At a glance.
- Imposing costs through civil forfeiture.
- TikTok acquisition still up in the air (but Oracle may be leading).
- Huawei's fortunes in Europe.
Civil forfeiture added to naming and shaming.
An example of civil forfeiture as a way of imposing costs on a cyber adversary is seen this week in the US response to North Korean state-directed theft. The Wall Street Journal reports that US authorities are moving toward civil forfeiture of cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean government hackers. The Justice Department yesterday moved to seize two-hundred-eighty cryptocurrency accounts used by North Korean government hackers who stole more than a quarter of a billion dollars from various cryptocurrency companies around the world. One of those companies was based in the US. The civil forfeiture filing targets accounts North Korean hackers and their Chinese agents used to launder some $300 million stolen over the last two years.
“Today’s action publicly exposes the ongoing connections between North Korea’s cyber-hacking program and a Chinese cryptocurrency money laundering network,” the Journal quotes Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division as saying.
Report: Oracle is now the leading suitor for TikTok.
The Wrap thinks that Oracle is now the leading candidate to acquire TikTok, with an offer in the vicinity of $20 billion. The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart has joined Microsoft in its bid for the Chinese company's North American, Australian, and New Zealand operations. CNBC believes that a decision is likely within the next few days, and that the selling price is likely to be in the $20 billion to $30 billion range.
Movement against Huawei in Europe.
European governments have not, in general, followed the US example of a comprehensive ban on Huawei hardware in their national telecommunications infrastructure, but the company is facing a much tougher regulatory environment there. According to the Diplomat, the US hopes that Poland will prove a leader in a continent-wide move to expel Huawei gear. There are other signs that some apparently permissive arrangements are proving notably harsher in practice than in expression. In France, for example, Reuters reports that Bouygues will remove three-thousand Huawei mobile antennas from "highly populated" areas of France by 2028. The French government's strictures, like those enunciated earlier in the UK, had closed off particularly sensitive portions of the country's infrastructure to Huawei. What counts as sensitive will evidently be more expansively defined than Huawei had hoped.