OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: Inside Israel’s cyber arms buildup

Welcome to OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY, your daily rundown of the biggest news in the world of hacking and data privacy. We're here to connect the dots as leaders in government, policy and industry wrap their arms around cyberthreats. What lies ahead for Congress, the administration and the latest company under siege? Whether you're a consumer, a techie or a D.C. lifer, we're here to give you ...

THE BIG STORIES:

--INSIDE THE ISRAEL-IRAN CYBER ARMS RACE: A digital cold war is brewing between Israel and Iran. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been waging a public campaign against the diplomatic talks over Iran's nuclear program, he has also been building up an elite team of cyber warriors to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Israel puts students into cyber tracks starting in grade school and eventually selects the best and brightest for its Unit 8200 hacking squad. Iran has responded, undergoing one of the most rapid and concentrated cyber transformations in the world. If Netanyahu gets his way and the Iranian nuclear negotiations fall apart, many wonder if this cyber cold war might spill over into all out cyber war. Check back tomorrow morning at The Hill for the full piece.

ADVERTISEMENT
--COURT HEARS MAJOR CYBER CASE: A leading hotel chain is battling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ahead of a court ruling that will help determine the government's role in protecting consumer data online. Wyndham Worldwide argues that the FTC is overstepping its authority when it tries to police corporate cybersecurity. (The chain experienced a severe data breach in 2008 and 2009.) The commission says its authority derives from Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits "unfair and deceptive" commercial practices. The wonky but consequential case spurred 90 minutes of spirited oral arguments on Tuesday. To read our full piece, click here

--ONE TWITTER TAKE:

#FTC argues complaints put companies on notice, warning "Any careful general counsel should be looking at what the [FTC] is doing." #Wyndham -- via @InsidePrivacy

--Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRonan Farrow exposes how the media protect the powerful Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' Comey says he has a 'fantasy' about deleting his Twitter account after end of Trump term MORE EMAIL DEBACLE RAISES HACKING FEARS: The State Department said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton never used her personal email account for classified communications during her tenure as top U.S. diplomat, despite a New York Times story reporting that she typically used a personal email address for official business. The story raised questions about the security of Clinton's email and what, if any, encryption methods were employed to protect it. To read our full piece, click here

UPDATE ON CYBER POLICY:

--A HEALTHCARE EXEMPTION? Lawmakers saw a Tuesday House hearing on cybersecurity as simply "a good scene setter for our future hearings," as Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) put it. Rep. Gene GreenRaymond (Gene) Eugene GreenTexas New Members 2019 Two Democrats become first Texas Latinas to serve in Congress Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 MORE (D-Texas), however, did single out the healthcare industry in light of the recent Anthem data breach, wondering if it was particularly vulnerable to hackers. Healthcare is one of the few industries with existing data security standards, causing some to argue it deserves an exemption from any new data security measures. But Richard Bejtlich, chief security strategist at cyber firm FireEye, told lawmakers the industry lacked the "top-tier" cyber defenses seen at financial firms and defense companies. "There's definitely an issue there," he said. To read our full piece, click here.

A LIGHTER CLICK:

--OH, THE IRONY: Cyber criminals appear to have leaked the first episode of CBS's new drama series CSI: Cyber ... unless the release is a clever ploy by the network to create buzz ahead of Wednesday night's premiere. TorrentFreak reported Tuesday that the episode appeared on various pirate sites early this week. "The leaked footage comes from a high-quality copy and doesn't have any visible watermarks," TorrentFreak founder Ernesto wrote in a post. "There are no traces to the video source." The episode is reportedly getting mixed reviews in hacker forums. (TorrentFreak)  

WHO'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

--LT. GEN. EDWARD C. CARDON, the Army's first cyber commander, is becoming a major force in how the U.S. military copes with emerging cyber threats. Cardon was appointed to his position in September, and since then, has received attention for his less-than-traditional approach to organizing cyber operations and to building the Army's expertise in online security. "I had some discussions recently with the senior leadership on maybe the word 'command' in this space is not right," Cardon said at a New America Foundation event on Feb. 23. Cardon has proposed rotating private sector experts into the Army Cyber Command for two-year stints, according to FCW. He is due to testify on Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee. To watch the hearing online starting at 3:30 PM, click here

A LOOK AHEAD:

--WEDNESDAY: The House Homeland Security Committee will hold its second hearing in as many weeks on President Obama's cybersecurity information sharing proposal at 2 p.m.

--WEDNESDAY: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on cyber operations at 3:30 p.m. Tune in for testimony from NSA head Michael Rogers.

--THURSDAY: The House Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on cybersecurity at 9 a.m., but House leadership said late Tuesday that the House will not be in session Thursday because of anticipated inclement weather.

--THURSDAY: The International Association of Privacy Professionals will hold its 2015 Global Privacy Summit with remarks by journalist Glenn Greenwald as well as FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, two White House aides and several congressional staffers.

--FRIDAY: Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats House Democrats subpoena Rick Perry in impeachment inquiry Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria MORE (R-Wis.) and White House aide Ari Schwartz, who works on cybersecurity privacy and civil liberties issues, will talk cyber at a USTelecom conference beginning at 9 a.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Links from our blog, The Hill, and around the Web.

A security flaw that is a remnant of a 1990s-era U.S. encryption standard has left government websites vulnerable for decades. (The Hill)

Apple's mobile payment service, billed as a secure alternative to credit cards, has nearly 60 times as many instances of fraud as traditional credit card transactions. (The Hill)

Cybersecurity workers in the government fall into more than 100 different job categories. (Nextgov)

The FBI made a rare warrant request before using the controversial mobile surveillance system known as a "stingray" to catch a bank robber. (Ars Technica)

Hackers reportedly took down a city's website in retaliation for police brutality. (San Marcos News)

Could the security-focused Blackphone become the next Blackberry for businesses? (TechCrunch)

Google's newest Android operating system will not come with default encryption, after all. (Ars Technica)

ICYMI: A government report found that the nation's air traffic control system is vulnerable to hackers. Several lawmakers are demanding answers. (The Hill)

 

We'll be working to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's cybersecurity page early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or cyber news tips our way, via cbennett@thehill.com or eviebeck@thehill.com. And follow us at @cory_bennett and @eliseviebeck.

If you'd like to receive our newsletter in your inbox, please sign up here: http://goo.gl/KZ0b4A