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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberto Destro has blasted Islamic Republic officials for threatening and persecuting Iranian journalists living abroad.
“The U.S. condemns the harassment and threats that Persian-language reporters are receiving from Iranian regime officials while working abroad,” Destro tweeted on Thursday, February 6.
Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State also asserted in his tweet, “We stand with the Iranian people in their right to freedom of information and with independent journalists fighting to inform the public.”
Reports on threats and harassment of Iranian journalists living and working outside the country have been rife in the past few months, leading to widespread international condemnation. The same kind of pressures were also intense prior to the start of nuclear negotiations in 2013.
Iran-linked hackers pose as journalists in email scams to obtain passwords and break into the email accounts of journalists, Reuters said in an exclusive report on Wednesday, February 5.
In a report published Wednesday, London-based cybersecurity company, Certfa, has named a hacking group nicknamed Charming Kitten, which has long been associated with Iran.
Israeli firm ClearSky Cyber Security provided Reuters with documentation of impersonations of two media figures at CNN and Deutsche Welle, a German public broadcaster. ClearSky also linked the hacking attempts to Charming Kitten, describing the individuals targeted as Israeli academics or researchers who study Iran. ClearSky declined to give the specific number of people targeted or to name them, citing client confidentiality, Reuters reported.
Nicole M. Oldham thought she was simply sharing a part of her life with her women’s church group. All marriages go through struggles, she knew, and as director of women’s ministry at Highway Assembly of God in Fredericksburg, Virginia, she wanted to be transparent about hers to provide an encouraging example for others to open up as well.
But when she revealed details, the other women’s faces registered shock. Several group members informed Oldham that she needed to rethink her situation more seriously; the struggles she endured went beyond normal marital disagreements.
The licensed Assemblies of God minister finally admitted it: she was a victim of domestic violence.
Her then-Marine corporal husband’s drinking had turned to bouts of violence, repeatedly stunning her and leaving her in a constant state of anxiety.
“I couldn’t believe this sweet man was capable of doing these awful things,” says Oldham. She had faithfully stayed in the marriage and prayed for her husband, but the angry outbursts continued.
Maggie Journigan, a work colleague at King George Elementary School where Oldham taught fourth grade, encouraged Oldham to file a report with the military at Quantico base, where Oldham’s husband was stationed.
“I wasn’t out to wreck his career,” she says. “I wanted to get him help — because I knew it was only going to get worse.” Her prophetic words proved true. In June 2018, with a second report filed, the military again investigated, found the charges met their criteria for abuse, and arrested Oldham’s husband.
Oldham fell into a deep depression, which led to her 13-day stay in Bethesda Naval Hospital. A forensic psychiatry specialist diagnosed her with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and “relational distress . . . related to spouse abuse.” While there, and after just less than four years of marriage, her husband filed for divorce and kicked her out of their house, leaving her homeless.
“My faith was all I had to hold onto,” she says, tearing up at the memory.
Oldham, 30, moved to Chelsea, Oklahoma, to begin a new life near her family of origin. She found a job teaching fourth grade in nearby Pryor, connected with other Christians through ClearView Church in Claremore, and did her best to heal.
“She is committed to taking her losses and making them gains,” says Bob J. Warman, lead pastor of ClearView and Oldham’s pastoral counselor and mentor. With her divorce finalized in December 2018, she sought to become more involved in ministry. But she wondered exactly how to serve with a new identity.
As she prayed about her options, she recognized the need to help educate church leaders on how best to aid those affected by domestic violence.
“This is such a critical issue and our wonderful pastors are woefully ill-prepared to engage it,” Oldham says. From that recognition will emerge the ministry HANDS: Home and Neighborhood Domestic Safety. Though still in its infant stages, Oldham is determined to make sure domestic violence victims have a safe place within the Church “to run with their heart, and maybe with their bags.”
“These women never know when they are going to need the Church, so I want to help leaders be ready,” she says.
Preparing for HANDS’s summer launch, Oldham is enrolled with the National Anger Management Association to become a first level certified domestic violence specialist and also she has begun her ordination process, studying with the Oklahoma School of Ministry.
“I want to be able to meet and work with pastors as peers, not as some hysterical female who has gone through this terrible thing and wants to tell them they’re doing ministry wrong,” Oldham says.
Her commitment to ministry and to healing has been noticeable.
“She’s come a long way,” says Warman. “There’s a great light in her life now and she’s so joyful.”
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans On 18 November, somebody swapped out the legitimate command line wallet binaries for the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency and replaced them with software that stole users’ funds. The malicious versions of the Linux and Windows binaries were first spotted by a user on Monday who noticed that […]
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A second top cyber-security official is sounding the alarm over the US’s inadequate response to Russian and other cyberattacks.
Army Lt. General Paul Nakasone told the Senate Armed Services Committee that adversaries that include Russia, China, North Korea and Iran are not facing retribution for their cyberattacks on the US.
“They do not think that much will happen. They don’t fear us. That is not good,” said Nakasone, Trump’s nominee to direct the US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
He said his role would be to present options to Trump, but the strategy “emanates from the executive branch.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Nakasone’s assessment that the US doesn’t retaliate when attacked is the “most important” exchange happening at the Capitol.
Sasse said while 80 percent of congressional hearings are “fake” and 90 percent are “pointless,” this one matters because a sense of urgency is “bubbling up” to counterattack.
“We are not responding in any way that is adequate to the challenge that we face,” Sasse said.
On Tuesday, Adm. Mike Rogers, current head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, warned that Russia is still trying to meddle in American elections and the US hasn’t done enough to dissuade such interference.
A Belgian security researcher has discovered a vulnerability on the website of Vatican News — the official news publication of the Holy See — that could allow anyone to publish their own fake news.
The vulnerability was discovered by independent researcher Inti De Ceukelaire. Proving his work, he tweeted a picture of Vatican News falsely stating that Pope Francis had declared God to be an onion.
De Ceukelaire (who we’ve previously profiled) has been behind some high profile discoveries. In September, he disclosed ways to access corporate messaging apps like Slack and Yammer by exploiting publicly-accessible help-desks and bug trackers.
Last February, De Ceukelaire earned notoriety after he redirected several links in Donald Trump’s old tweets to content that would otherwise be embarrassing for the now-occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He did this by identifying websites Trump had tweeted out whose domain names had been allowed to expire. He then re-registered them under his own name.
Keeping with the Trump theme, he used publicly accessible online information to find the contact details of Melania Trump. He used this to invite FLOTUS to his home town.
In the case of Vatican News, De Ceukelaire encountered an unpatched cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, and exploited it to inject the blatantly fake news.
NATO is working on a “special doctrine” for cyber operations and taking steps to help member states bolster their cyber defenses, an official said Monday.
Merle Maigre, who directs a NATO-affiliated cyber center headquartered in Tallin, Estonia, outlined the alliance’s multi-pronged efforts on cybersecurity during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
“NATO is currently on its way to come to a better understanding and develop its thinking [of] how cyber defense is better reflected in both policy planning and military planning,” Maigre said. “NATO is developing a special doctrine for cyber operations. NATO’s center in Tallinn is the custodian for the doctrine.”
The alliance is also looking to provide better training for member states in cybersecurity, she said, which the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn is helping support.
Maigre added that the alliance is also focused on building “resilience” among member states so they can better protect their systems.
“Where NATO is currently going is helping the allies to build resilience, providing a framework for member states to have a better understanding of … their critical information protection, how these systems are being developed and who is responsible for that,” Maigre explained.
NATO has been increasingly focused on cybersecurity as threats have compounded in recent years. At the Warsaw summit last year, alliance members recognized cyberspace as a domain of operations. The alliance also recognizes cyber defense as a core part of its collective defense efforts.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has also said that a cyberattack could trigger the Article 5 principle of collective defense, which declares an attack on one ally is an attack on all.
Maigre was asked Monday what cyber incidents, in particular, could trigger Article 5. Maigre did not offer up a specific example, instead stressing, “there’s nothing automatic about Article 5.”
“Article 5 requires North Atlantic Council, be it at the level of ambassadors, ministers or head of states and governments, to gather and make a decision, and that applies also to any country bombing other country,” Maigre said.
“It needs to be a consensus-based decision,” she later added. “No one can be against it.”
Tanel Sepp, a cyber official at Estonia’s defense ministry, explained that an invocation of Article 5 would depend on the type of cyberattack. The principle has been invoked only one time, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
“It is always and will always be a question of effects,” Sepp said. “What kind of attack are we talking about and what is impacted.”
The event in Washington reflected on a series of cyberattacks that hit Estonia in 2007 which authorities have pinned on Russia.
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