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UK Bans Apple Watches in Cabinet Meetings

In the UK, Apple Watches have been banned from government cabinet meetings, amid concerns that they could be used as listening tools by Russian spies.

A source told the Telegraph that the smart watches have become a major concern given the surge in hacking activity believed to be tied to Putin’s regime.

One source said: "The Russians are trying to hack everything."

The Telegraph pointed out that under David Cameron, several cabinet ministers wore smart watches, including Michael Gove, the former Justice Secretary.

Jeff Schilling, chief security officer at Armor Defense, said that such concerns may be overblown given that attribution for the recent spate of political hacks remains somewhat difficult.

“I think the intelligence community had more conviction in the presence of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in pre-invasion Iraq than they have in the clear attribution of who is really behind the cyber-attacks,” he said in a blog post. “Thus is the crux of the problem in cyberspace—attribution. A reporter asked me a few months ago, why is attribution so hard in cyberspace? In order to paint a non-technical picture, I asked the reporter to imagine if you could jump into someone else’s skin, rob a bank, then let the other person take all of the heat for your crime. That analogy is exactly what exists today in cyberspace.”

The more sophisticated actors use other cyber threat actors’ infrastructure and tools to obfuscate their activities. And sometimes sophisticated actors contract with third-party counterparts who have access to targets that the nation-state actors want to exploit. By using “contractors,” this allows the nation-state to maintain plausible deniability.

Photo © Lucas Gojda/Shutterstock.com

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