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World EU wants emergency team for cyber-attacks

16:23  23 june  2021
16:23  23 june  2021 Source:   bbc.com

The rebels working with Islamic State in Central Africa

  The rebels working with Islamic State in Central Africa The activity of the Allied Democratic Forces has recently taken on a more global jihadist dimension.Among the most notorious groups now operating there is Uganda's Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The European Commission has announced plans to build a Joint Cyber Unit to tackle large scale cyber-attacks.

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Recent ransomware incidents on critical services in Ireland and the US has "focused minds", the commission said.

It argued cyber-attacks were a national security threat, as incidents in Europe rose from 432 in 2019 to 756 in 2020.

A dedicated team of multi-national cyber-experts will be rapidly deployed to European countries during serious attacks, it said.

Launching the proposals, European Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas said last month's hack on US fuel supplies was 'the "nightmare scenario that we have to prepare against".

Scott Morrison raises the alarm about escalating cyber attacks with British intelligence chiefs

  Scott Morrison raises the alarm about escalating cyber attacks with British intelligence chiefs New figures show there has been a 200 per cent increase in reports of ransomware attacks to Australia's premier cyber security agency in recent months. A ransomware is a form of malware which encrypts the victim's files whereby the attacker then demands a ransom to restore access to their system.Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie, who will on Tuesday launch the government's new cyber awareness campaign, said small and medium-sized businesses needed to boost their defences and become more aware of the support available from the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Last month, a cyber-criminal gang called Darkside forced the Colonial Pipeline offline for nearly a week, causing panic buying and fuel shortages.

Ransomware hackers use malicious software to scramble and steal an organisation's computer data - charging victims money to return services back to normal.

The US government has also recently formed a Ransomware Task Force, while the UK's National Cyber Security Centre warns that ransomware is the biggest cyber-threat to UK.

The European Commission said that the ongoing ransomware attack on Ireland's health service is another sign that cyber-attacks are a national security issue.

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland was hit by a ransomware group called Conti which scrambled IT systems, causing major disruption to many hospitals.

Why you’re suddenly hearing about ransomware attacks all the time

  Why you’re suddenly hearing about ransomware attacks all the time Biden is going to have a chat with Putin about the cyberattacks.President Joe Biden’s much-anticipated first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will take place on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland. There, he’s expected to discuss the recent flurry of cyberattacks on some of the United States’ most crucial systems and infrastructure, many of which have been traced to Russia.

HSE chief Paul Reid told the Oireachtas health committee on Wednesday that it will take months to fix the system.

He said it will cost as much as €100m (£85m) to recover, and will also have large "human costs".

Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for the internal market, told reporters that the Joint Cyber Unit's rapid reaction teams could have helped Ireland recover from the crisis.

He said the unit would help in similar scenarios by "deploying very quickly a dedicated team which we don't have the capacity to do now. We know that the longer you wait the worse it is, so faster and more solidarity is what you can expect".

Mr Breton insisted that the new unit will not compete with national cyber-entities or duplicate work.

He promised to build a team to provide support virtually and physically, using resources "from one country to another" to deliver operational and technical assistance.

The aim is to ensure that the Joint Cyber Unit will be operational by June next year, and that it will be fully established one year later, by 30 June 2023.

As Classes Resume at UMass Lowell After Cyberattack, MIT Cyber Expert Weighs In .
Stuart Madnick, director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan School of Management (CAMS), said that in terms of cybersecurity infrastructure, the higher education sector sits far behind the manufacturing and energy industries, which in turn fall a decade behind the nation's financial sector.Cybersecurity breaches like the one at Lowell have become a recurring theme over the past year, as attacks like SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline start new conversations around America's ability to defend its cyber infrastructure.

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