U.S. Cyber Signaling to North Korea

Interesting article in CFR about a DDOS attack that President Trump authorized United States Cyber Command to conduct against North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB).  In all likelihood, the DDOS attack against North Korea’s intelligence agency, coupled with a leak of its occurrence and a post-hoc claim of responsibility by the U.S. government, represented an attempt by the Trump administration to send a costly signal of resolve to Pyongyang……This may account for why a member of the Trump administration chose to leak information about a DDOS attack, rather than a more costly attack that would require the United States to maintain persistent access North Korean networks……..If a state is seeking to send a signal via cyber means, how can it ensure the signal is received by the adversary and properly attributed? It could couple a cyber signal with other instruments of power, especially private diplomatic channels or public statements. This may account for the Trump administration’s “leak”—it is possible that it was intentional to ensure that North Korea was able to attribute the DDOS attack, after the fact, to the United States. 

….given the covert nature of state cyber operations, there are almost certainly things the public doesn’t know, necessitating reasoned hypothesizing about this case. That said, the available evidence suggests that this was a poor attempt at cyber signaling. Even beyond the inherent difficulties associated with signaling in cyberspace, the difference between the President’s tweets and DDOS could only muddy the waters. This example only confirms that cyber is not an ideal signaling tool, and this particular signal may have done more harm than good.

 

HT: Lost in Cyber Translation? U.S. Cyber Signaling to North Korea

Kaspersky

There was a great article from the Council on Foreign Relations regarding the hypocrisy surrounding Kaspersky since the U.S. government earlier this month banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky Lab software.  Best Buy is getting in on the action and will stop selling Kaspersky products because of possible(?) ties to the Russian government.  Why doesn’t Best Buy get rid of some of the other shit-for-security products on its shelves as well if it’s so concerned about security?

The U.S. House Science Committee received a classified briefing Tuesday related to Kaspersky.  I’d really wish some more details over the alleged collusion between Kaspersky and the Russian government would see the light of day.

And what would a Kaspersky post be without an RT link!?  ‘It’s crazy’: Kaspersky Lab attacked in US only for being Russian, says founder

Old Passwords

I went into my password vault the other day to retrieve a password.  For the application in question I had noted in the comments “old password may be ________”.  I’m not sure why I felt the need at some point to record a previous password.  This is terrible opsec practice to leave old passwords lying around.  Ask yourself, how many folks do you think use old passwords as seeds for new passwords?

monkey12 -> monkey123

password! -> password!!

mommieOct06 -> MommieDec08

Coast Guard Prints Spare Parts While at Sea

Wow, imagine the possibilities….

The U.S. Coast Guard is developing the use of 3-D printers to create spare parts on board its ships.The technology has already been used to produce spare parts, and is now being trialed more widely to print parts that are not normally kept on vessels and which may be difficult to source. The Coast Guard said this will improve mission readiness and logistical support.

“Sometimes those parts have lead times of weeks… maybe months, depending on the workload of the manufacturer,” said Captain Joseph Dugan, manager for the National Security Cutter Program.

HT: CIPS

Russians give up!

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet regulator, decided to end its blogger registry because it has become inefficient. In 2014, Russia passed a regulation requiring bloggers to register which would monitor their blogs for content deemed illegal. The regulation’s intent was to eliminate anonymous blogging and to curtail libel and defamation, but bloggers believed “the goal [was] to kill off the political blogosphere,” according to a popular anti-Putin blogger.

HT: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vedomosti.ru%2Fpolitics%2Farticles%2F2017%2F08%2F01%2F727388-roskomnadzor-reestr-blogerov&edit-text=