BT and Europol sign agreement to share cybersecurity intelligence data


The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and communications company BT have joined forces in an agreement to exchange threat intelligence data.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by both parties at Europol’s in The Hague in the Netherlands, which along with the creation of a framework to share knowledge of cybersecurity threats and attacks, will also help in facilitating sharing of information relating to cybersecurity trends, measures, technical expertise, and industry practices to reinforce cybersecurity in Europe.

To this end, BT will work alongside Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), helping in identifying cyber threats and strengthening law enforcement response to cyber crimes.

“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding between Europol and BT will improve our capabilities and increase our effectiveness in preventing, prosecuting and disrupting cybercrime,” said Steve Wilson, Head of Business at EC3. “Working co-operation of this type between Europol and industry is the most effective way in which we can hope to secure cyberspace for European citizens and businesses. I am confident that the high level of expertise that BT bring will result in a significant benefit to our Europe wide investigations.”

BT became, earlier in the year, the first telecom provider to share information on malicious websites and softwares with other internet service providers (ISPs) via a free online portal, called the Malware Information Sharing Platform (MISP), to help them in tackling cyber threats.

The company will now share that information with Europol to aid in cybercrime investigations.

“We at BT have long held the view that coordinated, cross border collaboration is key to stemming the global cyber-crime epidemic,” Kevin Brown, VP, BT Security Threat Intelligence, said. “We’re working with other law enforcement agencies in a similar vein to better share cybersecurity intelligence, expertise and best practice to help them expose and take action against the organised gangs of cybercriminals lurking in the dark corners of the web.”

BT currently has a team of more than 2,500 cybersecurity experts who have so far helped to identify and share information on more than 200,000 malicious domains.


New report says IoT adoption heightens cybersecurity threat

A new report by Navigant Research says that due to the increasing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems, threats to cybersecurity are also increasing as attackers are given more numbers of “vectors and surfaces” to target.

The report looks at the state of IoT as a whole, not just its utilities, and addresses questions such as common vulnerabilities present in IoT settings, strategies for cybersecurity, global revenue forecast on IoT security, etc. It also examines regulatory frameworks shaping the market and steps that can be taken to minimize risk.

Oracle Chairman, Larry Ellison, says that companies are losing this cyber war and that, “Make no mistake, it’s a war.”

“The mushrooming number of IoT devices being deployed by utilities and other enterprises carries an obvious and growing security risk,” said Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Smart managers need a comprehensive strategy to stay ahead of potentially devastating threats to IoT assets.”

He added that managers can no longer rely on the “old-school reactive” approach but must instead adopt “latest proactive and predictive tools and methodologies to keep devices and systems safe.”

The report itself is aimed at utility security managers, enterprises, IoT cybersecurity solution vendors, investor groups, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Hacker Group threatens students and schools

According to a warning issued by the Cyber Division of the FBI and the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General on 31 January, a hacker group called “TheDarkOverlord” (TDO) has tried to sell over 100 million private records and as for January, is responsible for over 69 attacks on schools and other businesses.

TDO is also allegedly responsible for the release of over 200,000 records including the PII of over 7,000 students due to nonpayment of ransoms.

The warning describes the group as “a loosely affiliated group of highly trained hackers” who, since April 2016, have “conducted various extortion schemes with a recent focus on the public school system.”

The warning says that TDO uses remote access tools to breach school district networks and steal sensitive data, which they then use to extort money from its victims, including students.

According to the report, TDO has also threatened violence in case of failure to meet demands.

Initially, TDO communicated their demands via email with threats of publicly releasing stolen data, but the warning notes that in September 2017, “TDO escalated its tactics by threatening school shootings through text messages and emails directed at students, staff, and local law enforcement officials.”

This caused several schools to shut down for few days as a precaution.

TDO was allegedly connected to multiple threats of violence on school campuses, however, the report says that while these threats caused panic, they “provided TDO with no apparent monetary gain.”

In a recent incident, TDO threatened to publicize the sensitive behavioral reports and private health information of students.

The FBI also recommends that victims do not give in to the ransom demands, as it does not guarantee regaining access to sensitive data. Rather, they advice to contact law enforcement, retain the original emails as evidence, and maintain a timeline of the attack, if possible.

The Team8 Portfolio Company, comes Out of Stealth and launches its First Product upon a Disruptive Hybrid Architecture

The Israeli cyber security company Hysolate founded by President Tal Zamir, a veteran of an elite Israeli cyber unit and the former Research and development leader in Wanova, Dan Dinnar, former CEO of HexaTier and executive sales officer at CyberArk Programming, has recently made the news for raising around $8 million, led by the cuber security foundry Team8 and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors.

In light of the rising number of cyber threats the Team8 portfolio organization, has at last left stealth and instituted its first product.

There have been occasions that have in some way or the other found a way to keep the enterprises indentured to regularly attempt to lock down user devices, keeping the users from fully browsing the web, installing in new applications, interfacing USB devices or communicating adequately with the 3rd parties or the cloud.

In different cases, enterprises are made to embrace an "air gap" security display or model that requires the clients to really carry two laptops: one unhindered laptop for full internet use and another entirely restricted laptop for favoured corporate access. While this significantly enhances security, efficiency or in yet other words productivity is additionally corrupted. This however never fails to further frustrate the employees and fundamentally brings about the abatement of efficiency.

Hysolate, while keeping up the most elevated level of security, enables enterprises to run various next to each other working system on a solitary workstation, giving a consistent experience to the end-users. The start-up is known for building its stage upon an option "hybrid" design that disposes of these difficulties.

Zamir said, "While we are proud to introduce Hysolate, what excites us even more is that we are creating game-changing comprehensive security architecture for endpoints. The feedback we have received from our first customers - who include some of the worlds most respected and well-known brands - over the last year has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to rapidly expanding our customer and partner base over the next year."

Indeed, even Nadav Zafrir, Co-Founder and CEO of Team8 concurs that while most enterprise security products concentrate on security first and users last, Hysolate is "secure-by-design", guaranteeing no compromise on both security and user experience. What's more, he additionally adds that since its beginning, the Hysolate group has far surpassed their expectations.

Hysolate, as of now is even working with some of the biggest enterprises in the world, including a few of the world's biggest banks, innovation and technology merchants, money related service providers and other enterprise organizations and remains the fourth company to be launched out of Team8, joining Illusive Networks, Claroty and the recently launched Sygnia.



AIG Launches New Cyber Threat Analysis Service to Understand Cyber Risks

American International Group Inc., an American multinational insurance company, has launched a new system for cyber threat analysis.

The system scores companies on the degree to which a cyber attack may affect their business and the potential costs involved. It compares the company’s risk of having a breach to the safeguards it has in place.

Tracy Grella, AIG’s Global Head of Cyber Risk Insurance, in an interview said, “AIG’s underwriters have been using the computerized analysis since November, which combines information from a new insurance application designed for the process and data about current cyber threats to generate scores on various related factors.”

With mounting cyber threat to businesses, this system hopes to provide a way to measure the risk involved in a business so that cyber coverage in insurance may be taken into consideration.

This comes after AIG in October said that they will review all coverage types to check for cyber risk and give insurers a clear picture about cyber coverage and estimated financial exposure. They will also create a cyber-risk report for the customers with the analysis scores for understanding and comparing.

Along with this, AIG also announced their partnership with cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike Inc and Darktrace, on Tuesday, to launch CyberMatics, a service that verifies information AIG receives from customers’ cybersecurity tools.

Darktrace Chief Executive, Nicole Eagan, said, “The service uses artificial intelligence, or the ability of machines to carry out tasks normally associated with human intelligence, to look inside an insured company’s network for strengths and vulnerabilities.”

Tracy Grella said that while companies are not required to use the service, those who do may be able to negotiate more favourable policy terms.