DailySA: Russian cyberattack on defense contractors – Forward Observer

DailySA: Russian cyberattack on defense contractors

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 18 February 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Russian cyberattack on defense contractors
  • Congress reintroduces cyber reporting law
  • Louisville shooter released
  • Justice Dept. appoints crypto enforcer
  • Weather outlooks not favorable for drought relief
  • Hazards Warning

UPGRADE TO EARLY WARNING AND GET THESE BRIEFINGS:

  • Russia-NATO SITREP: UK & ESTONIA RELEASE POSSIBLE ATTACK PLANS, DIPLOMACY UNLIKELY. U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN QUESTION
  • Indo-Pacific SITREP: CHINESE ESPIONAGE DOWN UNDER
  • LIC Summary/ INTSUM

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

RUSSIAN CYBER ATTACKS ON DEFENSE CONTRACTORS: The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and Cybersecurity infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have released a joint notice of state-sponsored cyberattacks on the U.S. defense contractors from the Russian government. The advisory stated that recent espionage campaigns have lasted at least two years and have compromised entities responsible for a variety of critical domains within the defense industry. (Analyst Comment: Cyber concern of a compromised defense industry conflicts with the Pentagon’s push to shift dependency from the same few defense contractors to include more medium to small sized businesses. Smaller scale companies are the primary target this year for exploitation from malicious cyber groups due to limited resources to patch cyber gaps and implement necessary cybersecurity standards. – D.F.

CONGRESS REINTRODUCES CYBER REPORTING LAW: A bipartisan group of Senators is re-introducing legislation that will expand CISA’s authority over incident reporting and response to cyber threats. If passed, companies in the critical infrastructure field will be required to report substantial cyber attacks to CISA within 72 hours and ransomware payments within 24 hours. The legislation would also require the adoption of cloud technologies to fortify their critical systems against attack. (AC: The legislation is tied to the larger push from the federal government that sees compliance by private industry as the effective means to protect critical infrastructure for cyber threats. The Biden Administration has made this a primary concern for DHS. Deterrence against state-backed cyber capabilities requires an increase in cyber mitigation. – D.F.)

LOUISVILLE SHOOTER RELEASED: Police arrested Quintez Brown for firing a gun inside Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenburg’s office. The Louisville Community Bail Fund posted the shooter’s $100,000 bond with support from BLM Louisville. Brown’s attorney said his client suffers from “mental and emotional health issues.” (AC: Far Left organizations remain effective at generating funds and mounting social pressure to release suspects from jail. The shooter is allegedly a BLM activist, which could spur other supporters of Far Left groups to violence as vast fundraising networks are in place. Foreign financial support to these activist organizations is likely to accelerate during U.S. elections. Funding groups focused on releasing activists and criminals remain an effective destabilization tool for malign actors like China. – D.M.) 

JUSTICE DEPT APPOINTS CRYPTO ENFORCER: The Justice Department announced Eun Choi will serve as the first Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). Choi previously prosecuted the only case in connection with the Panama Papers and argued for the government against the founder of the Silk Road. The NCET is tasked to “identify, investigate, support and pursue the [Justice] department’s cases involving the criminal use of digital assets.” The team will work alongside local U.S. Attorney’s offices, Justice’s National Security Division, and FBI. (AC: The President is likely to introduce new restrictions on cryptocurrencies by executive order. The NCET team risks being weaponized to suppress political and social movements forced off traditional fundraising platforms. Close coordination with election officials could result in suppression of voter advocacy efforts and campaign fund generation. The government’s increased focus on domestic terrorism increases the likelihood this unit will target far more than cybercriminals. – D.M.)

WEATHER OUTLOOK NOT FAVORABLE FOR DROUGHT CONDITIONS: The National Weather Service (NWS) has released its 90-Day forecast. The conditions outlined may limit recovery from current drought conditions with above-normal temperatures in the Midwest and Western United States. Spring recovery forecasts starting in March may see a longer and slower recovery than expected. (AC: With slower recovery from drought conditions, supply relief may be limited with slower food price recovery into the summer. Increased strain on growers and fertilizer supplies will contribute to increased food prices. – D.F.)

HAZARDS/WX

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