Discover more from Securing Our Future
Spotlights on Prelude and HawkEye 360, Fundings: Sierra Space, Anthropic, Project Cypher
27 September 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
We are thrilled to showcase the achievements of two New North Ventures portfolio companies. From rapid responses to cybersecurity threats to groundbreaking innovations in RF data analysis, our portfolio companies continue to push the boundaries of technology and cybersecurity.
Prelude's Swift Response to Snatch Ransomware Advisory
In a swift and agile response to this week's Snatch Ransomware CISA Advisory, Prelude has once again demonstrated its commitment to proactive cybersecurity solutions. Within just six hours of the advisory's publication, Prelude provided users with a production-ready Snatch ransomware test.
Snatch ransomware is notorious for its attempts to bypass cyber security controls by initiating safe mode on Windows computers, effectively disabling many security processes before commencing its file encryption routine. A crucial mitigation strategy is disabling write access to the registry key that toggles the safe mode. This proactive approach can significantly impede Snatch's attack.
To help you assess your defensive controls against Snatch ransome, Prelude invites you to create a free account and conduct tests in just a few minutes. Here is the link to create a Prelude account.
HawkEye 360 Launches Game-Changing RF Analysis Product RFIQ
HawkEye 360 has introduced a revolutionary RF data analysis product - RFIQ - that is poised to redefine how we analyze radio frequency data.
RFIQ offers rich spectral data sets and access to the broadest range of RF frequencies in the commercial sector. This powerful tool empowers users with unparalleled insights into RF activities, allowing for custom collections to discover new signals or pinpoint known emitters, all within a country-wide footprint.
For a comprehensive look at this groundbreaking product, please refer to their press release.
We are proud to support these dual-use technology companies that continue to deliver disruptive solutions to emerging and intractable national and economic security problems. We look forward to witnessing our portfolio companies achieving even greater milestones in the future. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and achievements from our expanding portfolio.
Subsea cables are vital for global internet connectivity, with around 450 undersea cables spanning over 1.3 million km, carrying 99% of international data transmissions. Recent trends show a dramatic increase in international bandwidth demand, driven by content providers like Google, Meta, AWS, and Microsoft, leading to the construction of more subsea cables.
Subsea cable projects are typically financed by multi-party, international consortia, with Western tech giants often collaborating with regional telecom firms and investors in the Indo-Pacific region. The demand for new cables is stretching suppliers, creating potential bottlenecks in cable deployment.
However, concerns about national security reviews related to these technologies exist. The rise of HMN Tech, a former Huawei subsidiary, as a subsea cable supplier reflects China's efforts to attain leadership in this sector through technology transfer, concessionary financing, and serving overlooked markets. The U.S. government has become less receptive to direct cable links between the U.S. and China, resulting in delays and reshaping of new cable routes.
Security concerns extend beyond cable installation, with landing stations seen as potential vulnerabilities. Cable customers prioritize redundancy due to the high business impact of losing access to cables. Uncertainty exists about responsibility for cable security in worst-case scenarios.
U.S. government efforts to prioritize subsea cable security involve diplomacy, technical support, financing through entities like the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Development Finance Corporation, and collaboration with allies and partners to promote trusted cable infrastructure. However, challenges arise due to commercial viability criteria and competition with subsidized Chinese firms.
President Joe Biden's restrictions on certain U.S. technology investments in China are raising concerns among investors, who fear further, more stringent measures amid ongoing tensions between the two major economies.
U.S. private equity and venture capital investors have been cautious about investing in sensitive technologies in China due to worsening relations driven by concerns about technology, industrial policies, and national security.
While Biden's executive order seeks to prevent U.S. capital and expertise from contributing to China's military modernization and safeguarding its national security, the order currently applies only to new investments. Analysts anticipate additional measures, potentially through congressional legislation, to increase scrutiny on American investments in China.
Acquisitions of Chinese companies by U.S. firms have significantly declined this year, partly due to China-U.S. tensions and Beijing's regulatory crackdown on private enterprises, prompting some fund managers to shift focus away from China or prioritize local-currency investments.
Congressional hearings involving tech industry figures often highlight a clash between batch culture and event loop culture, representing distinct approaches to processing information and responding to actions. Batch culture, reminiscent of early computing, involves processing tasks in discrete batches with clear before-and-after stages, often requiring wait times for results.
Event loop culture, seen in modern tech, emphasizes real-time responses to user actions, such as interactive web experiences and swift reactions to input and feedback.
This cultural divide extends beyond tech, affecting various aspects of life, with banks, books, and government operating primarily in a batch mode, while tech, including social media, mobile apps, and AI, embraces event loop culture, reacting swiftly to user input and feedback. Congressional policymaking follows a more deliberate batch-oriented process.
Key People: CEO Tom Vice
Elevator Pitch: A commercial space transportation technology designed to facilitate the beginning of new civilizations beyond Earth.
Funding: The company closed on $300 million of an undisclosed targeted amount of venture funding from Kanematsu, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, and Tokio Marine Holdings on September 26, 2023.
Key People: CEO Dario Amodei
Elevator Pitch: A research company intended to build reliable, interpretable and steerable large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
Funding: The company closed on $4 billion of venture funding from Amazon.com on September 25, 2023.
Key People: Founder and CEO Mohamed Belarbi
Elevator Pitch: A cyber risk monitoring and scoring platform designed to identify, exploit, and patch vulnerabilities across digital assets by replicating real-world attack scenarios.
Funding: The company raised $750,000 of seed funding from Qatar Insurance Company, Maroc Numeric Fund, and other undisclosed investors on September 25, 2023.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Allison Coukos sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation where Allison discusses her vision and current work to improve national security through innovation.