At the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting in Washington, President Biden told business leaders that Russia will likely use cyberattacks as way of retaliation against the U.S. He warned that Russia’s cyber capacity is significant, and it could be put to use.
President Biden also told business leaders that it’s their patriotic obligation to invest as much as they can in making sure that they have enough technological capacity to handle cybersecurity-related attacks.1
Hacking group Lapsus$ has been involved in a series of attacks against technology giants like Microsoft Corporation and Nvidia Corp. According to cybersecurity researchers, the mastermind of these attacks is a teenager, in Oxford, England. While the reason for these attacks has been unclear, researchers believe that the hacking group is motivated by money and fame.2
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released its annual Internet Crime Report, which investigates the most prevalent internet scams. The report found that people lost more than $6.90 billion to internet crimes in 2021, up by more than $2.0 billion from 2020. The most prevalent cybercrimes in 2021 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery and personal data breaches.
In 2021, a total of 847,376 internet crime complaints were filed to the FBI. This was seven percent higher than 2020 and 81% surge from 2019.3
Microsoft Corporation Announced Cybersecurity Skilling Campaign in the U.S.
Microsoft Corporation recently announced a national skilling campaign in the United States in an attempt to combat the workforce shortage for cybersecurity jobs. According to research by Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs open globally by 2025.
Last year, Microsoft partnered with 135 community colleges to skill and recruit workers into the cybersecurity industry. Recently, the company announced that it is now expanding this initiative to 23 additional countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, and India due to their “elevated cyberthreat risk.” The company plans to work with local schools, non-profits, governments, and businesses in those countries to build programs that provide training in the cybersecurity market.4
Mandiant Inc Reported on U.S. State Government Hacking Incidents
Mandiant, a cybersecurity defense provider said that at least six U.S. state governments were hacked by a Chinese state-sponsored espionage campaign that capitalized on Log4j vulnerability.
Researcher at Mandiant said that a Chinese state-sponsored group called APT 41 was behind the attack. Hackers tied to this group were indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington in 2020. This group has been linked to China’s Ministry of State Security by U.S. officials and has been accused of targeting over 100 victims globally.5
Google, a unity of Alphabet Inc., announce that it plants to buy Mandiant for around $5.4 billion in order to protect its cloud customers. If the deal is approved by regulators, it will be the second largest acquisition Google has ever made after Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2012.
In a statement, Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud said that the world is facing unprecedented cybersecurity challenges and Mandiant could improve Google Cloud’s security operations suite and advisory services.6
Investing in the Cybersecurity Industry with CYBR ETF
If you’re looking to invest in a cybersecurity ETF, consider Canada’s first cybersecurity ETF, Evolve Cyber Security Index Fund (TSX Ticker: CYBR). CYBR ETF invests in global companies involved in the cyber security industry. For more information, visit the fund page here: https://evolveetfs.com/product/cybr/.
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- Vazquez, M. “Biden warns business leaders to prepare for Russian cyber attacks,” CNN, March 21, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/21/politics/biden-russia-cyber-activity/index.html.
- Turton, W. “Teen Suspected by Cyber Researchers of Being Lapsus$ Mastermind,” BNN Bloomberg, March 23, 2022; https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/teen-suspected-by-cyber-researchers-of-being-lapsus-mastermind-1.1742079.
- Anders, D. “Internet Crime Cost People More Than $6.9B in 2021, FBI Says,” Cnet, March 22, 2022; https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/internet-crime-cost-people-more-than-6-9b-in-2021-fbi-says/.
- “Closing the cybersecurity skills gap – Microsoft expands efforts to 23 countries,” Microsoft, March 23, 2022; https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2022/03/23/closing-the-cybersecurity-skills-gap-microsoft-expands-efforts-to-23-countries.
- Gillum, J. “Chinese Spies Hacked Six U.S. State Government Networks, Report Finds,” BNN Bloomberg, March 8, 2022; https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/chinese-spies-hacked-six-u-s-state-government-networks-report-finds-1.1734409.
- Shead, S. “Google to acquire cybersecurity firm Mandiant for $5.4 billion,” CNBC, March 8, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/08/google-plans-to-acquire-mandiant-for-5point4-billion.html?__source=androidappshare.