DHS, FBI Warn Energy, Industrial Firms About Hacking Campaigns

The U.S government issued a rare public warning about hacking campaigns targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest evidence that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed via email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May.

UN Organization Considers Ban on Checking Laptops in Luggage

Laptops could be banned from checked baggage on planes due to a fire risk under a proposal being recommended by an international air safety panel. According to a report, an overheating laptop battery could cause a significant fire in a cargo hold that fire fighting equipment aboard the plane would not be able to extinguish. That could "lead to the loss of the aircraft," according to the proposal.

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EU Leaders Seek Proposals on How to Tax Online Companies

European Union leaders said they looked forward to seeing proposals on taxing online giants by early 2018 but in a nod to concerns from countries like Ireland said EU efforts had to be in line with work under way at a global level. European countries are split over whether online companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon should pay more tax, with smaller EU members such as Ireland and Luxembourg -- which host many online businesses -- worried that taxes would hurt their competitiveness without a global solution.

Proposals Would Require Grid Operators to Protect Against Malware

U.S. grid operators will have to take measures to guard against the risk of being infected by malware from electronic devices like laptops and thumb drives under proposals put forward by the nation’s top energy regulator. The aim is to mitigate cyber-security risks that could affect the reliability of the grid, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a release.

Tech Industry Working with Lawmakers on Political Ad Disclosures Online

The tech industry, which has worked to thwart previous efforts to mandate disclosures of who is purchasing online political advertising, is mobilizing an army of lobbyists and lawyers — including a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to help shape proposed regulations. Long before the 2016 election, the adviser, Marc E. Elias, helped Facebook and Google request exemptions from the Federal Election Commission to existing disclosure rules, arguing that ads on the respective platforms were too small to fit disclaimers listing their sponsors.

DHS Secretary Praises Tech Firms But Wants More Action Against Extremism

Technology firms have improved cooperation with the authorities in tackling online militant material but still must act quicker to remove propaganda fueling a rise in homegrown extremism, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said. The United States and Britain will push social media firms at a meeting of G7 interior ministers this week to do more on the issue, Duke told reporters in London where she had been meeting British Home Secretary (interior minister) Amber Rudd.

Twitter Plans Tougher Rules to Fight Harassment, Misconduct

Twitter Inc plans to toughen its rules on online sexual harassment and impose stronger penalties for misconduct, according to an email it sent to a group of safety advocates, academics and researchers that helps the social media service set its policies. The new guidelines include immediate and permanent suspensions of any account Twitter identifies as the original poster or source of non-consensual nudity.

Russian Troll Account Remained on Twitter 11 Months After Notice

Twitter took 11 months to close a Russian troll account that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party even after that state's real GOP notified the social media company that the account was a fake. The account, @TEN_GOP, was enormously popular, amassing at least 136,000 followers between its creation in November 2015 and when Twitter shut it down in August, according to a snapshot of the account captured by the Internet Archive just before the account was "permanently suspended."

McCain Joins Democrats to Support Internet 'Honest Ads Act'

Sen. John McCain has become the first Republican to sign on to a draft bill from Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner that would increase the transparency of political advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook. The proposed legislation, the Honest Ads Act, is an offshoot of the investigations into Russia's use of Facebook, Twitter and Google to influence the 2016 election. 

Special Counsel Interviews Cybersecurity Researcher Tied to Trump

A cybersecurity researcher who described being recruited to vet hacked Hillary Clinton emails last year by a GOP operative tied to President Donald Trump's campaign team has been interviewed by the FBI's special counsel, Robert Mueller, Business Insider has learned. Mueller interviewed Matt Tait, a former information-security specialist at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters who tweets as @pwnallthethings, several weeks ago, said a source familiar with the matter.

North Korean Hacking Group Linked to $60M Theft from Taiwanese Bank

Lazarus, a hacking group linked to North Korea, may have been behind this month’s theft of $60 million from Taiwan’s Far Eastern International Bank, according to BAE Systems Plc researchers. The cyberattack, in which malware was used to steal the money through the international Swift banking network, bore “some of the hallmarks” of Lazarus, according to a BAE blog post.

Hackers Reportedly Cracked Microsoft Database on Software Bugs

Microsoft Corp’s secret internal database for tracking bugs in its own software was broken into by a highly sophisticated hacking group more than four years ago, according to five former employees, in only the second known breach of such a corporate database. The company did not disclose the extent of the attack to the public or its customers after its discovery in 2013, but the five former employees described it to Reuters in separate interviews.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case on Email Stored Overseas

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve a major privacy dispute between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corp. over whether prosecutors should get access to emails stored on company servers overseas. The justices will hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling last year preventing federal prosecutors from obtaining emails stored in Microsoft computer servers in Dublin, Ireland in a drug trafficking investigation.

North Korea's Cyber Program Called 'Instrument of Power'

Their track record is mixed, but North Korea’s army of more than 6,000 hackers is undeniably persistent, and undeniably improving, according to American and British security officials who have traced these attacks and others back to the North.Amid all the attention on Pyongyang’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States, the North Koreans have also quietly developed a cyberprogram that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and proving capable of unleashing global havoc.

Qualcomm Sues to Stop Sale, Manufacture of iPhones in China

Qualcomm Inc. filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple Inc. so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight. The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world’s largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made.

Twitter Deleted Tweets Useful to Investigators, Cybersecurity Officials Say

Twitter has deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators probing Russia’s suspected manipulation of the social media platform during the 2016 election, according to current and former government cybersecurity officials. One reason is Twitter’s aggressively pro-consumer privacy policies, which generally dictate that once any user revises or deletes their tweets, paid promotions or entire accounts, the company itself must do so as well.