At a glance.
- China denies involvement in Equifax breach.
- GAO asks US Census Bureau to up its IT and security game.
- Mobile voting apps questioned.
- US Defense Department gets behind Huawei bans.
China denies it had any role in the Equifax breach.
China’s response to the US indictment of four People’s Liberation Army officers in connection with the Equifax breach has been foreseeably harsh. The New York Times quotes PLA representatives as dismissing the charges as nothing more than “legal bullying.”
The Washington Post has a more extensive account of Beijing’s reaction. Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said, “We firmly oppose and combat cyberattacks of any kind. China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity.” He went on to assert that “The Chinese government, military and relevant personnel never engage in cybertheft of trade secrets.” Few in the West will find the denial convincing.
GAO recommends that the Census Bureau pay particular attention to DHS security advice.
A US Government Accountability Office assessment warns that some aspects of the Census Bureau’s preparation for the 2020 US census may be behind schedule. While the GAO found the Bureau to be working toward an effective and accurate count, their study also found that the Census Bureau was having difficulty meeting milestones for IT testing and cybersecurity assessment. The GAO would like to see the Census Bureau implement the cybersecurity recommendations received from the Department of Homeland Security over the past two years.
Mobile voting apps controversial after Iowa Democratic caucus.
After the still unresolved confusion induced by the poorly prepared use of Shadow Inc.’s IowaReporterApp during Iowa’s Democratic caucus last week, mobile voting is being called into question. One of the more widely used mobile voting apps, Voatz, has been adopted for absentee balloting in a number of US counties.
Researchers at MIT concluded, however, that Voatz could be vulnerable to attackers wishing to “alter, stop, or expose a user’s vote.” Voatz has strongly objected to the research, saying the MIT team used an old version of its product, an Android version that was “at least twenty-seven versions old.” For their part, the MIT researchers told ZDNet that the version they used was still available on Google Play. Voatz offered two other specific objections. The app the researchers used wasn’t connected to the Voatz servers, and had it attempted to do so would have failed to pass identity and security checks. Finally, the researchers used a conjectured image of Voatz servers and proceeded on the basis of false assumptions about the way the different components of the company’s system interacted.
The chair of Iowa’s Democratic Party, Troy Price, has resigned, NBC News says, in a gesture of responsibility for the problems the caucus encountered. He may be the fall guy, but, as his resignation announcement hinted, there’s probably blame enough to go around.
Pentagon will support proposed measures against Huawei.
The US Department of Defense, which had been concerned that restricting US exports to Huawei and other Chinese companies would have an adverse effect on the Defense Industrial Base, is now said to be satisfied that any such effect can be ameliorated. The Pentagon is now prepared to back the Commerce Department’s proposed sanctions, according to POLITICO.