The Trump administration is considering executive action that would restrict some Chinese companies’ ability to sell telecommunications equipment in the U.S., based on national-security concerns, said several people familiar with the matter.
The move, if it happens, would represent a significant escalation of a growing feud between the U.S. and China over tech and telecommunications. The affected firms likely would include Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. , two of the world’s leading telecommunications equipment makers. They have found themselves increasingly in an international crossfire.Read more
The National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016.
The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk. The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.Read more
VirnetX Holding Corp. won $502.6 million against Apple Inc. after a federal jury in Texas said the maker of iPhones was infringing patents for secure communications, the latest twist in a dispute now in its eighth year.
VirnetX’s stock rose as much as 44 percent on the news in after hours trading. The company closed at $4.10 per share on Tuesday. Apple’s stock has seen little change on the news given that the $502.6 million award is minuscule compared to the company’s profits. The company generated $20 billion profit in the first quarter, the company said in February.Read more
A Canadian political data firm called AggregateIQ left a large code repository downloadable online, according to a security researcher, exposing the political data and microtargeting tools that various Republican campaigns used to try to influence voters in the United States' 2016 election cycle.
The exposed data reveals AIQ's ties to the embattled data analytics firm Cabridge Analytica -- and, by extension, its ties to the campaigns of conservative Texas politicians Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott. They also reveal AggregateIQ (AIQ)'s connection to Ukrainian steel magnate Serhiy Taruta, head Ukraine's newly formed Osnova party.Read more
Thousands of websites, including those belonging to NHS services, the Student Loans Company and several English councils, have been infected by malware that forces visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrency while using the site.
Late on Sunday, the website of the UK’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, was taken down to deal with the issue after it was reportedly infected by the malware. The cryptojacking script was inserted into website codes through BrowseAloud, a popular plugin that helps blind and partially-sighted people access the web. More than 5,000 websites have been flooded by the malware.Read more
A computer security exploit developed by the US National Security Agency and leaked by hackers last year is now being used to mine cryptocurrency, and according to cybersecurity experts the number of infections is rising.
Last April, a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers leaked EternalBlue, a Windows exploit that was developed by the NSA. Less than a month later, EternalBlue was used to unleash a devastating global ransomware attack called WannaCry that infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries. A month later, in June, the EternalBlue exploit was again used to cripple networks across the world in an even more sophisticated attack.Read more
Donald Trump’s national security team is looking at options to counter the threat of China spying on US phone calls that include the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network. The official said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.
The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to US cyber security and economic security. The Trump administration has taken a harder line on policies initiated by predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire US strategic industries.Read more
Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.
The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others. The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major citie.Read more
A Defense Department report found that 165 defense contractors had their initial security clearances revoked last year after further investigation linked the recipients to problematic or illicit activity, including questionable financial transactions, influence by foreign governments and even felonies like pedophilia.
The report, which will be released Wednesday, shows how it is possible for people who have been compromised or who have criminal backgrounds to slip through the cracks of the preliminary background investigation and obtain access to sensitive national security-related information.Read more
A state law enforcement officer, apparently without the knowledge of his own agency, purchased malware that can intercept social media messages, emails, and much more.
Although it’s unclear why the investigator bought the malware, which requires physical access to a smartphone to install, this is the first known case of a US state law enforcement officer purchasing such a tool. In a similar way to how surveillance technology such as Stingrays has trickled down to local agencies, the news highlights how spying software is not limited to federal agencies such as the FBI or DEA, but has spread, in some form, to more regional forces.Read more