On July 29, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington filed a criminal complaint against Paige A. Thompson for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by hacking into protected computers belonging to Capital One. The complete charging document is available here and below.
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On Tuesday, July 23, Attorney General William Barr delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University. The complete speech can be read below.
On March 1, 2018, the governor of Colorado issued the first-ever state emergency declaration based on a ransomware attack. He did so to deploy cybersecurity specialists in the state’s National Guard.
Facebook has released an update on its ongoing civil rights audit, illustrating the wide range of effects the company has on civil rights—from facilitating racially discriminatory ads for housing, employment and credit, to concerns about use of the platform to suppress participation in the 2020 U.S. election and census.
For the past several months, American policymakers have sought to convince allies, partners and potential partners to ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from supplying the entirety of, or components for, 5G communications networks around the world. This messaging campaign has centered primarily around concerns that Huawei could assist the Chinese government in spying on other countries or even shutting down or manipulating their 5G networks in a warlike scenario.
Last month, the First American Financial Corporation—which provides title insurance for millions of Americans—acknowledged a cybersecurity vulnerability that potentially exposed 885 million private financial records related to mortgage deals to unauthorized viewers. These records might have revealed bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and driver’s license images to such viewers.
Over the course of just a few decades, the world has entered into a digital age in which powerful evolving cyber capabilities provide access to everyone connected online from any place on the planet. Those capabilities could be harnessed for the benefit of humanity; they might also be abused, leading to enormous harms and posing serious risks to the safety and stability of the entire world.
In April, the Hewlett Foundation hosted the 2019 Verify Conference, an annual event on cyber issues in national security, tech and the media. This year’s conference focused on increasing cyber threats from other nations, the expanding role of tech companies, how to build global cybersecurity norms and cyber threats to civil society among other topics. Audio of the on-the-record discussions is available below:
James Comey on Law Enforcement, Technology and Emerging Threats
The techlash has well and truly arrived on YouTube’s doorstep. On June 3, the New York Times reported on research showing that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm serves up videos of young people to viewers who appear to show sexual interest in children.
In the U.S. there has been a long debate about “vulnerability equities”—that is, whether the government should disclose a vulnerability it discovers to the vendor, which will then allow users to apply a patch and be defended against exploitation, or keep the vulnerability secret to enable the government’s exploitation of targets. There is little data on how the process works. But the U.S. has the potential to learn how the British handle the same problem.