FEATURED STORY            

MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018


The UK’s data privacy watchdog has ordered Cambridge Analytica to hand over the information it has on David Carroll, a U.S. academic, in a decision that could open the door for millions of U.S. voters to ask the beleaguered company for their data. Carroll filed a data request in January 2017 after he became suspicious of how Cambridge Analytica was able to build psychographic profiles of American voters.


Earlier last week, Cambridge Analytica announced it was shuttering operations following allegations that it misused Facebook data during the last U.S. presidential campaign. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

Legal analysts say that, because a British company processed his data, Carroll is entitled under a 1998 UK law to receive the data a company holds on him even though he is a U.S. resident. (Reuters, WSJ, CNN, Techcrunch)


Nigerian Scammers: The West African country’s internet fraudsters are becoming much more sophisticated, shifting their focus from impersonations of princes to hijacking corporate emails. Cybersecurity analysts say that Nigeria has become a hub of so-called Business Email Compromise or BEC. Nigerian hackers have reportedly stolen more than $5 billion from victims in recent years. (Reuters)


CPU Flaws: The German computing magazine C’t reports that researchers found several new processor vulnerabilities that resemble the Meltdown and Spectre bugs revealed in January. The magazine did not provide details about the alleged flaws or name its sources. (Reuters)

Tennessee Election: Officials are investigating a server crash that shut down a county website for an hour on election night. While vote tallies were not affected, the incident has raised fears that cyberattacks could disrupt the fall’s midterm elections. (Bloomberg)

  ON THE HILL                                    

Bitcoin: Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the Federal Reserve, says the U.S. central bank should consider creating a virtual currency of its own to help conduct monetary policy when the next financial crisis hits. (NYT)

ZTE: The Chinese smartphone maker is asking the U.S. Commerce Department to suspend its seven-year ban on U.S. companies selling it components and software. ZTE is heavily reliant on U.S. semiconductor imports. (Reuters)


Drones: DARPA recently awarded a $39 million contract to Alabama-based Dynetics to develop fleets of inexpensive drones. Military analysts say the goal is to build the technology and know-how needed to apply hordes of small drones on the battlefield. (WaPo)

  PRIVATE SECTOR                             

IronNet: IronNet Cybersecurity, a startup led by former U.S. National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander, has raised $78 million in new funding. The Maryland-based company is developing a threat-sharing technology dubbed IronDome. (Reuters)


Twitter: The company urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some of them to be stored in readable text on its internal computer system. Twitter discovered the bug a few weeks ago and has reported it to some regulators. (Reuters)

Facebook: The social media giant is opening new artificial intelligence labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, after hiring three AI and robotics professors from the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University. (NYT)

  THE WORLD                                     

Iran: The Islamic Republic has blocked Telegram, the most popular messaging app in the country, citing national security concerns. Two weeks ago, Russia moved to shut down the encrypted service. (NYT)

China: In order to cut dependence on foreign technology, the central government is reportedly set to announce a new fund of nearly $50 billion to spur development of its semiconductor industry. (WSJ)


The Billion-Dollar Bank Job: “Even for skilled and dedicated hackers, the most viable path to penetrating Swift runs through the member banks, which operate the software that lets them log into the Swift system — providing “the technical handshake that opens the secure pipe,” as one cybersecurity expert put it to me. During the past three years, a rash of smaller incidents have shown the vulnerabilities in the system, as cyberthieves broke into the computer networks of banks in Ecuador, Taiwan, Vietnam, Poland, India and Russia to send out phony payment instructions via the Swift network,” writes Joshua Hammer in the New York Times.


The AI Arms Race: China and the U.S.: “One reason the contest over AI is so charged is that it is connected with a race to find a new military edge. As well as answering mundane customer queries and piloting driverless cars, the same technology can also be deployed to synchronise drone swarms, analyse pictures taken by spy drones and control autonomous boats. Dominance in AI could bring a step change in warfare,” write Louise Lucas and Richard Waters in the Financial Times.

Privacy Is Dead. Here’s What Comes Next: “As in cybersecurity, protection of some of our most important personal data now depends on protecting the weakest link in the systems of which we are a part. Genuine privacy or anonymity is over, if we ever had it,” writes Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal.



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