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Friday Cyber News, October 26 2018

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 10/20 - 10/26:

1. New US intelligence reports indicate that Russian and Chinese spies are able to eavesdrop on the President's cell phone conversations when he uses one of his three iPhones. [NY Times]

2. On Twitter, Saudi influence is able to direct attack campaigns against journalists like Jamal Khashoggi and identify dissidents tweeting against the regime's policies. The intimidation tactics were aided by an employee at Twitter suspected of providing inside information on user accounts to Saudi leadership. [NY Times]

3. The first Cyber Command operation to counter election misinformation involves reaching out to individual Russian operatives to notify them that their activities have been identified and are being monitored, presumably the velvet glove over the iron fist of sanctions and travel restrictions. [NY Times]

4. Tim Cook praised GDPR at a speaking engagement at the European Parliament in Brussels this week, and called for a comprehensive US data privacy law to replace the current state-by-state patchwork. [WSJ]

5. Hackers who targeted a Saudi petrochemical plant last year with malware known as Triton have been identified as Russian government-backed research institute employees by security company FireEye. [WSJ]

6.​ In response to the 2013 and 2014 breach of three billion user accounts, Yahoo will pay $50M in restitution to individuals and small businesses part of the class action suit against the company and Verizon, its acquirer. [Financial Times]

7. Seventy-five thousand consumer files were improperly accessed from a breach this week, which will neither affect the open enrollment period nor that website's status as the most-maligned government IT product of the past ten years. [WSJ]

8. Operations against foreign influence campaigns on social media platforms have some commonalities with counterterrorism operations, in that both benefit from interagency (or inter-company) communication, cooperation, information sharing, and a sustained offense (although calls for better communication and information sharing between groups fighting the same adversaries have long been cliched). [War on the Rocks]

9. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials shut down a self-driving schoolbus trial project in Florida because the French company that had manufactured the buses was not permitted to use them beyond the scope of a demonstration, and because the schoolchildren were having enough trouble with the new lyrics "the LIDAR on the bus uses CCDs, CCDs, CCDs..." [Ars Technica]

10. Evading website tracking cookies isn't as simple as the Do Not Track browser setting leads users to believe: most sites ignore DNT, because it isn't backed by any regulatory consequences. [Gizmodo]

Thanks for reading,

Stanford Cyber Initiative

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