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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Following cyber order from Obama, CISPA is back

Lawmakers advance bills that would add to DHS’ cyber responsibilities

The U.S. Senate last week passed a bill requiring the Department of Homeland Security to maintain cyber hunt and incident response teams, while the House passed one that instructs DHS to share protocols for mitigating cyber vulnerabilities. The Senate bill, S.315, aka the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019, passed by…

Trump

Whistleblower: White House moved record of call with Ukraine president to separate classified network

A whistleblower complaint, declassified and released just minutes before the acting Director of National intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire is to testify before a congressional committee, alleged, among other things, that senior White House officials obfuscated communications between the president and the president of Ukraine by moving records of the call to a separate computer network…

“Cybersecurity as realpolitik”

27 nations ink cybersecurity pledge

Twenty-seven nations signed a statement today reaffirming their commitment to constructing a framework for responsible state behavior in cyberspace. The statement, Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, created a framework for the nations to show their continuing support for the international rules-based order, and encourage its adherence, implementation and further development, including at the ongoing…

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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