are obvious, namely collision or third-party damage or injury.”  The Reuters article goes on to discuss the specific risks to the aviation community as well as the plans to mitigate these risks.  Click here for the full article.  PREVENTION: In other related news, reported on a new system that Pentagon-sponsored engineers have developed to shield unmanned aerial vehicles from cyber-attacks. According to the article, the system sounds the alert if a drone starts doing something that it is not supposed to do.  For the full report, click here.
    • INTERVIEW WITH DARK WEB SURVIVOR: Despite the numerous governmental crackdowns of dark web black market sites, one black market site that continues to survive is RAMP, which stands for Russian Anonymous Market.  Wired was able to interview RAMP’s administrator, who goes by the name Darkside.  According to the interview, Darkside has survived primarily for two reasons: the people who run and use the site and the strict rules for membership.  The RAMP site is written in the Russian language and caters only to Russian clientele.  The rules prohibit any political discussions, because Darkside states that would “attract attention,” and the rules also ban the selling of guns, stolen goods, or pornography.  The primary good on their market: drugs. For the full interview by Wired, click here.
    • SMARTPHONES WITH PRE-INSTALLED MALWARE: InformationWeek reports that malware was found pre-installed on several popular smartphones.  The malware is a Chinese Trojan program dubbed DeathRing, which  is disguised as a ringtone application and is loaded in the phone’s system directory from where it is impossible to remove by security vendors. The report warns that while the phones at issue were from low-cost, third-tier vendors in Asia and Africa, “. . . that doesn’t mean it can’t happen here.”

To continue reading more Cyber News Wrap-Ups from this past week:


    • New US Cybersecurity Prosecutor Unit: Reuters reports that the U.S. Justice Department is creating a unit within the criminal division to advise on electronic surveillance in cyber investigations and work with the private sector to prevent online crime.
    • Taiwan Most Hacked Country: The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Taiwan can claim the dubious honor of being one of the most hacked, if not the most hacked, places in the world. Full the full article, click here.
    • Germany Refuses Extradite Hacker: Afterdawn News reports that the German High Court has decided not to permit the extradition of a man once described as the world’s number two hacker to the United States to face prosecution.  As for their reasons, the court cited the “extreme length” of the sentence being threatened by U.S. authorities (could face 250 years imprisonment), and the inclusion of a “conspiracy” charge which is incompatible with German laws.
    • Medical Device Industry Refusing Cybersecurity Help: DeviceTalk begins their analysis of the medical device industries reaction to US government initiatives to ensure its products are safe from hackers in the following way: “[y]ou can lead a horse to water, it is said, but you can’t make it drink.”  According to DeviceTalk, the industry has been less than enthusiastic about collaborative approaches for dealing with cyber threats targeting the medical community.
    • Anonymous Takes Down City Websites: reports that the Anonymous hacktivist group crashed Fort Lauderdale governmental websites when demands to lift the cities homeless bans were not met.
    • New Cyber Information Exchange Center: reports that a newly created Information Sharing and Analysis Center will give defense contractors and community first responders a way to share information on cyber intrusion threats.




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One Response to “Cyber Round Up: Aviation Cyber Risks; Sony Update; Interview Dark Web Leader; Other Cyber News in Prevention and Malware”

  1. […] given the recent research on the ability of hackers to potentially hack into medical devices and airplanes (to name a few), is it fair to say that hackers should not be taken seriously as experts in killing […]

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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. 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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