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Friday Cyber News, January 22 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 1/16 - 1/22:

1. Admiral Rogers indicates the US is likely to deploy cyber weaponry more publicly soon, saying that we are "at a tipping point" in terms of usable capacity and capabilities. The role of cyber weapons has been a concern of the UN GGE and other groups, particularly in terms of whether they will be used primarily as standalone measures or also in conjunction with other forms of traditional weaponry. [WSJ]

2. Privacy concerns are uniting elected officials from sixteen states to introduce legislation that will strengthen individuals' privacy protections and limit government access. The move has been given the name #takeCTRL. [Time]

3. Twitter is being sued for providing material support to ISIS, by a widow whose husband was killed by a Jordanian police trainer who was motivated by ISIS. Although the connection in this case is tenuous, the protection that Twitter and other social media companies are only providing a platform may be on shaky ground as they conduct more and more policing of their own networks for objectionable content. [Vice]

4. The World Economic Forum in Davos this week discussed self-driving cars, particularly the question of whether we're ready for them. Legislation and policies are still in the works, and some, like the California DMV's, seem more frightened of the technology than willing to deeply engage. Other stakeholders in transportation infrastructure and insurance also need to agree on policies to upgrade their services. [NYTimes]

5. DHS has reported twice as many attacks on manufacturing in 2015 as one year previous. The attacks raise concerns across industries considered to be critical infrastructure, and include automakers and aviation manufacturers. The increase in attacks is primarily related to successful spear phishing campaigns. [The Hill]

6. The Pentagon declassified several documents about the role of Cyber Command, and particularly its lesser position compared to other regional commands. This raises concerns that Cyber Command will be less able to address cyberspace threats due to layers of bureaucracy. [CSM Passcode]

7. The FBI ran the operations of a child pornography website for two weeks before shutting it down, in order to gather data about visitors to the site. This strategy raises the criticism that law enforcement was put in the position of furthering criminal activity during those two weeks. [USA Today]

8. In the midst of a stalemate between law enforcement and technologists over encryption, Senators McCaul and Warner are attempting to establish a commission to study how law enforcement might potentially access encrypted data without encroaching on users' privacy. [The Hill]

9. Driverless cars are going to be subject to routing constraints, and may make similar decisions to minimize traffic. A new paper looks at the differential privacy of users within such a routing network, to determine whether destinations and origins can be kept private. [ArXiV]

10. A list of 2015's worst passwords indicates little change from previous years--people are still using simple and common passwords, and while a password manager can alleviate this problem, password managers themselves are a target for hackers. [WSJ]


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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