Cyber Round Up: Iran Learns from West; Auto-Hacking Risks on the Rise; Facebook’s Cyber Security Network; Traps over Firewalls

  • NSA: Iran Learns from Western Cyberattacks: The Intercept reports that by studying and replicating Western cyber tactics, a NSA document warns that Iran has been able to create increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.  According to the article, Iran’s destructive cyber attack against Saudi Aramco in August 2012 is questionably similar to a cyberattacks against Iran’s own oil industry in April 2012.  The article notes the findings of a recent NSA document which suggests that Iran has become “a much more formidable cyberforce by learning from the viruses injected into its systems – attacks which have been linked back to the United States and Israel.”  The article makes an interesting point: that offensive cyberattacks on other states do not merely provoke counterattacks – those attacks can teach adversaries how to launch their own.  Read the full article by clicking here.
  • Auto-Hacking Increasing Concern: According to a new congressional report called “Tracking and Hacking,” as vehicles become more connected to the Internet, automakers are failing to take the necessary measures to protect them against cyber-attacks.  Not only can hackers control your steering, brakes, and accelerator, but they can also use the new auto technology to listen into your conversations while on your phone in your car (another reason not to use your cell while driving!). According to the report, the following wireless entry points to the 50 electronic control units that are a part of a car’s network include: tire pressure monitoring systems, Bluetooth, Internet access, keyless entry, remote start, navigation systems, WiFi, anti-theft systems and cellular-telematics.  How to make automakers take on more responsibility to prevent these cyber harms? According to U.S. Senator Edward Markey, the industry should consider adopting a rating system similar to the Insurance Institute for Highway’s Safety’s crash test ratings.  Read full articles on the report: by the Detroit Free Press here, and by 680news.com here.
  • Facebook Launches Cyber Security Network: As the US Government and companies continue to search for new ways to coordinate their defenses against cyberattacks, Facebook teams up with Yahoo and Pinterest to launch a social network for cyber security professionals to share clues about how hackers are behaving in the hope of preventing security breaches. According to Financial Times, Facebook’s new detection system called “ThreatExchange” is different than the others already out there for at least one significant reason: it is FREE. Capitalizing off of a business model which has worked for them in the past, the free social networking model, the new launch hopes to take advantage of the current number of members to direct this threat project.  Read the full report on the launch by Financial Times here.
  • Experts Say Traps More Effective Than Firewalls: The saying goes as follows: insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Many cybersecurity experts are sending a similar message by pushing companies and governments to stop thinking about preventing cyberattacks with firewalls, and start thinking about trapping the enemy once they get inside.  In the past, firewalls have been the routine cybersecurity tactic for prevention, however, according to a report by the Dallas Morning News, cybersecurity experts are calling that method “old and outmoded.”  Instead, according to the article, we need to neutralize attackers once they’re inside networks rather than fixating on trying to keep them out.  Read the full article 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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