White House OKs 'Offensive Cyber Operations' Against U.S. Adversaries

The White House has “authorized offensive cyber operations” against U.S. adversaries, in line with a new policy that eases the rules on the use of digital weapons to protect the nation, National Security Adviser John Bolton said. Bolton did not elaborate on the nature of the offensive operations, how significant they were, or what specific malign behavior they were intended to counter.

EU Commissioner Pushes Facebook to Disclose More on Data Usage

The European Union is ramping up pressure on Facebook Inc. to better spell out to consumers how their data is being used or face sanctions in several countries. Věra Jourová, the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, warned the U.S. tech firm that if it doesn’t change its “misleading terms of service” by the end of the year, that she will call on consumer-protection authorities in EU countries to impose sanctions.

Lawmakers Question YouTube's Compliance with Children's Privacy

Two House members sent a letter to Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, expressing concern that the collection practices of YouTube, a Google subsidiary, may not comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as Coppa. The letter — from David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Jeff Fortenberry, Republican of Nebraska — followed up on a complaint filed in April by more than 20 advocacy groups.

Foreign Government Hackers Target Senators' Personal Accounts

The personal Gmail accounts of an unspecified number of U.S. senators and Senate staff have been targeted by foreign government hackers, a Google spokesperson confirmed to CNN. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, wrote in a letter to Senate leadership that his office had learned that "at least one major technology company has informed a number of Senators and Senate staff members that their personal email accounts were targeted by foreign government hackers."

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Facebook Working with Non-Profits to Slow Misinformation Online

Facebook Inc. said it would team with two U.S. non-profits to slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections, acknowledging that fake news sites were still read by millions. The largest social network, under intense pressure to combat propaganda, said it would work abroad with the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, created in the 1980s and funded by the U.S. government to promote democratic processes.

Facebook Could Face Sanctions for Non-Compliance with EU Consumer Rules

Facebook may face sanctions because it has yet to comply with EU consumer rules while Airbnb has made the necessary changes in response to regulatory demands, EU sources said. Online platforms are under pressure in Europe because of their dominance and anti-competitive business practices, which have resulted in hefty fines handed down to some companies.

State Election Officials Assure Voters About Cyberattacks

Hoping to quell fears about foreign hackers and repel potential threats, many states and counties are beefing up their plans to deal with cyberattacks. They’re shoring up systems to protect their voter databases and hiring security experts to assess the strength of their defenses. They’re coordinating with social-media organizations to stamp out deliberately fraudulent messages that could mislead voters about how to cast a ballot.

Hackers Got Credit Card Data from Newegg's Payment Page

Hackers injected 15 lines of card skimming code on Newegg’s payments page which remained for more than a month between August 14 and September 18, Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at RiskIQ, told TechCrunch. The code siphoned off credit card data from unsuspecting customers to a server controlled by the hackers with a similar domain name — likely to avoid detection.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Lack Customer Protection, N.Y. Att'y General Says

Several cryptocurrency exchanges are plagued by poor market surveillance, pervasive conflicts of interest and lack sufficient customer protections, the New York Attorney General’s office said in a report. The study found that online platforms where virtual currencies such as bitcoin can be bought and sold by individuals operate with lower safeguards than traditional financial markets, are vulnerable to market manipulation and put customer funds at risk.

Facebook's Ads Let Employers Discriminate Against Women, Suit Says

Facebook’s advertising platform is being used by prospective employers to discriminate against women, according to a lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union, joined by a labor union and a law firm that specializes in representing employees, has filed a written charge against Facebook with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.

U.S. Excludes Apple Watch, AirPods from New Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Apple Inc. dodged stinging duties on its smartwatches and wireless earbuds after the U.S. excluded those gadgets from tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, though the tech giant still faces retaliatory measures being weighed by China that could strike iPhone production there. The trade tensions are rattling companies in a range of industries, but Apple’s heavy dependence on the U.S. and China makes it especially vulnerable as the world’s two largest powers escalate their economic feud.

Italian Court Fines Man $9,300 for Fake Online Reviews

TripAdvisor, one of the world’s biggest travel review sites, wants the world to know that it won’t turn a blind eye to fake reviews. To get that point across, the Needham, Mass.-based site commended the nine-month jail sentence and $9,300 fine imposed on the owner of an Italian company who provided hotel and restaurant reviews for a fee.

Facebook Gives Political Campaigns Expedited Troubleshooting

Facebook announced a pilot program open to any U.S. political campaign for state or federal office that would offer additional security protections for their Facebook pages and accounts. Under the program, campaigns as well as campaign committees that opt in to the program would be designated potential high-priority users and be able to take advantage of expedited troubleshooting if they detect any unusual behavior involving their accounts.

North Koreans Using Technology, Social Media to Avoid U.S. Sanctions

North Korea operatives have sought to use U.S. technology and social media networks to evade U.S.-led sanctions and generate income, taking advantage of many of the same shortcomings that allowed Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. Cloaking their identities, the North Koreans have been able to advertise jobs and find clients on job-search exchanges such as Upwork and Freelancer.com.

New York Banking Regulator Sues to Stop Charters for Online Lenders

New York state’s top banking regulator sued the federal government to void its decision to award national bank charters to online lenders and payment companies, saying it was unconstitutional and put vulnerable consumers at risk. Maria Vullo, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, called the July 31 decision by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to let financial technology companies, or fintech firms, obtain charters “lawless, ill-conceived, and destabilizing of financial markets.”