With EPA water cyber rule revoked, the administration still has plans to bolster water cybersecurity
The decision, and what’s next
- “The Biden Administration must prioritize streamlining existing regulations while working with the private sector to identify new opportunities for partnership, rather than punishment, particularly through their implementation of this Strategy,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and cybersecurity and infrastructure protection subcommittee chairman Andrew R. Garbarino (R-N.Y.) said in a statement in March when the administration published its strategy.
On the other side
Supreme Court temporarily blocks curbs on White House social media contacts
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled last month that certain federal agencies, top government health officials and the FBI likely violated the First Amendment by improperly influencing tech firms’ decisions on removing or suppressing posts about covid-19 and elections.
- In that ruling, the scope of an injunction connected to the original July 4 order was narrowed to a smaller group of agencies and put communication restrictions on hold for 10 days to give the Biden administration time to appeal to the Supreme Court. But the 5th Circuit on Oct. 3 reversed course and relisted the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as an alleged First Amendment violator.
- Experts have suggested the case would be a strong candidate for the high court’s review.
Sandvine ditches encrypted message surveillance tool, lays off project staff
- Gallagher writes: “Sandvine had pitched the new product, called ‘Digital Witness,’ to governments and law enforcement agencies in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. It was marketed as a tool to covertly monitor people’s internet use and encrypted messages sent using popular applications such as Meta Platform Inc.s’ WhatsApp and Signal, according to the people, who asked not to be identified to discuss confidential matters.” The company declined to comment to Bloomberg News when asked about the project’s shuttering.
- A combination of economic woes and concerns about Sandvine’s previous activities led to the initiative being scrapped, the report adds. The company’s executive solutions officer Samir Marwaha also said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News that the company laid off about 50 employees in a move made “to better align to serving our customer base.” The layoffs were “directly attributable to the state of the global economy,” he added. Marwaha declined to comment to Bloomberg News about its products or customers.
- Rather than breaching devices like a typical spyware tool, Bloomberg News reports that Digital Witness was said to be able to gather and analyze troves of encrypted network traffic and metadata from the communications, allowing the tool to predictively model and classify peoples’ messages, voice calls and transactions.
- The Biden administration in July blacklisted Cytrox, which makes Predator, as well as Intellexa, the business alliance to which Cytrox belongs.
- Researchers said that attempts to infiltrate Eltantawy’s phone involved using Sandvine’s PacketLogic product, which is designed to help internet companies manage and direct network traffic.
Sanctioned Moscow crypto exchange becomes bedrock for various illicit financing
- “Garantex’s growing role as a global conduit for illicit funds was underscored this month by evidence that Palestinian militants in part financed their operations through crypto in the lead-up to the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel,” Berwick writes. “Digital wallets controlled by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which joined Hamas in the attacks, received a portion of $93 million via Garantex, according to analysis by researcher Elliptic, which said Hamas also used a similar financing strategy,” he adds.
- In Russia, customers deposit rubles at Garantex locations and receive their funds back in crypto in the form of stablecoins that are often pegged to the U.S. dollar. “These can then be withdrawn as traditional currency abroad from a network of local partners, with little trackable record of the transactions,” the report says.
- “A senior Treasury official told the Wall Street Journal the department was closely monitoring Garantex and was working with partners and allies to close it off as a payment channel,” Berwick writes. “Treasury assessed that wealthy Russian individuals were often using Garantex to move money out of the country. The department is considering future action against actors that are using Garantex for cross-border transactions, the official said.”
- The Atlantic Council convenes a discussion on the information environment of the Israel-Gaza war at noon.
Secure log off
If you brush a cat with a wet toothbrush, it supposedly reminds them of being groomed by their mother pic.twitter.com/yXFfPw6TP1
— Why you should have a cat (@ShouldHaveCat)
This content was originally published here.