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Friday Cyber News, November 9 2018

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 11/3 - 11/9:

1. 'Twas the eve of election day, and all through the nation / experts were pondering voter registration. / The voters had signed up dutifully, with care / But when they came to the polls, would their names still be there? / DHS warned that hackers were probing several counties / And visions of vote-meddling were sweeter than bug bounties / For the G.R.U., who might just be setting a trap / Though it seemed they had settled in for a long winter's nap. [Esquire; Boston Globe; NY Times]

2. Yet when election day dawned, amid nervous DDoS chatter / It slowly began to seem that nothing was the matter / The hackers had not come! This time, we were exempt! / (Except for some fear-mongering by Brian Kemp) / Those little tech companies, lively and quick / Had quashed election interference, on Facebook, Twitter, and Kik (?) / Through bad traffic detectors they call Albert sensors / And AI that cleans voter rolls (maybe using tensors?) / Those Bears Cozy and Fancy, Deep Panda, APT 10 / Lazarus, Reaper, and of course Charming Kitten / Had all been deterred from this honey--or sap--pot / Without even using blockchain (sorry, Alex Tapscott). / And once the votes had been cast, the polls closed for the night / We heard "Happy election day, now enjoy the encryption fight." [Forbes; WSJ; Fifth Domain; Washington Post x2; CS Monitor; NY Times; MachineLearningMastery; NY Times; The Hill]

3. Details on how China manipulated BGP routing to change traffic patterns on Verizon and other Tier 1 carriers, bringing more internet traffic through China. [Oracle]

4. This year, China's World Internet Conference focused on combatting crime and helping the government create and manage records, with limited participation from Western tech companies. [NY Times]

5. In one of the first real-world political examples of the deepfakes debate over the authenticity of digital media, the White House suspended the press pass of a CNN reporter and then released a doctored video of the incident that led to the suspension. [Ars Technica]

6.​ NSA official Rob Joyce points to recent Chinese probes of US critical infrastructure and the Justice Department's charges against Chinese and Taiwanese companies for economic espionage as evidence that China is not abiding by their 2015 agreement to curtail economic espionage. Anyone who thought that the 2015 agreement was a lasting and reliable commitment should be extremely careful about investing in ICOs, like Pinecoin. [The Hill; Pinecoin]

7. Intel has taken the surprising step of fully drafting a national data privacy bill. [Intel]

8. The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace has released a norm expansion pack, with six new global norms! While the description of this publication in the press release is rather cheery, the norms themselves are not, and include "Avoid Tampering; Against Commandeering of ICT Devices into Botnets; States to Create a Vulnerability Equities Process; Reduce and Mitigate Significant Vulnerabilities [ed.: this wasn't a norm before?]; Basic Cyber Hygiene as Foundational Defense; and Against Offensive Cyber Operations by Non-State Actors." []

9. While last week, Facebook's political ad-screening algorithm failed in identifying when "paid for by" disclosures were falsified, this week it fails in misidentifying veterans' fundraisers and baked bean recipes as political ads. [The Atlantic]

10. A total of 144 people voted this Tuesday using West Virginia's $250k blockchain-backed mobile app Voatz, which is approximately 23 fewer people than voted at the mid-Palo Alto precinct where I volunteered this Tuesday, but still 144 more than had voted (or voated) using the blockchain in West Virginia previously, and there was no indication that votes were miscounted or failed to register, so this is a qualified success. [StateScoop]

Thanks for reading,

Stanford Cyber Initiative

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