US intelligence community priorities. Threats to submarine cables. Potential US budget gain for CISA, FTC cyber programs. Prosecution deferred in an ITAR case


At a glance.

  • US intelligence community priorities.
  • Threats to submarine cables.
  • Potential US budget gain for CISA, FTC cyber programs.
  • Effects of a Deferred Law Enforcement Agreement.

IC priorities: China, Terrorism, Technology and Attitude.

ClearanceJobs summarizes the priorities of the Intelligence Community (IC) as described by the agency’s management in a panel of the Secret Service and National Security Summit 2021. The FBI is focused on counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and mission-oriented talent recruitment, and the Defense Intelligence Agency deals with China, emerging technology, and staff development and retention. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency equips terrorism talents for China tasks and at the same time juggles with the Afghanistan question. The CIA’s priorities include disruptive technology, recruiting, and partnerships. The NSA’s focus is on cybersecurity and promoting collaboration with former employees, and the National Reconnaissance Office’s focus is on innovation and coordination with the Space Force.

The IC leadership also highlighted Iran, Russia and North Korea and the renewed threat of terrorism amid the collapse of Afghanistan and the likely resurgence of al-Qaeda.

Undersea cable (in) security.

Defense One argues that authoritarian regimes, remote management systems and data sensitivity are increasing risks to the subsea cables that carry internet traffic between the coasts in response.

The cables carry more than ninety-five percent of intercontinental traffic, including personal, academic, commercial, and government communications. The shift in the public and private sectors to cloud computing has made data flows tempting targets for APTs and cyber gangs, while cable operators’ migration to remote solutions has made them easier targets. Authoritarian governments like Russia and China, meanwhile, have demonstrated the will and ability to seize communications infrastructure, harass technology companies, monitor and censor online information, block access, and manipulate investments for strategic purposes.

CISA, FTC ready for budget gains, policy pending.

BankInfoSecurity Announces Signs of Hope for CISA and FTC Cyber ​​Projects in House Negotiations over President Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion spending plan. The Homeland Security Committee allocated $ 865 million to CISA, including $ 400 million in support of the Cybersecurity Executive Order, and the Energy and Commerce Committee approved $ 1 billion for a new FTC privacy bureau. The bill still has to overcome a number of hurdles in the House of Representatives and the Senate to become law. At that point, the funds would be spread over the next decade.

The purpose of the CISA payout, commented former DHS official Mike Hamilton, “appears to ensure that CISA can hire the manpower it takes to complete a prayer”. [the tasks it’s been assigned]some of which seem very open. “

An agreement on deferred law enforcement and its implications for the cybersecurity sector.

The Deferred Prosecution Agreement the US Department of Justice concluded with three US government alumni who later worked for the Emirati cybersecurity firm DarkMatter provides an insightful look at how US attorneys are dealing with activity that violates a number of violating laws, cyber operations and exports. The laws the government claims the three men (Marc Baier, Ryan Adams, and Daniel Gericke) were violated were 18 USC Section 371 (Conspiracy), 22 USC Section 2778 (Arms Export Control Act), 22 CFR Parts 120- 130 (International Traffic in Guns Regulations), 18 USC § 103 (Fraud and related activities involving computers), and 18 USC § 1029 (Fraud involving access devices).

Official comments in Justice’s press release give a clear picture of how they view such activity:

“‘This agreement is the first of its kind in an investigation into two distinct types of criminal activity: the provision of unlicensed export-controlled defense services in support of the exploitation of computer networks and a commercial company that specifically designs, supports and operates systems”. designed to allow others to access data without authorization from computers around the world, including in the United States, ”said Deputy Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. “Hackers-for-hire and those who otherwise support such activities in violation of US law should fully expect to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct.”

“’Left unregulated, the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities is undermining privacy and security around the world. In accordance with our rules on the international arms trade, the United States ensures that US persons provide defense services in support of such capabilities only under appropriate licenses and supervision, ”said Acting US Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia. “The status of a US person as a former employee of the US government certainly does not give them a free pass in this regard.”

“The FBI will conduct extensive investigations into individuals and companies who benefit from illegal cyber criminal activity,” said the FBI’s cyber deputy director Bryan Vorndran. “This is a clear message to everyone, including former US government officials, who have considered using cyberspace to exploit export-controlled information to the benefit of a foreign government or foreign trading company – there is a risk and there will be consequences.” ”

Former government officials shouldn’t expect prosecutors to fire them. You should know better than that. Your regular exercise includes many warnings:

“‘Today’s announcement sheds light on the illegal activities of three former members of the US intelligence community and the military,” said Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Executive Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “These individuals have chosen to ignore warnings and use their years of experience to support and enhance a foreign government’s offensive cyber operations. These charges and the associated penalties make it clear that the FBI will continue to investigate such violations. ‘”

The three defendants are expected under the agreement to assist the government in its ongoing investigation. Security companies operating internationally should also be aware of how their products can break the law. MIT Technology Review has a report on what the three people bought and who they bought it from.

Ilia Kolochenko, founder of ImmuniWeb and a member of the Europol Data Protection Experts Network, believes the way the Deferred Law Enforcement Agreement reclaims wages is a good lesson that the security community should consider:

“The $ 1.6 million DPA is a good reminder to the US penetration testing community that many offensive operations in the digital space are now regulated. The US has an overriding national interest in preventing advanced cyber weapons, such as 0day RCE vulnerabilities in iOS, from leaving the country and serving foreign interests. The problem is that in the future, the fine line between simply providing penetration testing services and developing cyber weapons will become even more blurred, so that some of the most skilled cybersecurity professionals will only be able to work for overseas companies if they are ITAR authorized. Other western countries are likely to enforce similar regimes to prevent hostile foreign nations from exploiting their cyber knowledge base and talent. “


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