Most weeks, it is far outside the normal job responsibilities for cybersecurity professionals to understand what the United States (or other governments) do to find or use computer vulnerabilities. Just stay patched and keep the board of directors happy. This is not one of those weeks.
This week we learned that the National Security Agency disclosed to Microsoft that it had discovered a major vulnerability (dubbed CVE-2020-0601) in Windows 10. A Washington Post article, by veteran cyber journalist Ellen Nakashima, declared this to be a “a major shift in the NSA’s approach, choosing to put computer security ahead of building up its arsenal of hacking tools that allow the agency to spy on adversaries’ networks.”
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The Olympic Games remain one of the most-watched events in the world, with billions tuning in across digital platforms and traditional broadcasting channels. Its high-profile nature makes it a target for malicious activity, but with the games’ increased digitization and with nation-state propaganda motives at play, cyberattacks are on the rise. As we approach the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, it is essential to understand the risks and likely actors that will attempt to jeopardize the security and integrity of the upcoming Olympics.
On January 3, 2020, Iran’s Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRCG-QF) was killed by a US drone strike. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared that “harsh revenge” awaits those who led the strike against Suleimani. The military advisor to Khamenei stated that Iran’s response would “for sure be military” and directed against US military sites. It is hard to tell what the full nature of Iran’s response will be, history has shown they have an ability to surprise. However, we assess the most likely response will be state sponsored destructive cyber attacks done in a way that implies they were launched by Iran but still offer some level of ambiguity over source. We also assess increased attacks by hacktivist supporters of Iran.
The top stories on OODA Loop provide good insight into what issues will be top of mind for executives and experts going into 2020. Here are the 20 most popular posts of the year.