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Cyber Weekly Roundup – June 1, 2018

By Colby Proffitt

1.)    Judge dismisses Kaspersky lawsuits, U.S. government ban will stand (May 30, 2018)

https://www.cyberscoop.com/kaspersky-lawsuits-dismissed-us-government-ban/

Summary: Two lawsuits filed by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab were dismissed Wednesday, ending the Moscow-based company’s attempt to lift the U.S. government’s ban on its products.

Why it matters: While this article focuses on the business side of the allegations, what really matters is why Kaspersky was banned in the first place. Claims have yet to stick, but it’s likely that the Russian-based cyber firm isn’t fighting the ban on their products and software because of potential financial loss from the sale of their products – some theorize that a much bigger financial loss will come from Kaspersky’s inability to gather and sell data from the U.S. government to Russia and other interested parties.

2.)    How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology (May 22, 2018)

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/22/china-us-tech-companies-cfius-572413?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb%205/29/18&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

Summary: The U.S. government was well aware of China’s aggressive strategy of leveraging private investors to buy up the latest American technology when, early last year, a company called Avatar Integrated Systems showed up at a bankruptcy court in Delaware hoping to buy the California chip-designer ATop Tech.

Why it matters: Necessity and competition are two of the primary drivers of innovation. Financial backing, however, is also a big one – and one of the reasons that China has been able to purchase – or steal, as some would argue – American tech innovation. Many tech startups in recent years have been able to survive because of investments made by Chinese companies. While not every single investment can be tied to China’s ability to obtain U.S. secrets or intellectual property, any commitment with a foreign investor is likely to involve at least the risk of loss of control, influence, and ultimately IP. There’s looming legislation in Washington, but much like the legislation of IoT devices or artificial intelligence, even if legislation were passed tomorrow, it won’t stop the damage that was done yesterday.

3.)    Russia asks Apple to remove Telegram Messenger from the App Store (May 29, 2018)

https://thehackernews.com/2018/05/russia-telegram-apple-app-store.html

Summary: Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has threatened Apple to face the consequences if the company does not remove secure messaging app Telegram from its App Store.

Why it matters: Apple seems to be in trouble yet again. After going to court in 2016 for refusing to help the FBI, and after taking criticism in China for removing VPNs to bypass the country’s Great Firewall, Russia is now after Apple to remove the Telegram app from the App Store. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a compliment to the app’s developers – they may have just made a messaging app that actually can’t be hacked (or is at least really hard to hack) – but on the other hand, it does call into question exactly why Russia doesn’t want its people to have access to a secure messaging service like Telegram. Is Russia looking to censor content, or are they simply monitoring for targeted malicious activity?

4.)    Security community urged to prepare for quantum computing (May 30, 2018)

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252442105/Security-community-urged-to-prepare-for-quantum-computing?asrc=EM_EDA_95640697&utm_medium=EM&utm_source=EDA&utm_campaign=20180531_Security%20community%20urged%20to%20prepare%20for%20quantum%20computing

Summary: Quantum computing is coming, and organizations that do not start preparing now could end up exposing critical data because their encryption methods are not quantum computing ready, according to a European telecoms information security officer.

Why it matters: As is often the case, technological breakthroughs offer advancements in a number of areas, but they’re also an opportunity for malicious actors. This article offers explanations as to how quantum computing can render current encryption methods and practices useless, and also points to what future cyber best practices organizations should start adopting now.

5.)    Government Report IDs the Need For Speed in Cyber Hiring (May 31, 2018)

https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2018/05/government-report-ids-need-speed-cyber-hiring/148627/

Summary: The government’s personnel office should ease the hiring path for cyber professionals entering government and the national background checker should staff up to make sure those new cyber pros can get to work quickly, according to a federal report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: More funding, more cyber competitions, more recruiting, and more similar job descriptions – those are among the key points from the recent report from Commerce and DHS. While it’s a step in the right direction, the report isn’t a plan; and the actions included in the plan are encouraged, not required. The U.S. is still wrangling with the best way to address the shortage, and the problem is likely only going to get worse before it gets better.

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