KW 37: NSA warns of geodata, European cyber diplomacy, Apple continues to process inquiries from Hong Kong authorities


NSA warns of geodata: The American secret service NSA has indicated that smartphones are collecting geographical data in large quantities. Switching on airplane mode doesn’t guarantee that the data collection stops. Cell phones accumulate metadata that can be used to create precise movement profiles of users.

European cyber diplomacy: Months ago, the German government submitted proposals at EU level to sanction those responsible for the 2015 cyberattack on the German parliament. In July, the EU finally sanctioned entities from North Korea, China and Russia, responsible for or involved in the cyber attacks “WannaCry” and “NotPetya”. With these sanctions, the EU is opening a new chapter in cyber diplomacy as the bloc now actively takes action against hostile cyber activities.

Digitization only possible with cybersecurity: Kai Grunwitz, Country Managing Director – Germany at NTT Ltd, believes that the pandemic will result in digitization in many cases. But he also warns that there are new security risks, be it through thousands of phishing attempts, fake Covid help websites or targeted attacks on company networks, the perimeter of which has been expanding into the cloud and home offices.

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Nokia wants to protect campus networks: Nokia’s mission is to accelerate the industry, especially where demanding use cases such as cloud, robotics and autonomous machine processes, high data rates and very short latencies are required. With its 5G standalone solutions, the Digital Automation Cloud, which includes a plug-and-play system with automation functions and modular private wireless, Nokia now has a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio for campus networks. Nokia has more than 180 corporate customers with private campus networks worldwide, including Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa Technik and Toyota Production Engineering, who are already 5G customers.

Backdoors left unpatched in MoFi routers: Canadian networking gear vendor MoFi Network has patched only six of ten vulnerabilities that security researchers have reported to the company earlier this year, in May. Unpatched have remained a command injection vulnerability and three hard-coded undocumented backdoor mechanisms, all impacting the company’s line of MOFI4500-4GXeLTE routers.

Startups: Cybersecurity for startups
Covid: The connection between cybersecurity and Covid
India: The need for robust cybersecurity policy
US: No adequate data protection available

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A database of 235 million social media profiles were found unsecured by researchers with Comparitech.


Cybersecurity – key predictions for the next five years: AI used for the detection of deeper and more complex attacks today typically runs on generic algorithms that are modeled around the attacks for detection of outliers, anomalies, patterns and associations. The availability of the cloud for computing and the use of AI for attacks could lower the barriers for cybercrime syndicates to formulate domain-specific attacks. Ransomware attacks have already shown us the gaps in current mechanisms for rapid response. This will become even more complex in the future with the proliferation of devices across the cloud, edge data centers and other locations.

AI-drawn voting districts could help stamp out gerrymandering: Gerrymandering is one of the most insidious methods out there of influencing the political process. By legally changing the way votes are collected and counted, election outcomes can be influenced — even fixed in advance for years. The solution may be an AI system that draws voting districts with an impartial hand.


“Digitization thrives on creative ideas and the intelligent use of a wide range of technologies. It is precisely this area of tension that we address in order to jointly find approaches for the urgently needed acceleration of digital transformation. We need these more than ever in post-Covid times.”
Kai Grunwitz from NTT Ltd on digital transformation.


Despite security law: Apple continues to process inquiries from Hong Kong authorities and isn’t planning on changing this practice. After China unilaterally imposed a new national security law on Hong Kong, many saw the move as an effort by Beijing to crack down on dissent and protests in the semi-autonomous region. Soon after, a number of tech giants — including Microsoft, Twitter and Google — said they would stop processing requests for user data from Hong Kong authorities, fearing that the requested data could end up in the hands of Beijing.

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