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Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W3Y20): IMF calls for global response to cyber threats; UN Targeted with malware phishing attack. EC considers facial reco ban; Trump asks Apple to unlock iPhone; Microsoft Opens Office in UN…

Internet Gov Weekly Brief (W3Y20): IMF calls for global response to cyber threats; UN Targeted with malware phishing attack. EC considers facial reco ban; Trump asks Apple to unlock iPhone; Microsoft Opens Office in UN…

INDEX / MAIN NEWS

WEEKLY REVIEW

CYBER GEOPOLITICS

Russia’s ‘Data Localization’ Efforts May Guide Other Governments

“Moscow’s efforts to keep data on home soil are of interest to other authoritarian states — and even some liberal democracies…”

FBI Announces New Policy for Notifying State and Local Election Officials of Cyber Intrusions Affecting Election Infrastructure

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced a new internal policy to clarify and guide the timely federal notification of appropriate state and local officials of cyber intrusions affecting election infrastructure…”

Israeli court orders closed-door hearings in NSO surveillance firm case

“An Israeli court on Thursday ordered closed-door hearings in Amnesty International’s legal bid to stop NSO Group exporting surveillance software, which rights groups say is used to spy on journalists and dissidents worldwide….”

Netflix accused of funnelling UK profits through Netherlands

« Netflix has been accused of funnelling as much as £330m in profits made from operations outside the US into tax havens, while receiving generous relief for making shows such as The Crown in the UK, which helped cut its bill…”

Microsoft establishes New York office to work with the United Nations

“Microsoft announced today two senior appointments to its government affairs team and the opening of a new Microsoft representation office to the United Nations (UN) in New York…”

Ukraine asks FBI to help probe suspected Russian hack of Burisma

“The Ukrainian interior ministry on Thursday also announced an investigation into the possible illegal surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch, formerly the American ambassador to Kiev, following the release of text messages this week by the U.S. Congress as part of the impeachment case…”

U.N. sanctions experts warn – stay away from North Korea cryptocurrency conference

“United Nations sanctions experts are warning people not to attend a cryptocurrency conference in North Korea in February, flagging it as a likely sanctions violation, according to a confidential report due to be submitted to the U.N. Security Council later this month….”

UK rebuffs US presentation on Huawei security risks

“Britain believes the information dramatically presented by a delegation from Donald Trump’s administration about the risks of using Huawei technology in 5G networks contains nothing its intelligence agencies had not foreseen….”

Estonia and the United States to Build a Joint Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform

“Estonia and United States have started a cooperation to build a joint platform for sharing cyber threat intelligence between the two countries. The system will be developed by Cybernetica and procured by the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment according to a framework contract signed by the two parties at the end of last year….”

Here are the NSA general counsel’s cybersecurity warnings

“The U.S. government needs to do more to protect itself in cyberspace as adversaries’ technological capabilities rise, according to the departing general counsel of the NSA…”

House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC

“The Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday requested briefings from two key federal agencies on efforts to secure the nation’s telecommunications against potential Iranian cyberattacks, as another House committee also put the spotlight on Iranian cyber threats…”

Mnuchin says Huawei not a ‘chess piece’ in US-China trade deal

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that negotiations between the U.S. and China over issues around telecommunications giant Huawei are “ongoing,” stressing the Chinese company will not be used as a “chess piece” in the trade deal being signed Wednesday…”

Belgian security services call for stricter 5G protections as Huawei concerns cast shadow over European debate

“Belgium’s security services have recommended stricter security measures for the roll-out of 5G telecommunications as the ongoing debate about the potential risks from the Chinese tech giant Huawei plays out across Europe…”

US Pressures UK on Final Huawei Decision

“The US made a last ditch bid to convince the British government to fall into line over Huawei this week, as newly introduced legislation proposed excluding allies from intelligence sharing agreements…”

DATA PROTECTION

Washington Legislature Resumes Consideration of the Washington Privacy Act

“On January 14, a new version of the proposed Washington Privacy Act, Senate Bill 6281, was introduced in the state Senate. Similar to last year’s proposed act, which Manatt covered at the time (read more here), the new bill combines key features of both the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)…”

UK’s phone and internet bulk data surveillance unlawful, says EU court opinion

“The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice issues legal opinions finding that the UK, French and Belgian bulk surveillance regimes are unlawful…”

EU court finding set to limit spy agency use of personal data

“Europe’s highest court has issued a preliminary finding that would limit the ability of member states to use national security or the fight against terrorism to sidestep European Union data privacy laws…”

Tinder, Grindr accused of illegally sharing user data

“Popular dating apps like Tinder and Grindr are sharing the personal data of their users to third parties in breach of EU regulations, a Norwegian consumer rights group said Tuesday…”

Cookie consent tools are undermining GDPR

“A new study by researchers at MIT, UCL and Aarhus University suggests that most cookie consent pop-ups served to European internet users are likely defying regional privacy laws such as GDPR…”

Court’s excuses for data exposure are lame

“If North Dakota’s Supreme Court Justices were presiding over a case in which the defendant offered up an excuse for exposing the private information of thousands and thousands of people as lame as what the court itself is offering for their data breach, I have a feeling they wouldn’t be very forgiving…”

Personal details of cam girls exposed online – includes full name, SSN, address, phone number and more

“According to the researchers at the vpnMentor, highly sensitive personal details concerning several thousand webcam models have been leaked online by an adult website….”

Equifax to pay $380.5 million in data breach settlement in the US

“Equifax has agreed to pay $380.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in the US over its 2017 data breach. The agreement finalises the terms of its settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced in July 2019…”

Facebook Introduces New Login Alerts

“Facebook this week introduced a new notification to alert users when their accounts interact with a third-party application using Facebook Login….”

SECURITY

IMF: Cybersecurity Threats Call for a Global Response

“Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide. This law enforcement operation included the Spanish national police, Europol, FBI, the Romanian, Moldovan, Belarusian, and Taiwanese authorities, as well as private cybersecurity companies. Investigators found out that hackers were operating in at least 15 countries…”

EU Statement in support of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime

“The European Union recalls that the evolution of information and communication technologies – while bringing unprecedented opportunities for mankind – also raises challenges, including for criminal justice and thus for the rule of law…”

Trump slams Apple for refusing to unlock iPhones of suspected criminals

“In a tweet, President Donald Trump slammed Apple over whether it should unlock password-protected iPhones used by the shooting suspect at a Navy base in Pensacola, Florida in December…”

Apple Said It Is Helping In The Pensacola Shooting Investigation, But It Won’t Unlock The Shooter’s iPhones

“We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation,” the company said in a statement.

The FBI Can Unlock Florida Terrorist’s iPhones Without Apple

“The FBI is pressing Apple Inc. to help it break into a terrorist’s iPhones, but the government can hack into the devices without the technology giant, according to experts in cybersecurity and digital forensics…”

January 2020 Security Updates: CVE-2020-0601

The January security updates include several Important and Critical security updates. As always, we recommend that customers update their systems as quickly as practical. Details for the full set of updates released today can be found in the Security Update Guide.

Website of New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hacked

A state agency that regulates public utilities in New Mexico was “hacked by an outside source,” Public Regulation Commission chief of staff Jason Montoya and the Governor’s Office said Tuesday.

US: New Legislation Would Require a Cybersecurity Coordinator in Every State

Four United States Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a Cybersecurity State Coordinator program, with each of the 50 states having its own federally funded Cybersecurity Coordinator.

US: DHS orders all federal agencies to patch Microsoft vulnerabilities

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency ordered all federal agencies to patch critical Microsoft vulnerabilities made public by the National Security Agency (NSA) on Tuesday.

APT40 hacking group linked to 13 alleged front companies in Hainan, China

The mysterious research group Intrusion Truth has unleashed a new series of reports claiming that 13 businesses based in the southern island province of Hainan, China are collectively a front for reputed Chinese state-sponsored hacking group APT40.

Cyber Risk and the U.S. Financial System: A Pre-Mortem Analysis

We model how a cyber attack may be amplified through the U.S. financial system, focusing on the wholesale payments network. We estimate that the impairment of any of the five most active U.S. banks will result in significant spillovers to other banks, with 38 percent of the network affected on average.

Israel: Stop NSO Group exporting spyware to human rights abusers

“Israel must revoke the export license of NSO Group whose spyware products have been used in malicious attacks on human rights activists around the world, Amnesty International said ahead of the latest court case to embroil the tech firm…”

CYBER ATTACK

United Nations Targeted With Emotet Malware Phishing Attack

“Pretending to be the Permanent Mission of Norway, the Emotet operators performed a targeted phishing attack against email addresses associated with users at the United Nations.

Yesterday, the Emotet trojan roared back to life after a 3-week vacation with strong spam campaigns that targeted countries throughout the world…”

Hackers Demand Ransom From Patients After Breaching Florida Clinic

“January 10, 2020 – Current and former patients of Richard Davis, MD, who operates The Center for Facial Restoration, have received ransom demands from a cybercriminal who hacked the clinic’s server…”

Court Approves Equifax Data Breach Settlement

“On January 13, 2020, a federal court approved the proposed settlement for the class action suit filed against Equifax over the massive data breach it disclosed in September 2017.

Roughly 147 million people had their personal information compromised in the incident, which was likely the result of Equifax’s negligence, as per a Staff Report from the United States Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published in March last year…”

 US Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran

“The U.S. and Iran may have walked back from the brink of war, but the potential for a cyber battle looms with no clear rules of engagement.

Lawmakers and military officials say there’s no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes cyber warfare, leaving them to decide on a case-by-case basis how best to respond to individual incidents…”

Iranian hackers have been “password spraying” the US grid

“In the wake of the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the retaliatory missile strike that followed, Iran-watchers have warned that the country could deploy cyberattacks as well, perhaps even targeting US critical infrastructure like the electric grid…”

Nassau County recovers $710,000 sent in phishing scam

“Authorities on Long Island say a major cyber scam was averted late last year. Nassau County officials say it happened back in October, when someone emailed the county pretending to be a vendor they’ve used in the past. The email asked for payment to a new account, which turned out to be fraudulent. The county comptroller’s office flagged it, but the money totaling $710,000 was sent anyway…”

DIGITAL ECONOMY

France, US set two-week target for resolving digital tax spat

“France and the United States have given themselves two weeks to try to resolve a row over a French digital tax, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday, emphasising that Paris has the European Union’s backing on the issue…”

CONTENT

Wikipedia back online in Turkey after judge lifts ban

“A Turkish court has lifted a nearly three-year ban on Wikipedia. Turkey had been the only country besides China to completely block the online encyclopedia…”

INFRASTRCUCTURE

Red Sea Region Suffers From Multi-Day Internet Outage Following an Undersea Cable Cut

“Damage to a single submarine cable has left the entire Red Sea region disconnected from the Internet. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Ethiopia have all suffered from the last week’s cut of the so-called Falcon cable; however, Yemen has suffered the most with an 80 percent drop in capacity due to its underdeveloped infrastructure….”

Africa Struggling to Distribute 5G Networks Across the Continent

“Despite the fact that tech firm Rain already has 5G technology and is ready to use it, the newest development in telecommunications struggles to take off because of patchy network coverage, shortage of electricity and fiber optic cables…”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Commission considers facial recognition ban in AI ‘white paper’

“The European Commission is considering measures to impose a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies used by both public and private actors, according to a draft white paper on Artificial Intelligence obtained by EURACTIV…”

Apple has acquired the artificial-intelligence startup Xnor.ai for a reported $200 million

“The tech giant has reportedly purchased a little-known artificial-intelligence company for about $200 million. According to GeekWire, the acquired company is a Seattle-based startup called Xnor.ai, which specializes in low-power, edge-based artificial-intelligence tools…”

CHILD ONLINE SAFETY

Microsoft’s new tool detects & reports pedophiles from online chats

“The number of pedophiles lurking around the internet trying to exploit innocent and vulnerable children for their evil acts is increasing day-by-day. Parents are increasingly worried and even panicking because of the growing rate of online child sexual abuse…”

ACCESS

The Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns in 2019

“Our report analyzes every major internet shutdown around the world in 2019 and reveals this growing trend cost the global economy over $8BN last year…”

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