CyberSecurity Pulse 2017-02-6

CyberSecurity Pulse 2017-02-6

“Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.”
Henry Miller

Analyst Insight

Stingray Technology, in the Spotlight of New York Lawmakers

The use of cell-phone spying technology Stingray has become widespread among US law enforcement agencies and should be better regulated. That is the conclusion reached by the United States Congress after releasing a report last december about the indiscriminate use by security agencies of these devices conceived to track a cell phone for surveillance purposes.

CyberSecurity Pulse 2017-02-6In this sense, New York lawmakers are already pushing a new draft privacy bill that aims to curtail the use of cell site simulators.The bill will require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before deploying a stingray. Nevertheless, the bill allows police to skip getting a warrant in emergencies, such as a risk to life or serious injury, but in these cases police would have to obtain a court order within three days of collecting the data or risk it being destroyed.

On the other hand, Texas was the first state to introduce a bill to put due process ahead of surveillance, but both state house and senate bills have been left in committee stages although some representatives consired that it was "perfectly reasonable" for law enforcement to be forced to obtain a warrant before using the information captured by the stingrays in the frame of an investigation.

» More information at LegiScan

Top Stories

Wikileaks Releases Files on French Presidential Candidates

CyberSecurity Pulse 2017-02-6In yet another blow to the electoral integrity of western democracies, Wikileaks has published what it claims to be files on private information on French election candidates. The organisation, run by Julian Assange, tweeted out links to thousands of leaked files and emails on 1 February about Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron. However, this is not a new publication of more leaked documents since they have apparently existed on Wikileaks databases for a while now, but rather a timely underlining of this previously secret information ahead of the French elections. Anyway, fears of cyber meddling in elections have throttled European politicians into a state of worry. With French, German and Dutch voters all electing new heads of state this year, many of them have publicly expressed fears about alleged interferences in their respective elections to the extent of coming back to manual counting so as to avoid possible cyberattacks.

» More information at SC Magazine UK

Radio Stations Hacked to Play Protest Songs Across United States

CyberSecurity Pulse 2017-02-6It’s just two weeks into the Trump presidency, but his most recent decisions have already caused bitter disputes all around the United States. Even, some days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, some cybercriminals managed to infect with ransomware 70 percent of storage devices that record data from feds surveillance cameras in Washington DC in a cyberattack. However, it seems not to be the only claiming act. Several radio stations in South Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky, have also been hacked recently so as to broadcast the Bompton-based rapper YG and Nipsey Hussle's anti-Trump song "Fuck Donald Trump", which was already a radio hit in some parts of the country last year.

» More information at The Hacker News and The Hacker News

Rest of the Week´s News

Gmail Will Block JavaScript Attachments

Google will no longer allow JavaScript attachments on its Gmail service, killing one of the main methods of malware distribution over the past two years. Users will no longer be able to attach .js files to emails in Gmail, regardless of whether they attach them directly or they include them in archives like .gz, .bz2, .zip or .tgz. For those rare cases when such files need to be shared via email, users can upload them to a storage service like Google Drive and then share the link.

» More information at Computerworld

WhatsApp May Let You Recall Sent Messages and Track Friends Location in Realtime

The most popular instant messaging service is  testing the ability to edit or completely recall messages that have already been sent, allowing you to edit or delete a message from your friend's phone if it has not been read by its receiver yet. WhatsApp is also testing a new feature called "Live Location" in group chats to make it a lot easier for users to track the location of the group members while coordinating a group meeting.

» More information at The Hacker News

Bill Calls for Study of Cybersecurity Standards for Cars

A House bill could accelerate the federal government’s involvement in regulating automobile cybersecurity. The Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act of 2017 calls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to lead a study of necessary security standards that could be included in a law governing cars built in the U.S. or imported for sale. This week’s bill calls for the NHTSA to study the issue alongside the Federal Trade Commission, NIST and other stakeholders.

» More information at United States House of Representatives

Further Reading

China Announces Mass Shutdown of VPNs that Bypass Great Firewall

» More information at Arstechnica

Symantec Caught Issuing Illegit Certificates for Second Time in Two Years

» More information at SC Magazine US

Police Arrested Suspected Phineas Fisher

» More information at The Hacker News