A Review of the Best News of the Week on Cybersecurity Management & Strategy

To Pay or Not To Pay? That Is the (Ransomware) Question (Dark Reading, Jul 01 2019)
From Albany, New York, to Atlanta, Georgia, to Del Rio, Texas, cities across the US have been hit with ransomware attacks.

Cloudflare outage caused by bad software deploy (updated) (The Cloudflare Blog, Jul 05 2019)
“For about 30 minutes today, visitors to Cloudflare sites received 502 errors caused by a massive spike in CPU utilization on our network. This CPU spike was caused by a bad software deploy that was rolled back. Once rolled back the service returned to normal operation and all domains using Cloudflare returned to normal traffic levels.

Broadcom in Talks to Acquire Symantec in $15 Billion Deal: Reports (SecurityWeek, Jul 03 2019)
Chipmaker Broadcom is in advanced talks to acquire cybersecurity giant Symantec in a deal that could exceed $15 billion, according to several news outlets.

One of My Favorite Things
Since I started this curated newsletter in June 2017, I’ve clipped ~10,000 articles and narrowed them down into the best 20 per day & best 15 per week. This is my favorite way to cut through all the security marketing and hype. If you’re enjoying it, tell a friend. If you hate it, tell an enemy.
Thanks! – Lucas Samaras

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Baltimore approves $10M for ransomware relief, expects $18M in damages (SC Magazine, Jun 28 2019)
Baltimore officials approved using $10 million in excess revenue to cover ongoing expenses related to a ransomware attack that immobilized several of the cities computer systems in early May. The city’s budget office estimates the total cost of responding to the attack will be $18 million after threat actors demanded $80,000 in ransom to unlock…

I’m Leaving IBM (Schneier on Security, Jun 28 2019)
“If you’ve been following along, IBM bought my startup Resilient Systems in Spring 2016. Since then, I have been with IBM, holding the nicely ambiguous title of “Special Advisor.” As of the end of the month, I will be back on my own.”

Google Cloud + Chronicle: The security moonshot joins Google Cloud (Google Cloud Blog, Jun 27 2019)
“We’re excited to announce that Chronicle, Alphabet’s enterprise security company born in the X moonshot factory, is joining Google Cloud. This union will create a powerful and comprehensive security portfolio that will benefit all of our customers.”

Ryuk, Ryuk, Ryuk: Georgia’s courts hit by ransomware (Ars Technica, Jul 01 2019)
It looks like another Ryuk ransomware campaign is responsible.

Lake City Employee Fired Following Ransom Payment (Dark Reading, Jul 02 2019)
The Florida city approved its insurer to pay $460,000 in ransom for a cyberattack that shut down servers, email, and phone.

Cybersecurity crisis communication: How to do it well (Help Net Security, Jul 02 2019)
…the first step of defining a crisis management strategy should be to undestand what a crisis could be within your specific organization. Next: you’ll need to identify a crisis comms committee – a group of people working across the business who will be responsible for the strategy and for seeing it through.

Gay dating app fined $240,000 for leaking nudes and other personal data (SC Magazine, Jul 01 2019)
The makers of the gay dating app Jack’d was fined $240,000 by the New York Attorney General’s Office for leaking private data and nude photos.  Online Buddies, Inc. was charged with failure to protect private photos of users of its ‘Jack’d’ dating application, and the nude images of approximately 1,900 users…

European Legislation and the American Tech Industry (SecurityWeek, Jul 01 2019)
It may sound far-fetched, but American tech firms could be excused for wondering if the European Union is using consumer-oriented legislation as a form of protectionism for its smaller industry against foreign giants.

New York Legislature passes bill that toughens breach notification standards (SC Magazine, Jul 02 2019)
The New York State Legislature last month passed The Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act, which is intended to strengthen the state’s data security laws by more explicitly defining when and how businesses must notify the public and attorney general of a data breach incident.

U.S. Virgin Islands hit with ransomware and BEC attack (SC Magazine, Jul 02 2019)
The U.S. Virgin Islands Police department was hit with a ransomware attack in April that targeted servers housing internal affairs records and citizen complaints while the territory’s water department was separately hit with a business email compromise (BEC).

Digital License Plates (Schneier on Security, Jul 03 2019)
“They’re a thing: ‘Developers say digital plates utilize “advanced telematics” — to collect tolls, pay for parking and send out Amber Alerts when a child is abducted. They also help recover stolen vehicles by changing the display to read “Stolen,” thereby alerting everyone within eyeshot.’ This makes no sense to me. The numbers are static. License plates being low-tech are a feature, not a bug.”

Trump administration did right thing with cyberattack against Iran, say experts (Washington Post, Jul 02 2019)
By responding with a digital attack, the Trump administration signaled it won’t tolerate Iran’s aggressiveness but avoided escalating the conflict as much as a conventional military counterattack would have, according to 59 percent of respondents to The Network — an ongoing, informal survey of more than 100 cybersecurity experts from government, academia and the private sector.

More Than Half of SMB Devices Run Outdated Operating Systems (Dark Reading, Jul 03 2019)
66% of devices in small-to midsized businesses are based on expired or about-to-expire Microsoft OS versions, Alert Logic study found.

29 VPN Services Owned by Six China-Based Organizations (Infosecurity Magazine, Jul 03 2019)
Analysis of 97 top VPNs shows services are owned by only 23 parent companies.

Canadian intelligence agencies warn of election tampering (SC Magazine, Jul 03 2019)
The Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is warning that nation’s elected officials of attempts by foreign actors to influence the country’s upcoming October 21 election, according to published reports.

EFF, OTI Respond to UK’s Online Harms Legislative Proposal (SecurityWeek, Jul 05 2019)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) have published their combined response to the UK government’s Online Harms White Paper. The white paper, published in April 2019, with a public consultation period ending July 1, 2019, proposes legislation designed to increase the safety of users online.