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Today’s Roundup: Devastating Floods in Libya, Deepfakes, Manhunt Ends, and More

As security professionals convene in Dallas, Texas, this week for the 2023 GSX Conference, and Security Management staff work to bring you the GSX Daily, we will shift the Today in Security focus away from a deeper analysis of a single news story to a quick round-up of several of the news stories affecting the world of security.

Toll from devastating floods in Libyan city passes 5,100 dead, authorities struggle to get in aid

From the Associated Press (AP): Search teams combed streets, wrecked buildings, and even the sea for bodies in a devastated eastern Libyan city on Wednesday, where authorities said massive flooding had killed at least 5,100 people, with the toll expected to rise further.

Authorities were still struggling to get aid to the Mediterranean coastal city of Derna after Sunday night’s deluge washed away most access roads. Aid workers who managed to reach the city described devastation in its center, with thousands still missing and tens of thousands left homeless.


NSA, FBI, and CISA release cybersecurity information sheet on deepfake threats

From CISA: Today, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a Cybersecurity Information Sheet (CSI), Contextualizing Deepfake Threats to Organizations, which provides an overview of synthetic media threats, techniques, and trends. Threats from synthetic media, such as deepfakes, have exponentially increased—presenting a growing challenge for users of modern technology and communications, including the National Security Systems (NSS), the Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), and national critical infrastructure owners and operators.

Between 2021 and 2022, U.S. Government agencies collaborated to establish a set of employable best practices to take in preparation and response to the growing threat. Public concern around synthetic media includes disinformation operations, designed to influence the public and spread false information about political, social, military, or economic issues to cause confusion, unrest, and uncertainty.

Israeli Supreme Court hears first challenge to Netanyahu’s divisive judicial overhaul

From the AP: Israel’s Supreme Court heard the first challenge Tuesday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contentious judicial overhaul, deepening a showdown with the far-right government that has bitterly divided the nation and put it on the brink of a constitutional crisis.

Netanyahu’s coalition, a collection of ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious lawmakers, unveiled the overhaul earlier this year, saying it was necessary to rein in an unelected judiciary they believe wields too much power.

Critics say the plan—which would weaken the Supreme Court—is a profound threat to Israeli democracy and that it would concentrate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies.


Escaped convict caught after 13-day manhunt in Pennsylvania

From The Washington Post: Danelo Cavalcante, the convicted killer who escaped a Philadelphia-area prison in late August, has been captured, officials announced Wednesday morning, ending a 13-day manhunt that involved hundreds of law enforcement officers, temporarily closed nearby schools, and put the surrounding area on edge.

The Pennsylvania State Police wrote on X that there will be a 9:30 a.m. news conference to provide information about the capture.

“The capture of Cavalcante ends the nightmare of the past two weeks,” the Chester County commissioners wrote in a joint statement Wednesday morning.


Europol spotlight report sheds light on malware and DDoS attacks and unveils ransomware groups’ business structures

From Europol: Following the Internet Organised Crime Assessment (IOCTA) 2023, today Europol published the spotlight report “Cyber Attacks: The Apex of Crime-as-a-Service.” It examines developments in cyber attacks, discussing new methodologies and threats as observed by Europol’s operational analysts. The report also outlines the types of criminal structures that are behind cyber attacks, and how these increasingly professionalized groups are exploiting changes in geopolitics as part of their modi operandi.

Malware-based cyber attacks, specifically ransomware, remain the most prominent threat. These attacks can attain a broad reach and have a significant financial impact on industry. Europol’s spotlight report takes an in-depth look at the nature of malware attacks as well as the ransomware groups’ business structures. The theft of sensitive data could establish itself as the central goal of cyber-attacks, thereby feeding the growing criminal market of personal information.