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Monday, 07 October 2019 11:29

CrowdStrike should be open about DNC hack when touting for business

CrowdStrike should be open about DNC hack when touting for business Pixabay

Security firm CrowdStrike is touting for more business, beyond its base in the US. That's probably why the company has put out a mid-year threat report which mostly contains details of tactics, techniques and procedures.

The company put out its annual report on threats in March so one could well question the need for another report so soon. But George Kurtz, the company's chief executive is making the rounds — he was in Sydney last week and managed to obtain some very fulsome praise from that august media organ, The Australian — so a new 61-page report that contains very little of substance doesn't hurt.

Kurtz has attempted to position the company as something unique when it offers services that numerous others do. He was at pains to tell The Australian that the company had turned over its report on the 2016 intrusion into the Democrat National Council to the FBI. What he failed to mention was that this was a heavily redacted report – and that fact is mentioned in a court filing.

The shadow of the DNC hack still hangs heavily over CrowdStrike which is probably why the company did not respond to iTWire's queries around the redacted report, which were sent in June, with the responses meant to be added to this report.

There are other curious aspects about CrowdStrike which probably should have been raised by The Australian, one being the fact that it never mentions any advanced persistent threats which are crafted by the NSA.

On its website, the company lists the nation-state adversaries that it tracks; these are from Russia, Vietnam, Nortn Korea, South Korea, Iran, Pakistan, China and India.

But then if Kurtz is looking to expand the company's business to places other than the US, he would also have to offer a means of tracking threats from the NSA – which has been known to even spy on countries that are so-called allies. Let's remember that the NSA was caught spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel – and Germany is among the top allies of the US.

The Australian claims, based on the CrowdStrike report, that there is a "disturbing jump in e-crime, especially commercial theft". That has been true for at least the last three years and the writer could have easily ascertained that from a cursory glance at the websites of other security firms. This, probably, is not a perspective that Kurtz would have volunteered.

It would have been interesting to ask Kurtz about CrowdStrike chief technology officer Dmitri Alperovitch, who is reportedly an associate of the Atlantic Council, a so-called think-tank which has put out a string of anti-Russian articles with headlines like “Distract Deceive Destroy: Putin at War in Syria” and “Six Immediate Steps to Stop Putin’s Aggression.” The Atlantic Council is a front for the Democrats.

After a successful IPO, CrowdStrike is, no doubt, trying to pull ahead of the rest. One curious fact about the security industry, mentioned to me by Check Point's head of Cloud Security, Ran Nahmias, is that there is no firm that outranks the rest by a large margin when it comes to revenue.

CrowdStrike may be trying to change that. But it would be good if those who sing its praises make sure that they also tell their readers the other side of the picture.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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