Cyber incident disrupts South African ports. Updates on intercept tools. Origin of REvil decryptor remains obscure.
Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
Macron was spied not with Pegasus but with UAE’s DarkMatter software (Market Research Telecast) The french president Emmanuel Macron he was not spied on by the software Pegasus nor by the Moroccan intelligence services, as reported this Thursday by several Spanish and international newspapers. To spy on Macron another … Read more
Investigations Reveal Macron Was Not Spied on With Pegasus Software (Morocco World News) The allegations against Morocco continue to fall apart, as recent reports indicate French President Emmanuel Macron was surveilled by a completely different software program.
Pakistan seeks U.N. probe of India’s use of Pegasus spyware (Reuters) Pakistan called on the United Nations on Friday to investigate whether India used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to spy on public figures including Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Officials who are US allies among targets of NSO malware, says WhatsApp chief (the Guardian) Will Cathcart claims government officials around the world among 1,400 WhatsApp users targeted in 2019
Scale of secretive cyber surveillance ‘an international human rights crisis’ in which NSO Group is complicit (Amnesty International) The vast scale of violations perpetrated through secretive cyber surveillance has exposed a global human rights crisis, Amnesty International warned today, in a new briefing published following the revelations of the Pegasus Project investigation.
Pegasus Spyware Warrants International Cyber Security Attention (The Organization for World Peace) Over the last week, The Washington Post along with 16 partners conducted an investigation, which revealed a military-grade spyware for tracking terrorists. Licensed by an Israeli firm to government…
Updated Kaseya ransomware attack FAQ: What we know now (ZDNet) Here is everything you need to know.
Software company’s unveiling of decryption key comes too late for many victims of devastating ransomware attack (CNN) On Thursday, the software company Kaseya announced that it could help unlock any of its customers’ systems that were still inaccessible following a devastating ransomware attack early this month that took down as many as 1,500 businesses worldwide. But for many victims it was too little, too late.
The Kaseya Ransomware Nightmare Is Almost Over (Wired) A decryption tool has emerged, meaning any victims whose systems remain locked up can soon breathe easy.
Kaseya Obtains Universal Decryptor for REvil Ransomware (Threatpost) The vendor will work with customers affected by the early July spate of ransomware attacks to unlock files; it’s unclear if the ransom was paid.
Ransomware key to unlock customer data from REvil attack (Yahoo) The gang behind the attack had previously asked for $70m to access the stolen files.
Why remote working leaves us vulnerable to cyber-attacks (BBC News) Experts warn working from home has led to complacency over security protocols
New PetitPotam attack forces Windows servers to authenticate with an attacker (The Record by Recorded Future) A French security researcher has discovered a security flaw in the Windows operating system that can be exploited to force remote Windows machines to authenticate and share their password hashes with an attacker.
Microsoft warns of evolved LemonDuck malware targeting Windows and Linux machines (Computing) LemonDuck crypto miner has new features allowing key theft, introduction of backdoors and more, Microsoft warns
IDEMIA fixed biometric identification devices vulnerabilities discovered by Positive Technologies (Positive Technologies) Current threats include biometric identification bypass and breach of perimeter, IDEMIA has released firmware updates
Port cyber attack: Now Road freighters concerned about goods (The South African) The Road Freight Association has raised concern about the movement of cargo through Durban Port and the country’s image to the world.
Cyber Attack Disrupts Container Operations at Major South African Port (Insurance Journal) A cyber attack has disrupted container operations at the South African port of Cape Town, an email seen by Reuters on Thursday said.
Transnet cyber attack cripples movement of goods through port terminals (IOL) Road Freight Association CEO Gavin Kelly says attack created massive delays and unreliability in the movement of goods.
Crooks target Kubernetes installs via Argo Workflows to deploy miners (Security Affairs) Threat actors target Kubernetes installs via Argo Workflows to cryptocurrency miners, security researchers from Intezer warn. Researchers from Intezer uncovered new attacks on Kubernetes (K8s) installs via misconfigured Argo Workflows aimed at deploying cryptocurrency miners. Argo Workflows is an open-source, container-native workflow engine designed to run on K8s clusters. The experts discovered Argo Workflows instances with […]
Spammer floods the Babuk ransomware gang’s forum with gay porn GIFs (The Record by Recorded Future) A spammer has flooded the forum of the Babuk ransomware group with gay orgy porn GIFs after the Babuk gang failed to pay a $5,000 ransom demand the threat actor made on Friday.
Social Security numbers, financial information may have been exposed in data breach impacting Yale New Haven Health (WTNH) Yale New Haven Health announced on Friday that it was among a large number of organizations to be impacted by an Elekta data breach. According to Yale New Haven Health, El…
Fear patient data may have been stolen from Auckland DHBs (Stuff) Office of the Privacy Commissioner advised of possible data breach; HealthAlliance investigating ‘unusual activity’.
Florida DEO warns of unemployment data breach (Spectrum News 13) DEO said it was on July 16 when they discovered the hack.
CBP Put Travelers’ Personal Information at Cyber Risk, OIG Says (MeriTalk) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not always protected Mobile Passport Control (MPC) applications from cybersecurity threats, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
PSG Executives Preyed By Cyber-Attack, As Club Gets New Liverpool Signee (THEWILL NEWS MEDIA) A hacking cyber-attack on Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the President of further Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain has led to the leaking of two of his mobile phone numbers, according to information made available by the French football club. The hacking software platform known as Pegasus, which is marketed and licensed to governments […]
Clubhouse denies data breach, experts debunk claims of leaked phone numbers (Zee News) The social audio app has now denied the leak and after examining the claims, several security experts have also said that these are false allegations against the company.
‘Holy moly!’: Inside Texas’ fight against a ransomware hack (Washington Post) It was a steamy Friday two Augusts ago when Jason Whisler settled in for a working breakfast at the Coffee Ranch restaurant in the Texas Panhandle city of Borger. The most pressing agenda item for city officials like him that morning: planning for a country concert and anniversary event.
Security Patches, Mitigations, and Software Updates
Apple fixes bug that breaks iPhone WiFi when joining rogue hotspots (BleepingComputer) Apple has rolled out iOS 14.7 earlier this week with security updates to address dozens of iOS and macOS vulnerabilities, including a severe iOS bug dubbed WiFiDemon that could lead to denial of service or arbitrary code execution.
Google publishes detailed timeline for Privacy Sandbox rollout in Chrome (9to5Google) Last month, Google announced that it would delay Chrome’s plan to phase out third-party cookies. A Google Privacy Sandbox timeline…
Despite good defensive measures, ransomware continues to get in (Help Net Security) Traditional ransomware defenses are failing, with 54% of victims having anti-phishing training and 49% having perimeter defenses in place.
Average ransomware payment declined by 38% in second quarter of 2021, new Coveware report says (CyberScoop) The tides may be starting to turn on the ransomware epidemic, new industry findings show. The average ransomware payment declined to $136,576 in the second quarter of 2021, according to numbers published Friday by ransomware response firm Coveware.
CEOs, CISOs doubling down on cloud-based cybersecurity (IT Brief) “Industry leaders are emphatically pointing to a very different future for cybersecurity.
The CISO: the enabler of innovation (Information Age) Myles Bray, senior vice-president EMEA at Forcepoint, discusses how the role of the CISO has changed, to enable innovation
IT and Security Leaders are Embracing Automated Identity Access Management too Late to Protect Against Hackers, Hitachi ID and Pulse Survey Shows (Hitachi) While many IT leaders use technology to continuously monitor their environment for identity access management cybersecurity risks, almost 100 percent have yet to put technology in place to proactively identify security risks.
Vietnam is one of the top 5 targets of Android malware (VietnamPlus) India and Vietnam are ranked among the top five countries globally to be hit by Android/FakeAdBlocker malware, according to ESET, a Slovak internet security company headquartered in Bratislava.
Lebron James’ ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ swaps outer space for cyberspace (review) (Space.com) Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” brings a fun-but-bloated basketball game into the digital realm of cyberspace starring NBA star Lebron James.
NightDragon Closes $750M Growth Fund as Part of Next-Generation Cybersecurity, Safety, Security and Privacy Platform (Yahoo Finance) NightDragon today announced the close of NightDragon Growth I, a new $750 million venture capital fund to invest in and advise late-stage and growth companies in the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy industry. The fund will aim to advance the industry and close the gap between offense and defense amidst today’s aggressive threat landscape.
Announcing a New Fund to Advance Security from Silicon to Satellite (Medium) When I was wrapping up my time as CEO, I began thinking through what came next. I had been lucky enough to be CEO of some of the most…
Sophos acquires Braintrace to supercharge its threat detection capabilities (TechCrunch) The deal adds another startup to Thoma Bravo’s cybersecurity portfolio.
Blockchain Firm Magic Raises $27 Million To Become The Passport Of The Internet (Forbes) The present-day Internet is monopolized by a few Big Tech companies that we’ve come to rely on daily as we browse online, resulting in security and authentication paradoxes. Sean Li, Arthur Jen and Jaemin Jin have raised a $27M Series A to build future-proof authentication at scale.
Former Dragos, Crowdstrike Execs Launch ‘SynSaber,’ Securing $2.5 Million in Seed Funding (Tech Times) Two former leaders from cybersec companies Dragos and Crowdstrike recently announced teaming up for a new company, SynSaber, and securing $2.5 million in seed funding.
Planned Systems International makes health, cyber play through acquisition (Washington Technology) Planned Systems International acquires a middle-tier systems integrator for a greater foothold in federal health and cyber programs.
Sentar Awarded Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific Engineering and Support Services Multiple Award Contract (The Daily News) Sentar Inc. (Sentar), a women-owned business specializing in advanced cybersecurity and intelligence solutions and technology, announced today the award of the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific), Full and Open Engineering and Support Services for Network and Information Systems Technology Programs Multiple-Award Contract (MAC).
Global phone hacks expose darker side of Israel’s ‘startup nation’ image (CNN) Audacious Mossad spy operations around the world. The plucky “startup nation” home to reams of billion-dollar ideas. These are two drivers of Israel’s image abroad that its political and business leaders have long been happy to push.
NSO Group CEO Claims BDS Is Probably Behind Damning Investigation (Motherboard) “I don’t want to sound cynical now, but there are those who don’t want [Israel] to import ice cream or export technologies.”
What to know about the investors behind embattled spyware firm NSO Group (Yahoo) Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group has become a pernicious version of Steve Urkel, never acknowledging the calamity that its software seems to cause. Unlike the old TGIF character, however, NSO’s consequences are very real and enabled by private equity.Driving the news: An international journalistic consortium, in partnership with Amnesty International, this week reported that a piece of NSO software, called Pegasus, was used by used by governments to spy on journalists, lawyers, human righ
Tony Podesta is hired to lobby by Huawei and a Bulgarian energy company. (New York Times) With his allies running Washington, the veteran Democratic lobbyist has re-emerged after his firm collapsed under scrutiny from investigators.
Dahua, Hikvision out of security camera industry group (The Record by Recorded Future) Both Dahua and Hickvision, two of China’s largest security camera makers, are no longer members of the Security Industry Association (SIA), the largest trade organization for surveillance vendors in what appears to be the fallout from the two state-owned companies collaborating with Chinese officials in their oppression of the Uyghur minority.
Darktrace plungs after shareholder loses appeal against extradition to US (BOLSAMANIA) Shares of Darktrace plunged following news that shareholder Michael Lynch had lost an appeal against extradition to the US on fraud charges.
Lynch’s U.S. legal woes cast shadow on Darktrace (Reuters) Shareholders in UK cybersecurity firm Darktrace (DARK.L) are waking up to founder Mike Lynch’s legal problems. A British court on Thursday rejected his attempt to block an extradition order made by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has accused him of 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud related to Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of Autonomy in 2011, which he also founded. Lynch denies all charges. He can still appeal the court’s ruling.
IronNet Named a “Vendor Who Shaped the Year” for Second Time by IDC (BusinessWire) IronNet, in its mission to transform cybersecurity through Collective Defense, was named a “Vendor Who Shaped the Year” by IDC for the second time in
Twitter kicks off its brand safety audit with the MRC (Digiday) Twitter has signed a contract with the MRC to begin a “pre-assessment process,” the company announced on July 21.
Facebook decided faith groups are good for business. Now, it wants your prayers (Reuters) Facebook (FB.O) has long sought your attention. In recent weeks, it has started asking for your prayers as well in a new tool now available for U.S. Facebook Groups.
Colorado CISO Deborah Blyth to join CrowdStrike as state and local strategist | StateScoop (StateScoop) Blyth helped lead the recovery to a 2018 ransomware attack that became a blueprint for how state governments respond to major cyber incidents.
Ed Dubrovsky Joins Qnext Corp. in Key Advisory Role (financialpost) Ed Dubrovsky, a leading information security expert and management executive who has built and led cyber consulting…
Leidos Taps Former DOD Cyber Lead Tom Michelli (Washington Exec) Leidos announced Thomas P. Michelli has joined as cyber operations and cybersecurity strategic account executive. He will be responsible for enhancing business growth across the company’s cyber-related portfolio of programs, services and solutions.
Products, Services, and Solutions
The Dragos Platform – Now With Vulnerability Management (Dragos | Industrial (ICS/OT) Cyber Security) At Dragos, we continually enhance the industrial device data, threat analytics, and response playbooks in our cybersecurity solution so that our customers can confidently understand and manage both what, and who, are in their OT environment. These updates, in the form of Knowledge Packs, are the codification of the expertise of our OT practitioners –…
Yes, The World Does Need Another Consumer Digital Security Offering (Forbes) #1-Ranked Industry Analyst Patrick Moorhead dives deeper as last month, Digital Security Company Aura launched its new consumer security and identity theft protection service to the public.
Twitter reveals surprisingly low two-factor auth (2FA) adoption rate (BleepingComputer) Twitter has revealed in its latest transparency report that only 2.3% of all active accounts have enabled at least one method of two-factor authentication (2FA) between July and December 2020.
Salvation Army Achieves Game-Changing Cybersecurity Posture with LogRhythm (LogRhythm) For more than 140 years, the Salvation Army has been providing support and guidance for those in need throughout Australia. The faith-based movement offers a range of services including assistance for the homeless, aged, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, youth and employment support, and disaster recovery. Each year the organisation assists more than 1 million Australians. During an average week, it provides 100,000 meals for the hungry, 2000 beds for the homeless, and 3,000 people with aged care services.
Blue Hexagon Augments AWS Network Firewall with AI-based Cloud-Native Threat Detection (BusinessWire) Blue Hexagon, a leading agentless cloud-native AI security platform, announced the native integration of Blue Hexagon’s industry-leading real-time dee
Databarracks provides backup-as-a-service for Govia Thameslink Railway (National Cyber Security News Today) Business continuity provider Databarracks has been providing a backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solution for Govia Thameslink Railway, the UK’s largest railway company The solution has helped the f…
Fortinet: Preparing Manufacturers with Endpoint Security (Energy) Fortinet provides insightful research to prepare manufacturers for more secure operations technology with endpoint security
BlackBerry Launches BlackBerry Jarvis 2.0 to Address Expanding Global Embedded Cybersecurity Landscape (BlackBerry) BlackBerry today announced the release of BlackBerry Jarvis 2.0, the latest edition of the company’s flagship software composition analysis tool.
Incedo Consolidates its Cybersecurity Defense with Check Point Software Technologies (CXOToday.com) Check Point Software´s end-to-end solution safeguards Incedo and its customers from global spike in cyberattacks, while reducing costs and increasing productiv
Startup company will give you money to sell your data to advertisers (CBS17.com) Social media changed forever the way business operates. Everything we do online is parsed, analyzed, and sold even though all that data is yours.
Qualys Wins Contract to Support DHS CDM for Group F Federal Agencies (PR Newswire) Qualys, Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS), a pioneer and leading provider of disruptive cloud-based IT, security and compliance solutions, today announced it…
Technologies, Techniques, and Standards
Thriving in Chaos: How Cyber Resilience Works (Security Intelligence) Rohit Ghai, CEO of RSA, says “Being resilient is not good enough. We must be good at resilience.” Learn how cyber resilience helps clarify a chaotic field.
Russia Disconnected Itself From Global Internet in Tests (Interesting Engineering) The country purposefully disconnected itself from the global internet between June 15 and July 15, a move that could eventually be useful in combating cyber attacks.
The 5×5—If it blinks, it sinks: Adventures in securing operational technology (Atlantic Council) With rising sophistication, automation, and interconnectivity in operational technologies, security has become an overwhelming need.
3 Pillars of an Effective Cyber Intelligence Strategy (Entrepreneur) Cyber intelligence has always been crucial, but recent developments have made getting accurate and timely information on potential cybersecurity threats even more urgent.
Washington National Guardsmen take part in Cyber Shield 2021 (DVIDS) 19 cyber experts from the Washington National Guard participated in Cyber Shield, the Department of Defense’s largest unclassified cyber defense exercise.
Design and Innovation
How the Dumb Design of a WWII Plane Led to the Macintosh (Wired) At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
Research and Development
Research by University of Surrey and Arqit reveals Quantum Threat to Digital Assets (BusinessWire) A University of Surrey report co-authored by Stephen Holmes, Chief Product Officer at Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a global leader in quantum encryption t
$2.9 million may be given to cybersecurity research at Texas A&M Central Texas (KXXV) The university’s initial grant helped develop the program and cybersecurity lab at Founders Hall on campus. But this additional funding would expand the program and dramatically increase the impact they could have on one of the world’s most pressing current issues.
Anita D’Amico Endowment Fund for cyber security and psychology research | Synopsys (Software Integrity Blog) Adelphi University has launched the Anita D’Amico Endowment Fund to support research related to cyber security and psychology.
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
Amid China’s military pressure, Taiwan prepares for cyber war (ANI News) Taipei [Taiwan], July 25 (ANI): Cyber attacks are a growing global threat and a number of countries are now focusing on the mounting threat of cybercrimes, Taiwan being at the forefront amid China’s military pressure and crippling cyberattacks.
How Taiwan is trying to defend against a cyber ‘World War III’ (CNN) As China steps up military pressure on Taiwan, the self-governing island is preparing for the next big frontier of warfare: crippling cyberattacks.
Can the World Avoid War in Cyberspace—and in Space? (Foreign Policy) Billionaire rocket launches and ongoing cyberattacks reveal that, without norms governing conflict, there could be chaos.
Australia Join Allies In Slamming China Over Major Cyber Attack (Triple M) Nation accused of privacy breach
The Cybersecurity 202: Cyber experts give Biden top marks at six months (Washington Post) At his six-month mark in office, President Biden is making the right moves to ensure the United States is safer in cyberspace, according to an overwhelming majority of cybersecurity experts we polled.
Biden Administration Responds to Geopolitical Cyber Threats (Dark Reading) In response to growing concerns regarding the recent uptick in large-scale, nation-state-backed ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure, the Biden administration is taking new action to tackle the evolving challenges posed by ransomware attacks.
Biden’s response to China hack seen as tepid due to US economic ties with Beijing (Denver Gazette) When the White House announced President Joe Biden rallied American allies to condemn China’s state-sponsored hacking, many in Washington were perplexed as he bypassed more punitive measures.
Private Sector Urges ‘Take the Gloves Off’ After China Cyberattacks (SDxCentral) Private-sector security leaders urge retaliatory action against Beijing beyond simply naming and shaming its “malicious cyber behavior.”
Hackers are as dogged as Romans besieging Masada – US cybersecurity exec (Times of Israel) The West has to work harder in war against increasingly bold cybercrooks, says Brandon Wales, executive director at the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Senate NDAA pushes for more domestic production, increased cyber authorities (FCW) The Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of the 2022 defense authorization bill, calling for more cyber authorities, tech-favoring acquisition policies, and domestic production of critical materials.
Proposed ‘Hack-Back’ Bill Tells DHS To Study Allowing Companies To Retaliate (Breaking Defense) “So what will happen is you’ll be destroying your grandmother’s computer in Kansas that has been taken over,” cyber policy expert Herb Lin said. “It’s not clear to me that that’s the best way.”
House panel advances slate of cybersecurity bills (FCW) Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said eight new bills will bring the United States ‘one step closer to a safer and more secure wireless future.’
Bipartisan senators introduce legislation to secure critical infrastructure networks against cyberattacks (Homeland Preparedness News) U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation Thursday designed to safeguard America’s critical infrastructure networks against cybersecurity threats. The bill would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to … Read More »
YouTube Avoids Facebook-Level Criticism From Biden (Bloomberg) Hi, it’s Mark Bergen. Erin Elizabeth was kicked off Facebook. Elizabeth, owner of an alternative health blog, is one of the “disinformation dozen” named in a recent high-profile report on social media’s anti-vaccination problem. Soon after that report, she was purged from Facebook and Instagram, losing access to millions of followers.
The U.S. Takes an Important Cybersecurity Step—Two Decades Late (Slate Magazine) The new changes are a remarkable development at least for one important economic sector, potentially for the rest as well.
The US To At Last Take A Stand On Cyber Security (Pipeline Technology Journal) It has been announced that the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday required owners and operators of critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas, will need to seriously upgrade their cyber security measures.
Biden Has to Play Hardball with Internet Platforms (Wired) The president needs to prioritize Americans’ wellbeing over Big Tech’s whims to begin a path to restoring democracy, privacy, and competition.
Welsh microship firm sale riskier than Huawei deal, ex-security boss says | ITV News (ITV News) The sale of Newport Wafer Fab to a Chinese-backed company is riskier than the Huawei 5G deal, a former cyber security boss has said. | ITV News Wales
Blaming China is handy when trying to keep telco infrastructure away from Beijing (ZDNet) Australia is funding the potential purchase of a Pacific telco for only one reason, to ensure China Mobile doesn’t get to it first.
US Department of Defense statement says DJI products pose ‘potential threats’ (DroneDJ) The US Department of Defense says DJI products pose “potential threats” to national security. DJI says no evidence has ever shown this.
States weigh bans on ransomware payoffs — GCN (GCN) While prohibiting ransom payments could help deter attacks, some cybersecurity experts say it’s a bad idea because local governments, particularly smaller ones, may not be able to restore or rebuild their computer networks quickly, resulting in more costs and disruption than paying a ransom.
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
First came the ransomware attacks, now come the lawsuits (Washington Post) Companies that have been locked out of their computer networks by hackers are now getting sued by consumers and workers claiming they were hurt by lax cybersecurity.
British courts take US fraud extradition of Darktrace backer Lynch up a level (Verdict) Mike Lynch is facing extradition to the US over fraud charges in relation to the botched $11m Autonomy deal in 2011 after a UK judge made a ruling.
NSA review finds that Tucker Carlson’s communications were not targeted (The Record by Recorded Future) The NSA has found no evidence to support Tucker Carlson’s accusations that the agency had been spying on him in an effort to knock his show off the air, two people familiar with the matter told The Record.
Fox’s Tucker Carlson mentioned in communications monitored by NSA: report (The Jerusalem Post) The agency found that Carlson had been mentioned in communications between third parties and his name was then revealed through “unmasking.”
U.S. Drops Visa Fraud Cases Against Five Chinese Researchers (Wall Street Journal) The Justice Department’s move marks a significant setback in its effort to stop alleged Chinese intelligence-gathering at U.S. universities.
Botnet operator who proxied traffic for other cybercrime groups pleads guilty (The Record by Recorded Future) An Estonian national pleaded guilty this week in an Alaska court on charges of building and operating a botnet comprised of internet routers that proxied malicious traffic for other cybercrime gangs.
Tennessee man died from heart attack after ‘Swatting’ over Twitter handle (the Guardian) Man pleads guilty to conspiracy after British caller sent heavily armed police to the house of Mark Herring, 60