Cybersecurity Analysts Have Discovered That Fancy Beat Is Sniffing The US Satellite Network

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What just happened? What do state-sponsored cybercriminals and cocaine-loving bears have in common? The undeniable fact that we would all prefer not to cross any of them in the wild without warning or preparation. Fortunately, we only need to worry about one of them as a real threat. Unfortunately, this is a threat that can damage everyday life around the world if it is not eliminated. If you’re still not sure there’s anything, then here’s a hint: it’s not a bear on drugs. We’ll get back to that in a while.

Modern satellite infrastructure supports communications, Internet traffic and GPS-based systems that millions of people around the world rely on. This ever-increasing addiction makes him a prime target for cybercriminals seeking to cause social, economic, or even physical chaos.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently discovered Fancy Bear, a hacker group suspected of having ties to the Russian government that was harassing an American satellite communications provider. The discovery was made after reports of suspicious behavior in identified networks.

CISA analyst M.J. Emanuel, who discussed the incident at this year’s Cyberwarcon cybersecurity conference, has reason to believe that a hacker group, also known as APT28, penetrated the victim’s networks and was present in them for several months before detection.

The attack is not the first of its kind. Earlier this year, the National Security Agency (NSA) and analysts at the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI) investigated satellite Internet failures coinciding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Security services suspect that the failures were also the work of Russian-backed cybercriminals who intended to weaken Ukraine’s communications during the invasion.

The increase in the number of cyber attacks related to satellite communications highlights the need for improved and standardized security methods in the aerospace industry. Safety standards for current and future aerospace technology suppliers are currently being developed by organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Standardized industry practices will play an important role in strengthening the security of all aerospace technology providers and will help protect what has become another important global resource.

Burnt bears like the ones used in our comparison above may not pose a daily threat, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

In 1985, Andrew Thornton, a drug enforcement officer turned drug smuggler, dropped 40 containers of cocaine over a Georgia forest before jumping out of a plane himself. Thornton’s parachute did not open, which led to his death on the same day. You might think that’s where the story ends, but that’s where it begins.

Enter Pablo Escobera, a 79-kilogram (175 lb) black bear who found and ate a cargo of goat sugar dropped from the air. It was discovered that he had eaten more than 34 kg (75 lb) of the powdered drug, which is almost half of his total body weight. It was no surprise to anyone that Pablo succumbed to the drug and died of an overdose. He has since been immortalized by the magic of taxidermy and currently resides at the Kentucky Fun Mall in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also a source of inspiration for Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming cinematic masterpiece, aptly titled “The Cocaine Bear.”

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