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Friday Cyber News, January 29 2016

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 1/23 - 1/29:

1. January 31st is the deadline to reach a deal between Europe and the US on a new version of the Safe Harbor rules that allow the collection and transmission of data between the EU and American tech companies. Europeans want their data to be given the same privacy protections as that of Americans. [USA Today]

2. China opened up about its Strategic Support Force, a military branch that focuses on cyber attacks and defense, satellite communications, and electronic warfare. While pointing out that China is a victim of cyber espionage and theft, Xi Jinping specifically mentioned that the SSF will grow "combat capabilities." [Reuters] 

3. Unable to rely solely on user ratings of driver performance, Uber is monitoring drivers through their smartphones. Gyrometers and accelerometers can track speeding, app usage can track distracted driving, and drivers can't complain: the app already had all the permissions it needed to gather this data. [Fusion; h/t Mike]

4. British and US intelligence agencies hacked into the video feeds of Israeli drones to monitor flight paths and strike targets. This is pretty standard espionage, but should put US drone software contractors, including General Atomics Aeronautical and Leidos, on notice for a similar hack.  [The Intercept; PDDnet]

5. The FBI's prosecution of computer criminals may require more judicial technological expertise than is currently available. Transcripts of a recent trial show confusion over how the FBI uses malware, and how that malware interacts with a suspect's computer. This knowledge gap leads to technically ambiguous policy on what types of searches are allowable. [Vice]

6. NSA's head of Tailored Access Operations showed up at the Enigma conference earlier this week to run through his team's six step process of accessing targeted networks. [The Register]

7. HSBC was hit by a denial of service attack this morning, shutting down its online and mobile banking platforms. The bank says customer transactions were not affected, but the vulnerability of one of the largest banks to this relatively simple form of attack is cause for concern at other financial institutions. [CNBC]

8. 35% of US consumers make purchasing decisions based on data privacy concerns, and trust in the government over the business sector to protect privacy is down from 30% to 13% pre- to post-Snowden. [Morrison & Foerster]

9. Canada's Communications Security Establishment stopped sharing metadata with certain partners that it believes had been improperly protected before being shared. In contrast, Australia's metadata sharing policy is quite broad, even considering a request by lamb producers to somehow use metadata to evaluate supermarkets' weighing of lamb chops. [CBC; The Diplomat]

10. You can certainly run a political campaign through online channels--candidates are using email, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to gain voters' attention--but you cannot campaign for city council on Tinder. [DailyDot]

In the Bay Area? Join us Feb. 8th at 5pm for a seminar on behavioral research and decision-making in the age of the internet: proprietary datasets, algorithmic bias, and social media experimentation will be discussed by panelists Ashish Goel (Management Science & Engineering), Rob MacCoun (Law), Jeff Hancock (Communication), and Naomi Grewal (SurveyMonkey). In SLS 190 (Law School classroom building)


Stanford Cyber Initiative

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