Cybersecurity analysts have discovered that Fancy Bear is snooping on the US satellite network | Daily News Byte

Cybersecurity analysts have discovered that Fancy Bear is snooping on the US satellite network

 | Daily News Byte


What just happened? What do government-sponsored cyber security criminals and cocaine-loving bears have in common? It is an undeniable fact that we would all rather not cross one in the wilderness without warning or preparation. Fortunately, we only have to worry about one of these as a real threat. Unfortunately, it is a threat that can wreak havoc on daily life around the world if not addressed. If you’re still not sure what’s what, here’s a hint: it’s not a bear on drugs. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Today’s satellite infrastructure supports the communications, Internet traffic and GPS-based systems relied on by millions around the world. This increasing reliance makes it a prime target for cybercriminals looking to wreak social, economic or even physical havoc.

The Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently discovered Fancy Bear, a hacker group suspected to be linked to the Russian government, that was spying on a US satellite communications provider. The discovery was made following reports of suspicious behavior within identified networks.

CISA analyst MJ Emanuel, who discussed the incident at this year’s Cyberwarcon cybersecurity conference, has reason to believe that the hacking group, also known as APT28, had infiltrated and had a presence on the victim’s networks for months before the discovery.

The attack is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, the National Security Agency (NSA) and analysts from the National Systems Security Agency (ANSSI) investigated satellite Internet disruptions coinciding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Security organizations suspect the disruptions are also the work of Russian-backed cybercriminals, who intend to disrupt Ukrainian communications during the invasion.

The increase in cyber-attacks related to satellite communications underscores the need for improved and standardized security practices in the aerospace industry. Organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are currently developing safety standards for current and future aerospace technology suppliers. Standardized practices across the industry will play an important role in strengthening the security posture of all aerospace technology providers and help secure what has become another critical global resource.

Cocked bears like the one we used in our comparison may not be an everyday threat, but that doesn’t mean it is can not to happen.

In 1985, narcotics cop turned drug smuggler Andrew Thornton dropped 40 containers of cocaine over a Georgia forest before jumping out of a plane himself. Thornton’s parachute failed to open, resulting in his death later that day. You’d think the story ends there, but that’s exactly where it begins.

Enter Pablo Escobar, a 79-kilogram (175-pound) black bear that found and ate a load of sugar thrown into the air. He was found to have ingested more than 34 kilograms (75 pounds) of the powdered drug, almost half his total body weight. To no one’s surprise, Pablo succumbed to the drug and died of an overdose. He has since been immortalized through the magic of taxidermy and currently resides at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Leckington, KY. He’s also the inspiration for Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming cinematic masterpiece, aptly titled “Cocaine Bear.”

Image credit: Crowdstrike, Wikiimages,


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