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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Data Care Act introduced by Democrat Senate group

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A group of 15 Senators has introduced the Data Care Act, a measure designed to protect Americans information online and penalize companies that do not properly safeguard such data. The Data Care Act, introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would require websites, apps, and other online providers to take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and…

Top FBI official calls Chinese cyberespionage ‘most severe’ threat to American security

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FBI counterintelligence division head E.W. “Bill” Priestap Wednesday said Chinese cyberespionage poses the “most severe” threat to American security at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Non-Traditional Espionage Against the United States.” Priestap said China’s Communist Party “dominates every facet of Chinese life,” from religion to freedom of expression and business and that “it is…

‘Sharpshooter’ cyberespionage campaign scopes out defense, critical infrastructure sectors

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A global phishing campaign called Operation Sharpshooter was discovered using fake job recruitment documents to infect defense, government and critical infrastructure organizations with a malicious backdoor implant, presumably for cyber espionage purposes. The implant, nicknamed Rising Sun, was observed in least 87 impacted organizations over the course of October and November, McAfee Labs reported today…

Mueller sentencing memos on Cohen, Manafort point to coordination with Russian operatives during campaign

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A trio of sentencing memos filed Friday in cases against President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort offer the strongest indication yet of repeated contact or coordination between members of the Trump campaign and Russian operatives at a time when Russia was attempting to interfere in and exert influence…

Australian flag

Australia passes law forcing tech giants to circumvent encryption on target devices

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Australia’s parliament on Thursday passed groundbreaking legislation that instructs tech developers to help law enforcement investigations by intercepting the encrypted communications of suspects’ devices. Known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, the law contains language requiring companies in some cases to build new capabilities to decrypt protected communications if…

Huawei responds to allegations of NSA hacking

Huawei CFO, daughter of founder, arrested in Canada for extradition to U.S.

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The CFO, and daughter of the founder, of Huawei Technologies, whose equipment has raised security concerns in the U.S. government, was arrested in Canada December 1 and is awaiting extradition to the United States. While the U.S. has not given a reason for Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, early reports speculate that it may have more to…

USSS test facial recognition pilot at White House

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Travelers to the Washington D.C., area should avoid visiting the White House if they don’t want their faces captured and logged in a new Secret Service-operated surveillance program. The program, currently just a pilot, will seek to test the agency’s ability to verify the identities of a test population of volunteer USSS employees. “Ultimately, the…

Don’t lock him up: Flynn’s aid in Russia probe, other investigations earns leniency plea from Mueller

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended Tuesday night that former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn avoid prison time for lying to the FBI since he has offered “substantial assistance” on a number of ongoing investigations, including Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the presidential election and any potential coordination between the nation-state and members of…

election cyber

NRCC emails hacked during 2018 midterms

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Although Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen declared the 2018 midterms the nation’s most secure election ever, bad actors who hacked the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) apparently didn’t get the message. After one of its vendors noticed the intrusion last April, the NRCC launched an investigation and reported the incident to authorities, according…

Assurance on the shore: Brick Township Public Schools and SonicWALL

NYS Education Dept. falls short in protecting student data, comptroller says

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The New York State Education Department hasn’t incorporated all of the recommendations to protect student data, leaving it vulnerable to attack, the Office of the State Comptroller wrote in a November letter to Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The Department has not made significant progress,” the letter from State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said, according to…

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