Cyber ​​ambassadors may soon face a world of challenges


Welcome to Cyber ​​Security 202. We’re mourning two civil rights pioneers, a science fiction title (Nickel Nichols) and a giant on a basketball court (Bill Russell).

below: Denyers of the 2020 election abound on the ballot in Arizona today, and there are safety issues in an organ transplant system.

A Senate panel is about to kick the tires on Biden’s choice for top cyber diplomat

The first nominee for a massive cyber ambassador is set to take the lead in the Senate this week.

If confirmed, Nathaniel Fick have to juggle An incredibly complex international picture of cyber threats, diplomatic agreements and conflicts. It must do all this while trying to establish a new office at the State Department to replace a range of cyber organizations and it must fit in with other federal agencies that harbor global ambitions.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing on his nomination for Wednesday.

“Given the urgency of the threats facing us…we need someone out there to try and work with our friends to take collective action against the threats, but also to stand up for our adversaries. ” Chris PainterThe top US cyber diplomat in the Obama administration, who now chairs the Global Forum on Cyber ​​Expertise Foundation, told me.

Fick is a cybersecurity executive, former Marine, and best-selling author whose platoon served as the subject of the Iraq War book “Generation Kill” and the HBO series of the same name. Just last month, the Council on Foreign Relations published a report they co-chaired, “Facing Reality in Cyberspace: Foreign Policy for a Fractured Internet.”

His background for the position made a lot of headlines. “He brought sensibility from both the American offensive side and the issues of the private sector,” Adam SegalA cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations told me about Fick’s work on the report.

But Fick will inherit a difficult set of circumstances. There are many incarnations of the cyber role in the state.

  • Most recently, the Trump administration restructured the Obama administration’s cyber coordinator office, then proposed another office in its declining days.
  • The Biden administration followed up with a revised Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. Fick will head the office, which had more than 60 employees as of April, with 30 more slated this year.

And the extent of international cyber threats is multifaceted, said Rob Strayerwho left the top state cyber role about two years ago.

“We are seeing nation-states as well as bad actors who are either working for nation-states or themselves to gain access to increasingly dangerous cyber tools that plague our information technology infrastructure. risking a larger and larger amount of Strayer, who is now executive vice president of policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, told me. “And so how do you get governments to focus more swiftly on addressing the bad actors that they may have?”

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FIC will also oversee three separate international policy units focused on cyberspace security, communications, and information and digital freedom. “The key piece for this role will be casting them in a coherent, coordinated light, as if they are swimming in the same direction, as opposed to potentially conflicting priorities,” Lindsay Gorman, Emerging Technologies fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy told me. That said, while Fick has leadership credentials, he’s also an outsider joining a strong State Department bureaucracy, she said.

If confirmed, Fick would have to find his way even among the large federal bureaucracy. Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger and National Cyber ​​Director Chris Inglis Has traveled internationally, while the Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency has opened a London office. And the US Cyber ​​Command conducts sensitive foreign military cyber operations.

Edward J., who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Cyber ​​Subcommittee. Markey (D-Mass.), would like to hear Fick’s views on how he will prioritize cyber challenges and how he will coordinate with other cyber agencies and offices. marque’s director of communications rosemary boeglin,

Another potential area of ​​questioning Wednesday is whether Fick thinks the United States should do what it takes to prevent cyberattacks by hostile foreign nations, a congressional aide spoke on condition of anonymity as he spoke on record. were not authorized. “Whether we are talking to Russia or China, we have to make it clear to them that their current behavior is unacceptable,” the aide said.

Prominent lawmakers still want to pass a bill to write Fick’s office into law. “Even with creating a bureau that is more permanent, a new secretary can come in and do a lot of things, and that’s hard to do with legislation,” Painter said.

Fick also has close ties to the Democrats. He spoke in favor of the Obama-Biden ticket at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Painter said those ties may annoy some Republicans. And even if Fick manages to survive Wednesday’s hearing, his nomination could run into other obstacles, like Sen. josh holly (R-Mo.) The Biden administration’s vision for Afghanistan has been slowing down some state and defense candidates since last fall.

But it’s too important to be in position to stall, Painter said.

Cyber ​​is “not just technical issues. It’s not just military issues,” he said. “Foreign policy issues are incredibly important because we’re building out the space to try to make it safe for standards to be enforced. To declare accountability and to ensure that we are seeing this as a key national security and economic security and human rights. Policy.”

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Electoral denials for GOP nomination to run for Arizona election

Arizona is the state representative in today’s Republican primary for Secretary of State. Mark Finchemwho demanded the cancellation of the 2020 election, and State Rep. Shawna Bolikwho proposed a bill that would let Arizona’s legislature override the state’s electorate’s choice for presidential elections, NPRMiles Park writes. The state could become the sixth where the 2020 electoral denier has advanced to the general election for secretary of state, after Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who has pushed back claims of fraud and a partisan review of the 2020 election results, is running to become governor of the state, which President Biden narrowly won in 2020. former local television anchor Kari Lake As my colleague Yvonne Winget Sanchez reports, she wants to be the Republican nominee for the position, and has asked her supporters not to rely on the results of today’s election—unless she wins. Lake has said she will replace electronic vote tabulators with ones used to count millions of ballots, and she also says she does not recognize President Biden as the legitimate president. governor Doug Ducey (R) has supported the opponent of the lake, Karin Taylor Robson, former vice president mike pence also promoted for Taylor Robson,

Organ transplant system faces safety concerns

According to a confidential government review obtained by my colleagues, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) relies on outdated technology that has crashed for hours and has never been reviewed for security flaws by federal officials. Joseph Menne And Lenny Bernstein, The leader of the Senate Finance Committee, which has scheduled a hearing on the issue for Wednesday, became so concerned with its security during a briefing this year that he told the Department of Homeland Security And intelligence officials said they did not “distrust” its security and asked the White House to step in.

“We request you to take immediate steps to secure the National Organ Procurement and Transplant Network system from cyberattacks,” said committee chair ron wyden (D-Orre.) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to the federal chief information officer Claire Martorana,

  • An official from the Office of Management and Budget, which has the team reviewing UNOS, told The Post that it has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to work to “ensure cybersecurity” of the system.

UNOS chief executive Brian Shepard told The Post that the report, which calls for reorganizing the implant system, “reads more like an op-ed” than a research-backed paper. He said that this system is safe and effective.

  • UNOS was audited in 2020 by the Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees it, and last year by the HHS inspector general, which is reviewing its safety controls, UNOS said. A former HHS official familiar with the transplant network said HHS went through a checklist but was not able to access the system.
  • UNOS will soon receive a security penetration test by a firm recommended by HHS, and CISA will review its “cyber hygiene”, UNOS said.
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Israeli police did more than authorized but didn’t hack phone without warrant, investigation finds

Israeli police used hacking tools after receiving a warrant, an Israeli government review concluded. But data collection sometimes exceeds the scope of those warrants, and is a “breach of right”, the review said, as The Associated PressEmily Rose reports. Israel’s government launched an investigation when Israeli news outlet Calcalist reported this year that the country’s police had used NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to hack devices belonging to high-profile politicians and activists. Israel’s Justice Ministry said this year that it had not found evidence to support the report.

“The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said the latest findings show ‘major failures’ that raise concerns about privacy and the rights of suspects,” writes Rose. “It asked the authorities to stop the police from employing such technology until a detailed law is put in place to govern its use.” Israel’s police welcomed the report, arguing that it showed “no intentional activity was committed in violation of the law,” she reports.

Russian citizen charged with operating US political influence (Devlin Barrett)

Austrian spy firm accused by Microsoft says hacking tool was aimed at EU states (Reuters)

Blackcat ransomware claims attack on European gas pipeline (Bleeping Computer)

These Companies Know You’re Pregnant—And They Aren’t Keeping It A Secret (Gizmodo)

Tim Hortons Offers a Free Coffee and Pastries to People Spying on for Over a Year (Motherboard)

‘Imma Make You Dig Your Own Grave’: He Dodges Ransomware Hackers and Gets Death Threats in Return (Motherboard)

Nomad Token Bridge funds $190M in security exploit

  • Dan Pattersonwho was recently a reporter at CBS News, has got included in CyberSixgil as its editorial director.
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hear President Biden’s nomination Nathaniel Fick To be the ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy on Wednesday at 10 am
  • CISA Senior Election Security Advisor Kim Wymanassistant attorney general Kenneth A Humble Jr. And election officials testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
  • Officials of CISA and National Cyber ​​Director Chris InglisOffice speaks at an event at the R Street Institute on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
  • Senate Finance Committee hears United States Organ Transplant Network Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
  • Senate Judiciary Committee to hear on FBI surveillance Thursday at 10 a.m.

Thanks for reading. see you tomorrow.