Each week I will highlight some of the most interesting developments in the cybersecurity space to both enlighten and encourage each of us to maintain our personal cyber hygiene.
Please upvote and follow if you find this information useful. As always, please feel free to share.
(1) Hackers Stole A Casino's High-Roller Database Through A Thermometer In The Lobby Fish Tank
Yep, you read that right. The internet of things is being touted as the latest mega trend (well, at least within the investment newsletter sales promo industry), yet it is creating quite the headache for cybersecurity providers.
Darktrace, a cybersecurity firm, has explained how hackers are increasingly targeting IoT devices to gain a foothold within the victim’s larger network. They uncovered a case where hackers were able to establish a connection to a casino’s secure network via a thermostat within a fish tank in the casino’s lobby.
Once inside of the network, they exfiltrated a database with the personal information of the casino’s high-roller clientele by routing the information out through the same thermostat and up to the cloud. It’s just like Ocean’s Eleven, except the main character is likely operating in his pajamas!
(2) Ohio Wesleyan Alumnus Using Physics to Improve Safety of Online Information
Encryption is the name of the game. But how secure are current encryption techniques? And what happens when quantum computing is achieved (e.g. computing abilities reach a point where it becomes feasible for computers to break encryption and obtain private keys with relative ease)?
These are the questions that those at the forefront of the blockchain industry are moving towards understanding, identifying, and solving. It is becoming clear that whomever achieves artificial intelligence and quantum computing (chicken or egg, really) will have the competitive edge, geopolitically, and the ability to wreak havoc on existing supply chains, economic systems, and entire social structure systems.
Should one nation achieve an edge in these quantum computing technologies (China appears to be in the lead, by the way), it will have considerable leverage over those without this technology, as they will be able to break all encryption. Remember how Turing broke the Nazi enigma code, or how we used Navajo code talkers during World War II?
Secure communications are everything in the world of warfare, and beyond war, a functional economic system. This PhD student is going to have research experience that will be in high demand on the open market. Keep an eye on this space.
(3) Russian Hackers Are Compromising Network Devices Worldwide
Nearly everyone seems to be cracking jokes about how “the Russians hacked it.” While it is comical, the truth is that the Russians seem to be getting their cyber resources into as many avenues as possible, seemingly in preparation. But for what?
I do not want to insinuate war (and all its terror) is coming, but I have long suspected that the next Black Swan event will be one that originates in the cyber world. What it is and its ramifications remain to be seen, however what you can do today is make sure that you do not have all your liquid assets within the financial system. Meaning, own some physical assets that are not under custody of your bank, your government, or anyone besides yourself.
Make sure you have a rainy-day fund that you can draw upon should the worst happen. While I remain optimistic and find this event unlikely, what is the point of all of this reading and learning if you are not prepared to deal with the cards that you may be dealt. After all, weirder things have happened.
(4) Pentagon Bans Chinese Devices From US Military Bases
It is evident that the US Government is against Chinese telecoms and Chinese tech, in general, gaining influence over the American market. What fascinates me with this narrative of US banning Chinese goods is the fact that the China-US trade relationship is the primary trade partnerships in terms of global GDP.
If the two largest economies are losing faith in each other’s services, products, and intentions, then what does that mean for the global economy moving forward? Long protectionism, unfortunately, seems the rational position.
“If the hard-working American people are going to be hacked and data-mined, it will be by an American tech company, dammit!” – Washington Lifer
(5) Massive Cyber Attack Targets Mid-Atlantic Nation 'Berylia'
This article piqued my interest. Just like how NATO recently held the largest war games (practice) in Eastern Europe since the Cold War, they are now actively holding war games in cyber.
All this to the misfortune of the tiny, albeit non-existent, nation of Berylia whom will play victim to the largest cyber war simulation ever seen. The simulation will include attacks on civilian and military systems, such as, the electrical power grid, 4G communications, military bases, and drone operations.
"A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." – George Patton Jr.