The Weekly Cypher is specially curated to keep you up-to-date on the latest in cybersecurity, biometrics, and related news and innovations. Here are a few of the headlines you might have missed this week.
The Commerce Department took a major step to loosen its restrictions on Chinese teleco ZTE, signing an escrow agreement making it possible for the firm to continue doing business with US companies. The move came under pressure from President Trump, who had told Chinese leader Xi Jinping he would help ZTE after it was hit with severe restrictions for violating laws. Three months ago Commerce announced severe penalties against the company for selling products to Iran and North Korea and then lying about it to federal investigators. Among other things, ZTE was barred from doing business with US companies, a move many believed would serve to be a death sentence for the firm. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been fighting this move for months. [Read More]
Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab is asking a US appeals court to pause a government wide ban on its products before some of it is implemented next week. The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA set July 16 as the deadline for all new procurements to contain language officially barring contractors and subcontractors from allowing Kaspersky products to touch any government systems. That ban, which sprang from concerns The Kremlin is using Kaspersky as a spying tool, was ordered by Congress in the 2018 annual defense policy bill. [Read More]
Australia will ban Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment for its planned 5G broadband network after its intelligence agencies said Beijing could force the Chinese telco to hand over sensitive data, two sources told Reuters. Intelligence agencies have for years raised concerns about Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government and the possibility of its equipment being used for espionage. Huawei is the world’s largest maker of telecommunications network gear and the No. 3 smartphone supplier. [Read More]
Facebook is to be fined £500,000, the maximum amount possible, for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the information commissioner has announced. The fine is for two breaches of the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office said Facebook failed to safeguard its users’ information and that it failed to be transparent about how that data was harvested by others. In the first 2018, Facebook took £500,000 in revenue every five and a half minutes. [Read More]
Facebook gave an extension allowing the collection of users’ data to a Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin after a policy change supposedly stopped such collection. Facebook told CNN apps developed by the Russian technology conglomerate Mail.Ru Group, were being looked at as part of the company’s wider investigation into the misuse of user data in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. [Read More]
Millions of Timehop customers had their personal data compromised when a hacker gained access to its cloud-based backend computing environment. Timehop, a service that plugs into users’ social media platforms and shows them memories said hackers stole millions of customers’ names, email addresses, and phone numbers. They also got social media “access tokens,” provided to Timehop by social media services, for up to 21 million customers. The company said the hacker was able to access the database because it was not protected by multi factor authentication. [Read More]