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LemonDuck Shows Malware Can Evolve, Putting Linux and Microsoft at Risk | #microsoft | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #cybersecurity | #infosecurity | #hacker

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The LemonDuck malware that for the past couple of years has been known for its cryptocurrency mining and botnet capabilities is evolving into a much broader threat, moving into new […]

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Protests and prom, music and marches, drag shows, art and celebrations to affirm all LGBTQ people | #speeddating | #tinder | #pof | #blackpeoplemeet | romancescams | #scams

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Every year, more cities and towns in Connecticut host events to recognize their LGBTQ communities. The busiest month is June, Pride month. Every day there is something to do, virtually […]

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Police report shows decline in crime last year in Madison Heights | #tinder | #pof | #match | #sextrafficking | romancescams | #scams

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The Madison Heights Police Department, seen May 19. A recent analysis of crime last year in Madison Heights showed an overall drop in criminal activity. Larceny and retail fraud continues […]

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#minorsextrafficking | A baseless US conspiracy theory found a foothold in Europe. New research shows how | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

The baseless PizzaGate claim emerged during the 2016 election. Later that same year, a gunman showed up and fired an AR-15 inside the pizzeria, saying he was trying to rescue […] View full post on National Cyber Security

#school | #ransomware | Ransomware Attack on Hospital Shows New Risk for Muni-Bond Issuers

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Hackers have finally done what bond issuers may have feared most from cyber criminals.

A ransomware attack on Pleasant Valley Hospital in West Virginia was partly responsible for the hospital’s breach of its covenant agreement, according to a notice to the hospital’s bondholders from the trustee, WesBanco Bank. It appears to be the first time a cyber attack triggered a formal covenant violation, according to research firm Municipal Market Analytics.

The virus entered the hospital’s system via emails sent 10 months before the cyber criminals asked the hospital for money, said Craig Gilliland, the hospital’s chief financial officer. The information the criminals held for ransom did not contain patient data or confidential data, so it was “more of an annoyance,” he added.

Because of the attack, the hospital was forced to spend about $1 million on new computer equipment and infrastructure improvements, Gilliland said. That cost, along with declining patient volume, caused the hospital’s debt service coverage for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 to fall to 78%, below the 120% the loan agreement requires, according to the material notice to bondholders.

“When we had the cyber attack, we didn’t have the sophisticated anti-virus software that we needed,” he said. “Cyber attacks are effective on smaller hospitals and smaller government agencies who do not have the resources and do not spend the money to proactively get ahead of the curve.”

The hospital did not miss any payments to bond investors. Gilliland said he is not aware of whether or not payments were made to the perpetrators because the attack was managed by a cyber liability insurance carrier Beazley Group. Mairi MacDonald, who manages media relations for Beazley Group, said via email that the company does not comment on specific client matters.

“The resolution of the situation will likely cost the hospital via monetary settlements and security hardening, making a financial rebound a bit more difficult than otherwise,” MMA said in its report. “Pleasant Valley highlights cyber risks as, at least so far, primarily a worsener for most municipal credits.”

Cyber risk is a growing concern for the municipal market. There were 133 publicly reported attacks against health-care providers since 2016, 47 of which occurred in 2019, according to data collected by threat intelligence company Recorded Future, Inc. Health-care providers are at particular risk for cyber attacks because patient care is disrupted, so there is an expectation the hospital will pay to remedy that quickly, said Allan Liska, an intelligence analyst at the company. Health-care providers also use unique software that is often managed by vendors, leaving updates to the software out of their hands.

“You have hospitals and doctors offices that are often forced to run outdated and old software that makes them at risk for these ransomware attacks,” Liska said.

Rising Ransomware Attacks

And it’s not just health-care providers that are at risk. In 2019, state and local governments reported 106 ransomware attacks, nearly double what was reported a year before, according to data collected by Recorded Future. Among them were the Syracuse School District, which said it experienced a cyber attack that could “impact its financial position” according to a July 31 regulatory filing, and the city of Baltimore, which disclosed a cyber attack to investors in its bond offering documents when it borrowed last year.

For Pleasant Valley Hospital, the insurance company Beazley Group “connected the Hospital with other vendors to settle and remediate the issue,” according to the statement to bondholders. To address the decreasing patient volume, the hospital has lowered its labor costs and plans to convert doctor offices into two rural health clinics and to offer a new medical withdrawal inpatient service.

The threat to credit will get worse in the public finance realm before it can be alleviated, said Geoffrey Buswick, an analyst for S&P Global Ratings. Issuers can do all the right things, like protect their network and have proper insurance in place, and still find it difficult to fully offset cyber risks, he added.

“The various actors out there, be it a nation-state or criminal organization or just a rouge hacker, seem to have advanced technologies that are changing quickly,” Buswick said.

–With assistance from Amanda Albright and Danielle Moran.

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#deepweb | 22 of the best shows to watch this week

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Top Gear
Sunday, BBC2, 8pm
The intrepid trio of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness have got their feet behind the wheel of the long-running motoring show. After a couple of dodgy runs following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, Top Gear is no longer stuttering like a clapped-out old banger, but purring like a brand new sports car. The 28th series will once again feature a mix of test drives and out-of-this-world adventures, beginning with a road trip in a trio of affordable second-hand convertibles. Also: Harris’s views on the new Ariel Atom and the sight of daredevil Flintoff bungee-jumping off a dam in an old Rover.

Win the Wilderness: Alaska
Sunday, BBC2, 9pm
Six couples are challenged to prove their survival skills in Alaska’s harsh wilderness, with the most successful pair winning a remarkable home miles from the nearest road, which was built from scratch by its original owners. In the first episode, they receive a crash course in what to do when encountering a bear before being sent into the woods to gather material and build shelters. They must then fell trees, make a fire and brave the freezing waters of Lost Lake.

Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me
Sunday, BBC2, 11pm

Mandy Rice-Davies in July 1963. Photograph: PA

If you watched BBC1’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, switch over immediately after the final episode ends for this documentary, which offers a personal insight into the 1963 scandal that brought down Harold Macmillan’s government. Journalist Tom Mangold reported on the story while working as a reporter on Fleet Street, and describes the atmosphere around the country at the time. There’s also a chance to hear secret audio recordings made by the producers of the 1989 film Scandal, in which both Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies discuss their weekends at Cliveden and their claims that they were pressured into giving evidence against their friend, society osteopath Stephen Ward.

Stockholm Requiem
Sunday, Channel 4, 11pm

Liv Mjönes in Stockholm Syndrome
Liv Mjönes in Stockholm Syndrome

Channel 4 premieres the first episode of this Swedish psychological crime drama (original title: Sthlm Rekviem), based on Kristina Ohlsson’s bestselling novels, with the entire 10-part series available online on All 4. After a tragic accident, unconventional criminologist Fredrika Bergman (Liv Mjönes) joins a special investigations team in Stockholm and is assigned to work with the leader of the unit, Alex Recht. He is resistant to Bergman’s intellectual presence but they needs her help in tracing the main suspect in the case of an abduction of a little girl: her apparently abusive father.

The Windermere Children
Monday, BBC2, 9pm

Tara Cush and Romola Garai in The Windermere Children
Tara Cush and Romola Garai in The Windermere Children

As the literary and cinematic worlds grapple with a glut of Holocaust-based fiction, is there room for a drama, based on a true story, about a group of children who survived the concentration camps and are brought to England’s Lake District in 1945 to try to rebuild their shattered lives? They’re helped in this slow, painful process by child psychologist (Thomas Kretschmann) and a team of counsellors who include an art therapist (Romola Garai). We’re not expecting any Beatrix Potter-style happy endings by Lake Windermere, but we may just see some glimpses of lost innocence. Followed at 10.30pm on BBC4 by The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Monday, BBC2, 7pm
Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, more than 150 survivors attend a commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Through music, poetry and powerful personal testimony, all those who were persecuted by the Nazis, as well as those who were victims of later genocides are remembered. Among those taking part are cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason accompanied by his brother Braimah, actors Simon Russell Beale and Warwick Davis, and the Fourth Choir. Huw Edwards presents.

Bring Back the Bush: Where Did Our Pubic Hair Go?
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
There have been a lot of new trends in personal grooming over the past few decades, but there’s one very big (and very personal) one that doesn’t get talked about much, at least not on TV. In this documentary, Chidera Eggerue finds out why so many women are removing their pubic hair. As she discovers, you only have to go back a few decades to find a time when this wasn’t seen as necessary, so what caused the change in our attitudes to our bikini lines – and is it time for the bush to make a comeback? To find out, Eggerue challenges herself and her peers to grow theirs back as part of an exhibition where they will reveal their bodies to the world in their natural, naked state.

Shortscreen: Heartbreak
Monday, RTÉ2, 11.35pm
Dave Tynan’s Ifta-winning short from 2017, only seven minutes long, is a spoken word film originally commissioned by theatre company ThisisPopBaby. Heartbreak is written and performed by Emmet Kirwan, who narrates the story of a schoolgirl, Youngone (Jordanne Jones), from teenage pregnancy to raising a son as a single mother.

Great Asian Railway Journeys
Monday, BBC2, 6.30pm
Michael Portillo sets off on the first leg of a new quest as he travels around southeast Asia, guided by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook on a 2,500-mile railway adventure across six countries. Beginning in Hong Kong, the former Conservative politician investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two 19th-century wars over the trade in opium, before boarding the island’s most famous funicular to the Peak, and straddling a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle-making.

Ár gClub
Tuesday, TG4, 8pm

Ár gClub
Ár gClub

In the first programme of the series we join Naomh Anna ladies football manager Tony Lee as he prepares his newly promoted team for a season in the Galway Intermediate championship. In Rathnure, Wexford, all five O’Connor family sisters are involved with the club; but Claire has to decide if she will return to the playing fields after the birth of her second child. In Belfast, newly formed Laochra Loch Lao, which played their first game in the Antrim league in 2018, has big ambitions both on and off the field.

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thurday/Friday, BBC2, 8pm
Time for a final walk in the winter wonderland that is the Dell of Abernathy in the Cairngorms; Springwatch will move to a new home later in the year. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke pack their thermal underwear, down-filled coats and hardiest walking boots in preparation for sub-zero temperatures. Perhaps they’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Britain’s only herd of reindeer, which have been residents in the park since 1952. Other creatures popping up include badgers, squirrels and pine martins, whose habits will be viewed via secret cameras. There are also various challenges and pre-filmed reports, with extra content available via the Winterwatch website.

Belsen: Our Story
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
Documentary about the concentration camp in northern Germany, featuring personal accounts from the few remaining survivors and archive footage shot by the British forces that liberated them. Bergen-Belsen was used to hold prisoners evacuated from camps that had fallen to the Allied advance, leading its population to increase to nearly 60,000 by the winter of 1944. Thousands died at the camp from starvation and disease, their bodies left unburied. The British and Canadian forces who discovered the camp were left with no choice but to burn it to the ground.

Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses a rally in Durham during the European elections last May 11th. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses a rally in Durham during the European elections last May 11th. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

With Brexit looming, here is a profile of the man many people believe is responsible for the UK leaving the EU. Nigel Farage is one of Britain’s most divisive politicians, but this documentary, which was filmed over the course of five months, initially finds him riding high after his Brexit Party’s historic success in last May’s European elections. However, as Britain heads into December’s general election, the poll ratings start to plummet. The documentary asks whether the election is a sign that while the UK voted for Brexit, they don’t necessarily want Farage. Or with a new government that appears to support much of what he stands for, can he claim a bigger victory?

Tabú: Ailléirgí
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
An in-depth look at the alarming increase in allergies in Ireland. This informative programme blends observational documentary with scientific factual content to give the audience a comprehensive view of the impact allergies are having on Irish society.

Laughter in the Eyre – Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway
Thursday, RTE 2, 10.30pm

Jo Caulfield on Laughter in the Eyre
Jo Caulfield on Laughter in the Eyre

A sort of Other Voices of the comedy world, this one-off special is a showcase of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, held every October in the City of Tribes. Last year the clever producers thought ahead and sent a camera crew into carnival to capture all the comedy action. Now the rest of the country gets to see what all the chuckling was about last autumn in the west of Ireland. An array of laugh-merchants will lay out their wares for the audience’s delight, and if the show’s punning title is anything to go by, there’s a serious danger we might die laughing on our couches. One of the comedians is Andrew Maxwell, but if you saw him looking glum on I’m a Celebrity . . . just before Christmas, don’t be put off. When he’s not being force-fed bugs and bullied by his campmates, he really can be quite funny. Other guffaw-inducing guests include Reginald D Hunter, Terry Alderton, Jo Caulfield and Seann Walsh.

Deep Water
Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.50pm

Anna Friel and Rosalind Eleazar in Deep Water
Anna Friel and Rosalind Eleazar in Deep Water

This twisty six-part drama, which originally ran on UTV last August, is set against the backdrop of England’s Lake District and based on the novels by Paula Daly. Deep Water follows the sometimes messy lives of three women as they navigate the choppy waters of family, friendships and finance. Anna Friel plays Lisa, a disorganised mum whose efforts to juggle family life with running her own business often result in chaos. Roz (Sinead Keenan) is a physiotherapist trying to repay crippling debts. And wealthy Kate (Rosalind Eleazar) appears to have the perfect life, the perfect husband and the perfect kids – but is it all just for show? 

Save Money: Lose Weight
Thursday, UTV, 11.45pm
Sian Williams and Dr Ranj Singh takes two fresh diets (the Eat What You Like and Lose Weight for Life cookbook, and Noom, an app that is trending worldwide) and put them through their paces in a 28-day value-for-money road test. The programme also looks at the latest new diet products and finds out which are fleeting fancies and which are future foods worth splashing out on. Williams tests a new super grain, pea milk and a vegetable sheeter, while Singh investigates technology and gadgets designed to boost willpower when it comes to dieting. These include a state-of-the-art headset to fight food cravings and a low-tech fridge piggy gadget that actually oinks when you open the fridge.

The Late Tackle
Thursday, Virgin One, 10pm
Muireann O’Connell and last year’s Love Island winner, Greg O’Shea, host this new entertainment show focusing on the Guinness Six Nations Championship. Celebrity guests including past and present rugby players, while comedians and actors chat about rugby and life in front of a live audience.

Leaving the EU: BBC News Special
Friday, BBC1, 10pm
It’s a day some people were hoping would never come and others were getting impatient waiting for. But if all goes to plan, today Britain will leave the EU after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was backed by MPs in the wake of the general election. However, not everything is cut and dried, as Britain is now due to enter an 11-month transition period. Huw Edwards hosts a special edition of BBC News covering this momentous day and asking what Britain’s new relationship with the EU will look like.

The Last Leg: Countdown to Brexit
Friday, Channel 4, 10pm
For a more comical — and opinionated — take on the big Brexit day, The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are conducting their own countdown. They’re joined by writer and director Armando Iannucci, who knows a thing or two about satire via his influential news spoof The Day Today and the savage sitcom The Thick of It. So, if Iannucci was devising a Brexit satire, what angle would he take?

Box Office
Friday, Virgin Two, 8.30pm
Lisa Cannon returns for another series of the movie-show. In advance of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Cannon speaks to festival director Gráinne Humphreys about the very best of world cinema and film talent in Dublin.

All Walks of Life
Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Mary McAleese and Amy Huberman on All Walks of Life
Mary McAleese and Amy Huberman on All Walks of Life

As they wander part of St Kevin’s Way in the Wicklow Mountains, actor Amy Huberman talks to Mary McAleese about the importance of her mixed Catholic-Jewish roots and how she tries to balance her multiple careers with her more private roles as the wife of Irish sporting legend Brian O’Driscoll and the mother of two small children. Huberman is the proud daughter of a Jewish immigrant who came to Ireland in the 1960s to work as a designer. A few years ago, she and her father visited the Auschwitz concentration camp together. She reveals to McAleese what that experience meant to her and her thoughts on being Jewish.

Contributing: PA

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#deepweb | Indian web shows get set for the next level

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Indian web shows get set for the next level

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) “Sacred Games”, starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, was brought back by Netflix India this year owing to the huge success of season one. The crime thriller isn”t the only Indian web show that got renewed for a new season. There are other shows that have cleared the “acid test of content”, too.

The big question for all OTT shows returning with new seasons is: Will these taste the success of their first parts? Or, will these underwhelm, as the new season of “Sacred Games” did earlier this year?

Soon after “Sacred Games 2” premiered in August, it led to divided reactions among netizens. Many memes comparing both the seasons flooded the Internet. Those disappointed with the second season of the series went on to use images of old and torn clothes, broken cars, and stills from “Games Of Thrones” to express themselves.

Cricket-themed “Selection Day”, focusing on the stories of Radha and Manju, returned to Netflix in April. Some found it just “okay”, others thought the drama was inspiring.

Despite a few shows not living up to expectations in their new seasons as compared to original ones, follow-ups are happening in the OTT world aplenty.

Amazon Prime is also bringing back some of its hit shows — “Inside Edge” being one of them, and its actress Richa Chadha has promised her fans that the new season has a much more gripping and power-packed storyline.

“My character Zarina Malik has transformed very interestingly since the first season. In the first season, Zarina tried to do things in a rightful manner but she faced a lot of obstacles. Now she is questioning herself, as to why this is happening, why she is doing this, while it only puts her in trouble. The character goes into that tussle over going into the dark side of matters,” Richa had told IANS.

“Breathe 2″ is another show the viewers are eagerly waiting for, not only because of its content but also because it will be actor Abhishek Bachchan”s foray into the digital space.

“Mirzapur 2”, starring Pankaj Tripathi and Ali Fazal, is expected to arrive in 2020. “Four More Shots Please 2″ and Zoya Akhtar”s “Made in Heaven 2” have also been announced.

The trend of renewals can be seen on Ekta Kapoor”s ALTBalaji too.

“We believe that sequels (new seasons) are the acid test of the content. Sequels are made only when the content is successful and one has to create further pull and push on the sequel for it to be even more powerful than the first season,” an ALTBalaji spokesperson told IANS.

“We have around 50 original web series and the highest number of sequels for them so far, starting with the critically-acclaimed ”Broken…But Beautiful”, on November 27, which depicted the journey of Veer and Sameera and their life of heartbreak.”

Another show on ALTBalaji, which has left behind a legacy is “Ragini MMS”.

“After the resounding success of the first season, we are now launching an even more intriguing second season that features the Internet sensation and audience”s favourite couple Varun Sood and Divya Agarwal. Adding to the hype and frenzy and ensuring we break the Internet, the franchise will have a special item number ”Hello Ji!” featuring none other than gorgeous Sunny Leone,” shared the spokesperson.

Other shows in the pipeline, which are set for a new season are “Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain season 3”, “Baarish 2”, “PuncchBeat 2” and “Gandii Baat Season 4”.

Speaking about the upcoming new seasons of their shows, the characters that “we have introduced through our shows have created a strong impression on viewers. We aim to build on this legacy while adding more interesting elements to keep them current and relevant,” said the ALTBalaji spokesperson.



Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: IANS

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#school | #ransomware | Hospital cyberattacks linked to heart attack deaths, study shows

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Detecting and treating a heart attack is a race against time.Reuters A rise in ransomware attacks and data breaches against hospitals across the US may account for an uptick in heart attack deaths at those hospitals, according to a new study. Ransomware attacks are a rising […] View full post on

ZTE #Kerfuffle Shows #Cybersecurity Doesn’t #Operate in a #Vacuum

Lawmakers have decried the president’s efforts to reverse a ban on a Chinese telecom, citing security fears, but there’s a lot more at stake.

President Donald Trump’s signal last week that he might loosen restrictions that effectively shuttered Chinese phone maker ZTE drew intense criticism from national security-focused lawmakers who worry the company could be used as a Chinese spying tool.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in particular, struck back at the president, charging that the U.S. would be “crazy to allow [ZTE] to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions.”

Taking a tough line on ZTE over security, however, could have cascading consequences that the U.S. will come to regret, cyber and China policy watchers warn.

The bottom line, they said, is that even if Chinese tech companies pose cyber risks to U.S. consumers, that threat must be viewed within the nations’ broader, bilateral relationship.

It’s an Extremely Complicated Relationship

The president’s efforts to halt the ZTE ban stand in stark contrast to how the Trump administration treated another foreign company that officials said could be a launching pad for cyber espionage: Russia’s Kaspersky Lab.

In that case, in addition to banning Kaspersky from federal networks, Trump Homeland Security and national security officials have acknowledged urging major corporations and critical infrastructure owners to similarly jettison the Russian anti-virus firm.

When it comes to a major Chinese company, however, the calculus is more complicated. China has a massive tech sector and major U.S. brands, including Apple, Cisco and Juniper Networks have major Chinese operations.

That means that a conflict that starts with cybersecurity could end with a slate of unrelated consequences including higher prices for consumers.

“Unwinding the U.S.-Russia tech relationship is not very hard,” said Adam Segal, a China and cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s Kaspersky and it’s hard to think of many other Russian companies that provide any type of tech to the U.S.”

China’s tech sector is not only much broader, but officials’ and lawmakers’ chief concern about the company—that the Chinese government could force it to cooperate with cyber espionage against U.S. targets—is basically true of any Chinese company, Segal said.

There’s also a danger that China, which during recent decades has been a major player in the global economy, could shift to focus more on its domestic market if it sees too many roadblocks to U.S. sales, said Tim Maurer, co-director of the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That could severely hamper global trade.

“I think security concerns are secondary to broader political goals,” Maurer said, assessing Trump’s decision.

Where does security fit in?

Trump’s pledge to help loosen restrictions on ZTE, offered in a May 14 tweet, did not appear to have anything to do with security.

The Commerce Department’s decision in April to ban ZTE from using U.S. products for seven years was sparked when the Chinese company violated a settlement agreement by selling telecom equipment with U.S. components in it to Iran. ZTE ceased major operations following the Commerce Department decision but said it was working to get the ban reversed or modified.

Trump’s official reason for trying to revisit the ban, as stated on Twitter, was that it produced “too many jobs in China lost.” The unstated subtext was that reversing the decision would give Trump a carrot to offer in U.S.-China trade negotiations that began last week as the nations exchange a series of escalating tariff threats.

The Commerce Department’s decision was also damaging to U.S. companies that supply materials to ZTE, including Qualcomm, a San Diego firm worth over $85 billion, which supplies most of ZTE’s computer chips.

Critics, however, were quick to seize on security concerns.

Rubio, who has sponsored legislation that would ban ZTE from U.S. government contracts, declared on Twitter that the “problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., declared that: “By promising to help Chinese tech company ZTE, the President isn’t just prioritizing Chinese jobs over the U.S.’s wellbeing, he’s jeopardizing our national security.”

The Senate appropriations committee unanimously passed an amendment from Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., on Thursday, that would block Trump from reversing the ZTE ban. The amendment was included in the House version of a funding bill that covers the Commerce Department among other agencies.

It’s Not Black and White

It’s important to draw a distinction, cyber and China watchers say, between protections that apply to the U.S. government—which holds a bevy of secrets and reams of citizens’ personal information that would be of intense interest to Chinese government spies—and those that apply to consumer devices.

“The government can do what it wants and that’s not a big factor in the broader market,” said Bruce McConnell, a former top cybersecurity official at the Homeland Security Department, who’s now global vice president at the EastWest Institute, a non-partisan think tank.

“If the government’s intention is to put Chinese companies out of business for security reasons,” however, “that doesn’t seem to me to be a good road to go down,” McConnell said, noting that U.S. companies might come out behind in a tit-for-tat conflict with China.

Betsy Cooper, a cybersecurity researcher at the University of California-Berkeley, warned against taking a “black and white, full access or no access” approach to foreign companies that pose potential risks to U.S. networks.

“I think it’s very hard to imagine a world in which we allow full and open access of these companies to American markets because of backdoor concerns that do exist,” Cooper said. “But, I do think we have a tendency to swing too far in the other direction.”

Context is Key

The nations announced the broad outlines of a deal over the weekend by which the U.S. will back away from its tariff threats and China will purchase more U.S. goods to lower the nations’ trade imbalance. Yet it remains unclear whether the government will reverse the ZTE ban.

Trump declared in his initial tweet that the “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” but Press Secretary Sarah Sanders seemed to backpedal Thursday, saying only that the president had asked the department “to look into it.”

Security concerns about ZTE go back many years. The House Intelligence Committee issued a 2012 report outlining the danger ZTE and another Chinese telecom Huawei posed to U.S. national security systems in 2012, when Ruppersberger was the panel’s ranking Democrat.

More recently, the Pentagon banned Huawei and ZTE phones from being sold on military bases and the Federal Communications Commission has forwarded a plan that would bar federal subsidies to Huawei and ZTE or to U.S. companies that include them in their supply chain.

Intelligence officials have also espoused their distrust of Huawei and ZTE in congressional hearings at the urging of Rubio and other lawmakers.

If the government does reverse the ban, it will be a contrast to the administration’s general approach to the Chinese cyber threat.

The administration has been more vocal, for example, about Chinese hackers stealing U.S. companies’ intellectual property and trade secrets than the Obama administration was during its final years in office.

The Obama administration was highly critical of Chinese hacking during its early years and even indicted five members of China’s People’s Liberation Army for the hacking in 2014. The Obama team stepped down its criticism, however, after a 2015 deal between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping that neither nation would hack the other for purely commercial reasons.

While Chinese commercial hacking didn’t cease after that deal, it did decrease significantly, according to FireEye and other private-sector cybersecurity firms.

It’s not clear if the Trump administration’s surge in criticism over Chinese hacking is responding to an uptick in the actual hacking itself.

It’s also not clear if the U.S. government believes China has engaged in purely commercial hacking—the subject of the Obama-Xi deal—or if much of the hacking is focused on industries that can yield both commercial and national security insights, such as aviation and energy.

What is to be done?

Bruce McConnell, the former Homeland Security cyber chief, suggests a two-part solution to government concerns about the security of ZTE and other foreign tech firms.

First, the U.S. government—which routinely refuses to share the data undergirding its conclusions about cyber threats out of fear of revealing intelligence sources and methods—must figure out a way to be more transparent, he said.

“It’s a problem that we’re basing our policy off classified information and the general public doesn’t have a clue what the evidence is,” McConnell said.

Second, the U.S. and other governments should work toward a common and transparent process for governments to vet technology for spying backdoors and other vulnerabilities, he said.

Microsoft, for example, has agreed to software reviews to operate in China and built custom versions of software for the Chinese market.

After the British government raised concerns about Huawei, the company agreed to build a British cybersecurity testing center where the code for all British Huawei products is poked and prodded by the nation’s intelligence agency, GCHQ.

The U.S. could consider a similar model, McConnell said.

In an effort to urge the Homeland Security Department to reverse its Kaspersky ban, the Russian anti-virus company similarly offered to open up its source code for review. The government did not respond to that offer, but should have accepted it, McConnell said.

Code inspections aren’t perfect and there’s no guarantee a backdoor might not slip through during such a review, McConnell said. But, a government’s pronouncement after such a review would carry more weight.

“It’s about creating a transparent and open, crowdsourced evaluation of product security,” he said. “If you put something out in the public domain or through an inspection program, allow the code to be inspected across the board, it would have a lot more credibility.”


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Legendary hacker Kevin Mitnick shows bank hacking at summit

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

It seems like even the largest Internet companies cannot prevent security breeches on its own anymore, as experts around the world gather in Beijing to call for deeper and wider cooperation against hacking attempts like the WannaCry incident. The experts are attending the two-day Cyber Security Summit 2017 at the…

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