Public Sector Cybersecurity Weekly Briefing 02-16-2018

U.S., UK Government Websites Infected with Crypto-mining Malware: Report
More than 4,200 sites were infected with a malicious version of a widely used tool known as Browsealoud from British software maker Texthelp, which reads out webpages for people with vision problems, according to The Register. The news comes amid a surge in cyber attacks using software that forces infected computers to mine crypto currencies on behalf of hackers. The prevalence of these schemes has increased in recent months as the volume of trading in bitcoin and other crypto currencies has surged.


Cybersecurity is ‘Greatest Concern’ at Senate Threats Hearing
“This is a dangerous trend,” he said. “This campaign of innuendo and misinformation should alarm us all, Republican and Democrat alike.” Coats also described threats from foreign propaganda online, pointing out that it’s a low-cost and low-risk avenue for attackers. He told the committee that Russian operatives viewed the propaganda campaign during the 2016 election as a success, and warned it would continue. “There is no doubt that Russia sees the 2018 elections as a target,” Coats said.


New Report Indicates DOD Networks Still Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks
Operational tests over the last fiscal year showed continuous mission-critical vulnerabilities in DOD network defenses and acquisition programs, according to the report. DOT&E assessments have shown that, without immediate improvement to network defenses, skilled adversaries will be able to gain significant access to systems holding information on warfighter missions and future plans.


6 Ways to Make Smart Cities Future-Proof Cybersecurity Cities
Cybersecurity is a prerequisite for the smart city, argued Gadi Mergi, CTO at Israel’s National Cyber Directorate. That means pursuing security, privacy and high-availability (having a cyberattack recovery plan, backup facility, cloud management, and manual overrides) by design. As other presenters discussed at the event (see the list of presenters below), smart cities must adjust and adapt to the requirements of the new cybersecurity landscape[.]


Securing U.S. Election: Congressional Panel Release Report, Recommendations
The Congressional Task Force on Election Security released its Final Report, including ten specific recommendations on what the federal government and states can and should be doing to secure U.S. elections. “Russia’s unprecedented assault on the country’s elections in 2016 – including targeting twenty-one states’ voting systems – exposed serious national security vulnerabilities to our election infrastructure – which includes voting machines and voter registration databases,” the Task Force said.


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