The bad thing about making your face synonymous with the company you run: When you go M.I.A., everyone tends to notice.
The callout posts began over the weekend. Normal Facebook
users don’t always track the tech press outrage cycle, but a flurry of reporting on Facebook’s mishandling of the private data of 50 million users
, and Facebook’s subsequent mishandling of that mishandling
— this after everything
else — it seemed to stick in their craw.
Worse yet for Facebook, lawmakers that they’d already pissed off were happy to circle back for a second round after the company weaseled out of the first one
. By Monday, a few angry, constituent-rousing tweets had snowballed
into the kind of itemized list of questions that comes with a due date.
Congress is mad. And it might be as mad about this poorly handled Cambridge Analytica
debacle as it is about
Continue reading "Zuck and Sandberg go M.I.A. as Congress summons Facebook leadership by name"
In a press conference today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence presented its urgent recommendations for protecting election systems as the U.S. moves toward midterm elections later this year.
“Currently we have an election upon us, and the past tells us that the future will probably hold another set of threats if we are not prepared,” Senator Kamala Harris said.
The bipartisan committee offered a set of measures to defend domestic election infrastructure against hostile foreign nations.
Before launching into the findings from its committee-wide examination of current practices, written up in an accompanying report
, the group emphasized that states are “firmly in the lead” in conducting elections, although the federal government should work closely to provide funds and information.
Although there are many factors that can mitigate the risk to U.S. elections, election equipment itself, particularly internet-connected systems, remains a core concern in the report:
Continue reading "Senate Intel Committee gives Homeland Security its election security wish list"
Facebook’s latest public controversy
may have claimed its first major casualty. According to reporting from The New York Times
, the social media giant is poised to part ways with its high-profile chief security officer, Alex Stamos. That story suggests that Stamos created friction within Facebook by pushing for an aggressive approach to exploring and disclosing to the public the platform’s role in disseminating Russian state-sponsored disinformation to users. Stamos apparently initiated his exit in December 2017 but was convinced to stay on through August to avoid the hit to public perception, The New York Times reports.
Stamos weighed in over the weekend, arguing that Facebook’s revelations around the Trump campaign-linked data analytics firm did not qualify as a “breach” in the technical sense. That term generally connotes hacking or a technical compromise of some kind, though the Cambridge Analytica
situation involves a since-deprecated lax API and a business model
Continue reading "Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos may leave Facebook over disinformation drama"
Facebook’s late Friday disclosure
that a data analytics company with ties to the Trump campaign improperly obtained — and then failed to destroy — the private data of 50 million users
is generating more unwanted attention from politicians, some of whom were already beating the drums of regulation in the company’s direction.
On Saturday morning, Facebook dove into the semantics of its disclosure, arguing against wording in the New York Times story
the company was attempting to get out in front of that referred to the incident as a breach. Most of this happened on the Twitter account of Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos before Stamos took down his tweets and the gist of the conversation made its way into an update to Facebook’s official post
“People knowingly provided their information, no systems were infiltrated, and no passwords or sensitive pieces of information were stolen or hacked,” the added
Continue reading "Facebook’s latest privacy debacle stirs up more regulatory interest from lawmakers"
With a joint alert
from the FBI and DHS, the Trump administration has formally accused the Russian government of “multi-stage intrusion campaign” targeting the U.S. energy grid for the first time. The alert provides some specifics about an emerging threat that could translate a cyberattack into practical chaos for a country in the crosshairs of such an attack.
The alert elaborates on “Russian government actions targeting U.S. Government entities as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors” — a goal consistent with suspected Russian cyberattacks like last year’s NotPetya malware which focused on industrial targets
and past hacks of energy systems in Ukraine
. The joint report by FBI and DHS links to Symantec research
from October 2017 that detailed efforts by a “sophisticated attack group” then only known as Dragonfly which “[appeared] to be interested in both learning how energy facilities
Continue reading "DHS and FBI detail how Russia is hacking into U.S. nuclear facilities and other critical infrastructure"
In a surprisingly robust reprimand for the Trump administration, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a set of sanctions
Thursday citing interference in the 2016 election as part of a broader pattern of hostile actions undertaken by the Russian government against U.S. interests. The sanctions followed U.S. joint statements
denouncing the Russian government’s suspected attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal using a chemical nerve agent known as Novichok in Salisbury, England.
In a wide-ranging statement addressing “the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia” the U.S. Treasury condemned not only the recent poisoning attempt but also “malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that accompanied the sanctions.
“These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the
Continue reading "U.S. issues broad Russian sanctions citing NotPetya attack and Internet Research Agency meddling"
On Friday, Twitter announced that it would abandon its lesser loved Mac app, directing users to Twitter.com instead. The company declared that it will refocus its efforts on “a great Twitter experience that’s consistent across platforms” rather than continuing development for Twitter for Mac, a message that doesn’t sound great for TweetDeck lovers. The Twitter for Mac… Read More