11 Jan 2022

Kazakhstan Says Russia to Withdraw Troops in Wake of Unrest

Russia-led forces that entered Kazakhstan to support the government after protests caused instability will begin to withdraw in two days. The Kazakh president announced the withdrawal on Tuesday as he named a loyalist as prime minister. President Kassym Jomart Tokayev stated that the mission had been successful. The stage-by-stage pullout

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11 Jan 2022

A Joint Cybersecurity Advisory from CISA, FBI and NSA: Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Threats to U.S. Critical Infrastructure

As we have mentioned a few times here at OODA Loop, we are very discerning in our amplification of US-CERT e-mail notifications.  Emergency Directives and Joint Cybersecurity Advisories (CSAs) are the exceptions.   The Joint CSA released today by CISA, the FBI, and the NSA is very much aligned with our coverage of the current tension in Ukraine and the role of cyber and information threat vectors in gray-zone conflicts. Following are the details of the Joint CSA.

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10 Jan 2022

Kazakh leader declares ‘coup d’etat’ over as Putin claims victory

More than 160 people died in the violent unrest in Kazakhstan and its president called the protests and attempted coup d’etat on Monday. Russia also claimed victory in defending its neighbor during the attempted coup. The president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said order had been restored in an online meeting of the

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06 Jan 2022

Russia-led military alliance will send ‘peacekeepers’ to protest-hit Kazakhstan, Armenian PM says

Armenia has announced that it plans to send peacekeepers from a Russia-led military alliance of post-Soviet states  to Kazakhstan to help stabilize the country amid deadly protests against fuel prices. Armenia’s Prime Minister made the announcement Wednesday. The alliance, known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) includes Russia, Belarus,

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31 Dec 2021

Ukraine tensions: Putin tells Biden new sanctions could rupture ties

In a phone call late Thursday, Vladimir Putin warned Joe Biden that new sanctions over Ukraine could lead to the breakdown of all relations between the US and Russia. He warned that new sanctions would be a “colossal mistake.” Biden warned that the US and its allies would respond strongly

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31 Dec 2021

Biden, Putin Plan Call at What U.S. Says Is a ‘Moment of Crisis’ Over Ukraine

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin made plans to talk on Thursday ahead of high-level negotiations designed to deal with crisis over Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine. The call was reportedly requested by Russia, according to a senior official in the Biden administration. Moscow has been pressing the US

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28 Dec 2021

Russia Fines Google $100m Over “Illegal” Content

Russia has fined Google a record-breaking $100 million after the company allegedly failed to remove banned content. A Russian court issued the financial penalty on Friday in response to Google’s lack of action against the unauthorized content. Even though the fine is one of the largest of its kind ever

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28 Dec 2021

Russian court orders oldest civil rights group Memorial to shut

Russia’s Supreme Court has ordered the International Memorial to end its activism and shut down its operations. International Memorial is Russia’s oldest human rights group and has worked to recover the memory of millions of innocent people who were executed, imprisoned, or persecuted during the Soviet era. According to Russian

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27 Dec 2021

What’s In Store for Nation State Cyber Activity in 2022?

As 2021 winds down, online cybersecurity journals and cyber experts are providing their cyber threat forecasts for the new year. Ransomware, cloud security, supply chain attacks, and of course critical infrastructure are common themes in many of these prognostications. Cybercrime will continue to flourish, data privacy will remain at the forefront of many privacy advocates’ minds, and security proponents will beat the drum of the implementation of “zero trust” strategies for their enterprises. Nation-states will invariably dominate the 2022 news cycle with respect to malicious cyber activities.

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22 Dec 2021

C-Suite Guide: Improving Cybersecurity Posture Before Russia Invades Ukraine

The capabilities of Russia to conduct cyber espionage and cyber attack have been battle tested and are hard to thwart even during daily “peacetime” operations. They include well resourced capabilities of the military and intelligence services and also deep technical expertise in the Russian business ecosystem and in organized crime which operates as part of Russian national power. Proof points of Russian capabilities include the massive and sophisticated Solar Winds attacks which leveraged low and slow, well thought out plans to achieve access to multiple well-protected targets. Ransomware successes by Russian based criminal networks are also instructive as to the capability of Russian cyber threat actors. The use of malicious self replicating code (worms/virus/trojan) to spread malicious code into infrastructure is also well proven with decades of practice including fielding software that replicates from unclassified to classified systems in the military and spreads throughout critical infrastructure.

This post goes beyond an articulation of the threat into recommendations leaders seeking to mitigate cyber threats from Russia including threats before, during and after a Ukraine invasion.

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