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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Govt surveillance NSA

Senate passes bipartisan amendment to protect surveillance targets, delays FISA reauthorization

The Senate Wednesday passed an amendment to the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act that would put a check on government surveillance activities by expanding the role of independent “friend of the court” to include FBI surveillance asks in all cases before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. “This is a critical victory towards reforming our broken intelligence surveillance system,”…

House Intel Committee releases closed-door testimonies from Russia election interference probe

The House Intelligence Committee released long-promised closed-door testimonies, including those of members of President Trump’s family and inner circle, from its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “The testimony that the committee is releasing today serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that Russian interference poses to our democratic process…

Top 5 cyber risks that impact businesses.

Trump cites cybersecurity concerns issuing order to protect power grid

President Trump declared a national emergency to protect the nation’s bulk-power infrastructure that stops the purchase or use of any equipment that involves a foreign adversary in any way. The declaration was part of an Executive Order signed on May 1 that stated the federal government had found that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and…

Cybersecurity snubbed in stimulus package

Aid for states is not the only thing that didn’t make it into the $480 billion stimulus package President Trump signed today – funding for cybersecurity also was notably missing, something that security experts, policymakers and security experts hope Congress will rectify in future stimulus bills, particularly around election security. In a letter to House…

U.S. offers up to $5M for info on North Korean cyber activity

Four U.S. federal agencies on Wednesday jointly issued an advisory that warns of ongoing North Korea-sponsored cyberthreat operations, and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information on such operations. The communication, issued by the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department and the FBI, details the Democratic People’s Republic…

Texas judge OKs expanded mail-in voting during COVID-19 pandemic

A week after troubling images emerged of voters sporting face masks and trying to maintain social distancing as they stood in long lines during the Wisconsin primary, a Texas court ruled that the state’s registered voters would qualify to vote via mail during the pandemic. After the ACLU and the Texas Civil Rights Project brought…

Locky Ransomware

Ransomware attacks vs Kimchuk, Visser reveal supply chain threat to DOD

The operators behind DoppelPaymer ransomware reportedly attacked electronics manufacturer Kimchuk earlier this month, disrupting the company’s operations and stealing sensitive data that they have been publishing online as part of an extortion plot. Meanwhile, the cybercriminal outfit has continued to also publish information stolen earlier this year from Visser Precision, a parts maker and manufacturing solutions…

Every presidential campaign website executes suspicious third-party code

An analysis of 11 presidential campaign websites performed last September and again in December found multiple instances of potentially risky third-party code, unwanted code execution and unauthorized data tracking. According to a new report from The Media Trust, 81 percent of executing code on these websites was not internally developed, but rather from external third-party…

Russia-hack-US-election

Justice to drop charges against two companies indicted by Mueller

In an effort to protect government sources and investigative methods, Justice Department prosecutors will drop charges against two Russian companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, indicted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller for financing operations behind interference in the 2016 presidential election. The two companies, along with Internet Research Agency and a cadre of 13…

HHS CISO talks new threat briefings, alerts for health industry

HHS attack amid coronavirus scare slows systems

As the U.S. ramped up its response to the coronavirus pandemic, a cyberattack on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Sunday night aimed to slow down the agency’s computer systems. The initiative didn’t make much of an impact. “Luckily it slowed, but didn’t break or compromise anything,” said Marty Puranik, CEO of Atlantic.Net. The attack…

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