Daily SA: China using 5G to spy on Americans – Forward Observer

Daily SA: China using 5G to spy on Americans

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Wednesday, 03 November 2021. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • China using 5G to spy on Americans
  • Israeli Army prepares for war with Iran & Hezbollah
  • U.S. begs Russia for hacking help
  • Democrats losing strategy for 2022

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

NSA: The National Security Agency and U.S. Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) jointly warned that hackers, without naming China, could target American 5G networks through existing security gaps. In part, the warning encouraged 5G providers to take recommended steps to close security holes, focusing on preventing lateral movement for hackers who have gained access to 5G cloud servers. (Analyst Comment: Earlier this year, we reported from the annual Blackhat hacking convention, where security researchers stressed that criminal and state-backed hacking groups had adopted new tactics, including targeting upstream networks to gain wider access to downstream targets. You can read our full report in the 09 August 2021 issue of Early Warning. Attacks against critical infrastructure are increasing, and conditions are likely to worsen. Readers should continue preparing for disruptions to the supply chain, oil and gas, and the information and communications environment – M.S.)

ISRAEL-IRAN: After trading a series of cyber attacks with Iran, Israeli Defense Forces continue to prepare for conflict with Iran and with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Division-level exercises this month, which will include mobilization of reservists, will test IDF offensive and defensive capabilities. A similar exercise run last week simulated drawn-out combat operations against Hezbollah. Following separate exercises over the weekend, defense officials from Israel’s Home Front Command warned of the potential for high civilian casualties during the next conflict. Additionally, a joint-exercise involving U.S. Marines and Israeli commandos kicked off Monday to prepare for nondescript “threats in the region,” likely meaning Iranian forces. Exercises will include urban combat and multi-domain operations. (AC: Israeli and Iranian officials continually stress the risk of conflict with each other. In the event that cyber attacks lead to conventional war, among several risks to the U.S. homeland are higher prices for oil, worsening supply chain disruption, and, should the U.S. get involved, terror attacks by Iranian proxy forces. – M.S.)

RUSSIA: U.S. officials gave a list of suspected hackers to Russia to arrest and potentially extradite to the U.S. for prosecution. White House cyber adviser Anne Neuberger asked her Russian counterpart for action against suspected hacking groups. The list was not made public, but Russian military units or special intelligence services were blamed for recent cyber attacks in the U.S. (AC: Russia is unlikely to cooperate or follow through with handing over current or former cyber actors, many of which received their training in service to Russia. At best, Russia will remove the operational capability of some individuals, but their unit-level and “free time” cyber activities will persist. The U.S. does not reveal its capabilities to conduct counter-cyber operations, likely because they are unable to access or mitigate these threats. – D.M.)

POWER SHIFT: Following the GOP sweep of Virginia, Republicans increasingly believe Democratic infighting will lead to a 2022 power shift in the House and Senate. “They’re probably going to put us back into power,” said Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX). Political analysts warned a Republican victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial election would be a bellwether for future elections, while a Democrat loss in New Jersey’s governor race will exacerbate Democrats’ electoral challenges in the midterms. (AC: The Republican sweep in Virginia is likely to further stall President Biden’s legislative agenda and substantially slow the pace of progressive legislation throughout 2022. Speaker Pelosi remains cagey about her reelection campaign, reportedly not wanting to be tied to losses in 2022. – D.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing significant to report.

In today’s Early Warning, Dustin gives an update on the Great Power Competition and Europe. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe

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