FEATURED STORY            

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018


The price of bitcoin dropped more than ten percent over the weekend, falling below $6700, after a “cyberintrusion” at a small South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Hackers reportedly stole about $37 million of virtual coins from Coinrail, which is headquartered in Seoul. Most other widely traded cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, ripple, and bitcoin cash, also dipped significantly. Korean police are investigating the breach, an official said.


Analysts say that demand for virtual currencies has waned in part this year because of a series of cyber heists, including the nearly $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck in January. (WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters)


Atlanta: The cyberattack in March has had more serious consequences on the Georgia city’s ability to deliver services than previously understood, an official said at a public meeting. More than a third of the city’s software programs were kicked offline or partially disabled. It may be the worst cyberattack on a U.S. city. (Reuters)


MyHeritage: Hackers reportedly broke into the genealogy website late last year and leaked the email addresses and hashed passwords of over 90 million users. More sensitive information about family trees and DNA was not affected, the Israel-based company said. (Reuters)


Mobile Malware: Security researchers say that most hacking efforts are now targeting smartphones instead of personal computers, a shift from just a few years ago. Hijacked phones can be powerful espionage tools, allowing spies to monitor a user’s contacts, communications, travel history, and financial transactions. (WSJ)


Ukraine: Officials say that Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) prevented a cyberattack on the embassy of an unidentified NATO country in Kiev. (Reuters)

  ON THE HILL                                    

Net Neutrality: The FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules requiring internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content took effect today. The commission voted to repeal the rules in December which had been enacted by the Obama administration in 2015. (NYT)


ZTE: The Trump administration struck a deal with the Chinese telecom giant, lifting a seven-year ban on the company in exchange for a $1 billion fine, leadership changes, and compliance measures. Many Republican lawmakers, defense officials, and others objected to the quid pro quo with a company they say poses a national security threat. (NYT)


Russia Probe: Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is reportedly asking witnesses to hand over their personal phones so they can attempt to access any encrypted messages. President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is accused of tampering with witnesses through encrypted messaging programs. (CNBC)


Missile Tracking: In an effort that’s gone largely unreported, the Defense Department is ramping up spending on artificial intelligence to help anticipate the launch of a nuclear-capable missile, as well as track mobile launchers in North Korea and beyond. (Reuters)


Navy Contractor: China-backed hackers reportedly compromised the computers of a Navy contractor early this year, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare. (WaPo)

  PRIVATE SECTOR                             

Facebook: The company confirmed data-sharing partnerships with Chinese firms, including Huawei, a company U.S. intelligence previously flagged as a security threat. Banned in China since 2009, Facebook in recent years has quietly sought to re-establish itself there. (NYT, BBC)


Google: The search giant announced principles regarding the use of AI, saying it wouldn't pursue weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose is to cause harm. It also said it won't pursue surveillance technologies that violate international norms. (CNN)

  THE WORLD                                     

Australia: The government has created a task force to defend against cyberattacks and election interference. The announcement comes just weeks before federal by-elections that will test Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity ahead of a national election due by late 2019. (Reuters)


Canada: The provincial government in Quebec has halted new approvals for cryptocurrency mining projects amid energy consumption concerns. Companies in China and elsewhere have been looking to take advantage of Quebec’s relatively low power rates. (Reuters)


How NATO Defends Against the Dark Side of the Web: “The level of cyberattack that would provoke NATO into a response under Article 5 must remain purposefully vague, as will the nature of our response. A clearly defined threshold only invites attacks immediately beneath it. That is the logic of deterrence. But NATO’s response could include diplomatic or economic sanctions, a digital counter attack, or even conventional force, depending on the nature and consequences of the attack. NATO will always follow the principle of restraint and act in accordance with international law,” writes NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Wired.


Newark Is Watching You: “Surveillance cameras are an inescapable fixture of the modern city. Law enforcement agencies have deployed vast networks to guard against terrorism and combat street crime. But in Newark, the police have taken an extraordinary step that few, if any, other departments in the country have pursued: They have opened up feeds from dozens of closed-circuit cameras to the public, asking viewers to assist the force by watching over the city and reporting anything suspicious,” writes Rick Rojas for the New York Times.


China Eyes Role as World Power Supplier: “In Laos, in Brazil, in central Africa and most of all in China itself, ultra high-voltage cable technology that allows power to be commercially transported over vast distances with lower costs and increased load is justifying the construction of massive power projects. It is dubbed the “intercontinental ballistic missile” of the power industry by Liu Zhenya, its biggest backer and for a decade the president of State Grid, China’s powerful transmission utility,” write James Kynge and Lucy Hornby for the Financial Times.



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