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.
- Google Cloud Data Engineer
- Up to £90,000 Base
Google Cloud Data Engineer London Salary: Up to £90,000 Base We are currently working with a leading Google Cloud partner who are currently looking for a Google Cloud Data Engineer in London. The Google Cloud Data Engineer will be responsible for projects designing and implementing data cataloguing platforms using Google Cloud. Current Experience Required: Google Cloud (MUST be Google Cloud Professional Engineer Certified and worked on recent GCP/Google Cloud Projects). Data Analytics (Data Engineering, Data Mining, Data Cataloguing etc.) Cloud PUB / SUB Candidates must be UK based and commutable to London. Candidates outside of the EU can not be sponsored Apply for more information or call Peter Georgiou on 02086634030. Ref: PG7692
- Microsoft Azure Sales Consultant
- Up to £100,000 Base + OTE
DCL are currently working on behalf one of the fastest growing service providers in London who are on the lookout for a consultative Microsoft Azure Sales Consultant. The Microsoft Azure Sales Consultant will be responsible for selling (opening and closing new business opportunities new business) and being the SME in all things Cloud providing support to other members in the sales team. Preference will be given to the Microsoft Azure Sales Consultant who possesses Exceptional knowledge of Cloud Technology (Public / Private / Hybrid.). Current experience with technology such as Azure, AWS, Office 365 is required Proven sales experience of identifying and closing new business within the Cloud market. Must be currently selling into the enterprise market. Consistency on tenure in current and past roles. New business background is a must In return you will be working for a successful, growing SME organisation with excellent training and sales support from pre-sales, post-sales, project management, service management, bid management, pricing and customer service. Candidates must be UK Based. sponsorship can not be provided for this role. Reference Number: BD7690 (Cloud Sales Jobs, Cloud Computing Jobs, Cloud Computing Sales)
- Senior Incident Cyber Response Consultant
- Up to £75,000 Base
Senior Incident Cyber Response Consultant with Forensic experience is needed to join a global consultancy whose cyber business unit are continuing to their investment in the growth of their team. From my perspective, as a recruitment partner, this is a particularly interesting and exciting opportunity. Not only is the team in an active growth mode, but they have varied, high profile and interesting projects for their team. Globally recognised. This is an opportunity to drive and grow a career. Experienced Senior Incident Cyber Response Consultant is needed to help take clients through the complete IR / triage process. The position is be client facing and will be expected to engage with clients at a commercial level. Proactive IR planning is also key to the position. The Senior Incident Cyber Response Consultant will not hold a sales target, but any previous experience in identifying and generating revenue is highly sort after. A broad forensic background would be highly desirable also. An ideal Senior Incident Cyber Response Consultant will be CREST CCIR, CCIM certified. Experience with forensics is highly desirable. Any of the following are very desirable also CREST Certified Network Intrusion Analyst (CCNIA) CREST Certified Host Intrusion Analyst (CCHIA) CREST Certified Malware Reverse Engineer (CCMRE) CREST Practitioner Intrusion Analyst (CPIA) An individual must be London commutable Key attributes should also include; stakeholder engagement, mentoring of team members, a collaborative working style. Technical experience must include; demonstrable experience within cyber incident response, Forensic, cyber etc. Additional certifications could / should include GIAC certified (Intrusion analyst, incident handler, forensic handler) The opportunity for an individual to conduct malware research and analysis is actively promoted. Career development and the opportunity to influence, apply today for more information or call Chris Holt on 07884666351 or 02086634030 or email email@example.com Unfortunately, our client are unable to provide sponsorship for this opportunity. Candidates must be UK based. Ref: CH7679 (Incident Response Jobs, CREST Jobs, Digital Forensics Jobs, IR Jobs)
- Principal Electrical Engineer
- Salary: Up to £90,000 Base + Bonus
Principal Electrical Engineer Location: London Salary: Up to £90,000 Base + Bonus A Principal Electrical Engineer is needed for a state of the art, London based Data Centre provider. The Principal Electrical Engineer will be responsible for all of the Mechanical & Electrical components (support, development/design etc.) within our clients Data Centre’s. Other responsibilities include but not limited to; Commissioning, approving, design & review/improvement of new data centre infrastructure Commercial’s (Contract negotiation, project finances etc.) Project management Training/Development of other staff General engineering tasks Requirements HND / Degree in Engineering or equivalent. Must have current/recent experience (ideally in a senior position) within a mechanical & electrical position within a Data Centre environment Candidates must be UK based and unfortunately, our client are unable to provide sponsorship Ref: PG7600 (M&E Jobs, Mechanical & Electrical Jobs, Engineering Jobs, Data Centre Jobs, Data Center Jobs)