DailySA: Russian hackers exploit authentication weakness – Forward Observer

DailySA: Russian hackers exploit authentication weakness

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 17 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa


  • Russian hackers exploit authentication weakness
  • White House starts new supply chain data sharing program
  • Chinese secret police campaign inside U.S.
  • Hazards Warning


  • In Focus: What to expect from the US economy this year
  • Economic Warning INTSUM


RUSSIAN HACKERS EXPLOIT MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION WEAKNESS: The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a joint statement detailing how Russian hackers exploited misconfigured multifactor authentication (MFA) protocols in an unnamed non-governmental entity. After bypassing MFA, the groups were able to access cloud and email accounts for document exfiltration. (Analyst Comment: This event interferes with CISA’s strategy to get state and local governments to adopt MFA as a standard to secure their systems. CISA Director Jen Easterly has cited to governors that MFA prevents 99.9% of account compromises. – D.F.)

WHITE HOUSE STARTS NEW SUPPLY CHAIN DATA SHARING PROGRAM: The Biden Administration announced a data sharing program among key supply chain industries that will give the federal government access to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities and congestion. The program is called the Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW). Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that “sharing data is key to making the most of the physical infrastructure we have”. Under the program, the federal government will get access to more data in domestic logistics, trucking, warehousing, and port industries. (AC: The Department of Defense recently addressed increased supply chain visibility as a critical improvement area in aggregated data analysis. While marketed as improving efficiency and lowering costs, the program is part of the U.S. supply chain strategy to provide the federal government more leverage in private industry if another worldwide disruption were to occur. – D.F.)

CHINESE SECRET POLICE CAMPAIGN INSIDE US: The Justice Department announced charges against five individuals for stalking, harassing, and spying on U.S. residents for the Chinese government. From bribes to blackmail forgeries, operatives worked on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) to intimidate dissidents, exiles, and a Congressional candidate. An FBI rep said, “These indictments should serve as a stark warning to the MSS and all foreign intelligence agencies that their efforts at repression will not be tolerated within our borders.”(AC: The Justice Department may have difficulty reaching a conviction as the U.S. avoids revealing its sources and methods. China’s use of gray zone tactics is likely to continue, as their methods remain effective at repressing U.S.-based dissidents who challenge the communist regime. Notably, Congress is due reports on Chinese gray zone warfare from the FBI and intelligence agencies by September. – D.M.)


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