US and UK Combine On Cyber Operations

US and UK Combine On Cyber Operations
US and UK Combine On Cyber Operations/courtesy of Reuters

The director of GCHQ and the chief of US Cyber Command issued a joint statement today on their response to cyber warfare, promising to “continue to adapt, innovate, partner, and succeed against new threats in cyberspace.”

“We’ll do so by planning long-term combined cyberspace operations that enable collective defense and deterrence, as well as impose repercussions on our common adversaries who engage in harmful cyber activities,” they stated.

The merged operations go further. ACCORDING TO HANNAH MURPHY AND KATRINA MANSON, the FBI, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, and the Australian Cyber Security Centre collaborated on a collaborative analysis. Iran was determined to be behind “ongoing” ransomware and other cyber attacks on US vital infrastructure and Australian organizations that began in March.

According to the paper, Iranian government-sponsored hackers have been “actively targeting a broad spectrum of victims across numerous US vital infrastructure sectors, including transportation and healthcare and public health.” They took advantage of a hole in Fortinet software as well as a flaw in Microsoft email software. One of the targets successfully breached was a children’s hospital in the United States.

Although no UK hospitals appear to have been targeted, the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, said in its annual report this week that it had “expanded its online defence of the UK by managing an unprecedented 777 incidents over the last twelve months — up from 723 the previous year — with around 20% of organizations supported linked to the health sector and vaccines.”

This included assisting vaccine researchers at Oxford University, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was produced, with a ransomware assault damaging “critical research to the introduction of the national immunisation program.”

There are even more serious issues to be concerned about. In the prologue to the report, GCHQ director Sir Jeremy Fleming warned that “technical leadership is slipping eastwards.” The crucial technologies that will underpin future wealth and security will not necessarily be based on democratic values. We will engage with partners throughout the world to assist the United Kingdom and its allies in facing this critical moment.”

The (Five)  Internet Things

  • Alibaba’s expansion has slowed. Alibaba’s US-listed stock dropped more than 10% after the e-commerce giant slashed its sales estimates, citing slower growth in Chinese consumer spending as a reason. In its quarterly results on Thursday, Alibaba said that it now expects 20-23 percent revenue growth in 2022, down from a previous prediction of 30 percent, due to “softer market conditions.”
  • The United States joins the United Kingdom and the European Union in their concerns about arms. The US has expressed concerns about Nvidia’s controversial acquisition of UK chip design firm Arm from SoftBank, adding a further hurdle to a deal that has already sparked fierce resistance on the other side of the Atlantic. According to Richard Waters, prospects that the deal can still be completed are quickly dwindling.
  • The EU’s Big Tech targets have been expanded. The European Union’s legislators have struck an agreement on how to go after tech companies. The proposed Digital Markets Act would include Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft and Booking from the Netherlands and Alibaba from China. According to Europe Express, Google is increasing its outreach to EU regulators.
  • Ford’s agreement to secure semi-truck supplies Ford has reached an agreement with chipmaker GlobalFoundries to enhance semi supply in the face of a shortfall in the automotive industry. The non-binding agreement, according to the automaker, “opens the door” for cooperative chip research and development and manufacture to feed its assembly lines and those of others in the US auto sector.
  • Money is being taken out of the Paytm IPO by investors. Paytm, an Indian financial technology startup, had its stock market debut plunge by more than a quarter, wiping $5 billion off its valuation in a sell-off that reinforced investor skepticism over India’s largest-ever IPO. However, according to Lex, the stock still trades at a hefty 72 times book value, seven times that of global peers like PayPal, and has room to fall further.

Sifted — the European startup week has forwarded this information to us.

Klarna, a fintech company based in Sweden, was named the world’s second most valuable private startup earlier this year after receiving a $45.6 billion valuation from SoftBank, which was four times more than a year before. But, according to Sifted, it’s not just early investors who are benefiting from the boom: more than 75 staff with stock options have already become paper millionaires, with many more on the way.

In other European startup news this week, one Italian IT firm bought its electro power plant to power its servers, which is an intriguing solution to the problem of sustainability. Balderton Capital, a British venture capital firm known for funding firms like Revolut and Depop, raised its largest early-stage fund ever this week and Sifted compiles a guide on generating money from the metaverse.

Singalong sessions at your workstation may result as a result of this. Spotify today announced the global launch of Lyrics, which will be available to both Premium and Free customers. In addition, it has teamed with Musixmatch to provide users with in-app access to most of its library’s lyrics. To get a line-by-line text rendition of the music, update your mobile, desktop, TV, or console app and click on the new microphone icon on the Now Playing bar. The following step is the most difficult: try to sing in tune with the rest of the group.

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