Former NSA chief demands Allied “radar” to protect himself from cybercriminals

Former US National Security Agency (NSA) director Keith Alexander has united the United States, Australia, and other allies to protect the United States, Australia, and other allies from international cyberattackers and protect critical infrastructure. Called to work under the cyber-defense “radar” that was made.

Lecture at Australian Strategic Policy Institute Webinar Alexander, along with the head of the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center (ACSC), said cyber defense is essential in modern times, given the potential for remote attacks.

“Cyber ​​will be very important to our future,” said Alexander. “This is one area where enemies can attack Australia and the United States without trying to cross the sea.”

In particular, Alexander has proposed a radar-like mechanism that allows organizations to report cyberattacks to a centralized location visible to both government and private sector cybersecurity departments.

Epoch Times Photo
Headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA. (Public domain via National Security Agency / Wikimedia Commons)

“Event generator” that allows you to view events happening to your enterprise at network speed, anonymize it, push it to the cloud, create radar images, and see all the enterprises that are experiencing these types of events. Is required. .. “

“If we were to create a radar image for cyber that covers not only those affecting Australia, but also those affecting other countries, we would share and protect the threats that are hitting our country in real time. Imagine you can, “says Alexander.

Alexander emphasized that it is becoming increasingly difficult to face the growing threat of cyber attackers without the cooperation of particularly vulnerable industries.

“I think the biggest problem I’m facing in government and facing today is that not only the government, but your government can’t see attacks on the private sector. Still, the government has a private sector. I have a responsibility to protect it, “said Alexander.

Cyber ​​incidents are thriving in Australia and around the world, worried about attacks on critical infrastructure across governments, hospitals, food producers, telecommunications, media and educational institutions. Overall, Australia has seen a 13% increase in cybercrime over the last 12 months, with ACSC receiving an average of once every eight minutes.

Some of these include independent ransomware attackers, while others include state-based attackers such as Russia-linked SolarWinds attacks and China-linked Microsoft email server attacks. I have.

The SolarWinds logo will be visible outside the headquarters in Austin, Texas on December 18, 2020. (Sergio Flores / Reuters)

However, regardless of source, Alexander argued that few were tried, often due to the effects limited to verbal accusations.

“We need to identify who is doing it and get them to pay the price right now,” said Alexander. “The ransomware guys and Russia get off mostly for free.”

“Imagine if we were prosecuted [them] He posted a picture of them and said, “It’s a man,” Alexander said. “And if possible, we will arrest you. You can’t leave Russia, you’ll have to stay there for the rest of your life … we hand you We know who you are. “

Governments were usually unable to work with private organizations to the extent necessary to address cyber threats.

However, this is the Security Law Amendment (Important Infrastructure) Bill 2020 proposed in Australia (pdf) It seeks to strengthen Australia’s critical infrastructure against cyberattacks by requiring organizations to report incidents.

Investigations into the bill received mostly positive feedback, but elicited an angry reaction from Big Tech’s operational data warehouse. This means they are also subject to law, and in some cases governments may install their own cybersecurity software on their systems.

Epoch Times Photo
Abigail Bloodshaw, Head of Cyber ​​Security Center in Australia. (Australia Cyber ​​Security Center)

ACSC Head Abigail Bradshaw highlighted the importance of reporting mechanisms, pointing out events around the world targeting critical infrastructure, such as the hacking of the US Colonial Pipeline and JBS slaughterhouses.

Bradshaw said an optional reporting system has already been implemented, but more government involvement through mandatory systems is needed to identify future threats.

“Threats to critical infrastructure are real,” says Bradshaw.

“We analyzed that at least a quarter of the recorded attacks were related to entities that were considered critical infrastructure. That’s horrifying statistics. We found that attack cases were significantly underreported. That makes it even more scary. “

“We fight hand-to-hand combat with the bad guys every day. Perhaps we’ve seen it before, so we know what they look like. We can establish patterns … And we draw those patterns together and use the full range of our intelligence features to assess who’s next. “

Daniel Kumerev