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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Here are the hurdles that will face Biden’s new CISO

As the newly appointed CISO of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, Chris DeRusha, former chief security officer with the State of Michigan, has fewer than four months to implement his cybersecurity vision before Election Day arrives — all in the midst of a pandemic that has altered the traditional way that campaigns traditionally operate. DeRusha will…

EARN IT passes Senate Judiciary, stokes concerns over erosion of end-to-end encryption

Proponents of the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARNIT) might tout its tough stance on online child sexual abuse material but privacy and digital rights advocates contend the bill, just passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will erode end-to-end encryption. EARN IT revokes Section 230 protection for internet intermediaries for what…

Geopolitical targets figuring in latest StrongPity attacks

StrongPity, aka Promethium, a potentially state-sponsored APT group active since 2012, isn’t letting exposed campaigns in recent years stop it from trying to install malware around the world, particularly in warzones such as Syria. Two separate reports this week from Cisco Talos and Bitdefender suggest the attackers are getting more aggressive in their geo-targeted malicious…

Dem bill would ban federal law enforcement from using facial recognition technology

Democrats in the House and Senate today introduced legislation banning federal law enforcement from using facial recognition technology. “Facial recognition technology doesn’t just pose a grave threat to our privacy, it physically endangers Black Americans and other minority populations in our country,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., who introduced the bill along with Sen.…

Ex-CIA exec: Covid-19 has created ideal ‘crisis’ conditions for malicious hackers

Companies trying to stave off business disruption caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic may be ripe for compromise as they introduce new risks in the scramble to maintain business continuity, warned a retired senior CIA executive in a keynote presentation Wednesday at the InfoSec World 2020 digital conference. In essence, the coronavirus has created ideal…

Australia says state-based actor is behind surge of sophisticated cyberattacks

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned late last week that a sophisticated, state-sponsored cyber actor has been attacking the country’s government and corporate institutions, as well as critical infrastructure operators, with increasing regularity. Morrison did not name-and-shame the specific country that is responsible for the alleged attacks. But inside sources told Reuters that China is…

Cyberattackers raising stakes in financial sector, security experts tell House subcommittee

Cyberattacks on the U.S. financial sector amid COVID-19 rose 238 percent over the first five months of 2020, VMware/Carbon Black told Congress during a House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy virtual hearing Tuesday. Four NGOs brought to the attention of the lawmakers of how attackers are raising the stakes with fraudulent…

How to leverage artificial intelligence.

‘Woefully lax’ security led to WikiLeaks Vault 7 dump

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., pressed new Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to detail security measures taken to safeguard sensitive intelligence after an internal CIA report said “woefully lax security” at the Center for Cyber Intelligence led to the “largest data loss in CIA history” – the leak of hacking tools to WikiLeaks. Wyden had…

Trump

Vulnerability in Trump campaign app revealed keys and secrets

A security vulnerability in President Trump’s mobile campaign app exposed Twitter application keys and secrets, Google apps and maps keys and Branch.io keys in the Android APK file, researchers at Website Planet recently discovered. A research team led by Noam Rotem and Ran Locar said the exposed keys and secrets provided access to the app’s…

Taser Body Camera

House police reform bill includes face recognition provisions

Tucked into the police reform bill introduced by the House today are provisions for using body cameras along with a cursory rebuff of facial recognition, prompting privacy advocates to call for legislators to clarify that the technology should only be used for accountability, not surveillance. “Any reform legislation should make clear that face recognition cannot…

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