Cyber Round Up: Japan Hosting “White Hat” Hackers to Test Security Systems; US Government Slow to Upgrade Cybersecurity Protections; US Assisting Ukraine Investigate Electrical Grid Hack

  • Japan Hosting “White Hat” Hackers to Test Security Systems (The Asahi Shimbun): Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (“METI”) will be testing the security systems of the nation’s utilities industry including electricity, gas, and water, according to The Asahi Shimbun. METI will be inviting hackers to find vulnerabilities and penetrate the security systems of the target companies that provide utilities to the public, the article continued. According to the article, the hackers will utilize several methods of infiltration, one of which involves the hackers acting as co-workers of current company employees and “dispatching emails” containing malware. METI plans to use the results from the simulation to develop guidelines for electronic devices and improve the cybersecurity of companies operating public infrastructure, the article explained. The full article can be found here.
  • US Government Slow to Upgrade Cybersecurity Protections — Report Reveals (FedTech Magazine): Cisco’s new report revealed that government agencies, especially those in the federal sector, are upgrading their cybersecurity infrastructure less frequently than companies in the financial, pharmaceutical, and transportation sectors, according to an article in FedTech Magazine. Although these agencies are “generally” better equipped to address cyber threats, the article explained, they tend to upgrade their security infrastructure regularly as opposed to private sector companies that upgrade “constantly”. As a result, the article continued, the government’s “security infrastructure and maturity levels” lags behind the private sector’ s. The full article can be found here.
  • US Assisting Ukraine Investigate Electrical Grid Hack (Reuters): The US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is assisting Ukraine investigate the “apparent attack” targeting the nation’s power grid that caused major blackouts in December 2015, according to Reuters. The incident is being classified by experts as a “cyber attack”, the article continued. Meanwhile, a US cyber firm linked the incident to “Sandworm”, a known Russian hacking group, the article explained. Further, according to the article, DHS reported that there are links between the December 2015 blackout and a malicious code found in the SCADA systems of US critical infrastructure in 2014. The full article can be found here.


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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