Cyber wrap

No rest for the weary as Australia is faced with another bout of damaging Snowden revelations. Latest documents suggest that the Defence Signals Directorate (now the Australian Signals Directorate) offered to ‘share bulk, unselected, unminimised metadata,’ likely including data from Australian nationals. Following the revelations, Attorney-General George Brandis faced a grilling on the floor of the Senate as various definitions of metadata were batted about. Canada came off quite well in the latest leak by imposing privacy restraints on data pooling, however word that it let the NSA spy on the 2010 G20 and G8 summits has certainly soured moods.

On The Strategist our own Big Data debate rages on, with Anthony Bergin questioning whether big data tactics can keep up with shifts in terrorist tactics and David Schaefer introducing a new dimension to the discussion with metadata for cybersecurity. While ABC’s Caro Meldrum-Hanna questioned whether Australians should even be concerned with all the talk of mass surveillance, UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson called metadata surveillance ‘at the apex of public interest concern,’ elevating the issue further by launching a UN investigation.

In early November, UK banks tested their cyber resilience with Operation Waking Shark II, which has turned out to be much more than a hypothetical exercise. The sharks have apparently been awake for quite some time, as a new report from the Bank of England reveals numerous cyber-attacks resulting in financial losses for UK banks over the last six months.

NATO tested its own mettle last week with it’s largest-ever cyber exercise Cyber Coalition 2013, bringing together around 400 experts and government officials for a three-day event involving over 30 countries. Turkey meanwhile has taken its efforts beyond simple Alliance participation, as it’s cyber stock is on the uptick. Turkey has doubled down on cybersecurity, welcoming numerous conferences and elevating cyber defense to an ‘indispensable part of [it’s] national defense.’

Finally looking ahead to 2014, predictions and premonitions are abound. FireEye sees watering-hole attacks and social media targeting supplanting spear-fishing, Fortinet is banking on the biometrics trend, and Lancope sees an ‘Internet of Everything’ needing the ‘Security of Everything.’ Neohapsis forecasts a ‘cyberwar redux,’ Symantec is hopeful that people will finally actively protect private information while websense is a bit more pessimistic predicting offensive security mistakes due to misattribution.