At a glance.
- The initial US reaction to ByteDance's plans for TikTok is skeptical.
- Director NSA on the state of election security.
- FBI on cooperation in cybersecurity.
- Turnover in the US Department of Defense Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Advisory Board.
US officials express skepticism about ByteDance's plans to spin-off TikTok.
US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and other officials signal that a US minority stake in TikTok won’t be enough to allay security concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports. All the political woofing about TikTok shouldn’t obscure, Darktrace's Marcus Fowler tells CNBC, the general need for greater transparency about what companies do with the data they collect. In particular, it would seem unfortunate if a company's cost-benefit calculations led it to conclude that lobbyists were a better investment than security,
Countermeasures against election interference.
As the US elections approach, General Paul Nakasone, NSA Director and commander, US Cyber Command, said that he’s confident those elections will be “safe and secure.” The organizations he leads have made election security their top priority. This represents a departure in terms of mission priorities. Their approach has had three main areas of emphasis, which MeriTalk says General Nakasone phrased these as questions when he spoke at Wednesdays Intelligence and National Security Summit:
- First, “How do we generate incredible insights on our adversaries?”
- “Secondly, how do we share information and intelligence with the lead for our nation’s elections security which is DHS and also FBI?”
- “And the last piece, how do we impose outcomes on any adversary that attempts to interfere within our democratic processes.”
While these areas are reasonably under control, influence operations, General Nakasone said, are the “great disruptor,” and they’re here to stay. CyberScoop quotes him as saying, “We’ve seen it now in our democratic processes. I think we’re going to see it in our diplomatic processes, we’re going to see it in warfare. We’re going to see it sowing civil distrust in different countries.”
Cooperation and imposition of costs.
General Nakasone's second point, sharing information and intelligence with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was taken up in a different, broader context by FBI Director Wray at a CISA summit. Director Wray's point was that imposition of costs--and that's something the US Government wants to do with both ordinary criminals and state actors--requires effective interagency cooperation. “Our adversaries rely on gaps in our community. They like it when we’re not sharing information when one player doesn’t trust the other. They long for the days when we had walls between our national security and criminal investigations, and dramatic clashes foreign and domestic authorities,” Federal News Network reported him saying. That cooperation, in the FBI's view, extends not only to other Government agencies, but to the private sector as well.
Turnover in the US Department of Defense Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Advisory Board.
Two members of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Advisory Board have resigned, Federal News Network reports. Ty Schieber, the Advisory Board's chair, and Mark Berman, chair of its communications committee, have decided to leave the organization. The Board, which is charged with helping implement cybersecurity certification in the Defense Industrial Base had come under criticism for a proposed partner program that some in industry thought looked like a pay-for-play proposition.