Friday Five: Governments Cracking Down on Breaches and Ransomware, SolarWinds CISO Charged, & More
A recent spike in ransomware has prompted dozens of countries to agree to stop paying ransoms. Meanwhile, the FTC is amending its data breach reporting rules, CISA may be seeing budget cuts, and a high-profile CISO was charged with fraud. Catch up on it all in this week's Friday Five!
BUDGET CUTS AT CISA COULD AFFECT ENTERPRISE CYBERSECURITY BY ROBERT LEMOS
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is facing budget cuts due to opposition over its efforts to combat disinformation about US elections. Last month, half of House Republicans voted for a 25% budget cut for CISA, and Senator Rand Paul has blocked cybersecurity legislation over concerns that CISA is censoring free speech. These legislative efforts could hinder CISA's mission to defend federal networks and aid critical infrastructure operators against cyberattacks. The agency has seen bipartisan budget increases over the past five years, but any budget cuts could disrupt its work, which includes cybersecurity advisories, vulnerability management, and open source software security.
FTC ORDERS NON-BANK FINANCIAL FIRMS TO REPORT BREACHES IN 30 DAYS BY BILL TOULAS
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has amended the Safeguards Rules, requiring non-banking financial institutions like investment firms, insurance companies, and peer-to-peer lenders to report data breaches affecting 500 or more consumers within 30 days. The rule applies when unauthorized third parties access unencrypted consumer information. The notification must include details about the breach and the potential impact. However, breaches involving encrypted information, with no access to encryption keys, are exempt. The new requirement will be effective from April 2024, aiming to enhance data security and transparency among financial institutions.
SEC CHARGES AGAINST SOLARWINDS CISO SEND SHOCKWAVES THROUGH SECURITY RANKS BY BECKY BRACKEN
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged SolarWinds and its CISO Tim Brown with fraud and internal control failures related to the 2020 supply chain cyberattack on the company. The charges stem from discrepancies between what Brown and other employees said internally versus what was disclosed to investors. The SEC alleges that SolarWinds misrepresented its cybersecurity practices and Brown personally profited from inflated stock prices before they plummeted due to the cyberattack. SolarWinds and Brown have vowed to fight the charges in court. The case raises questions about CISO accountability and potential impacts on the CISO role in the cybersecurity community.
SECURITY RESEARCHERS OBSERVED ‘DELIBERATE’ TAKEDOWN OF NOTORIOUS MOZI BOTNET BY CARLY PAGE
Security researchers have observed what appears to be a takedown of the Mozi botnet, which had infiltrated over a million Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide. Mozi is a peer-to-peer IoT botnet known for exploiting weak passwords and exploits to compromise home routers and digital video recorders. Researchers from ESET noted a significant drop in Mozi's activity in August 2023, indicating that an update to Mozi bots had stripped them of their functionality. ESET suggests this could be a deliberate takedown by the original Mozi creators or Chinese law enforcement. The update used a private signing key, suggesting insider involvement.
FOUR DOZEN COUNTRIES DECLARE THEY WON’T PAY RANSOMWARE RANSOMS BY AJ VICENS
A consortium of around 48 countries, along with the European Union and Interpol, will pledge not to pay ransoms as part of ransomware attacks. The commitment is part of a joint policy statement and will be declared as part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative's meeting. The effort aims to tackle the root cause of ransomware by halting its financing. The consortium also plans to share a list of blacklisted cryptocurrency wallets associated with ransomware operations. The true number of ransomware attacks has been increasing, making international cooperation essential to address the issue.