Best Infosec Long-Reads of the Week, 8/20/22

Best Infosec Long-Reads of the Week, 8/20/22

Russia's FSB botched the planning for Ukraine invasion, Apple and Facebook almost averted their 'privacy war,' Making money on selling Pentagon data, Series whitewashes Ring, What CIOs think

Metacurity is pleased to offer our free and paid subscribers this weekly digest of long-form infosec pieces and related articles that we couldn’t properly fit into our daily crush of news. Let us know what you think, and feel free to let us know if we missed something important by sending us a note to Happy reading!

  • The Washington Post’s Greg Miller and Catherine Belton examined a trove of sensitive materials obtained by Ukrainian and other security services that illustrate the hubris of Russia’s FSB security service in planning for a swift take-over of Ukraine and how those plans collapsed amid the retreat of Russian forces in the early months of the war. But the same documents show how Ukraine, despite Western intelligence to the contrary, believed up until the end that Russia was not going to launch an invasion.
  • Salvador Rodriguez in the Wall Street Journal has this deep dive into secret talks between Apple and Facebook that could have averted the “privacy war” that erupted between the two companies after Apple made it easier for iPhone and iPad users to opt out of letting apps like Facebook track their activity on their devices. During those talks, one intriguing idea kicked around: a subscription-based version of Facebook that would be free of ads.
  • Mark Harris in Wired has this in-depth look into how a small family business, Newport Aeronautical Sales, sold unclassified technical information to companies that wanted to bid on Pentagon contracts to repair military aircraft or manufacture spare parts. Using the Freedom of Information Act, the company made a hugely profitable business selling Pentagon data, which embroiled it in global politics and landed its CEO briefly in prison. As Harris says, read his piece “if you’re interested in subterranean vaults, Cold War-era spycraft, shadowy arms dealers, and a light techno-political history of the Freedom of Information Act’s evolution over the past 50 years.”
  • Eileen Guoarchive and Abby Ohlheiser in MIT Tech Review walk us through the new video streaming series, Ring Nation, made by Amazon-owned MGM Studios featuring videos from Amazon-owned surveillance company Ring, the company normalizing surveillance in American life. The series presents a carefully crafted image of Ring that obscures its more insidious role as a frequent invader of privacy and collaborator with law enforcement.
  • Kevin McAllister at Protocol spoke to seven CIOs about what people don’t understand about being a CIO. The consensus among those interviewed seems to be that although CIOs were once charged with “keeping the lights on,” they are now integral members of the top business teams at their organizations.

Image by Tania Dimas from Pixabay

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