Showing posts from October 13, 2019

Sri Lanka removed from FATF’s Grey List

Sri Lanka has been removed from the “Grey List” of the international terror financing watchdog FATF, according to a media report. The island nation will no longer be subject to the Financial Action Task Force’s monitoring under its on-going global anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance process, the Colombo Gazette reported on Saturday. The FATF, whose five-day plenary concluded in Paris on Friday, said Sri Lanka made significant progress in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies identified earlier, the daily said. In October 2016, the FATF announced that Sri Lanka will be subjected to a review of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the terror financing watchdog to assess the progress of AML/CFT effectiveness in the country. The Paris based organisation indicated Sri Lanka had not made sufficient progress in four parameters — international cooperation, supervision, legal persons and arrangements

Trump says Kurdish PKK ‘probably more of terrorist threat’ than Islamic State

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will meet later today to discuss “security challenges and regional developments,” according to a statement from the army. The statement says that Gantz, who is Kohavi’s predecessor, requested the meeting, which was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defense minister. The meeting comes a week after Turkey launched a military operation in northeast Syria after US President Donald Trump withdrew American troops from Kurdish areas. The US pullback from northeastern Syria, essentially abandoning its Kurdish allies, has sparked deep concern in Israel, where there are growing fears that Iran could be emboldened by what appears to be an increasingly hands-off American policy in the region. Turkey’s Erdogan rules out talks with Syrian Kurdish forces Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan firmly rules out any negotiations with Kurdish militants in Syria, saying t

Indian army chief hopes that Pakistan will act against terror groups

NEW DELHI : Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said he hopes that Islamabad will act against terror groups based on its soil after Pakistan was retained on the “grey list" of the Paris based Financial Action Task Force (FATF). “There is pressure on them. To be on such a ‘Grey List’ is a setback for any nation," Rawat said according to a video clip posted on Twitter by ANI news agency. The global finance watchdog on Friday said Pakistan has failed on 22 of 27 counts or parameters set by an FATF action plan to prove that it was complying with promises it had made in June last year while being put in the “grey list." India is yet to officially react to the development with no comments as yet by the Indian foreign ministry. According to the FATF on Friday, Pakistan now has only until February 2020 to improve its counter-terror financing operations or face being put in its black list that has countries like Iran an

Europe’s Failure in Syria

On October 14, European Union foreign ministers condemned the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria. The Turks have undertaken this operation ostensibly to clear the border of Syrian Kurdish fighters whom Ankara regards as terrorists, but much of the rest of the world regards as the key force fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS). In their conclusions , the ministers called for a ministerial meeting of the international coalition against ISIS to assess the impact of the Turkish offensive. They also, in a somewhat convoluted language, committed to “strong positions” regarding arms exports to Turkey, which is as close as the EU has ever come to endorsing a halt on arms sales to a NATO member state. It is encouraging to see the EU take a united and strong position against what is unambiguously a violation of international law that is enabling crimes against civilians and provides an opportunity for ISIS to re-emerge, regroup and plot future atrocities. Ye

Russia moves into Syrian territory abandoned by U.S.

The United States said its forces had left the key northern Syrian city of Manbij on Tuesday as the Syrian regime made territorial gains in the region and Russian troops moved into flashpoint areas, vowing to prevent clashes between Turkey and Syrian forces.  The Syrian military's deployment near the Turkish border comes after Syrian  Kurdish  force

Amazon tightens security on Echo and Kindle amidst cyber attack vulnerability

Amazon’s Echo speakers and Kindle e-books are reportedly open to vulnerabilities as it allows a potential cyber attacker to decrypt data or information transmitted by the user. This was first discovered by a Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET, which said in an article published by  The Sraits Times  that the cyber attackers can “exploit” and intercept the online signals of these devices. The Echo speakers and Kindle are two of Amazon’s biggest selling products. Addressing the issue of vulnerability in its devices, an Amazon spokesperson told  Marketing that it has a dedicated team to ensure safety and security of the products and has taken measures to secure the Echo speakers. These include disallowing third party application installation on the device, security reviews, secure software development requirements and encryption of communication between Echo, the Alexa app and Amazon servers. “Customer trust is important to us and we take the

The Growing Risk of a Major Satellite Cyber Attack

Last year at CyberSat, David DeWalt, CEO of Momentum Cyber and all-around cyber influencer, said one of the sectors he was most worried about when it came to a high-profile cyber-attack was satellite. It made for sobering listening. James Turgal, managing director, Cyber Risk Services at Deloitte and Touche agreed with this assessment. He says, “Dave is correct about his fears of seeing a major cyber incident, whether that presents itself as an intrusion into the satellite itself or a breach into and collection of data transmitted from the satellite.” In terms of what he sees as the particular vulnerabilities in satellite networks, Turgal adds that the main areas of concern have to be the human factor and the supply chain. He said there is no question that cyber vulnerabilities exist and are exploited because of the human factor. “Cyber risk and cybersecurity is more about people behind keyboards than it is about technology. The human factor; either someo

A hacker’s paradise? 5G and cyber security

The rollout of fifth-generation mobile networks — which offer the potential for downloads speeds of up to 10 times faster than today’s — will change how we communicate, work and stream video. However, the faster speeds are also likely to present an opportunity for hackers to target more devices and launch bigger cyber attacks, experts say. The problem is unlikely to be the security of 5G technology itself. Despite researchers uncovering apparent flaws in 5G’s security — such as the ability for attackers to use fake mobile base stations to steal information — 5G’s stronger encryption of data and better verification of network users are widely considered to be a significant improvement on 4G. Experts say that the weak link in 5G’s security is likely to be communication between devices connected to the internet. These devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT) — where everything from cars and factory assembly lines to baby monitors and traffic lights