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Government/Defense News and Analysis

In growing market for genetic data, privacy implications prove lasting

Barr proposes expanding the collection DNA samples for immigrants, creating database

A Justice Department proposal to collect DNA samples from around 748,000 immigrants who cross the border annually would create a database that ostensibly would be used to fight crime but is being criticized by rights advocates as a particularly personal invasion of privacy that could be misused to pursue immigrants and their family members. “It’s…

Leaks reveal the spy tactics which leveraged Wi-Fi in a major airport to track travelers.

Leaky Autoclerk database exposes info on travelers, including military and gov’t personnel

A leak at Autoclerk, a reservations management system recently acquired by the Western Hotel & Resorts Group, exposed personal and travel information on hotel guests, including members of the U.S. government, military and Department of Homeland Security. “Our team viewed highly sensitive data exposing the personal details of government and military personnel, and their travel arrangements…

Mind Your Own Business Act beefs up privacy protections, gives consumers dominion over data, punishes execs

The Mind Your Own Business Act, privacy legislation introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Friday, aims to protect data and punish corporate executives who abuse it. Billed by Wyden as going further than the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the bill would let consumers control how their data is used – in a single click…

Govt surveillance NSA

CBP mulls facial recognition tech for body cams

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is considering using facial recognition in body cameras that agents will wear in the future, sending out a request for information (RFI) on biometric options that can be used to verify identity. This after California banned the use of facial recognition technology in body cameras and body cam…

CozyDuke APT group believed to have targeted White House and State Department

APT 29/The Dukes back in business

The threat group APT 29 has apparently returned to action with ESET uncovering three new malware families it is attributing to the cybergang. Apt 29/The Dukes is best known as being the primary suspect behind the Democratic National Committee breach during the runup to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but the group had remained quiet…

SHIELD Act passes committee

The Committee on House Administration passed the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act intended to close loopholes in foreign spending in U.S. elections as well as improve disclosure and transparency rules. “The SHIELD Act closes gaps in the law that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to launder money into…

Pentagon ‘Hack the Proxy’ program uncovers 31 vulnerabilities, one critical

Ethical hackers found 31 vulnerabilities – one rated critical while nine got a high severity rating – during the Pentagon’s Hack the Proxy program on the HackerOne platform. Although the Sept. 3-18 initiative was eighth version of the bug bounty program, it was the first “focused on securing content intermediaries for publicly accessible proxy servers…

Mississippi gov’t agencies fall short of cybersecurity compliance standards

Mississippi government institutions by and large are failing to comply with standard cybersecurity practices – only 71 of 125 state agencies, boards, commissions, and universities responded to a survey by the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) and only 53 of those have an articulated cybersecurity policy in place. At least 11 of those surveyed…

Chinese hackers breach 50 U.S. gov't contractors' systems in one year

Stratfor hacker Hammond held in contempt for refusing to answer grand jury questions

Just months before he was to be released from federal prison where he is serving time for hacking intelligence firm Statfor and releasing information to WikiLeaks , activist and hacker Jeremy Hammond, was found to be in contempt of court for failing to answer questions before a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia…

McAleenan out at DHS

For the fifth time in just under three years, the Trump administration finds itself looking for another Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, after acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said he would step down. McAleenan, an Obama administration holdover who replaced the embattled former DHS Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, tendered his resignation just a few days after…

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