The Stroz Friedberg Cyber Breif

  FEATURED STORY            

MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018


The U.S. Treasury Department is expected to announce sanctions within days against the thirteen Russians accused of interfering in the last presidential race, as well as other entities. Testifying before the U.S. Senate last Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Treasury “very shortly will be bringing out a list of sanctions on those individuals that had been complicit” in the election meddling crimes alleged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office last month.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the congressional bodies investigating Russia’s election interference, is expected to release recommendations this month on how states can defend against malign actors ahead of and during the 2018 midterms. (WaPo, Reuters)


EternalBlue: Cybersecurity researchers say the leaked NSA hacking tool known as EternalBlue is becoming a favorite for criminals. Although Microsoft released its EternalBlue patches almost a year ago, many corporate and institutional networks have not installed them. (Wired)


Spyware: Researchers at security firm Kaspersky revealed a long-running hacking campaign, which they call “Slingshot,” that they believe planted spyware on more than a hundred targets in eleven countries, mostly in Kenya and Yemen. (Wired)


Fake News: False stories spread significantly farther, faster, and more widely on social media than real ones do, according to an MIT researcher. Additionally, the study found that human behavior contributed more to the differential spread of truth and falsity than bots did. (NYT)

Turkey: Researchers at McAfee suspect North Korean hackers were behind spear phishing attacks on Turkish financial institutions and a government organization earlier this month. (WSJ)


Net Neutrality: A federal appeals court in San Francisco will hear challenges to the FCC’s repeal of the Obama-era open internet rules. Several U.S. states argue the FCC cannot make “arbitrary and capricious” changes to existing policies, and that the agency disregarded “critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses.” (Reuters)

  ON THE HILL                                    

Mueller Probe: Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Trump obstructed justice is said to be close to completion, but sources say he may set it aside while he finishes other parts of his inquiry, including whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian agents. (Bloomberg)


NATO: Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the top U.S. commander in Europe, told senators that the U.S. government does not have an effective, unified approach to deal with Russia’s cyber threat. (Reuters)

Army: The service has awarded a much-contested $876 million contract to provide software to Palantir, the data-mining startup, and Raytheon. Since Trump’s election, Peter Thiel, Palantir’s founder, has gained significant influence in Washington. (Bloomberg)

  PRIVATE SECTOR                             

Drones: Companies including Google, Amazon, Boeing, and GE are looking to develop a privately funded and operated air-traffic control network for low-flying unmanned aircraft. (WSJ)


Facebook: The social media group removed a video posted by the Hungarian prime minister’s chief of staff in which he said immigrants were responsible for increased crime in the capital of Austria and were pushing “white Christians” out. (Reuters)

Broadcom: The Singapore-based company says it will redomicile to the United States by April 3, two days before the chipmaker’s acquisition target Qualcomm holds its annual shareholder meeting. Broadcom’s $117 billion offer to buy California-based Qualcomm is being reviewed by a Trump administration national security panel. (Reuters)

  THE WORLD                                     

Japan: Authorities in Tokyo are moving to punish several cryptocurrency exchanges, ordering two of them--Bitstation and FSHO--to suspend business, in an effort to shore up consumer protection after a $530 million theft from Coincheck earlier this year. (FT)

China: Police in Beijing are reportedly testing out glasses, made by LLVision, that can pick up facial features and car registration plates, and match them in real-time with a database of suspects. (Reuters)


U.S. Could Start a Digital Trade War: “The trade war to fear is not in physical commodities, but in technology, which economic nationalists hope to ringfence in order to stave off competitive threats from countries such as China. The US has already launched a so-called Section 301 investigation. The results are due this summer but it will probably result in stricter barriers on Chinese investment in American data and IT,” writes Rana Foroohar in the Financial Times.


Why Blockchain Will Survive, Even If Bitcoin Doesn’t: “Of all the manifestations of crypto, it’s the most seemingly mundane applications of blockchain that could lead to the biggest and most concrete changes in all of our lives. These applications can’t be found on a coin exchange, and they aren’t going to turn anyone into an overnight billionaire. But they could bring much-needed change to some of the world’s most critical, if unsexy, industries,” writes Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal.

YouTube the Great Radicalizer: “Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century. This is not because a cabal of YouTube engineers is plotting to drive the world off a cliff. A more likely explanation has to do with the nexus of artificial intelligence and Google’s business model,” writes Zeynep Tufekci in the New York Times.



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