Cybersecurity

Rob Lubar, the NSA’s new cybersecurity director, said: “Bring me the memes.”

There was a time when the National Security Agency (NSA) was considered the bad boy of cybersecurity. condemned Microsoft President’s Remarks on NSA’s “Stockpiling of Vulnerabilities” eternal blue and eternal romance The exploit was stolen and weaponized in the 2017 WannaCrypt attack. General manager of backdoor manufacturer Instead of being a reliable partner for defenders. How have times changed?

post-snowden leakspost-Shadow Broker CompromiseNSA has worked hard to foster a more collegial approach with cybersecurity providers and a more public approach to sharing threat intelligence with corporate partners. For example, streamlining the release of indicators of compromise (IOCs) related to different types of malware through “automated networks.” Defense Notice (NDN) Report” – Open source tools such as software reverse engineering frameworks Ghidorah (CVSS 9.8 Command Injection Vulnerability (discovered in 2023 and probably not part of the plan), shared the stolen goods at conferences, increased transparency and effectively used memes to cultivate friends within the hacker community.

NSA meeting memorabilia

A major driving force and public face of that change is Rob Joyce, who is retiring as director of cybersecurity. He’s a regular at information security conferences, an affable meme-wielder, and this week he was joined by National Security Agency (NSA) veteran and National Security Agency (NSA) executive Dave Luber early in his career. I handed over the reins to Mr. His group hacks government agency remote operations centers and Tailored Access Operations (TAO). He was then appointed executive director of the U.S. Cyber ​​Command.

(In response to the news of Mr. Luger’s appointment, someone posted “Welcome to Cyber” on X. Not at all ironic, but really welcome…)

“We would like to thank Rob Joyce for his exceptional leadership.” @NSACyber Over the last few years! I am honored to take on this role as NSA’s new Director of Cybersecurity. Cyber ​​is a team sport. We look forward to working with our partners across the community,” Lubar told X. While he was welcomed there, he was also told that he would soon have “a big job to do.”

Lubar’s appointment comes amid broader changes at the NSA by Gen. Timothy D. Ho, who took over command from Gen. Paul M. Nakasone on February 2, 2024, who “significantly expanded its cybersecurity mission.” Ta.

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In addition to being under pressure from social media chatterboxes to be instantly funny and personable and to bring his A-game to Meme, Luber also faces other challenges, including: There are some things that aren’t very interesting.

These include growing threats to operational technology (OT) embedded in critical infrastructure, particularly from China, which the NSA said in 2023 is “unmatched in scope, scale, and sophistication.” “A unique enemy.”Looking back on the year” says the agent caveat In February, China’s Bolt Typhoon APT “seeks to pre-position IT networks in preparation for disruptive or devastating cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure in the event of a major crisis or conflict. ” and “maintained access to and footholds in some of the victims’ IT environments.” For at least 5 years. ”

Other challenges include freeing partners and command centers from “outdated cryptography” and performing “cybersecurity risk assessments of the Department of Defense’s most critical systems” amid heightened geopolitical risks. It will be done.

(In 2019, the NSA ended the production of punched paper tape encryption keys that had been in use for more than 50 years and made a final transition to electronic encryption key production and distribution architecture, with the last such keys produced on October 2, 2019. It was rolled off the system on Sunday. Spokesperson Said stackFounder of the year. This technology uses a roll of Mylar paper tape with holes punched in it to store the encryption key, with holes representing a binary 1 and no holes representing a binary 0. , continues to be used, especially by the Ministry of Defense. . I suspect that there are still some such keys in circulation in the United States, even if they are not actively produced…)

NSA successfully supports defense industrial base partners. sauce: A look back at the 2023 NSA Cybersecurity Year.

The same year’s review highlighted the NSA’s recent progress, under which it tripled its partnerships. Cyber ​​Security Collaboration Center (The company offers free cybersecurity services to “companies that contract with the Department of Defense or have access to non-public Department of Defense information.”) Joyce said, “Sign up for our services. By increasing the number of employees by 400%, we are helping to ensure that our critical defense partners, including small and medium-sized businesses, don’t just need to secure their own systems.”

SEE ALSO: UK spy agency looks to modernize IT as GCHQ strengthens hacking capabilities

The NSA recently established the Center for Artificial Intelligence Security as “a new home to apply unique insights from NSA signals intelligence and technical expertise,” and “to advance the transition to quantum-resistant cryptography to secure networks.” We’ve made progress in the marathon, perfecting the “technology and weapons platforms we rely on” and creating an “encryption roadmap to help U.S. combatant command coalition partners identify where they need to invest.” I completed it…”

The NSA’s traditional offensive efforts are also undoubtedly becoming more difficult. Security research has become much more mainstream than it used to be. Extensive reverse engineering and analysis efforts worldwide make it difficult to hide zero-days for long periods of time. Ultimately, even sophisticated exploits do not always go unnoticed, as nation states and cybercrime adversaries are well-resourced and increasingly savvy. You just need to do it for a long time…

SEE ALSO: Kaspersky writes 11,000-line ‘NSA’ exploit: calls 14-step iPhone attack ‘arguably the most sophisticated attack chain I’ve ever seen’




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