The Stroz Friedberg Cyber Brief

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The Cyber Brief
Today's Top Story
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016
Some engineers at Apple say they may resign rather than help their employer comply with a pending court order to help the FBI crack a terrorism suspect’s iPhone. An evidentiary hearing in the high-profile case is scheduled for Tuesday in Riverside, California, where a federal judge will hear testimony from witnesses on both sides. Apple’s legal team is expected to focus on the statutory limits of the All Writs Act, which the government says allows the court to force Apple engineers to write new code for the FBI.

Some industry analysts say resignations in protest would likely be viewed as a badge of honor among other tech firms that share Apple’s skepticism of the government. Apple said in court filings last month that it would take several engineers up to a month to meet the FBI’s demands. (NYT, Reuters, The Verge)
Trump: The FBI and Secret Service are investigating reports that members of the activist hacking collective Anonymous posted Donald Trump’s personal information online, including his Social Security number. The group has announced a “cyber war” against the GOP presidential candidate. (The Hill)

ISIS: The FBI is looking into the release of a so-called "kill list" containing the names and personal information of more than two dozen police officers from departments throughout the state of Minnesota. The list was reportedly published by the Caliphate Cyber Army, considered an online extension of the Islamic State terrorist group. (CNN)

Apple: Researchers at Johns Hopkins reportedly discovered a flaw in Apple’s iMessage platform that could allow hackers to decrypt photos and videos sent as secure instant messages. The news seems to upend the notion that strong commercial encryption has left little opening for law enforcement and hackers, some analysts say. (WashPost)

Vehicle Security: The FBI has released a warning to drivers about the threat of over-the-internet attacks on cars and trucks. The announcement comes several months after researchers demonstrated the potential dangers that hackers pose to the auto industry. (Wired)
DHS: The Department of Homeland Security has begun sharing cyber threat information with federal agencies and private companies in accordance with the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Virginia will receive data on possible cyber threats from program participants, scrub it for personal information, and then disseminate it. (AP)

FCC: The Federal Communications Commission has proposed what analysts say could become the largest and most stringent set of privacy regulations on the U.S. technology industry to date. If passed, they will prohibit Internet service providers from selling customer data without consumers’ prior consent, among other things. (Wired)

Commerce: The U.S. government plans to temporarily lift trade sanctions against ZTE Corp. after the Chinese telecom reportedly made some significant changes. The Obama administration levied sanctions on ZTE earlier this month, citing evidence it had violated restrictions on exporting U.S. technological goods to Iran and other nations. (WSJ)
Lyft-GM: The two transport companies are launching a short-term car rental program that is expected to evolve into an autonomous vehicle network. The firms said that the Express Drive program, aimed at prospective Lyft drivers who don’t have qualifying cars, will start in Chicago this month, and then roll out to Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, later this year. (LAT)

Amazon: The company has emerged as one of the tech industry’s most active lobbyists in the nation’s capital, pushing lawmakers to allow new uses for commercial drones, to extend the maximum length of trucks, and to improve roads and bridges, and to prop up the U.S. Postal Service. (NYT)
Belgium: The Brussels-based SWIFT financial messaging system plans to ask banks to make sure they are following recommended security practices following the unprecedented cyberattack on Bangladesh's central bank that yielded criminals $81 million. (Reuters)

Canada: Hackers have stolen customer and employee information from The River Cree Resort and Casino, one of the largest in Canada. FireEye is helping authorities with the investigation. (FT)

Must Reads
Lavabit Sounded a Warning Before the Apple-FBI Battle: “[Ladar] Levison shut down Lavabit back then rather than let the government undermine the privacy of his users, and the legal case against him ended on a technicality months after it began. But it was the canary in the coal mine that foreshadowed what was to come. It highlighted the extraordinary and aggressive measures the government was willing to take in its standoff with tech companies and also highlighted how the odds are stacked against firms, and the customers they represent, who don’t have the resources or friends that Apple has to fight back,” writes Kim Zetter in Wired.

How the U.S. Learned to Cyber Sleuth: “A year earlier, the analysts probably wouldn’t have detected a hacker at all, unless by pure chance. With few exceptions, the Army, Navy and civilian leaders in the Pentagon would have had no way of knowing whether an intruder was present, much less what he was doing or where he was from. That all changed with the Eligible Receiver war game, which convinced high-level officials, even those who had never thought about the issue, that America was vulnerable to a cyber-attack and that this condition endangered not only society’s critical infrastructure but also the military’s ability to act in a crisis,” writes Fred Kaplan in an excerpt from a new book.

The Bangladeshi Bank Heist: “With the criminals and the ultimate destination of the stolen money still unidentified, the theft has left Bangladesh taxpayers short of $81m, demoralised staff at the country’s central bank and embarrassed the Philippines by exposing the inadequacies of its banking supervision...The crime has indeed sent shockwaves across Asia and the world, where other central banks are hastily re-examining their payment procedures and cyber security,” write Victor Mallet and Avantika Chilkoti in the Financial Times.
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