CyberSecurity Pulse 2015-12-17

CyberSecurity Pulse 2015-12-17

Analyst Insight

The Protesters Kit Is Getting Closer: Backslash

The technification of the gubernamental monitoring programs is encouraging the appearance of more sophisticated tools to control protests and riots. High Resolution cameras, Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) or the usage of UAVs equipped with pepper spray and other less-than-lethal weaponry already approved in India and North Dakota are good examples of the trends. In this context, the development of defensive devices is becoming an increasingly pressing need for protesters.

cybernews1There is where the protesters’ kit designed by Pedro G. C. Oliveira and Xuedi Chen arises as part of the Backslash project presented in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the New York University. Based on the past opposition practices come across by protesters around the globe, Oliveira and Chen have developed a functional kit that makes an innovative use of technology to counter technology. The creation of portable networks in a Firechat-style way to permit the Wifi communication amongst peers even if the access to the internet has been blocked or the design of a device that works as an improvised document repository free of metadata are examples of how to provide the protest with an in situ minimal technological infrastructure. To these hardware elements, they have added a device to override the output signals emitted by mobile devices, a bracelet with a panic button included so as to warn other protesters or a bandana that can represent different messages using QR codes depending on how it has been folded.

Although the project has been presented in an academic environment, the authors want to denounce the technology gap existing between authorities and protesters. Once again, the need has become a foster for creativity.

Top Stories

UK Will Promote Cybersecurity Experts as Reservists to Develop Offensive Skills

cybernews2The Joint Forces Cyber Group led by the British government is committed to the inclusion of civil talent in the Armed Forces in order to improve their e-skills. Beyond the limits of the development of defense cybercapabilities, the National Offensive Cyber Programme has materialized the collaboration between the Ministry of Defense and the GCHQ to deploy the offensive tools and techniques required by the UK. Although a career in the Armed Forces does not seem to match a lot with the hacker culture, the government has lately created some part-time reservist positions so as to complement the specific needs of the different British military units in this area. Apart from advanced cybersecurity knowledge and being a UK or Commonwealth citizen, the candidates must commit to the minimum annual training lasting from 19 to 27 days a year, including a number of weekend duties spread throughout this period.

» More information at Ars Technica UK and » Government Digital Service

Questions to Answer After a Security Breach

cybernews3In spite of the dedicated efforts to prepare against potential security breaches, it is advisable to keep doing them if you want to minimize costs linked to reputational damages and information losses. Professionals who came together this week to unify visions on how to prepare for possible attacks have been discussing these and other issues related to the evolution of protection measures in terms of cybersecurity. The technological infrastructures of nowadays companies have grown with the use of numerous devices and its management is no longer as simple as before. The highlights of the meeting were related to the relationship with the media in order not to alarm the users unnecessarily, the insufficient information on the costs of cyberinsurances, the need to educate employees to know how vulnerable we are and the need to meet the evolving threats to anticipate them.

» More information at SC Magazine

Rest of the Week´s News

France Won’t Block Public Wi-Fi or Ban Tor After Terror Attack

Public Wi-Fi networks and Tor won’t be blocked or forbidden in France in the near future, even during a state of emergency. The country’s Ministry of Interior, Manuel Valls, said he had never heard about such requests by police. “Internet is a freedom, is an extraordinary means of communication between people. It is also a means for terrorists to communicate and spread their totalitarian ideology. Thus, the police must take in all of these aspects to improve their fight against terrorism, but the measures we take must be effective”, Valls said.

» More information at Ars Technica

Twitter Warns of State-Sponsored Attacks on Its Users

A warning email sent by the platform’s network security staff was tweeted yesterday by several Twitter users. In the email, the users were alerted that they may have been affected by cyberattacks on their accounts that the security team thought to be part of a possible state-sponsored attack. Google and Facebook have previously been the only companies to warn their customers about probable state-sponsored attacks.

» More information at SC Magazine UK

The Tokyo Police Willing to Stop Malicious Activities by Drones

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police prepares for potential malicious activities perpetrated by drones. As soon as a rogue drone is spotted in the sky, the squad will first attempt to contact its operator and order him to land the drone. However, if the drone operator fails to comply, the anti-drone squad will release their Net-Wielding Drone to capture the drone and drag it away to safety. This move came in the wake of last April’s incident in which the Japanese authorities found a suspicious drone carrying radioactive material from the Fukushima Prefecture onto the roof of the Japan Prime Minister’s Office.

» More information at The Hacker News