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Friday Cyber News, September 7 2018

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 9/1 - 9/7:

1. The Justice Department announced charges this week against a North Korean programmer and spy accused of being involved in both the Wannacry ransomware attack and the cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014. The indictment has a few interesting details about how North Korean hackers stage their operations, and errors in tradecraft, like testing phishing emails on their own Gmail addresses, that lead to their downfall. [ABC; Cyberscoop; Twitter]

2. The "Five Eyes" governments released a joint memo asking for legislation requiring that companies provide back door access to encrypted data, disregarding the mathematical and commercial issues with such a requirement. [Techcrunch]

3. A National Academies report on secure voting technology released this week "examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for voting, and recommends steps that the federal government, state and local governments, election administrators, and vendors of voting technology should take to improve the security of election infrastructure." The FBI has also released a guide to combating foreign influence, aimed at both voters and political campaigns, which encourages the latter to join a public-private information sharing partnership. [NAP; Cyberscoop]

4. China's Supreme Court ruled this week that a blockchain is a legally binding source of evidence. [Coin Telegraph]

5. After a highly publicized ransomware attack on the city of Atlanta earlier this year, the majority of the 25 most populous US cities are researching, or have already purchased, cyber insurance. [WSJ]

6.​ This week in breaches: Credit card details of 380,000 British Airways customers were leaked after an attack on the airline's website and app. Social security numbers and other private information were leaked through a US government-run FOIA portal, after an improperly managed site upgrade. [Reuters; CNN]

7. The California legislature overwhelmingly passed a net neutrality bill guaranteeing equal access to websites and equal streaming speeds from ISPs operating in the state. [NY Times]

8. A Pew study has found that privacy concerns are driving many people--and particularly young people--to delete the Facebook app or change their settings. [Pew; The Hill]

9. Researchers recycling content from the Internet Research Agency were able to place targeted political ads on Google, with Russian purchasing information, for $35. Google has indicated it will update its safeguards again to prevent misrepresentation using AdWords. Recent accusations that Google's search results are biased against conservative political speech lack a basis in fact, but search results can be biased--or manipulated--in ways that reflect societal biases and stereotypes. (Related: Can you spot the fake Facebook post?) [Buzzfeed News; Guardian; NY Times]

10. After confrontations outside a Senate hearing where CEO Jack Dorsey testified, Twitter reconsidered its stance and and permanently banned Alex Jones and Infowars from the platform. Will Jones' ideas, under other names, still take hold on Twitter and social media? To judge the power of anonymity, an op-ed this week claiming to be from a leader of an internal and subtle White House coup captured hours of public attention, and Googling. Lodestar. [Recode; WSJ; NY Times]

Thanks for reading,

Stanford Cyber Initiative

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