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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Voting equipment vendors seek info on vulnerability disclosure program

The nation’s top voting equipment vendors reportedly are issuing a request for information (RFI) this week on building a vulnerability disclosure program (VDP) to bolster election security. Noting vulnerability disclosure is critical to finding and fixing software bugs, Casey Ellis, CTO and founder of Bugcrowd, said, “In a climate where most voters share the concern…

U.S. IT security professionals face range of attacks from abroad, report finds

Defense Dept. unveils counter-insider threat program

In conjunction with National Insider Threat Awareness month, the Defense Department has launched a counter-insider threat program aimed at educating its analysts on how to spot potential threats and suspicious behavior. “What we are trying to do is tell people if you hear that, if you see that, if you sense that, pay attention to…

Veterans, military targeted for ID theft, election influence, VVA says

Foreign actors have perpetrated the “persistent, pervasive, and coordinated online targeting” of American veterans, members of the military and their families for identity theft and influencing them via social media, even trying to sway their votes in the 2020 election with fake accounts like “Vets for Trump,” according to a report by the Vietnam Veterans…

Rep. Thompson asks O’Brien to revive cyber coordinator position

After President Trump tapped Robert O’Brien to replace John Bolton as national security adviser, the third in less than three years, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., called on O’Brien to resurrect the cyber coordinator position last held in May 2018 by Rob Joyce and eliminated by Bolton soon thereafter. “Mr. O’Brien, President Trump’s fourth National…

Justice Dept. sues Snowden over book release

The U.S. Justice Department filed suit against former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden for not running his memoir, “Permanent Record,” through the proper government review prior to its publication. “If only the Justice Department was as concerned with the systematic legal violations carried out by the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs as they…

U.S. sanctions North Korea hacking groups, says attacks funded missile program

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned North Korea Friday for ransomware attacks on the Swift interbank messaging system and other critical infrastructure targets that generated funding for the nation-state’s weapons and missile programs. The Treasury Department targeted three state-sponsored hacking groups – the Lazarus Group, whose WannaCry attacks wreaked havoc around the…

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Israel reportedly behind spying devices found near White House, other sensitive areas

Israel likely planted StingRays found near the White House and other key locations in Washington to spy on President Trump and his advisers, the U.S. government reportedly determined, though the Trump administration took no apparent action to chastise its ally. “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible,” a Politico report cited a former…

Following cyber order from Obama, CISPA is back

Secret Service probing breach at federal IT contractor

Credentials and email messages pilfered in a breach of a federal government contractor that could be used to access the contractor’s systems and those of its customers – including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – were auctioned off in a Russian cybercrime site in August, prompting…

Facebook hosts election security meeting between tech companies, intel officials

Executives from leading technology and social media firms convened with U.S. intelligence representatives yesterday to discuss ongoing efforts to shield their platforms and users from election interference campaigns. According to Bloomberg and additional news outlets, Facebook used its Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters to host the meeting, which was attended by Google, Microsoft, Twitter and members…

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