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January 22, 2020.
By the CyberWire staff
Amazon chief (and Washington Post owner) Jeff Bezos is reported to have had his phone hacked in May of 2018 by Saudi operators. The Guardian reports that Mr. Bezos's phone was compromised after contact with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The hacking took place some five months before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government and an occasional contributor to the Post. The Crown Prince is widely suspected of involvement with the killing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the UN's special rapporteurs on extrajudicial killings and freedom of expression this morning recommended further investigation.
Brazilian federal prosecutors on Tuesday unsealed charges against Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of the Intercept and best known for publishing Edward Snowden's leaks. The New York Times reports that Mr. Greenwald's role in publishing cell phone messages that embarrassed prosecutors and an anti-corruption task force is at issue. Prosecutors say that he played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime” by being in contact with people who obtained the messages and recommending that they cover their tracks. Greenwald himself brackets his case with Julian Assange's, and claims both indictments represent an attack on journalism. Few others see it this way: Mr. Assange is generally regarded as having worked actively to facilitate hacking, whereas Greenwald merely advised sources on how to remain anonymous.
Concerns about US-Iranian conflict in cyberspace persist, as NPR notes, but so far the kittens haven't been yowling or the eagles screaming, at least not publicly.
Today's issue includes events affecting Brazil, Canada, China, India, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States.
Bring your own context.
What's a "synthetic identity?"
"Synthetic identities are identities that are pieced together using either components from multiple real IDs or some combination of real IDs and fake information. And so synthetic IDs might, for example, mean using a real address, someone else's date of birth, for example, and perhaps the Social Security number of a child or a Social that hasn't been issued yet. And so with that composite information, then, a criminal might go and apply for credit, for example, and try and open a credit card or create a credit profile in some way. And if we think about that situation and say, well, surely they must flag that and say, you know, a 3-month-old can't possibly be trying to take out a $10,000 loan, you might hope that. But as with so many things in this space, that's simply not true."
—Emily Wilson, VP of research at Terbium Labs, on the CyberWire Daily Podcast, 1.17.20.
But there are signs that financial services and government organizations are increasingly deploying tools that may tamp down such abuse.
And the CyberWire Pro will be here soon.
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Cyber influence campaigns have plagued countries across the globe in the past few years, with foreign policy objectives, economic goals, and public opinion caught in the crossfire. LookingGlass researchers have tracked over 2000 People’s Republic of China-related influence operators on Twitter to better understand the current landscape. In our next webinar, Tom Creedon will explore these findings to gain an understanding of operator account patterns and targets. Save your seat for February 6 at 1pm ET.
And Caveat is up. In this episode, "There is no back door," Dave shares a story about congress struggling to define acts of war in cyberspace. Ben has Apple's response to the DOJ's request to unlock yet another iPhone, and later in the show we interview Andrea Little Limbago the Chief Social Scientist at Virtru about her upcoming talk at the RSA Conference regarding the global battle against encryption.
CyberTech Tel Aviv(Tel Aviv, Israel, January 28 - 30, 2020) Cybertech Tel Aviv is a 3-day event with 200+ organizations, 180+ speakers and 18,000+ attendees with a goal to create business and networking opportunities across borders. For 15% off, use code tcwtlv20dis on the registration page and enter the “Full-Pass" option. https://www.cybertechisrael.com/
Cyber Security Summits: February 5 in Atlanta and on March 20 in Tampa(Atlanta, Georgia, United States, February 5, 2020) Sr. Level Executives are invited to learn about the latest threats & solutions in Cyber Security from experts from The FBI, U.S. Secret Service, IBM Security, Google and more. Register with promo code cyberwire20 for $95 VIP admission (Regular price $350) https://CyberSummitUSA.com
Suits & Spooks(Washington, DC, United States, February 6 - 7, 2020) Suits & Spooks DC is the only international security summit where the attendees and speakers from government agencies and technology companies engage in discussion and debate of security challenges. World-class speakers describe their vision of future threats and leading-edge companies will exhibit novel solutions. Get 15% off with discount code cyberwire15.
RSAC 2020(San Francisco, California, United States, February 24 - 28, 2020) Connect to the people and ideas that matter. To your growth. To your organization. At RSAC 2020, February 24 – 28, explore current and emerging trends, gain valuable skills and network with peers. Register today!
Saudi crown prince implicated in hack of Jeff Bezos’s phone, U.N. report will say(Washington Post) A United Nations investigation to be released Wednesday will report that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s cellphone was hacked in 2018 after he got a WhatsApp message that came from an account purportedly belonging to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a person with direct knowledge of the report.
Over $11 billion has been Hacked from Crypto Exchanges, New Timeline Reveals(InsideBitcoins) Over $11 billion worth of cryptocurrencies has been stolen in different cryptocurrency hacking incidents since 2011. The figures calculated by InsideBitcoins.com show that a significant amount was lost in cryptocurrency exchange hackings. Other affected platforms include cryptocurrency wallets and mining platforms.
VMware Announces Intent to Acquire Nyansa(Globe Newswire) VMware Continues Scope Expansion of SD-WAN with end-to-end monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities for LAN/WAN deployments. Combination of Nyansa and VMware will help customers better operate and troubleshoot the virtual cloud network and enable self-healing networks.
Privafy Introduces New Technology to Challenge Traditional Network Security Infrastructure(Privafy) Privafy today unveiled a fundamentally new approach to data security that protects organizations against modern Data-in-Motion threats while disrupting the cost associated with complex, archaic network solutions. The company’s cloud-native application will secure Data-in-Motion as it moves across locations, clouds, mobile and the IoT. Additionally, the company announced it …
Parsons Awarded Cyber Space Engineering Contract(Yahoo) Parsons Corporation (NYSE:PSN) has been awarded a task order by the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide secure and resilient architecture development, systems engineering and integration, secure communications, and cyber risk and threat assessment for the enhancement and resiliency of weapon
How one cyber expert is influencing day-to-day resilience(Fifth Domain) A cybersecurity expert who has helped develop security controls for federal agencies is leaving the Federal Information Security Modernization Act project after 17 years, but will continue contributing to best practices.
KnowBe4 Donates $250,000 to Stetson University College of Law(Yahoo) KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, today announced it will make a $250,000 donation to Stetson University College of Law, Florida’s first law school. “We see this donation as a great opportunity to contribute to and build our community
EFF Statement on Glenn Greenwald Charges(Electronic Frontier Foundation) EFF is dismayed to learn of the decision by Brazilian prosecutors to charge journalist Glenn Greenwald under the country’s computer crime law.EFF has long warned that cybersecurity laws in the Americas have been written and interpreted so broadly as to invite misuse. Computer crime laws should...
U.S. Turns Up the Spotlight on Chinese Universities(Wall Street Journal) The Trump administration fears Chinese universities are exploiting ties to U.S. businesses and universities to promote Beijing’s economic and military goals. Chinese intelligence services are seeking specific pieces of technology that fill gaps in research.
High Court Won't Take Up Facebook Biometric Privacy Case(Law360) Facebook has lost its bid for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether users have constitutional standing to sue over its face-scanning practices, setting up a potential trial that could lead to billions of dollars in damages.
Nadler's Russia Claim(FactCheck.org) Rep. Nadler went too far when he claimed that President Trump "worked with the Russians to try to rig the 2016 election." The special counsel investigation identified "multiple contacts" between the Trump campaign and those tied to the Russian government, but it "did not establish ... coordination" between the two.
FBI calls for collaboration with business in preventing cyber crimes(Boston Business Journal) During an event at the Ritz-Carlton on Tuesday, a top FBI official urged national and local companies to help the agency prevent cybercriminal threats, stressing the importance of businesses developing a relationships with the FBI before a data breach happens.
DDoS Mitigation Firm Founder Admits to DDoS(KrebsOnSecurity) A Georgia man who co-founded a service designed to protect companies from crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks has pleaded to paying a DDoS-for-hire service to launch attacks against others.
For a complete running list of events, please visit the Event Tracker on the CyberWire website.
Newly Noted Events
ISSA Central MD Information Security Conference(Columbia, Maryland, USA, February 28, 2020) Information System Security Association's Central Maryland Chapter is hosting a day-long cybersecurity conference. Its two tracks will address: leadership in cybersecurity - why it is desperately needed;...
CPX 360 New Orleans(New Orleans, Lousiana, USA, January 27 - 29, 2020) Mark your calendar now for CPX 360 2020, the world’s premiere cyber security summit of the year. Globally renowned industry experts will take to the stage to share analysis, core insights, and actionable...
SINET: Global Cybersecurity Innovation Summit(London, England, UK, January 30, 2020) Advancing global collaboration and innovation, SINET convenes a summit of international cybersecurity leaders at the British Museum. The conference will bring together innovators, investors, researchers,...
CPX 360 Vienna(Vienna, Austria, February 4 - 6, 2020) At CPX 360, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of today’s dynamic threat landscape and the emerging challenges within cyber security. Get a look at the next wave of Check Point innovation and discover...
5th Annual Atlanta Cyber Security Summit(Atlanta, Georgia, USA, February 5, 2020) C-Suite & Senior Level Executives: Register with Promo Code CYBERWIRE95 to receive $95 Admission (Standard Price is $350). Learn from renowned experts from The FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Dept. of Homeland...
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