Interfor’s Weekly Digest | Global Security and Policy Insights – May 9, 2023
Global Security Matters
- Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested outside the Islamabad High Court. The arrests comes after the military accused Khan of making false accusations against a senior intelligence official. Hundreds of protesters have blocked streets in Khan’s hometown and Karachi as tensions are high in major cities following the arrest.
- Russian paramilitary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said he received a promise from the Russian army for more ammunition after he threatened to pull Wagner troops out of Bakhmut due to a lack of ammunition. According to Prigozhin, Russia claimed they will do everything necessary for the group to continue its operations.
- Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan held a trilateral dialogue in Islamabad on Saturday to promote regional security, counterterrorism, and other collaborations. The Taliban Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, who faces UN travel restrictions, was provided a waiver to attend the meeting.
- ChatGPT is changing the way phishing emails are generated for compromising vessels. ChatGPT can create a convincing and emotionally manipulative phishing email. Additionally, the AI chatbot has near encyclopedic knowledge which can easily be used to find maritime-specific information, such as names of vessels or maritime regulations, that can make emails more convincing. A recent survey of 1,500 IT decision makers across North America, UK and Australia revealed that “53% are concerned specifically by the threat of more believable phishing emails and 51% expect a ChatGPT supported cyber-attack within the next year.” The threat ChatGPT poses to the maritime industry is substantial due to the significant disruption to shipping that could be caused by a hacking event.
- Russia has been using research vessels and covert trawlers to survey subsea cables and pipelines in Western Europe according to a NATO official. Russia has been more active than in past years in subsea surveys, as they have been engaged in mapping out civilian infrastructure in NATO countries. The possibility of a Russian attack is a significant risk and Moscow has assets necessary to retaliate for Western support for Ukraine. NATO countries have increased surveillance and patrol activity in the North and Baltic Seas and have created a new unit focused on subsea infrastructure security, a long-standing concern of security researchers.
Military & Defense
- The US is reportedly moving forward with plans to send $500 million worth of weapons aid to Taiwan. The weapons aid would be sent through an emergency authority. On May 4th, the Taiwan Defence Minister, Kuo-cheng, said the delivery of 66 advance new F-16Vs from the US has been delayed due to supply chain disruptions.
- T-Mobile suffered a data breach for the second time this year. Threat actors accessed PINs, social security numbers, and other information. No personal financial account information or call records were affected. The company said the breach occurred between February 24 and March 30.
Covid-19 & Pandemics
- Covid-19 was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2022, according to provisional data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- WHO (World Health Organization) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the Covid-19 public health emergency of international concern should end.
- Top UN (United Nations) officials and health industry leaders are trying to tackle an alarming surge in tuberculosis. Among the problems: a high number of cases in conflict zones, including Ukraine and Sudan.
- US Department of State Travel Advisories
- CISA: nation-state cybersecurity threats and other resources for cybersecurity matters.
- Our most recent blog post looks at what the Pentagon leaks can teach about protecting classified information.