The Stroz Friedberg Cyber Brief


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The Cyber Brief
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MONDAY, AUGUST 1, 2016
U.S. WEIGHS RESPONSE TO ELECTION HACKS
The Obama administration is gauging how to respond to the Russian government’s alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other campaign-related computer systems. The Justice Department is now investigating a breach of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as well as an intrusion at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Thus far, the White House has refrained from publicly pointing the finger at the Kremlin, though U.S. intelligence officials have said they have “high confidence” that Moscow was responsible.

U.S. officials have noted that while spying on each other’s political institutions tends to be considered fair game, leaking data to influence an election represents a new level of bad behavior. Depending on Russia’s links to the leaks, some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a forceful response that would help deter this type of intervention in the future. But others are wary of exposing U.S. intelligence sources and methods, or prompting an escalation. (NYT, FT, CNN, AFP)

Related:
Some political analysts say WikiLeaks has lost the moral high ground following its exposure of DNC emails that suggest it was colluding with the Russian government. (Wired)

Foreign policy experts are reportedly shocked and disturbed by Donald Trump’s appeal to Russia to intervene in the U.S. presidential election on his behalf. (NYT)

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said that a "cyber-spying virus" was found in the networks of about 20 organizations, including government agencies and defense firms. (BBC)
Black Hat 2016: The annual conference in Las Vegas this week is expected to highlight the security holes in internet-connected devices. Organizers say they received 50 proposals for talks related to the so-called Internet of Things, an unusually large number. (WSJ)

AI Mistakes: A new research paper shows how machine learning can sometimes be fooled and make massive errors. For instance, an alteration of a few pixels could trick a program into thinking that a picture of an elephant is a car. (Wired)
DEA Case: The ACLU filed a motion to join a lawsuit pitting Utah laws protecting a state medical database against a Drug Enforcement Agency effort to access it without a warrant. The DEA’s actions violate not only Utah law, but also the Fourth Amendment, the ACLU claims. (The Hill)
White House: The Obama administration issued a new directive clarifying the roles played by government agencies in the event of a cyberattack. The FBI takes the lead in finding those responsible, while DHS assists victims in repairing systems, and ODNI provides intelligence support. The directive also provides a five-level model that officials will use to rank cyber incidents. (The Hill)

Presidential Campaign: Candidates Clinton and Trump are expected to receive their first official U.S. intelligence briefings as early as this week. The sessions will give broad overviews of how spy agencies see the state of the world. Significant topics will include the threat of cyberattacks, the Islamic State, and Russia. (NYT)
Tech Connections: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened the Boston location of Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, or DIUx, the Pentagon’s effort to bolster connections to the U.S. innovation economy. A Silicon Valley office opened in 2015. (DOD)
Uber: The ride-hailing service has decided to invest $500 million into an ambitious global mapping project to wean itself off Google Maps and pave the way for driverless cars. Meanwhile, Uber China announced it was selling itself to Didi Chuxing, its fiercest rival there. (Reuters, NYT)

Autonomous Cars: A new survey shows that the deadly crash of a Tesla car using its Autopilot system has done little to weaken public confidence in Silicon Valley’s ability to develop self-driving cars. (WSJ)
China: Officials in Beijing gave the green light to online ride-hailing services, issuing guidelines that establish a long-awaited framework for the booming industry. The new rules will take effect in November. (Reuters)

Korea: South Korean authorities said that the North’s main intelligence agency had stolen the personal data of more than 10 million customers of an online shopping mall, in what they said was an attempt to obtain foreign currency. (NYT)

Brazil: The Olympic Games will be the first use of Logos Technologies' city-wide persistent surveillance system at a sporting event. The system evolved from technologies Logos previously supplied to the Defense Department for use in combat zones. (Fast Company)
Must Reads
Hacker Threat Extends Beyond Parties: “The furor over the cyberattacks injecting turmoil into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign obscures a more pervasive danger to the U.S. political process: Much of it has only lax security against hackers, with few if any federal cops on the beat. No one regulator is responsible for requiring campaigns, political operations and state and local agencies to protect the sanctity of the voter rolls, voters’ personal data, donors’ financial information or even the election outcomes themselves. And as the Democrats saw in Philadelphia this past week, the result can be chaos,” write Cory Bennett and Bryan Bender in Politico.

The Anarchist Bringing Encryption to Us All: “While [Moxie] Marlinspike may present himself as an eccentric outsider, his ability to write freakishly secure software has aligned him with some of the tech industry’s biggest companies. For a time he led Twitter’s security team. His deal with WhatsApp means that the Facebook-owned company now uses his tools to encrypt every message, image, video, and voice call that travels over its global network; in effect Marlinspike has enabled the largest end-to-end encrypted communications network in history, transmitting more texts than every phone company in the world combined,” writes Andy Greenberg in Wired.

How Scalpers Make Their Millions: “Increasingly, that ticket holder is not a guy at the theater door with an extra ticket. It’s a person employing sophisticated software, a so-called ticket bot, to buy a huge number of tickets moments after the theater releases them. In the time a human buyer can find the calendar feature on a ticket site, a scalper’s network of hundreds of bots has already bought the maximum limit of tickets for multiple days of shows,” writes Tiff Fehr in the New York Times.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, KAREN J. GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL
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