The Weekly Cypher is specially curated to keep you up-to-date on the latest in cybersecurity, biometrics, and related news and innovations. Here are a few of the headlines you might have missed this week.
White House in Chaos Over Russian Cyber Attacks | Washington Post
President Trump’s contradictory comments about Russian cyber attacks against the U.S. has created chaos as members of his own administration forcefully disagreed with him. FBI Director Christopher Wray, who Trump tapped after he fired James Comey, responded to Trump’s statements about Russian interference in the American political system: “The intelligence community’s assessment has not changed. My view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.” Also, The New York Times reported that just two weeks before his inauguration, Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating Putin personally ordered cyber attacks to sway the 2016 American election. Last Friday the investigation by Robert Mueller, which Trump has repeatedly attacked, indicted 12 Russian military officers on hacking charges. [Read More]
The information was exposed on a public Amazon S3 bucket by Robocent, a Virginia-based political campaign and robocalling company. It contained nearly 2,600 files with voter data including full names, phone numbers, full addresses, age and birth year, gender, and jurisdiction. Kromtech Security researchers, who found the data, said it could be found by anyone searching for a “voters”. The data was found as a self-titled bucket indexed by GrayhatWarfare, a searchable database – where a current list of 48,623 open S3 buckets can be found. [Read More]
RealNetworks is offering a facial recognition program called SAFR for free download on the company’s website for kindergarten through 12th grade schools in the US and Canada. The company hopes the software will help combat a dramatic rise in school shootings, even as the debate continues over how to keep children safe from on-campus gun violence. There are a lot of questions about the effectiveness of facial recognition technology in a situation like this and in policing in general. [Read More]
In a move akin to King Midas asking for limits on gold ownership, Microsoft is calling for government regulation of facial recognition software. In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith warned: “All tools can be used for good or ill. … The more powerful the tool, the greater the benefit or damage it can cause. These issues are not going to go away. They reflect the rapidly expanding capabilities of new technologies that increasingly will define the decade ahead.” Smith admitted it’s unusual for a tech company to demand government regulation, saying “…there are many markets where thoughtful regulation contributes to a healthier dynamic for consumers and producers alike.” [Read More]
Report: Nearly Half of IT Security Pros Reuse Passwords | Dark Reading
In a case of do as we say not as we do, a new survey finds information security professionals engage in very insecure online activity. Some 45% of them say they use the same password across multiple online accounts , according to a survey of 306 security pros by Lastline at Infosecurity Europe. Also, 92% say they have used cryptocurrency to buy gift cards. [Read More]