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Australia passes law forcing tech giants to circumvent encryption on target devices

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Australia’s parliament on Thursday passed groundbreaking legislation that instructs tech developers to help law enforcement investigations by intercepting the encrypted communications of suspects’ devices. Known as the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018, the law contains language requiring companies in some cases to build new capabilities to decrypt protected communications if…

USSS test facial recognition pilot at White House

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Travelers to the Washington D.C., area should avoid visiting the White House if they don’t want their faces captured and logged in a new Secret Service-operated surveillance program. The program, currently just a pilot, will seek to test the agency’s ability to verify the identities of a test population of volunteer USSS employees. “Ultimately, the…

DHS algorithm to assess federal agencies’ cyber posture

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Federal agencies are reportedly feeding data into a special algorithm introduced by the  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to assess their cyber posture scores. This Agency-Wide Adaptive Risk Enumeration (AWARE) algorithm should go into full production by fiscal year 2020, news outlet GCN reported yesterday, citing a public presentation yesterday by DHS Continuous…

The DOJ to investigate Uber breach

U.K., Dutch fine Uber $1.2 million over data breach violations

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The U.K. and Netherland’s government fined Uber a combined $1.2 million over for the data breach the company endured in 2016 that exposed the data on many of its customers and drivers. Privacy regulators from the U.K. levied a $491,000 penalty, while their Dutch colleagues issued a $600,000 fine, according to The Irish Times. The…

Amarillo City workers PII compromised

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The employees of the city of Amarillo, Texas, had their personal information compromised when an outside contractor conducting an audit lost a USB drive containing their data. The contractor was conducting a required external audit of the city’s payroll when one of its workers lost an encrypted USB drive that contained the PII which included…

Pennsylvania police warn an app may have been hacked to send fake speeding tickets.

DEA and ICE using surveillance cameras hidden in streetlights

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In a move that could stir up visions of an Orwellian-style government surveillance state, recently published government procurement data revealed the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have purchased an undisclosed number of covert surveillance cameras hidden inside streetlights to place around the country. Its unclear where or when either agency…

IT pros dubious of government officials’ cyber knowledge

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A newly released survey of 515 IT security professionals is giving government officials a no-confidence vote in terms of their ability to understand digital threats, practice cyber hygiene and legislate encryption policies. Conducted during last August’s 2018 Black Hat cybersecurity conference by researchers at Venafi, the survey found that 63 percent of respondents believe government…

Hack the Air Force 3.0 takes off

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The U.S. Air Force has again joined with HackerOne to roll out the third installment of its bug bounty program nicknamed Hack the Air Force 3.0. The program runs until Nov. 22 and is open to white hat hackers in 191 countries, making it the government’s largest bounty project to date, the Air Force said…

State of security: Minnesota

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Who’s in charge: Secretary of State Steve Simon Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said the state’s reliance on paper ballots is a cornerstone of ballot security and vote totals are reviewed by city, county, and state election officials several times before an election is ultimately certified by the state canvassing board. The electrical systems…

State of security: Iowa

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Who’s in charge: Secretary of State Paul Pate, Director of Elections Dawn Williams Iowa uses nothing but paper ballots for all forms of voting, and then tabulates the votes with ballot marking technology or optical scanners. The auditing process has come under some criticism for a variety of perceived flaws, including its scope, which is limited to a…

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