Wednesday, June 28, 2017

U.S. Cyber Expert Warns World Is Losing War Against Hackers, Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm Reaches 878 Events In Two Weeks, 28 Quakes Strike Near Truckee California

US cyber expert warns world is losing war against hackers

Governments and businesses globally need to rethink the ways they deal with cyberattacks because what they are doing today is “manifestly not working,” Michael Daniel, a former cybersecurity adviser to US President Barak Obama told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of a cyber conference in Tel Aviv this week.
“We need to realign how we think about defense,” he said. “What we have been doing isn’t working and so we have got to come up with some different approaches to doing our network defense.”

Part of the reason for this failure is that “we keep trying to act like cybersecurity is a purely technical problem, and it is not,” he said. “It is also a political problem, it is an economic problem, it is a human psychology problem, and as long as we try to treat it like it is a purely technical problem we are not going to succeed.

Daniel who was also a Cybersecurity Coordinator at the White House — leading the development of national and international cybersecurity strategy and policy for the United States — spoke about the trends that are driving the worsening of the cyberthreat today.
“We are making cyberspace bigger,” he said. “Every day we are hooking between 5 and 10 million devices a day, depending on who you believe.”
This space has been made “more complicated” because more and more devices are hooking up to the internet, dependence on these devices is greater, and more actors are getting access to cybertools that were once the domain of just a few high-end criminal groups and nation states.
Today “you have got a lot of different actors that are getting into the game. Both nations and criminal organizations,” he said. “You are also seeing a willingness to cross lines — being destructive in a way that you never saw previously.”

If once the aims were defacing websites, today the attacks are targeting power grids and running election interference.
For example, a global wave of cyberattacks that began in Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday wreaked havoc on government and corporate computer systems as it spread around the world. Britain’s parliament shut down external access to email accounts on Saturday following a cyberattack. Malicious software dubbed Crash Override or Industroyer was reportedly responsible for a 2016 power outage in Ukraine, while in May a worldwide extortionate ransomware attack, WannaCry, affected10,000 organizations and 200,000 computers in over 150 countries, highlighting how vulnerable companies and nations are to the growing number of cyberthreats globally.
Telling people not to click on links and to continuously change passwords and patch up security gaps in software are instructions that are doomed to fail, Daniel said. Maintaining high security standards today is not simple, and people will prefer to go down the “easy path” even if that keeps them unprotected, he said.
What is needed, he said, is a concerted effort of collaboration by governments and industries, and also a deep understanding of the motivations behind the actions of hackers. These motivations need to be mapped out, a pathway to attaining these goals should be outlined and then methods to foil these plans need to be put in place, he said.
“We are reaching a strategic inflection point,” he warned. Countries like Israel, the US and Europe with their developed technologies have “leveraged cyberspace as the strategic asset for 40 years and we are reaching a point where if we don’t begin to address some of the cybersecurity problems we are facing, we risk the cyberspace becoming a strategic liability.”

Updated | Over 800 earthquakes have now been recorded at Yellowstone supervolcano over the last two weeks, with the ongoing swarm taking place on the western edge of the National Park.
But there is virtually no risk of the volcano erupting, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) currently lists the volcano alert level as normal and the aviation color, which lists the potential risk to fights, is at green.
The current earthquake swarm began on June 12. A week later, the USGS put out a statement to say that 464 earthquakes had been recorded, with the largest being magnitude 4.4 “This is the highest number of earthquakes at Yellowstone within a single week in the past five years,” it said.

However, in a newly released statement about the ongoing swarm, seismologists from the University of Utah said 878 events have now been recorded at Yellowstone National Park.
The University of Utah is part of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), which provides long-term monitoring of earthquake and volcanic activity in and around Yellowstone National Park. Jamie Farrell, Research Professor at the university, said that as of June 26, 878 events had been recorded as part of the ongoing swarm.
“The swarm consists of one earthquake in the magnitude 4 range, five earthquakes in the magnitude 3 range, 68 earthquakes in the magnitude 2 range, 277 earthquakes in the magnitude 1 range, 508 earthquakes in the magnitude 0 range, and 19 earthquakes with magnitudes of less than zero,” the latest report said.

Truckee has been rocking Tuesday, with at least 28 small earthquakes shaking the high Sierra town overnight, the largest registering a magnitude 3.9 according to the United States Geological Survey.

The largest quake hit at 2:09 AM local time at an incredibly shallow depth, essentially right at the surface.

There was no initial word on damage or injury resulting from the quake. More information on this earthquake is available on the USGS event page.
A recent study indicates earthquake activity increases in the dryer season, so it's natural to see more quakes this time of year, as the weight of all the snow and water begins to lift, allowing the crust to rise.

In the eastern Sierra, the researchers reported observing increased fault movement with snowmelt in late spring and summer. Closer to the coast, in such spots as the San Andreas Fault, they tracked greater quake activity in summer and early fall with drying streams and soils.

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