Government

Government

Rep. Thompson asks O’Brien to revive cyber coordinator position

After President Trump tapped Robert O’Brien to replace John Bolton as national security adviser, the third in less than three years, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., called on O’Brien to resurrect the cyber coordinator position last held in May 2018 by Rob Joyce and eliminated by Bolton soon thereafter. “Mr. O’Brien, President Trump’s fourth National…

Justice Dept. sues Snowden over book release

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden for not running his memoir, “Permanent Record,” through the proper government review prior to its publication. “If only the Justice Department was as concerned with the systematic legal violations carried out by the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs as they…

Security in 2015: Biometrics

Warner presses CBP on security best practices for third-party contractors

After photos of travelers and vehicles crossing U.S. borders were nicked from a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) subcontractor through a cyberattack, and Suprema BioStar 2 exposed more than 1 million fingerprint records along with facial recognition information and other sensitive data, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., pressed CBP for details on how it ensures third-party…

FEMA offers free credit monitoring after mishandling disaster survivors’ data

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last week publicly acknowledged that for roughly 10 years it unnecessarily exposed the personally identifiable information of roughly 2.5 million disaster survivors to a third-party contractor. FEMA does not believe citizens’ data was compromised due to the error, which was originally reported last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland…

U.S. sanctions North Korea hacking groups, says attacks funded missile program

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned North Korea Friday for ransomware attacks on the Swift interbank messaging system and other critical infrastructure targets that generated funding for the nation-state’s weapons and missile programs. The Treasury Department targeted three state-sponsored hacking groups – the Lazarus Group, whose WannaCry attacks wreaked havoc around the…

stingray2

Israel reportedly behind spying devices found near White House, other sensitive areas

Israel likely planted StingRays found near the White House and other key locations in Washington to spy on President Trump and his advisers, the U.S. government reportedly determined, though the Trump administration took no apparent action to chastise its ally. “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible,” a Politico report cited a former…

Authorities arrest 281 alleged BEC scammers in ‘Operation reWired’ campaign

Law enforcement officials at home and abroad have arrested 281 individuals over a span of four months, in a massive crackdown on various business email compromise scams, the Justice Department announced yesterday. Dubbed Operation reWired, the coordinated campaign began in May 2019 and has resulted in 72 arrests in the U.S., and 167 in Nigeria,…

Following cyber order from Obama, CISPA is back

Secret Service probing breach at federal IT contractor

Credentials and email messages pilfered in a breach of a federal government contractor that could be used to access the contractor’s systems and those of its customers – including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – were auctioned off in a Russian cybercrime site in August, prompting…

Facebook hosts election security meeting between tech companies, intel officials

Executives from leading technology and social media firms convened with U.S. intelligence representatives yesterday to discuss ongoing efforts to shield their platforms and users from election interference campaigns. According to Bloomberg and additional news outlets, Facebook used its Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters to host the meeting, which was attended by Google, Microsoft, Twitter and members…

Google fined $170M for allegedly improper collection of kids’ data from YouTube channels

The Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General’s office today announced that Google and its subsidiary YouTube agreed to an unprecedented $170 million in fines for allegedly using cookies to harvest personal data from minors without parental consent and then serve behavioral ads based on this information. Such actions are in violation of the…

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