Cyberwar with Iran

Homeland Security CISA Alert / No China 5G Equipment / Diagnosing Facebook Posts / Social Engineering Site Hack

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Krebs Warns Of Iran Cyberattack

WASHINGTON — In response to reports of an increase in cybersecurity threats, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher C. Krebs issued the following statement:

“CISA is aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activity directed at United States industries and government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies. We will continue to work with our intelligence community and cybersecurity partners to monitor Iranian cyber activity, share information, and take steps to keep America and our allies safe.

“Iranian regime actors and proxies are increasingly using destructive ‘wiper’ attacks, looking to do much more than just steal data and money. These efforts are often enabled through common tactics like spear phishing, password spraying, and credential stuffing. What might start as an account compromise, where you think you might just lose data, can quickly become a situation where you’ve lost your whole network.

“In times like these it’s important to make sure you’ve shored up your basic defenses, like using multi-factor authentication, and if you suspect an incident — take it seriously and act quickly. You can find other tips and best practices for staying safe online here.

“Anyone who has relevant information or suspects a compromise should immediately contact us”

Get this article and more alerts at Homeland Security’s Cyber+Infrastructure website.

Jon Fingas: US may require companies make 5G equipment outside of China

The US isn’t just skittish about American companies using equipment from Chinese companies in their 5G networks — it might force companies to avoid Chinese involvement altogether. Wall Street Journal sources claim that the Trump administration is considering a requirement that 5G cellular gear for the US must be designed and made outside of China. To that end, officials are reportedly asking telecom firms if they can produce US-oriented equipment elsewhere.

The talks are in “early and informal” phases, the tipsters said. However, the executive order that dictated a review of the telecom supply chain is asking for proposed rules by an October deadline — there isn’t much time for things to change, even if any rules wouldn’t take effect for a while.

The White House has declined to comment.

The rest of this article is available over at Engadget.

Lisa Vaas: Facebook posts reveal your hidden illnesses, say researchers

Does your stomach hurt? Do you tell your friends on Facebook?

If so, researchers suggest there’s a possibility you might be suffering from depression, and there’s a good chance that you could be diagnosed months earlier if they were to analyze your social media posts than if they just went by clinical diagnosis alone.

In a study from Penn Medicine and Stony Brook University that was published in PLOS ONE, researchers claim that they can diagnose someone based on their social media posts, given that the language people use can point to conditions such as diabetes, anxiety, depression and psychosis.

In their paper, the researchers described using natural language processing to analyze 949,530 Facebook posts made by 999 study participants, for a total of 20,248,122 words. Each post contained at least 500 words.

They looked for markers of 21 medical conditions, and they found that all of them were predictable from Facebook language beyond mere lucky guesses. Some of those medical conditions were particularly easy to predict, using a combination of demographics and Facebook language vs. just going by demographics alone: namely, diabetes, pregnancy, anxiety, psychoses, and depression.

One example of how language can strongly predict a diagnosis is alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse was marked by use of the words “drink,” “drunk,” and “bottle,” they said. That’s a pretty intuitive diagnosis, but other predictions weren’t so obvious: for example, people who use the words “god,” “family” and “pray” are 15 times more likely to have been diagnosed with diabetes.

There are several correlations between language and disease, the claim goes. Find out what they are over at Sophos’ Naked Security blog.

Would you link your Facebook to your medical profile so doctors can review it? What if it’s already happened? Just a reminder…correlation is not the same thing as causation. Also, Facebook is monitoring everything for their own purposes; it’s not a social experience.

Evelyn Cheng: Beijing wants the US to stop ‘inappropriate’ actions against Chinese firms

BEIJING — The Chinese government would like the U.S. to cancel “inappropriate” actions against Chinese companies, vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen said Monday.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday added five Chinese technology companies to the so-called entity list that effectively prohibits them from buying parts from American companies.

“We hope the U.S. side, under the principles of free trade and the spirit of WTO (World Trade Organization) principles, can cancel these inappropriate measures against Chinese companies, and remove them from the entity list. This has benefits for both sides,” Wang said in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation.

He was speaking at a press conference Monday morning about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to the G-20 summit at the end of this week in Osaka, Japan.

The latest U.S. actions come after Chinese telecom and smartphone giant Huawei was added to the entity list in May, and after President Donald Trumpand Xi held a phone call last Tuesday about plans to meet at the G-20 summit.

U.S. and Chinese stock indexes rallied after news of the call, in hopes the world’s two largest economies would soon reach an agreement on a trade dispute that has lasted for more than a year, and roiled global equity markets as well as fueled concerns about economic growth worldwide.

Markets are moving. There is much more to this article over at CNBC.

Charlie Osborne: User data stolen from ‘human hacking’ forum Social Engineered, published on rival site

A forum dedicated to the art of social engineering, Social Engineered, has been compromised and its users’ data leaked on a rival website.

The data breach occurred on June 13, 2019. The details of the forum users, including 89,000 unique email addresses linked to 55,000 forum account holders, usernames, IP addresses, and passwords stored as salted MD5 hashes were published and leaked online.

In addition, private messages sent by users were also included in the data dump, according to Have I Been Pwned. The information has been added to the data leak search engine.

The forum has since moved from open source to a professional hosting platform. You can read more about this story at ZDnet.

It appears that other brands, not just Dell, are affected by support software installed before consumers open the box. See who else is affected by the PC-Doctor problem from the article at


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Weyman Holton

Weyman Holton


author of “The Dirty Deeds Playbook” out now in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.