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Politics Hillicon Valley — Howard University hit by ransomware attack

01:40  08 september  2021
01:40  08 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Agencies warn of ransomware threats ahead of Labor Day weekend

  Agencies warn of ransomware threats ahead of Labor Day weekend Federal agencies are warning of potential ransomware attacks targeted at U.S. organizations ahead of Labor Day weekend in the wake of recent cyberattacks during previous holidays this year. The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Tuesday issued an alert outlining their concerns, noting that while there was no intelligence around specific threats, other holiday weekends had given cybercriminals opportunities for attacks. "Cyber actors have conducted increasingly impactful attacks against U.S. entities on or around holiday weekends over the last several months," the agencies wrote in the alert.

Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Hillicon Valley — Apple amps up App Store changes

  Hillicon Valley — Apple amps up App Store changes Today is Thursday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Apple announced another key change to its App Store, allowing developers of apps for media content to share links to their website offering alternative payment options. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is on high alert for cyberattacks over the Labor Day weekend, with an official telling reporters Thursday that at least two federal agencies are prepared to tackle any incidents that come up, and urging businesses to be prepared.

a group of people walking across a grass covered field: Hillicon Valley — Howard University hit by ransomware attack © Howard Newsroom Hillicon Valley — Howard University hit by ransomware attack

A major Washington, D.C., university was hit by a ransomware attack over Labor Day weekend, forcing the cancellation of classes on Tuesday and highlighting continuing cyber threats faced by schools and universities.

Meanwhile, Google yet again finds itself in the antitrust hot seat as the Department of Justice reportedly prepares another lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant.

'I didn't realise how invasive this attack was'

  'I didn't realise how invasive this attack was' Almost four months after a ransomware attack on the Irish health service, disruption remains.The 36-year-old mother of two was waiting for her radiation treatment that afternoon for sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

Follow The Hill's cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Let's jump in.

School's out

a large brick building © Provided by The Hill Howard University announced the cancellation of classes after being hit with a ransomware attack last week, though it said there was no evidence of personal information being stolen.

In a news release Monday, Howard said that its information technology team detected unusual activity on the school's network on Friday, prompting an investigation into the situation.

"Based on the investigation and the information we have to date, we know the University has experienced a ransomware cyberattack," said the historically black university in Washington, D.C.

Overnight Hillicon Valley — Pro-Chinese group tries to mobilize US protests

  Overnight Hillicon Valley — Pro-Chinese group tries to mobilize US protests Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Cybersecurity researchers released a report detailing a wide-ranging effort by a pro-Chinese influence group to mobilize protests in the U.S. around COVID-19 and other issues, with the group the same one that Facebook, Twitter and Google have previously taken action against.

The university said Tuesday's classes will be canceled due to the attack, adding that the campus will be open for essential employees only and advising nonessential employees to stay at home.

"We are currently working with leading external forensic experts and law enforcement to fully investigate the incident and the impact," it said in the news release.

Read more about the attack here.

Hackers are leaking children’s data — and there’s little parents can do

  Hackers are leaking children’s data — and there’s little parents can do Most don’t have bank passwords. Few have credit scores yet. And still, parts of the internet are awash in the personal information of millions of schoolchildren. © Provided by NBC News The ongoing wave of ransomware attacks has cost companies and institutions billions of dollars and exposed personal information about everyone from hospital patients to police officers. It’s also swept up school districts, meaning files from thousands of schools are currently visible on those hackers’ sites.

Bad day for Google

a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Google laptop browser © Provided by The Hill Google laptop browser The Department of Justice (DOJ) is readying an antitrust lawsuit against Google aimed at the search giant's role in the ad tech market, multiple outlets have reported.

While a filing is not imminent, according to a Politico report, the agency could move forward with the case before President Biden's pick to run the DOJ's antitrust team makes it through the Senate.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta would reportedly make the final call if Jonathan Kanter is not yet confirmed.

Hillicon Valley: Facebook says it will keep ban on Taliban content | Rubio reiterates calls for Tik Tok ban after China's reported ownership stake | Pharmacist sold COVID-19 vaccination cards online, prosecutors allege

  Hillicon Valley: Facebook says it will keep ban on Taliban content | Rubio reiterates calls for Tik Tok ban after China's reported ownership stake | Pharmacist sold COVID-19 vaccination cards online, prosecutors allege Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill's newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE.Happy Tuesday! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. Social media platforms are grappling with how to moderate content that supports the Taliban after the group's rise back to power in Afghanistan over the weekend. The decisions have not been consistent across the industry.

The new case will focus on how Google has built up its dominance in digital advertising, Bloomberg first reported, and how it has used that position to maintain power.

A spokesperson for Google defended the company's involvement in digital advertising, saying its technologies "help websites and apps fund their content, enable small businesses to grow, and protect users from exploitative privacy practices and bad ad experiences."

Read more here.

Overnight Hillicon Valley — Ex-US intel operatives pay to settle hacking charges

  Overnight Hillicon Valley — Ex-US intel operatives pay to settle hacking charges Today is Tuesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Three former U.S. intelligence and military personnel members settled with the Justice Department by agreeing to a massive sum due to allegations that they worked as mercenary hackers for the government of the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, a top official atThree former U.S. intelligence and military personnel members settled with the Justice Department by agreeing to a massive sum due to allegations that they worked as mercenary hackers for the government of the United Arab Emirates.

SHUT DOWN

A Texas-based abortion tracking website that was designed to help enforce the state's recently enacted abortion ban has been shut down for a second time.

Prolifewhistleblower.com, which was created by anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, invited people to send in anonymous tips on those who may be performing or aiding in abortions in violation of the state's new law.

Texas's abortion law essentially bans almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation also allows private citizens to sue people who aid or perform abortions in violation of the law.

Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens

  Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Facebook found itself in hot water this week following a major report from The Wall Street Journal that accused Facebook of being aware that Instagram is detrimental to teenagers, with lawmakers sharply criticizing and scrutinizing the company.Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission voted along party lines to clarify that a long-standing rule applies to apps handling health data, warning the companies to disclose any data breaches to consumers.

Read more here.

NEW CYBER BILL

A group of bipartisan House lawmakers rolled out legislation this week to put in place a term limit for the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the wake of escalating cybersecurity incidents and turmoil in agency leadership last year.

The CISA Cybersecurity Leadership Act would establish a five-year term for the CISA director position and reaffirm that the position is presidentially nominated and Senate approved.

The bill was introduced less than a year after former CISA Director Christopher Krebs, the first individual to hold the position, was fired by former President Trump for CISA's efforts to push back against election-related disinformation and misinformation.

Krebs's departure alongside several other top agency officials left CISA without Senate-confirmed leadership until July, when the Senate unanimously confirmed Jen Easterly as the new director of CISA.

Read more about the legislation here.

EL SALVADOR UNPLUGS

El Salvador unplugged its digital wallet on Tuesday to cope with demand after the nation became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said on Twitter that the digital wallet, Chivo, was disconnected while it increased the capacity of its servers, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

"We prefer to correct it before we connect it again," Bukele said, according to AP.

Bukele also urged Apple, Google, and Huawei's app downloading platform to allow downloads of the digital wallet, Reuters reported. The wallet was available to download from Apple and Huawei.

Read more here.

BITS AND PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Technology competition: We need more than just strategy

Lighter click: Impeccable vibes

Notable links from around the web:

SpaceX's launch site may be a threat to the environment (Protocol / Anna Kramer)

In Silicon Valley, Criminal Prosecutors See No Evil (The New York Times / David Streitfeld)

How Facebook Undermines Privacy Protections for Its 2 Billion WhatsApp Users (ProPublica / Peter Elkind, Jack Gillum and Craig Silverman)

The Other Sara Morrisons are ruining my inbox (Recode / Sara Morrison)

One last thing: Uber and Lyft's legal funds

  Hillicon Valley — Howard University hit by ransomware attack © Provided by The Hill The ride-share companies Uber and Lyft announced Friday that they will pay legal fees for their drivers if they get sued under Texas's recently enacted abortion law.

Texas's law went into effect Wednesday after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to decline an emergency request from abortion providers to block it.

The measure bans almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which happens around six weeks of pregnancy. But it also allows private citizens to sue those who perform or aid in the procedure in violation of the law, including drivers for ride-hailing services who drop off or pick up passengers at abortion clinics.

Read more here.

That's it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill's technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you Wednesday.

Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens .
Today is Wednesday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Facebook found itself in hot water this week following a major report from The Wall Street Journal that accused Facebook of being aware that Instagram is detrimental to teenagers, with lawmakers sharply criticizing and scrutinizing the company.Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission voted along party lines to clarify that a long-standing rule applies to apps handling health data, warning the companies to disclose any data breaches to consumers.

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