OVERNIGHT TECH: House Judiciary mark-up of patent reform Thursday

DOJ shuts down Coreflood botnet: The Justice Department said Wednesday it has shut down the Coreflood computer virus, which infected as many as 2 million computers around the world. DOJ and the FBI seized five computer servers and 29 Web domains as part of the operation. The U.S. Attorney has filed wire fraud, bank fraud and other charges against 13 unidentified defendants.

Senate security using data mining to ID threats to lawmakers: Debbie Siegelbaum reports the Senate will conduct data mining of the Internet to identify potential threats against lawmakers and offer Secret Service-led security training sessions for congressional staff. The plans come in the wake of January’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer said his office will issue a contract by July to perform data mining of the Internet and social networking sites in an effort to identify and assess threats before they become an issue.

Stearns introduces online privacy bill: Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) introduced his own online privacy legislation Wednesday with Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) one day after Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) unveiled their comprehensive bill in the upper chamber. Stearns's bill focuses on forcing firms to clearly spell out how they plan to use consumers' personal information and allowing the public to opt out of having their data shared with third parties.

FTC wants new laws protecting social security numbers: The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday argued banks and other businesses should rely on higher standards to verify users' accounts than just their Social Security numbers. Maneesha Mithal, an associate director at the FTC, told a Ways and Means subcommittee that requiring more information than just a Social Security number would mitigate criminals' ability to steal people's identity using that number alone.

In case you missed it: 

  • CBS, NBC affiliates says the harm from spectrum repacking could be unquantifiable.
  • Democratic Sens. Al Franken (Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) want DOJ to clarify that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act applies to smartphones.
  • World Economic Forum study shows the U.S. is fifth in terms of using technology.