DailySA: Biden issues urgent cyber warning – Forward Observer

DailySA: Biden issues urgent cyber warning

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 22 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Biden issues urgent cyber warning
  • Fertilizer supplies squeezed from Canadian union strike
  • Chipmakers brace for multi-year shortages
  • Taiwanese willing to defend against China invasion
  • Hazards Warning

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

WHITE HOUSE ISSUES URGENT CYBER WARNING: President Biden said in a statement there is “evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.” Biden urged the private sector to “harden your cyber defenses immediately.” Deputy National Security Adviser Neuberger said critical infrastructure operators and hundreds of companies participated last week in “classified updates” on Russian cyber efforts. (Analyst Comment: National Security officials believe Russian cyber actors are engaged in preparatory operations to attack U.S. networks. This increased frequency in warnings from U.S. officials indicates they have more information than they’re willing to release to the public. Likely Russian cyber targets remain communications infrastructure, energy infrastructure, utilities, financial services, and logistics carriers. – D.M.)

FERTILIZER AVAILABILITY SQUEEZE FROM CANADIAN UNION STRIKE: The sixth-largest freight in North America, Canadian Pacific Railway, came to a work stoppage after contract negotiations with worker Unions deteriorated. The stoppage puts a squeeze on fertilizer shipments. The issues are leaning toward a binding arbitration process to resolve the conflict, which would delay any resolution. Additional proposed solutions, such as worker legislation, would also prolong the time until resolution. (AC: Fertilizer shortages due to transportation bottlenecks will pressure crop prices. The squeeze comes as fertilizer prices reach a record high since Russia’s export ban. Fertilizer costs were already high from sanctions on Belarus and high export restrictions from China. While fertilizer shortages from the Russian-Ukraine war have been impacting agriculture in South American nations, transportation stoppages from Canadian Pacific Railway directly impact availability in North America. – D.F

Canadian Pacific freight routes for potash fertilizer

CHIPMAKERS BRACE FOR MULTI-YEAR SHORTAGES: The Chief Executive of Advanced Semiconductor Materials Lithography (ASML), Peter Wennink, warned that chipmaker expansion plans would be constrained by a shortage of critical equipment over the next two years. ASML machines are essential in making silicon wafers; however, the chief executive thinks they will not be able to ship enough equipment to meet demand. Wenninks states, “We really need to step up our capacity significantly more than 50 percent.” (AC: While seeing short-term improvement, global supply chain disruptions are still affecting the ability of companies to meet demand. Technology products dependent on silicon wafers will continue with high costs this year. – D.F.)

MORE TAIWANESE WILLING TO DEFEND NATION AGAINST INVASION: In a recent poll of over 1000 Taiwan residents, 70% of the respondents stated they would take up arms against China should it attack Taiwan. The survey, taken by the International Strategic Study Society (ISSS), showed that a willingness to fight against a potential invasion jumped from 40.3% since December of last year. Only 20% of the respondents stated they would be unwilling to fight. ISSS Director Wang Jung-Yi said that “although most Taiwanese people do not agree that Ukraine today will become Taiwan tomorrow, they sympathize with the stress and suffering of the Ukrainian people in the face of Russia’s invasion.” (AC: Taiwan is implementing a new Reservist training program. The program increases time spent on combat training, such as weapons employment and basic combat skills. Despite the apparent increase in willingness to fight a Chinese invasion, 77.3% of the Taiwanese people still support the idea of Taiwan and China maintaining peaceful relations, while only 16.1% support President Tsai’s policy of countering China to protect Taiwan. – M.M.)

HAZARDS WARNING

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