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Government/Defense News and Analysis

DHS finds no tampering of Durham County election devices

The Department of Homeland Security’s CISA Hunt and Incident Response Team (HIRT) found no direct malicious activity affecting the ePollbook laptops used in certain Durham County, N.C., precincts during the 2016 election. HIRT was asked by the Durham County Board of Elections to examine the ePollbook laptops after several reported inaccurate data to poll workers.…

2020 Predictions: Election Security

David Richardson, senior director of product management, Lookout 2020 Election Hacking Will Focus on Mobile – As cyber attacks have evolved to target mobile devices because of their nature and form factor, so will cyber attacks in the 2020 Presidential Election. Spear phishing campaigns are moving beyond the traditional email-based phishing attacks we saw in…

Secret court judge orders FBI to reform FISA process

Spurred by a Justice Department inspector general (IG) report that found the FBI made serious mistakes in a FISA surveillance application during its Russia probe, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge ordered the bureau to submit changes to the process for obtaining permission for surveillance. “The frequency with which representations made by F.B.I. personnel turned…

Senate building

Senate passes $1.4 trillion spending bill, includes $25 million for election security

The Senate today passed the sweeping $1.4 trillion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes a number of security measures and appropriates $425 million in funding for election security, though it stopped short of requiring post-election audits for states not using paper ballots and safeguards against foreign interference in U.S. elections.…

Obama talks cybersecurity legislation in State of the Union

King slips legislation protecting grid from cyberattacks into 2020 Defense Authorization Bill

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, tucked legislation to protect the U.S. energy grid from cyberattacks into the finalized 2020 Defense Authorization Bill. The Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, which King introduced with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, aims to safeguard the grid by facilitating partnerships with private industry through engineering to eliminate vulnerabilities that allow hackers access via…

dirtycow

Devin Nunes’ cow Twitter account owner should remain anonymous, ACLU says

The person behind the “Devin Nunes’ cow” Twitter account should remain anonymous, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asserted in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in response to a defamation lawsuit brought by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. While Nunes has offered no evidence that the parody account had posted false statements, the California lawmaker, who as…

IG report says FBI justified in starting Russia probe; Barr disagrees

No sooner had Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his much-anticipated report on the origins of the Russia probe, finding as expected that the FBI was justified in beginning an investigation of the Trump campaign, than Attorney General William Barr put out a statement publicly disagreeing with the findings. While Horowitz skewered the FBI…

Barr said to dispute Justice IG’s finding that FBI had legal basis for Trump campaign probe

Attorney William Barr reportedly has signaled that he’ll dispute the apparent finding in the much-anticipated Justice Department Inspector General (IG) report that in the summer of 2016 the FBI had enough evidence to pursue an investigation into Trump campaign members’ ties to and possible coordination with Russian operatives. IG Michael Horowitz is expected to conclude…

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