Microsoft Announces Free Election Cyber Defence Tools
Microsoft has revealed it recently disrupted domains associated with a Russian cyber attack group believed to be targeting US political groups ahead of the midterm elections
Microsoft has announce it will provide “state of the art” cyber security protection at no extra cost to all election candidates and campaign offices using Office 365.
The Defending Democracy Program, launched in April 2018, is aimed at protecting campaigns from hacking, protecting voting and the electoral process, increasing political advertising transparency, and defending against disinformation campaigns.
The AccountGuard initiative is aimed at providing a more comprehensive view of attacks against campaign staff and expedited recommendations to secure systems as well as continual guidance on how to make networks and email systems more secure and briefings and training to address evolving cyber attack trends.
Microsoft will also provide preview releases of new security features on a par with the services offered to its large corporate and government account customers. “Broadening cyber threats to both US political parties make clear that the tech sector will need to do more to help protect the democratic process,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith in a blog post.
He revealed that Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) last week executed a court order to disrupt and transfer control of six internet domains created by a group widely associated with the Russian government and known as Strontium as well as Fancy Bear and APT28.
“We have now used this approach 12 times in two years to shut down 84 fake websites associated with this group. Attackers want their attacks to look as realistic as possible and therefore create websites and URLs that look like sites their targeted victims would expect to receive email from or visit. The sites involved in last week’s order fit this description,” said Smith.
The AccountGuard initiative, he said, is in response to concerns about security threats to groups connected with both US political parties in the run-up to the 2018 elections.
Smith said the special master appointed by a federal judge concluded in the recent court order obtained by DCU that there is “good cause” to believe Strontium is “likely to continue” its conduct.
“In the face of this continuing activity, we must work on the assumption these attacks will broaden further,” he said. “An effective response will require even more work to bring people and expertise together from across governments, political parties, campaigns and the tech sector.”
The court order transferred control of the six internet domains from Strontium to Microsoft, preventing Strontium from using them and enabling Microsoft to more closely look for evidence of what Strontium intended to do with the domains.
The six domains, said Smith, show a broadening of entities targeted by Strontium’s activities, with one appearing to mimic the domain of the International Republican Institute, which promotes democratic principles, and another being similar to the domain used by the Hudson Institute, which hosts prominent discussions on topics including cyber security.
While Microsoft has no evidence these domains were used in any successful attacks before the DCU transferred control of them, nor any evidence to indicate the identity of the ultimate targets of any planned attack involving these domains, the company has notified both organisations.
Microsoft said it will continue to work closely with the two organisations as well as other targeted organisations on countering cyber security threats to their systems. The company has also been monitoring and addressing domain activity with Senate IT staff the past several months, following attacks detected on the staff of two current senators.
“We are concerned by the continued activity targeting these and other sites and directed toward elected officials, politicians, political groups and think tanks across the political spectrum in the United States,” said Smith.
“Taken together, this pattern mirrors the type of activity we saw prior to the 2016 election in the United States and the 2017 election in France,” he said.
Microsoft plans to offer AccountGuard to countries outside the US “in coming months” as part of the evolution of its Defending Democracy Program, which Smith described as an important part of the company’s work to protect customers and promote cyber diplomacy around the world.
“While cyber security starts with Microsoft and other companies in the tech sector, it’s ultimately a shared responsibility with customers and governments around the world.
“Together with our industry partners, we’ve launched the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, now endorsed by 44 leading tech companies to protect and empower civilians online and to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyber space.
“And we will continue to call for stronger adherence to existing international norms and the creation of new international laws – like a Digital Geneva Convention,” he said.
Smith first mentioned the idea at RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco, saying there was a need for a digital global convention that will call on the world’s governments to pledge that they will not engage in cyber attacks on the private sector, that they will not target civilian infrastructure, and that instead they will work with the private sector to respond to vulnerabilities, that they will not stockpile vulnerabilities and that they will take additional measures.
He said that in addition to a global convention, the world needs a new independent organisation like the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has addressed nuclear non-proliferation for decades.
Smith said the new organisation should bring together the brightest people in all sectors and should have the international credibility to confront and even identify attackers when nation state attacks occur.
- Information Security Risk Consultant, London. ISO 27005
REFCH7901 Information Security Risk Consultant, London. ISO 27005 Information Security Risk consultant needed for a London based client. The ability to achieve SC security clearance will be required. ISO 27005 Risk Assessment experience is essential. The role will cover, Risk identification, Assessment and Advisory consulting. This is a client facing role, single client- not multiple. Experience working with multiple teams and internal stakeholders is essential. The information Security Risk Consultant should ideally have a breath of information Security and IT technology based security experience. Prior experience within the public sector is desirable, but not essential. Broad knowledge across Security IT transformation, Cloud is also key. Broad experience across GRC, iso27001, NIST is key. Ongoing support and training provided. Apply today for more information, all details kept in confidence.
- Google Cloud platform Security Engineer, Contract, inside IR35
- United Kingdom
REF CH7897 Google Cloud platform Security Engineer, Contract, Inside IR35 Looking for a Google Cloud platform Security Engineer will define, document, design, implement, harden and generally improve the security capability of a Google Cloud Platform. The ability to configure, and deploy the following Google Cloud Platform security solutioons is essential; Command Security Centre, Cluster Security, APIGEE, GCP Cloud Armor Hands on technical expertise security experience with Terraform, Kubernetes Security, Container (Docker) security, Secret Manager is essential as is experience securing Google Kubernetes Engine Workloads. It is essential that you have a proven track record of securing a GCP environment and expertise in automating that with Terraform. Scripting experience with the above where appropriate is a key ability. You will be highly technical and have the ability to engage with stakeholders to ultimately deliver a secure and hardened Google Cloud Platform.
- Security Analyst, London. Financial Services. End user.
CH7885. Security Analyst, London. Financial Services. End user. Immediate role. £55,000 Security Analyst needed to monitor and manage a security suite of tools within Financial Servicecs end user . The Security Analyst will be responsible monitoring, configuring, fine tuning, incident management and generally improving the security tool capability. Specific experience with CyberArk, Tripwire Log Center and Tripwire Enterprise is highly desirable). Current experience with Vulnerability management and penetration testing is highly desirable. Specifically the ability to effectively manage 3rd party pen tests. You will be working within a specialist security team reporting to the CISO. Experience working within a regulated end user environment within financial services is highly desirable. This role will run a hyrbid working schedule, partly remote, partly office based in London (once permitted) This is an exclusive role to DCL Search & Selection. https://calendly.com/chris-holt/call-with-chris-holt-dcl-search
- IAM Consultant- Identity Governance
- United Kingdom
- Upto £80,000 plus benefits
Identity and Access Management Consutlant is required for this established business who put their employees first. the role entails • Develop and maintain IAM services. • Further develop IAM tool integration with Service Now to provide automated JML processes and application access requests and fulfilment. • Provide guidance over Role Based Access in terms of Location based Roles, Application Roles and Business Roles and act as SME over any future RBAC project. • Work closely with our other Technology teams on integrating IAM services with Technology and business systems to increase efficiency through automation around areas such as JML processes, application access request fulfilment and attestation. • Work with the Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) team to provide application access attestations and toxic combination alerting and reporting. • Involvement with Identity Management initiatives such as Single Sign On (SSO) and Privileged Access Management (PAM), to ensure security and business processes are in line with industry best practice. • Assist in ensuring that all IAM capabilities are mapped to internal processes, policies, and standards. Develop metrics to measure and improve the alignment. • Complete monthly review and report on sensitive group access, i.e., service accounts, admin accounts, etc. validating I&O processes are effective. • Provide information to both internal and external Auditors in response to findings. • Collate audit evidence for AAF audit and control reviews, taking responsibility for identifying service and process improvements to ensure compliance with our controls and standards. We are looking for someone with Hands on technical experience with the IAM tools, you need to have been involved in the integration of the IAM solution into 3rd party software like Servicenow, You will have worked with an IAM tools that are focused into Identity Goveranance, like RSA, CA Identity Suite, Fischer Identity, Hid Global, IBM IGL, Net IQ Identity Goverance, Omada, Ping or Oracle Post covid, this role will invovle a mix of home and office work, the business have a number of office spread across the UK so locaton is flexible for this position