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Major crypto projects at risk as Squarespace domain breach unfolds

Digital Forensics: Major crypto projects at risk as Squarespace domain breach unfolds Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 15 hours ago · 2 min read Security experts recommend that projects enhance their protection by enabling 2FA on Squarespace. 2 min read Updated: Jul. 12, 2024 at 10:09 pm UTC Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. [...]

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As Election Looms, UK Offers Increased Cyber Protections To Candidates

Computer Forensic Expert Sewa todayJune 30, 2024

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UK Government Communications Headquarters (Photo by David Goddard/Getty Images)

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The U.K. government is offering political candidates, election officials and others at high risk of being targeted online an extra layer of security on their personal devices.

The National Cyber Security Centre, part of the U.K.’s intelligence and security agency GCHQ, is concerned about attempts by the Russian intelligence services and China state-affiliated actors to carry out malicious activity targeting UK institutions and individuals, including parliamentarians, over recent months.

“Individuals who play important roles in our democracy are an attractive target for cyber actors seeking to disrupt or otherwise undermine our open and free society,” said Jonathon Ellison, NCSC director for national resilience and future technology.

The new Personal Internet Protection service is designed to guard against spear-phishing, malware and other cyber attacks. It provides an extra layer of security on personal devices by warning users if they try to visit a domain which the NCSC knows to be malicious, and by blocking outgoing traffic to these domains.

It’s based on the NCSC’s Protective Domain Name Service, developed principally for use by organizations, and which now covers millions of public sector users.

The NCSC is also encouraging higher-risk individuals to sign up for its Account Registration service—another opt-in service which allows the NCSC to alert individuals if malicious activity is detected on their personal accounts.

“In this significant year of elections around the world, I urge individuals eligible for our services to sign up and to follow our guidance now to bolster their defenses,” said Ellison.

The move comes as GCHQ director Anne Keast-Butler warned that the agency now devotes more resources to China than any other single mission.

“Russia and Iran pose immediate threats, but China is the ‘epoch-defining’ challenge,” she said.

“The people of China and the Chinese community overseas have contributed greatly to life here in the UK. But recent events remind us that our country and democratic institutions remain of interest to the Chinese authorities.”

Earlier this year, the U.K. formally accused China of cyber campaigns against members of Parliament and the U.K. Electoral Commission, which regulates party and election finance and sets election standards.

The NCSC said that the Electoral Commission was “highly likely” to have been compromised by a Chinese state-affiliated entity between 2021 and 2022, leading to the theft of the personal data of millions of voters.

It said it was also almost certain that the China state-affiliated Advanced Persistent Threat Group 31 was carrying out reconnaissance activity against U.K. parliamentarians during a separate campaign in 2021.

And while blame hasn’t been officially attributed for a recent hack of a Ministry of Defence database, it’s widely speculated that China was the culprit—an accusation that the country has denied.

“Cyber is being deployed across multiple fronts to help the Chinese state meet its strategic ends… This should worry all of us concerned with cyber resilience,” said NCSC CEO Felicity Oswald earlier this week.

“Business leaders and networks defenders must take action to make critical systems more secure across our economy… China is certainly not treating security as an extra, and neither should we.”

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