Cyber Round Up: Russian Hackers, Army Hacking Tools, Cyber Attack by…Oven, and more

  • Russian Hackers Used Two Unknown Flaws (Reuters Reports): A recent report by security firm FireEye determined that Russian hackers had been using flaws in Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Windows operating system to try to get information about diplomatic targets in the United States and elsewhere. Adobe issued a fix for the breach on Tuesday, and while Microsoft is still working on a fix, Reuters reports that the Microsoft problem by itself is less dangerous. Read the full article here. To read the FireEye report, click here: FireEye – Russia’s Cyber Espionage Report
  • Army and DEA Buying Remote Access Hacking Tools ( Reports): An Italian company called Hacking Team sells a piece of malware remotely installed on a target’s computer or smartphone which collects data, and then transmits that data to an encrypted and untraceable server.  According to, both the DEA and the US Army have been buying what the article calls a “questionable” remote access hacking tool for years.  The article also notes that according to experts, it’s only a matter of time before these surveillance tools turn up in the hands of local law enforcement, if they haven’t already. Read the full article here.
  • Pentagon’s “Blunt Force Trauma” Cyber Weapons (Politico Reports): Military services are looking to move beyond developing defense cyber capabilities to pursuing offensive “cyber weapons they could wield the way they now deploy fighter squadrons or infantry battalions.”  The goal is to create weapons that have the same large-scale effect as conventional weapons.  An example: turning an enemy surface to surface missile around and sending it home.  To read more about these plans, read the full article here.
  • Hackers Could Kill You With Your Oven ( Reports): As technology continues to improve, consumers are expecting more consumer goods to utilize the advantages that come with technological innovations. provides the example of the simple iron to explain the ramifications of this trend.  An iron has many setting for steam, so how would you as a consumer feel about creating an iphone application that keeps track of each item of clothing you own and the setting required for each item, and then automatically applies that setting to your clothes? How about an oven you can set with your iphone?  According to, “if something uses electricity, it will be connected.” If it is connected, a hacker can access it.  What started as a neat way to set your oven from your living room, results, potentially, in a hacker turning your gas on, then your pilot, and leaving you breathing deadly fumes in your sleep. According to the article, we need to find a solution which provides security to these connected devices before we begin integrating this type of technology into our consumer goods.  Read the full article here.
  • Wi-Fi Increases Hacking Risks on Airplanes ( Reports): A new government report suggests that hackers could take advantage of Wi-Fi on planes in order to hijack the navigation system or commandeer the plane through the in-plane network.  In order for a hacker to gain access, a passenger need only visit a website with a virus or malware embedded. For the full article, click here. For a summary of which changes the report recommends for the Federal Aviation Administration, read an article by, here. Read the full report here: GAO: Air Traffic Control Report
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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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