Online privacy protections could be dropped, allowing sale of personal data

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Con­gress sent pro­posed leg­is­la­tion to Pres­i­dent Trump that wipes away land­mark online pri­va­cy pro­tec­tions. In a par­ty-line vote, House Repub­li­cans freed Inter­net ser­vice providers such as Ver­i­zon, AT&T and Com­cast from pro­tec­tions that had sought to lim­it what com­pa­nies could do with infor­ma­tion, such as cus­tomer brows­ing habits, app usage his­to­ry, loca­tion data and Social Secu­ri­ty num­bers. The rules also had required providers to strength­en safe­guards for cus­tomer data against hack­ers and thieves. If Trump signs the leg­is­la­tion as expect­ed, providers will be able to mon­i­tor their cus­tomers’ behav­ior online and, with­out their per­mis­sion, use their per­son­al and finan­cial infor­ma­tion to sell high­ly tar­get­ed ads. The providers also could sell users’ infor­ma­tion direct­ly to mar­keters, finan­cial firms and oth­er com­pa­nies that mine per­son­al data—all of whom could use the data with­out con­sumers’ con­sent. In addi­tion, the Fed­er­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion, which ini­tial­ly draft­ed the pro­tec­tions, would be for­bid­den from issu­ing sim­i­lar rules in the future. Source: Wash­ing­ton Post

Florida senator, presidential candidate Rubio says Russian hackers targeted staff

Sen. Mar­co Rubio said dur­ing a Sen­ate intel­li­gence hear­ing on Thurs­day that unsuc­cess­ful cyber attacks from Rus­sia tar­get­ed for­mer mem­bers of his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign staff in July 2016. Rubio said he would not com­ment on a remark ear­li­er in the hear­ing by Clin­ton Watts, a cyber­se­cu­ri­ty expert, that Rubio may have been vic­tim­ized by Russ­ian activ­i­ty dur­ing his unsuc­cess­ful cam­paign for the 2016 Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion. The cyber attacks Rubio men­tioned took place after the end of his cam­paign for the nom­i­na­tion. Source: Reuters

Small businesses get access to more secure virtual credit cards

Visa announced a part­ner­ship with pay­ments tech­nol­o­gy firm View­post to expand the avail­abil­i­ty of vir­tu­al cred­it cards, already used by large cor­po­ra­tions, to small­er com­pa­nies via a net­work that allows elec­tron­ic invoic­ing, pay­ments and real-time cash man­age­ment. The vir­tu­al cred­it cards allow busi­ness­es to make pay­ments with a secure sin­gle-use account num­ber rather than wor­ry­ing about secu­ri­ty risks asso­ci­at­ed with a phys­i­cal card. Source: The Street

Hackers tell Apple to pay up, or iCloud info will be revealed

Hack­ers are demand­ing Apple pay a ran­som in bit­coin, or they claim they will remote­ly erase mil­lions of cus­tomer iPhones, iPads and Macs. A Lon­don-based hack­er group, call­ing itself the Turk­ish Crime Fam­i­ly, claims to have access to 250 mil­lion iCloud accounts and is threat­en­ing to reset pass­words and remote­ly wipe cus­tomer devices if Apple doesn’t pay a ran­som by April 7. Apple said it hasn’t been hacked and the data came from “pre­vi­ous­ly com­pro­mised third-par­ty ser­vices.” Source: ZDNet

Homeland Security says leverage works in keeping digital data safer

The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty told Con­gress that it’s see­ing sig­nif­i­cant div­i­dends from the author­i­ty Con­gress grant­ed the depart­ment in 2014: the abil­i­ty to force oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies to take con­crete steps to improve their cyber­se­cu­ri­ty pos­ture. DHS has issued four such direc­tives in the past two years. Jeanette Man­fra, act­ing deputy under­sec­re­tary of Home­land Secu­ri­ty for cyber­se­cu­ri­ty said the direc­tive is an extreme­ly valu­able tool—giving DHS the author­i­ty to man­date secu­ri­ty improve­ments instead of mere­ly sug­gest­ing them. Source: Fed­er­al News Radio

In the Navy, this chief could sell you secrets

A U.S. Navy senior chief was sen­tenced to more than four years in prison for steal­ing per­son­al infor­ma­tion from sailors under his com­mand. Clay­ton A. Press­ley, of Chesa­peake, Vir­ginia, plead­ed guilty to iden­ti­ty theft and bank fraud. Court doc­u­ments say Press­ley used his posi­tion to steal per­son­al iden­ti­ty infor­ma­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments from two sub­or­di­nates. He used that infor­ma­tion to take out sev­er­al loans total­ing $24,000. Pros­e­cu­tors say Press­ley also had iden­ti­ty doc­u­ments for eight oth­er mem­bers of his mil­i­tary com­mand at his home. Source: WAVY, Nor­folk, Va.

NATO contracts show big spending planned for cybersecurity

The North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion plans to open the way for busi­ness­es to bid for about 3 bil­lion euros ($3.2 bil­lion) in orders for satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions, air and mis­sile defens­es, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and advanced soft­ware. The planned NATO con­tracts reflect the alliance’s adjust­ment to new secu­ri­ty threats includ­ing Russ­ian med­dling in east­ern Europe, Mideast migra­tion, Islam­ic ter­ror­ism and cyber attacks. Source: Infor­ma­tion Management

FCC tells consumers to just say no to ‘Can you hear me?’ calls

The Fed­er­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion is warn­ing about scam callers. You get a phone call from an unknown num­ber and then the voice on the oth­er end asks “Can you hear me?” When a caller says, “Yes,” their reply is record­ed and used to autho­rize charges on the victim’s util­i­ty or cred­it card account. Don’t answer if you don’t rec­og­nize the num­ber, and hang up if you’re asked to push a but­ton. Scam­mers often use these tricks to iden­ti­fy and tar­get live respon­dents. Source: WSPA, Indi­anapo­lis

What’s up, Docs? A search function that reveals a little too much

Microsoft’s site came under fire as Twit­ter users com­plained that users of the site had inad­ver­tent­ly shared pri­vate and sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion. The site had a search func­tion­al­i­ty that would allow any­one to search through mil­lions of files. When some users uploaded pri­vate infor­ma­tion, they did not change the per­mis­sions from the default set­ting to share con­tent pub­licly. Microsoft has removed the search func­tion­al­i­ty. Source: Net­work World

Scammers target German officials through newspaper ads

Attempts to hack Germany’s par­lia­ment this year used adver­tis­ing on the site of Israeli news­pa­per The Jerusalem Post to redi­rect users to a mali­cious web­site. Defens­es installed after the par­lia­ment was hacked in 2015 helped pre­vent the attempts, said Germany’s Fed­er­al Office for Infor­ma­tion Secu­ri­ty in a state­ment. At least 10 Ger­man leg­is­la­tors from all par­lia­men­tary groups were affect­ed by the hack­ing attempt. Source: i24 News

U.S.  general cites gains in cyber war with ISIS

Gen. Joseph Votel, com­man­der of U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, says the Islam­ic State in Iraq and Syr­ia (ISIS) is “extra­or­di­nar­i­ly savvy” in using cyber capa­bil­i­ties, but the mil­i­tary is mak­ing gains against the group in cyber­space. The ter­ror group has lever­aged social media and encrypt­ed mes­sag­ing apps to recruit fol­low­ers and spread pro­pa­gan­da. The gen­er­al also not­ed that oth­er coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the anti-ISIS coali­tion have built “unique capa­bil­i­ties” in cyber that have been “well-inte­grat­ed” into oper­a­tions. Source: The Hill