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Category Archives: Cybersecurity

Secure computing for journalists

Matthew Green: “…Classical (desktop and laptop) operating systems were designed primarily to support application developers. This means they offer a lot of power to your applications. An application like Microsoft Word can typically read and write all the files available to your account. If Word becomes compromised, this is usually enough to pwn you in practice. And in many cases,… Continue Reading

Many smartphone owners don’t take steps to secure their devices

“Cybersecurity experts recommend that smartphone owners take a number of steps to keep their mobile devices safe and secure. These include using a pass code to gain access to the phone, as well as regularly updating a phone’s apps and operating system. Many Americans, however, are not adhering to these best practices, according to a… Continue Reading

States With the Most (and Least) Identity Theft

“The risk of identity theft in the United States continues to rise. The incidence of such crimes rose consistently over the  last decade, from 246,214 in 2006 to 399,225 last year. The rate of identity theft varies considerably between states. Using the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the… Continue Reading

Paper – Encryption Workarounds

Kerr, Orin S. and Schneier, Bruce, Encryption Workarounds (March 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2938033 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2938033 “The widespread use of encryption has triggered a new step in many criminal investigations: the encryption workaround. We define an encryption workaround as any lawful government effort to reveal an unencrypted version of a target’s data that has been concealed by… Continue Reading

New Report Aims to Help Criminal Defense Attorneys Challenge Secretive Government Hacking

“Lawyers at EFF, the ACLU, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers released a report today outlining strategies for challenging law enforcement hacking, a technique of secretly and remotely spying on computer users to gather evidence. Federal agents are increasingly using this surveillance technique, and the report will help those targeted by government malware—and importantly their… Continue Reading

Implementation of IT Reform Law and Related Initiatives Can Help Improve Acquisitions

Information Technology: Implementation of IT Reform Law and Related Initiatives Can Help Improve Acquisitions, GAO-17-494T: Published: Mar 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2017. “The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) was enacted in December 2014 to improve federal information technology (IT) acquisitions and can help federal agencies reduce duplication and achieve cost savings.… Continue Reading

CRS – Russia: Background and U.S. Interests

Russia: Background and U.S. Interests, March 1, 2017 (R44775) “Since 1991, Congress has played a key role in the development of U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation (Russia), the principal successor to the United States’ former superpower rival, the Soviet Union. In that time, U.S.-Russian relations have gone through positive and negative periods. Each new… Continue Reading

Paper – Cybersecurity, Identify Theft, and Standing Law

Chou, James C., Cybersecurity, Identify Theft, and Standing Law: A Framework for Data Breaches Using Substantial Risk in a Post-Clapper World (December 15, 2016). National Security Law Brief, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2938692 “Since Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, many courts have shut the door on victims alleging a heightened risk… Continue Reading

CRS – Dark Web

CRS report – Dark Web, Kristin Finklea, Specialist in Domestic Security. March 10, 2017. [via FAS] “The layers of the Internet go far beyond the surface content that many can easily access in their daily searches. The other content is that of the Deep Web, content that has not been indexed by traditional search engines… Continue Reading

Perspective on WikiLeaks CIA Cache

The New York Times – The Truth About the WikiLeaks C.I.A. Cache – “On Tuesday morning [March 7, 2017] WikiLeaks released an enormous cache of documents that it claimed detailed “C.I.A. hacking tools.” Immediately afterward, it posted two startling tweets asserting that “C.I.A. hacker malware” posed a threat to journalists and others who require secure… Continue Reading

WikiLeaks posts redacted files purported to be hacked from CIA

Washington Post – WikiLeaks posts files it says are from the CIA’s computer hacking arsenal – “The anti-secrecy organization said the trove exceeded in scale and significance the massive collection of National Security Agency documents exposed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. A statement from WikiLeaks indicated that it planned to post nearly 9,000… Continue Reading

Committee Democrats Introduce Three Bills to Improve Consumer Cybersecurity

“Today, Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee introduced three bills to update U.S. cybersecurity policies and protect consumers.  In recent years, millions of Americans have had their personal data stolen and high profile attacks—like the denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Dyn last year—have raised serious questions about our cybersecurity laws and our ability to… Continue Reading