Cybersecurity’s Impact Extends from T-Mobile Customers to Foreign Policy Makers [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

Hacker preparing for cybersecurity attack impacting companies
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As we have witnessed, cybersecurity is a strong connecting force that when disrupted can have an impactful trickle-down effect. It is nearly impossible to think of a sector, field or topic that doesn’t have some tie to cybersecurity and, therefore, vulnerability to cyber risk. From cell phone companies we rely on to international relations and foreign policy, some of the latest cybersecurity news reflects its expansive reach.

In one of the most recent cyber attacks to occur, T-Mobile announced last week that it was the victim of a hacking campaign compromising the data of around 40 million customers. Included in the breach was information such as customer names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license information. As part of its response, T-Mobile announced that it is in the process of contacting those affected by the attack and is developing a website outlining best practices for others to protect their information.

In addition to consumer impacts, cybersecurity also has foreign policy ramifications as demonstrated in security concerns to arise with the withdrawal from Afghanistan. As The Washington Post reported, experts are sounding the alarm over sensitive U.S. government data that has likely been left behind. While highly sensitive data is often kept in computer clouds and protected with multiple security controls, there are paper and digital forms shared with shared Afghan government officials, non-governmental organizations and other partners in the country that may remain. “There are protocols for doing this. … But whenever you have to rush things, you’re going to forget stuff,” Mark Rasch, an attorney who developed cyber forensics capabilities for the Justice Department explained to the Washington Post.

Despite creating worry, cybersecurity concerns can forge partnerships as well. Cybersecurity found itself at the center of a Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) meeting between Singapore and the US. Signed as a part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Singapore, the MOU builds on a cybersecurity collaboration that covers initiatives such as defense, financial, and research and development, according to ZDNet. The memorandums also included an agreement between Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to further their relationship in regard to aspects like critical technologies and data exchanges.

Key Takeaways:

“T-Mobile: Hackers stole data of 40 million people” – Maggie Miller, The Hill

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/568372-t-mobile-says-hackers-stole-data-of-40-million-people

  • T-Mobile announced last week that it was the victim of a hacking campaign compromising the data of around 40 million customers.
  • Included in the breach was information such as customer names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license information.
  • T-Mobile announced that it is in the process of contacting those impacted by the attack.

“The Cybersecurity 202: Sensitive government data could be another casualty of Afghan pullout” – Joseph Marks, The Washington Post 

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/17/cybersecurity-202-sensitive-government-data-could-be-another-casualty-afghan-pullout/

  • The Washington Post reported that concern is rising over sensitive U.S. government data that has likely been left behind in the wake of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • While highly sensitive data is often kept in computer clouds and protected with multiple security controls, there are paper and digital forms shared with shared Afghan government officials, non-governmental organizations and other partners in the country that may remain.
  • “There are protocols for doing this. … But whenever you have to rush things, you’re going to forget stuff,” Mark Rasch, an attorney who developed cyber forensics capabilities for the Justice Department explained to the Washington Post.

“Singapore, US pledge deeper collaboration in cybersecurity” – Eileen You, ZDNet

https://www.zdnet.com/article/singapore-us-pledge-deeper-collaboration-in-cybersecurity/

  • Cybersecurity found itself at the center of a Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) meeting between Singapore and the US.
  • Signed as a part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Singapore, the MOU builds on a cybersecurity collaboration that covers initiatives such as defense, financial, and research and development, according to ZDNet.
  • The memorandums also included an agreement between Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

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