DailySA: FBI warns 52 critical infrastructure entities have ransomware – Forward Observer

DailySA: FBI warns 52 critical infrastructure entities have ransomware

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 10 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa


  • FBI warns 52 critical infrastructure entities have ransomware
  • U.S. bolsters support for Ukraine with internet bill
  • Gray zone response buried in omnibus bill
  • Hazards Warning


  • In Focus: Inflation expectations
  • Economic Warning INTSUM


FBI WARN 52 CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE ENTITIES HAVE RANSOMWARE: The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has identified at least 52 entities across ten critical infrastructure sectors affected by “RagnarLocker” ransomware. Notably, the ransomware is designed to terminate its acts if it identifies that the victim machine is located in former Soviet Union nations, except the ones now in NATO. The FBI recommends that infected groups back up critical data offline, use multi-factor authentication, stronger passwords, and maintain updated patches to know vulnerabilities. (Analyst Comment: RagnarLocker ransomware is suspected to have Russian origins. The Kremlin is light-handed on the activities of their hacker proxy groups and often employs them in state-sponsored activities. In light of sanctions from the West, ransomware activity is expected to increase against domestic companies. Medium and small-sized businesses are still the highest risk category in the U.S. – D.F.)

U.S. BOLSTERS SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE WITH INTERNET BILL: A new bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate would allow the State Department and Depart of Defense (DOD) to contract with telecommunication companies to provide internet access in the war zones. The bill follows the demonstrated use of internet access for Ukrainian support against Russia. Companies, such as Starlink, have already seen providing internet access for Ukrainian support, and partnerships between public and private entities are effectively controlling the global narrative. (AC: Maintaining internet access has proven to be a key component for narrative influence against adversaries. U.S. officials expect the Ukrainian resistance to last years if Russia is successful in taking Ukraine. With both government and big tech support, keeping the internet on in Ukraine is a foundation for Western influence without sending in troops. – D.F.)

GRAY ZONE RESPONSE BURIED IN OMNIBUS BILL: The House agreed to a $1.5 trillion omnibus bill, funding the government’s operations until 30 September. The bill cites several examples of gray zone activities attributed to great powers, from “anomalous health incidents” to economic coercion and cyber espionage. Congress directs the Director of National Intelligence to provide a formal estimate on the extent of gray zone activities and recommendations on countering its impacts within a year. (AC: Congress wants to lower the declassification threshold for Chinese and Russian gray zone warfare. It coincides with a report on foreign influence in domestic extremist groups. While reducing gray zone conflict is a positive step, it may ultimately drive adversaries like China toward more overt military action in accomplishing its goals. – D.M.)


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