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Three years later, father of Parkland shooting victim calls for meaningful school safety reform | #schoolshooting | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

This Valentine’s Day marks three years since my son Alex, age 14, was one of the 17 innocent victims that was senselessly murdered during the Parkland school massacre. In the […] View full post on National Cyber Security

Nearly 4,000 new students at Catholic schools in Boston, 700 in Springfield as they field calls from parents wanting in person learning | #Education | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

Nearly 4,000 new students at Catholic schools in Boston, 700 in Springfield as they field calls from parents wanting in person learning | #Education | Parent Security Online […] View full post on National Cyber Security

Beware of fake calls from COVID-19 scammers, Metro Health warns | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

SAN ANTONIO – The Metropolitan Health District is warning people in an Antonio to be aware of scammers who are posing as contact tracers for the city and trying to […] View full post on National Cyber Security

#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Hillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — FCC fines mobile carriers $200M for selling user data | Twitter verified fake 2020 candidate | Dems press DHS to complete election security report | Reddit chief calls TikTok spyware

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.

Welcome! Follow the cyber team, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and the tech team, Emily Birnbaum (@birnbaum_e) and Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills).


FCC FINES TOP MOBILE CARRIERS: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing more than $200 million in fines against the country’s top mobile carriers after a lengthy investigation concluded T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon improperly sold access to their customers’ precise location information. 

The agency is alleging the companies broke the law by failing to protect information about the geolocation of their hundreds of millions of customers. 

“The FCC has long had clear rules on the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers’ personal information,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R) said. “And since 2007, these companies have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take strong enforcement action if they don’t.”

“Today, we do just that,” Pai said.

The proposed fines — which Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are now allowed to contest — are some of the largest the FCC has proposed in decades. But since reports began emerging about the fines on Thursday night, consumer advocates and privacy hawks in Congress have accused the regulatory agency of holding back and letting the telecom companies off the hook with fines that amount to a “rounding error” compared to their significant bottom lines.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Schiff presses top intel official to declassify part of report on Khashoggi killing Top Trump advisers discuss GOP need to act on health care at retreat with senators MORE (D-Ore.), who was one of the first to shed light on the companies’ unlawful information sharing, released a statement accusing Pai of going easy on the companies.

“It seems clear Chairman Pai has failed to protect American consumers at every stage of the game – this issue only came to light after my office and dedicated journalists discovered how wireless companies shared Americans’ locations willy nilly,” Wyden said. “He only investigated after public pressure mounted.”

“And now his response is a set of comically inadequate fines that won’t stop phone companies from abusing Americans’ privacy the next time they can make a quick buck,” Wyden said.

Verizon, for instance, boasted a total revenue of $31.4 billion in 2019 and is facing a fine of $48 million.

The FCC is proposing a fine of $91 million for T-Mobile, $57 million for AT&T, $48 million for Verizon and $12 million for Sprint.  

T-Mobile, which is facing the largest fine by far, said in a statement Friday that it intends to dispute the FCC’s conclusions.

“We take the privacy and security of our customers’ data very seriously,” T-Mobile said. “While we strongly support the FCC’s commitment to consumer protection, we fully intend to dispute the conclusions of this NAL and the associated fine.” 

Public Knowledge, a consumer rights group, said the FCC’s fines indicate the chairman is enforcing the law “to the barest degree possible.” 

Read more on the fines here.



Elections have changed and so has Facebook

Facebook has made large investments to protect elections, including tripling the size of the teams working on safety and security to more than 35,000. But the work doesn’t stop there.

See how Facebook has prepared for 2020.


TURN IT IN: House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Intel officials warned House lawmakers Russia is interfering to get Trump reelected: NYT Top Democrats demand answers on DHS plans to deploy elite agents to sanctuary cities MORE (D-Miss.) on Friday raised concerns around the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to submit a congressionally mandated election security report on time. 

DHS was required under the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to submit a report to Congress on successful and attempted cyberattacks on U.S. election infrastructure during the 2016 elections, along with any future cyberattacks on elections that DHS anticipates. 

The agency was required by the NDAA to submit the report within 60 days of the bill being signed into law. President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE signed the NDAA on Dec. 20, with Feb. 18 marking the deadline for the report to be submitted to appropriate congressional committees. 

Thompson, whose committee is among those that DHS is required to submit the report to, said Friday that the failure of DHS to submit the report “further obstructs Congress’ abilities to conduct proper oversight,” and noted this was “in direct violation of the law.”

“The threat to our democracy from foreign governments is real, and the Administration’s pattern of denial must stop,” Thompson added. “With President Trump in office, the American people cannot expect our elections to be secure and free from foreign interference or cyber-attacks with status quo measures in place.”

Read more here.


‘WALZ’-ING AROUND: Twitter earlier this month verified an account for a fake 2020 congressional candidate created by a teenager.

The account was for a fictional Republican congressional candidate from Rhode Island named Andrew Walz.

His Twitter bio claimed that Walz was a “proven business leader” and a “passionate advocate for students,” CNN Business first reported.

The owner of the account was a 17-year-old high schooler from upstate New York who, according to the network, made the account over the holidays because he was “bored.”

“During Christmas break I was kind of bored and I learned a lot from history class, but also on the news they were talking more about misinformation,” the high school student told CNN Business.

The teen said it took him about 20 minutes to make the website for his candidate and then another five minutes to create the Twitter account.

He got his profile picture from a website called This Person Does Not Exist, which computer generates realistic photos of fake people.

Then, he filled out a short survey with information about his fake candidate on Ballotpedia, the nonprofit “Encyclopedia for American Politics.” Twitter announced in December that it would be partnering with the nonprofit in an attempt to verify more congressional candidates. 

However, according to the student, neither Twitter or Ballotpedia asked for any further kind of identification to confirm that Walz was, in fact, genuine.

The social media platform has received flak from candidates who say it has been slow to verify them.

Read more on the incident here.


REDDIT DINGS TIKTOK: TikTok is under scrutiny from Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman for practices he calls “fundamentally parasitic,” referring to serious privacy concerns surrounding the app.

The app is a video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company established in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. TikTok launched in 2017 for iOS and Android in markets outside of China.

Huffman said one of the suspicious practices the company partakes in is fingerprinting, a method of tracking devices for each unique visitor, according to The Verge.

“Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with [TikTok],” Huffman said at the Social 2030 venture capital conference. “I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.”

Research by data protection expert Matthias Eberl highlights the fingerprinting Huffman refers to as an aggregate of audio and browser tracking, allowing the company to know the types of content each user is following. TikTok parent company ByteDance claims the fingerprinting methods are for recognizing malicious browser behavior, but Eberl offers his skepticism, as the platform seemingly works fine without the scripts enabled.

“I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone,’ ” Huffman said of TikTok’s software.

Read more here.



Elections have changed and so has Facebook

Facebook has made large investments to protect elections, including tripling the size of the teams working on safety and security to more than 35,000. But the work doesn’t stop there.

See how Facebook has prepared for 2020.


SCHEMING: Advocates are sounding the alarm over online scams that leave senior citizens particularly vulnerable, urging lawmakers and administration officials to take more steps to protect unsuspecting Americans.

Experts say that threat is heightened during tax season as online options for filing have grown in popularly, opening the door to more scams aimed at obtaining sensitive information or money from victims.

“Consumers should be especially vigilant as we approach tax season,” said Bill Versen, chief product officer at Transaction Network Services, a data services provider.

While there are a slew of scams at tax filing season, experts say that the elderly face a higher risk of being ensnared and experiencing financial hardship.

The most common kinds of tax scams are phishing and calls where a scammer impersonates an IRS official, according to Monique Becenti, a product specialist at cybersecurity firm SiteLock.

Phishing is a tactic used by hackers to get access to private information using fake emails, text messages and social media posts.

These communications are designed to bait unaware users, often the elderly, into giving up their personal information or clicking on links that can download dangerous malware onto computers and phones alike.

But the most common scam between 2014 and 2018 was fraudulent IRS calls, according to a yearly report released by the Senate Committee on Aging.

In those calls, the scammer impersonates an IRS official, demanding payment or sensitive information. In some cases, scammers have been known to threaten to suspend licenses, close businesses or even arrest individuals if they fail to pay fake bills.

“The overall goal is cyber criminals trying to file taxes on behalf of that person,” Becenti told The Hill. And once an individual falls victim, scammers can run further schemes. “Ultimately, they have their Social Security number. … Now they have the ability to open up fraudulent accounts on behalf of that individual.”

Read more here.


CHANGE OF PACE: Facebook sued a marketing company Thursday, alleging in federal court that the firm “improperly” collected data from users of the social media platform.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District Court of California, claimed oneAudience paid developers to use a malicious software development kit, or SDK, in their apps.

SDKs are tools that let developers make apps more quickly.

OneAudience’s SDK collected data in an improper fashion from Facebook users who opted to log in to certain apps, the lawsuit alleged.

Facebook claimed the data included names, email addresses and gender, in limited cases.

Facebook said it sent a cease-and-desist letter to oneAudience in November, but claimed the company did not cooperate with a requested audit.

OneAudience did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a blog post, Jessica Romero, Facebook’s director of platform enforcement and litigation, wrote that the lawsuit was filed to protect the platform’s users.

“This is the latest in our efforts to protect people and increase accountability of those who abuse the technology industry and users,” she wrote. “Through these lawsuits, we will continue sending a message to people trying to abuse our services that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies.”

Read more here.


CAMEO: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) joined an app where people can pay for personalized video messages after President Trump commuted his sentence on corruption charges earlier this month. 

Blagojevich is on the app Cameo offering personal messages for $100. 

“Hey it’s Rob Blagojevich. I’m very excited to connect with you on Cameo. If you want a birthday greeting, an anniversary greeting, motivation or any other kind of shoutout, I can’t wait to hear from you,” the former lawmaker said on his account. 

The app features a variety of celebrities and personalities that offer personalized messages for fans upon request. 

Former Trump White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerRod Blagojevich joins app where people can pay for personalized video message Press: It’s time to bring back White House briefings Rapid turnover shapes Trump’s government MORE also has an account on the app, as does former Trump administration communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciRod Blagojevich joins app where people can pay for personalized video message Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: ‘He misses the action’ MORE, former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault and former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiRod Blagojevich joins app where people can pay for personalized video message The Hill’s Morning Report – Sanders repeats with NH primary win, but with narrower victory Trump campaign chief relocating to Washington: report MORE

Trump commuted Blagojevich’s sentence earlier this month. He called Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence “ridiculous” 

“He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person — don’t know him,” Trump said.

Read more here.


A LIGHTER CLICK: Hope y’all are happy


AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: Indictment of Chinese hackers is wake-up call for better public-private cooperation



Vatican joins IBM, Microsoft to call for facial recognition regulation (Reuters / Philip Pullella, Jeffrey Dastin) 

The World Health Organization has joined TikTok to fight coronavirus misinformation (Verge / Makena Kelly)

Walmart is quietly working on an Amazon Prime competitor called Walmart+ (Recode / Jason Del Rey)

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The post #nationalcybersecuritymonth | Hillicon Valley — Presented by Facebook — FCC fines mobile carriers $200M for selling user data | Twitter verified fake 2020 candidate | Dems press DHS to complete election security report | Reddit chief calls TikTok spyware appeared first on National Cyber Security.

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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Calls for a presidential apology on US troop concussions go unanswered

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

NO RESPONSE TO CALLS FOR APOLOGY: So far President Trump has ignored the many calls for him to apologize for appearing to downplay the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries to almost three dozen U.S. troops injured in this month’s Iranian missile attack on their base in Iraq.

Last week, in defending his initial statements in the hours immediately after the Jan. 8 strike, in which he said there were no significant U.S. casualties, Trump insisted the concussions reported by U.S. troops were not as serious as other more visible wounds, such as the loss of limbs from roadside bombs.

“I don’t consider them very serious injuries, relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” Trump said in a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. “I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured … I consider them to be really bad injuries.”

“I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things.” he said. “But I would say, and I can report it is not very serious. Not very serious.”

THE NUMBER GROWS: On Friday the Pentagon said the number of U.S. troops who have been treated for concussions and traumatic brain injuries now totals 34.

Eight troops arrived back home last Friday for treatment either at Walter Reed or at their home bases in the U.S. Nine are still being treated at a U.S. military hospital in Germany. Sixteen were diagnosed and treated in Iraq and have already returned to duty. And one who went to Kuwait received treatment and has also returned to duty in Iraq.

“The goal is to be as transparent, accurate and to provide the American people and our service members with the best information about the tremendous sacrifices our warfighters make,” said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, who said the delay in reporting the number of concussions was due to the nature of the injuries.

“What we saw is a number of people who were initially screened for concussion-like symptoms that showed up at one of the medical providers in the base saw their conditions improve rapidly. And then others, we saw their conditions didn’t improve. Some got worse, and some had severe enough symptoms that they were transported on for further treatment.” he said.

“Over the last two weeks, we have seen a persistent and dedicated effort by our medical professionals on the ground in Iraq, Kuwait and Germany to diagnose and treat any and all members who needed assistance.”

‘IT’S PLAIN WRONG’: “TBI is a serious matter. It is not a ‘headache,’ and it’s plain wrong for President Trump to diminish their wounds,” said Sen. Jack Reed, top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee after Friday’s Pentagon update. “He may not have meant to disrespect them, but President Trump’s comments were an insult to our troops. He owes them an apology.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars also requested an apology. “TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly,” said William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW national commander, in a statement. “The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks … And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times.”

Perhaps the most poignant request came from in the form of an open letter to President Trump from Frank Larkin the father of U.S. Navy SEAL Ryan Larkin, who took his life following a traumatic brain injury.

“My son had “invisible wounds”, just like so many other members of active service and our veteran population,” wrote Larkin.

“It is difficult to put into words the impact that your statement had on me and my family yesterday…it was a hard hit to the gut. An undeserved punch felt by every person suffering from a TBI, their shattered families, and supporting communities who struggle everyday with the consequences of insidious brain injuries,”

NO OFFENSE INTENDED: On CBS yesterday, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton defended Trump, arguing he was “describing their injuries… not dismissing their injuries.” Head injuries, he said, can be anywhere on a scale of being able to quickly return to duty up to having a severe traumatic, lasting injury.

“in fact, all these injuries are not serious, if they’re on the less serious side of the scale than the severe, traumatic side of the scale, the president is just describing what happened here. He was not dismissing them,” Cotton said on Face the Nation. And I think he’s describing, thankfully, what end of the scale that lies on.”

During a town hall on Fox yesterday, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was less charitable. “We’re talking about somebody who as a privileged son of a multi-millionaire faked an injury in order to avoid serving, goes on to become the president, and minimizes the real injuries of those who did,” he said.

Good Monday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, written and compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) and edited by Susan Katz Keating (@SKatzKeating). Email here with tips, suggestions, calendar items, and anything else. Sign up or read current and back issues at If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter: @dailyondefense.

Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what’s going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue!

HAPPENING TODAY: We’ll hear from Defense Secretary Mark Esper at approximately 11:45 a.m. when he takes questions from reporters in the Pentagon Briefing room alongside French Defense Minister Florence Parly. Esper welcomes Parly to the Pentagon with “an enhanced honor cordon” on the River Entrance steps at 10:30 a.m.

The joint news conference afterward will be streamed live at

ALSO TODAY: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein takes part in a fireside chat with the Center for a New American Security at 10:30 a.m..

NO APOLOGY HERE, EITHER: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fired back at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, after Kelly complained that Pompeo privately berated her, using the F-word for asking about Ukraine in an interview that Pompeo insisted was supposed to be limited to the the subject of Iran.

Kelly tried nine times to get Pompeo to discuss whether he owed an apology to former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, which you can read here.

Pompeo issued a sharply worded statement accusing Kelly of violating the agreed up ground rules during and after the interview, a charge Kelly and NPR dispute.

“NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record,” Pompeo said. “It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration.”

AFGHAN PRESIDENT — TRUMP MADE RIGHT CALL: In an interview with the Washington Post at last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had high praise for President Trump, saying he made the right call scuttling a flawed withdrawal deal with the Taliban, and denying that the Afghan government has been cut out of the peace process.

Here’s an excerpt from the exchange between Ghani and the Post’s Lally Weymouth:

Q: What do you think about the fact that the Trump administration is talking to the Taliban without your government?

A: We’ve not been excluded. We’ve been briefed continuously. President Trump took a very principled step when he did not accept the draft agreement last fall.

Q: The agreement that was to be finalized at Camp David? President Trump pulled those plans at the last minute.

A: It was because the president had not been briefed before. When he was briefed, we were very happy with the decisions that he made. President Trump’s visit to Afghanistan during Thanksgiving was a very productive visit.

Q: If the proposed Camp David deal had gone through, President Trump would have reduced U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 14,000 to 8,600. Could you have lived with that?

A: Two things have happened. One: President Trump and the U.S. administration have invested considerably in technology so the numbers are no longer the key. Secondly, the Afghan forces are now doing the bulk of the fighting and managing the war.

Q: Could Afghan forces win the war without U.S. help?

A: We’re advancing. In 2014, when I became president, 100,000 NATO troops withdrew, and everyone was saying that we would collapse in moments. We didn’t. . . . The remaining U.S. troops are not for the defense of Afghanistan but for the prevention of attacks on the United States.

Q: So do you need a small number of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan?

A: A small number is required in order to deal with the threat of terrorism and to support us because it’s an advise, assist and training mission — not a fighting mission.

CONTROVERSY OVER SPACE FORCE SEAL FLAMES OUT: The twitterverse was momentarily sizzling Friday with outraged Star Trek aficionados making a light-speed jump to the conclusion that the new U.S. Space Force seal, was a rip-off of the fictional Starfleet Academy logo.

Soon thereafter many on Twitter pointed out that the new seal was a reworking of the old U.S. Space Command design from the 1980s, and that in fact as one tweeter noted, “Deltas, swoops, and swooshes have been part of spaceflight symbology since the 1960’s.”

In a statement posted on Facebook the U.S. Space Force explained. “The delta symbol, the central design element in the seal, was first used as early as 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Forces; and was used in early Air Force space organization emblems dating back to 1961. Since then, the delta symbol has been a prominent feature in military space community emblems.”

That didn’t stop George Takei, the actor who played Sulu on the original Star Trek and a consistent critic of the president, from mocking the design in an op-ed. “Indeed, with the two logos placed side by side, the resemblance is so remarkable that I had to wonder whether Melania Trump was part of the design committee,” he wrote.


Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $13 million contract for a program designed to develop defenses against maneuverable hypersonic glide vehicles dubbed “Glide Breaker.” “This contract provides for the research, development and demonstration of a technology that is critical for enabling an advanced interceptor capable of engaging maneuvering hypersonic threats in the upper atmosphere,” the Pentagon said in an announcement Friday.

Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California (73%); Mesa, Arizona (21%); Sacramento, California (4%); and Huntsville, Alabama (2%), with an estimated completion date of January 2021, according to the contract award announcement.

Lockheed Martin has announced former Joint Chiefs Chairman retired Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to its board of directors effective Feb. 10.

“General Dunford’s service to the nation at the highest levels of military leadership will bring valuable insight to our board,” said Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin. “His experience in complex, global operations and risk management, including cybersecurity threats, is a tremendous asset and will enhance board oversight in key business areas.”

Boeing led the defense industry spending on lobbying last year, according to an analysis of year-end disclosures by Politico.

“The commercial and military aerospace giant disclosed $13.8 million spent on lobbying activities in 2019. That’s down from $15.1 million in 2018, when Boeing also placed first among defense contractors,” Politico reported last week.

The rounding out the top five, according to Politico:

The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Three rockets make ‘direct hit’ on US Embassy in Baghdad: Report

Washington Examiner: US soldier killed during vehicle ‘rollover accident’ in Syria

Washington Examiner: ‘A dirty word’: After tense exchange, Guantanamo judge says he’ll rule on whether 9/11 plotters were tortured

Washington Examiner: Iran says it has the ability to enrich uranium ‘at any percentage’

AP: The U.S. Is Committed To Syria Mission, Says Top American General In The Middle East The Navy Is Making Big Changes to the Way it Plans for Future Ships

Wall Street Journal: Pentagon Blocks Clampdown on Huawei Sales

Reuters: China Has World’s Second-Largest Arms Industry, Think Tank Estimates

AP: Fighting rages as Libya force pushes toward key western city

Reuters: North Korea Urges Citizens To ‘Break Through Barriers’ As Nuclear Standoff Continues

Air Force Magazine: Valkyrie Drone Completes Fourth Flight Test

Stars and Stripes: Navy Deploys Pair Of Tritons To Guam For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s Pacific Debut

Virginian Pilot: Now At Sea, USS Gerald R. Ford Enters A New Phase In Its Path To Deployment

USNI News: Navy MH-60S Helicopter Crashes in the Philippine Sea off Okinawa, Crew Rescued

Forbes: How Top Military Contractors Raytheon And BAE Systems Are Drawing Non-Traditional Suppliers Into Defense



10 a.m. 14th and F St. N.W. — Debra Tice, mother of detained journalist Austin Tice, holds a news conference with Mike Freedman, president of the National Press Club, to provide an update on the second annual Night Out for Austin Tice, a national awareness campaign to free the journalist held in Syria since August 2012. Streamed live at

10:30 a.m. Pentagon River Entrance — Defense Secretary Mark Esper welcomes French Defense Minister Florence Parly to the Pentagon, followed by a joint news conference in the Pentagon Briefing Room at approximately 11:45 a.m. Streamed live at

10:30 a.m. 1177 15th St. N.W. — Center for a New American Security “Fireside Chat” with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, moderated by Susanna Blume, senior fellow and director, CNAS Defense Program.

2 p.m. 101 Constitution Ave. N.W. — Intelligence and National Security Alliance seminar “Great Power Competition: Disinformation and Influence Operations,” with Shelby Pierson, intelligence community election threats executive in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; former National Security Agency Deputy Director Richard Ledgett, senior visiting fellow at the MITRE Corporation; Jane Holl Lute, president and CEO of SICPA North America; Aaron Brantly, cyber policy fellow at the Army Cyber Institute; Jennifer Mathieu, chief technologist for social analytics and integrity at MITRE; and Tom Warrick, nonresident senior fellow at Atlantic Council


10 a.m. Rayburn 2118 — House Armed Services Committee hearing: “Security Update on the Korean Peninsula,” with John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy and Lt. Gen. David Allvin, joint staff director for strategy, plans and policy.

8:15 a.m. 2121 Crystal Dr. Arl, —- National Defense Industrial Association meeting of the Electronics Division, with Daniel Goldin, CEO and founder of KnuEdge; Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency; David Davis, systems engineering division chief of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center; and Patrick Murphy, strategic planning and integration director at NASA.

9:30 a.m. 14th and F St. N.W. — National Press Club International Correspondents Committee discussion on “10 World Conflicts to Watch in 2020,” with former White House foreign affairs adviser Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group.

11 a.m. Lockheed Martin webcasts fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings results conference call, with Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Ken Possenriede, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Greg Gardner, vice president of investor relations.

11 a.m. 1030 15th St. N.W. — Atlantic Council discussion on “Logistics: The Role of TRANSCOM in Great-Power Competition,” with Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander, U.S. Transportation command.

2 p.m. 529 14th St. N.W. — Arms Control Association event “The Case for Extending New START,” with retired Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, former Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration; Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Madelyn Creedon, former principal deputy administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy; Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies, American Enterprise Institute; and Alexander Vershbow, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and NATO deputy secretary general. Register at

2 p.m. 2301 Constitution Ave. N.W. — United States Institute of Peace discussion on “Healing Afghanistan Through Art,” with Roya Rahmani, Afghanistan ambassador to the U.S.; Kabir Mokamel, co-founder and creative director of ArtLords; District of Columbia Youth Poet Laureate Marjan Naderi; Hamidullah Natiq, artist and local peace activist; Omaid Sharifi, co-founder and president of ArtLords; Johnny Walsh, senior expert at USIP; and Nancy Lindborg, president and CEO of USIP


7:30 a.m. 300 First St. S.E. — Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Air Force Gen. John Hyten speaks at the Air Force Association “Breakfast Series.”

9 a.m. — General Dynamics webcasts fourth quarter and full-year 2019 financial results conference.

10:30 a.m. — The Boeing Company releases financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 in a conference call with President and CEO David Calhoun and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Enterprise Performance & Strategy Greg Smith. Webcast at

11:30 a.m. 1667 K St. N.W. — Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment discussion of new report, “Taking Back the Seas: Transforming the U.S. Surface Fleet for Decision-Centric Warfare,” with Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.


7 a.m. — Raytheon Company releases 2019 fourth quarter and full-year results on its website, followed by a conference call at 9 a.m. Jan. 30, 2020. Audiocast

9 a.m. G50 Dirkson. — Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Defense Authorization request for Fiscal Year 2021 and the Future Years Defense Program, with Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, U.S. Africa Commander; and Adm. Craig Faller, U.S. Southern Commander.


“Apparently, the new logo is just another iteration on the former Air Force Space Command logo, which also featured an upward pointing delta, but the final product with its concentric rings and swooping orbits looks so much like Starfleet’s, I fear it could easily confuse any Vulcans and Klingons who see it.”

Actor George Takei, who portrayed Sulu on the original Star Trek, and was the many who commented on the similarity between the new U.S. Space Force seal and the logo of a fictional Starfleet Command.

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | What Kind Of Phone Calls And Messages Can Steal Your Money

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Phone calls need not always be the bearer of good news. In its recent report, a telecommunication firm said that around 44.6% of the phone calls made in 2019 were made by the scammers, and the numbers will rise up further in 2020.

Incidents of cyber crimes and phone scams are so frequent these days that the next phone call you are about to receive- might be a call from a scammer trying to steal your money.

Before you get up and receive your ringing phone, you might want to read this list of the most common type of phone call scammers that can put you at risk. Who knows maybe a little bit of awareness can save you from being scammed?

1. “Your ATM card has been blocked”

People often receive phone calls
from scammers impersonating bankers. To rattle you off and to show you that
they are ‘real’, they might even tell you your ATM card
number and the expiration date. While they have all that information with them,
they try to get you scared by telling you that the bank is blocking your ATM
card or even credit card for some discrepancies in your account. They say that
they can make it all go away and need to access your account for that, and so
they ask for your card’s PIN.

Do not share your PIN as it will actually give them access to your bank account, more than you would like, letting them withdraw all the money from your account.

2. “Send us the OTP to let us bank transfer your cash reward”

If asking your bank account details
directly wasn’t enough, they try to tempt you with attractive offers. Scammers
make phone calls saying that you have won a competition or a lottery; you might
not remember participating in. They say that you have won a huge sum of money
and/or a holiday in your dream destination.

For that, they need your bank
account number and ATM PIN so that they can transfer the sum directly to your
bank account.

While the reward might look tempting enough and the caller might seem trustworthy, these callers are most likely to withdraw all your hard-earned money instead of giving you a ‘reward’.

ALSO READ: Did You Get Trapped In The Netflix Phishing Scam?

3. “This is Techsupport, we want to help you”

With developing IT cells of the scammers, they often pose as tech support as well. They pose as IT guys from tech companies helping you get rid of your computer virus. They start by asking you to download software that helps you share your computer with them and gives them remote control access to your computer as well.

While you see them ‘helping’ you,
they are quite likely to be downloading all your personal information in the
background. Sometimes they often hold all your computer data ‘hostage’ and
threaten to give it back to you only if you pay a certain sum of money.

4. “Please confirm your Aadhar Card number”

This important identity card of
Indian citizen holds all of their key information. Along with the name, birth
date, family details, it has their bank account details, PAN card details and
many more. To gain access to all that information, bank account details and
more, scammers often come up with various schemes, that ends with them asking
for your Aadhar card number.

Please do not share that your Aadhar card details with anyone as your personal information can be misused.

5. “Click the link to spend time with this lovely lady”

We all receive such enticing emails
and messages that promise company to lonely souls. Although you’re intelligent enough
to spot the red alert in the message and understand it to be a scam, you might
receive some other messages and emails that can tempt you. Whatever it may seem
DO NOT click on the links that follow the ad mails and messages.

These links mostly take you to a homepage that gives the hackers access to your computer, and hence, your personal information and data.

As the number of scammers increase
in number with every passing year, they often come up with new ways to trick
you. Banks never call you asking for your bank details as they already have it

Do not disclose them to a ‘banker’ over the phone, as they are mostly a fraud impersonating a banker. If you feel your bank account details are at risk, do not hesitate on visiting your bank and talking to the bank manager, or even reporting a complaint to the police.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Economic Times, Financial Express, Business Today

Find The Blogger @AyushArcher05

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#deepweb | Investor Calls Loft Orbital the “Amazon Web Services of Space”

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans A Loft Orbital satellite. Photo: Loft Orbital Startup Loft Orbital wants to shake up space with technology standardization. Their proprietary Payload Hub technology is a universal payload adapter that can fly any payload on a standard satellite bus. The company, which is in its infancy, received […] View full post on

#deepweb | 30 years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed, the IACHR calls on States to renew their commitment to children – World

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Washington, D.C. – On November 20, when the Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrates its 30th anniversary, the IACHR recalls that children still face enormous barriers to the enjoyment of their rights. In this regard, the Commission calls on the OAS member states to renew their commitment to children and adolescents through the implementation of effective national protection systems.

Thirty years ago, the international community came together to take a crucial step in the protection of children around the world, by negotiating and approving a broad regulatory framework that meant a paradigm shift in the matter. It is from the Convention that the States consolidated the recognition of children as holders of their own rights, universally guaranteed, and not as mere objects of protection. Today, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the human rights treaty with the highest number of ratifications, as it has 196 States Parties, which underlines the universality of its scope.

Although the Commission recognizes the progress achieved during the three decades since the Convention came into force, it also expresses its concern about the deep gap between the rights established therein and the reality in which millions of children live in the region. According to UNICEF, in Latin America alone, 72 million children aged 0 to 14 still live in poverty, 1 in 5 have their physical growth affected by the lack of access to adequate nutrition and 12 million do not attend to school. In addition, almost 25,000 adolescents between 10 and 19 years old are victims of homicide each year in the region and half of those under 15 years of age are subjected to corporal punishment at home.

This scenario requires that the States renew and strengthen their commitment to protect children from any type of violation of their rights. In this regard, the Commission reiterates the need for States to implement national systems that effectively execute special and reinforced public protection policies aimed at guaranteeing the integral development of children, as well as allowing them to live a dignified life and free from all forms of violence.

“The protection of the rights of children requires a joint effort of all social actors, not only at this time of celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention, but permanently, with the States occupying a central place in guaranteeing these rights”, said Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, President of the IACHR and Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child. “This renewed commitment, which must continue through the years, needs to hear the voice of children who have the right and are increasingly interested in participating in the decisions that affect them”, she added.

The Commission notes that the United States of America is the only country that has not ratified the text of the Convention. In this regard, the IACHR takes this opportunity to urge the State to adopt measures to ratify the treaty for the benefit of more than 70 million children living in the United States.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | NATCOM calls for tough laws to regulate mobile banking in Sierra Leone

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

By Mabinty M. Kamara

Officials of the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) have called on the Bank of Sierra Leone to bring out a stronger legislative framework on mobile money service to complement the rapid growth of these services and curb cybercrime.

Abdul Ben Foday, Director of Corporate Affairs, while acknowledging the growing recognition of the importance of mobile phones and mobile money by tele-communication companies, which he said have brought unprecedented benefits by improving livelihoods and becoming a tool to mobilize and encourage savings for the unbanked populace in Sierra Leone, it has also occasioned issues that need attention.

“The financial services activities of telecos are beyond the purview of NATCOM, but falls within the mandate of the Bank of Sierra Leone. We are looking forward to imploring the Bank of Sierra Leone to come up with a stronger legislative framework than what it currently has,” he said.

He added that the role of the bank of Sierra Leone is pivotal in ensuring that mobile money services are regulated, supervised for the smooth operations of the financial sector.

“In view of this, our vigilance has increased, consumer awareness and consumer public dialogue is on an upward trajectory. The rapid growth of mobile money transactions should [warrant] the urgency for an effective and robust regulatory and legislative framework.” 

The spokesman for the Bank of Sierra Leone, Berestford Taylor, did not respond to Politico when contacted via calls and a text message.

NATCOM, as a regulatory body, is responsible to monitor media and telecommunication technical capacity and functions in Sierra Leone. Their role includes granting licenses for the operations of communications systems and services, ensuring fair competition among operators, establish and monitor quality of service indicators for operators and service providers.

Dr. Abdul Kamara, Manager of Information Cyber Security, noted that cyber security issues are borderless due to the borderless nature of the cyber space itself. He said they have been working with Police to tackle emerging threats.

“In the recent past, we have been able to make some gains in the fight against cybercrimes and fraud in partnership and collaboration with the Sierra Leone Police in the termination of Sim Box fraud,” he stated.

Sim Box Fraud is one of the most sophisticated cybercrimes in the country. However, simpler cybercrimes like scams involving people luring others to send them mobile money by impersonation, have been on the increase.

Mustapha Sesay is a victim of mobile money fraud. He said he recently lost Le5million to a scammer who claimed he was the Secretary to the President of Sierra Leone.

Sesay believes mobile companies are not doing enough to tackle the problem.

 “I think the mobile companies are in connivance with these rogues, otherwise there is no way the same number would be used to scam other people even when the first incident was reported to the Police. The same number that was used to scam me was also used to scam another Le8 million (from someone else). This could not have happened if these mobile companies are serious about curbing the criminal activities of these criminals,” he said.

Police already have a cybercrime unit which they have used in the past to conduct raids and arrest cyber criminals.

Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kabba Lavalie, explained in a Police press briefing this week that they currently have people in custody who impersonated a government minister, so they could carry out a scam.

© 2019 Politico Online

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Microsoft #adds #voice to #calls for #federal #cybersecurity #agency

Source: National Cyber Security News

Software giant Microsoft has added its voice to a growing chorus calling for the creation of a federal cybersecurity agency to coordinate the U.S. government’s response to nation-state and cyber criminal threats.

In a blog post on Monday, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Trustworthy Computing, Paul Nicholas, called on the U.S. and other nations to replace ad-hoc efforts to address cyber threats by creating a “single national cybersecurity agency” that will pull together key government functions related to information security and “ensure policies are prioritized across the nation.”

The recommendation, which Microsoft described in a whitepaper (PDF), comes amid increasing concern that events are overtaking governments, leaving the world vulnerable to catastrophes that may have their origins in activities that take place on the Internet. Speaking in Lisbon, Portugal on Monday, U.N. Secretary Antonio Guterres called for the creation of global rules that minimize the impact of electronic warfare on civilian populations.

“Episodes of cyber warfare between states already exist. What is worse is that there is no regulatory scheme for that type of warfare, it is not clear how the Geneva Convention or international humanitarian law applies to it,” Guterres said in the speech, which was given at the University of Lisbon, Reuters reported.

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