OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: House to vote on NSA reform

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 ...


--OBAMA'S ALL IN: The White House threw its weight behind a surveillance reform bill expected to get a House vote tomorrow. The legislation would put limits on the National Security Agency (NSA) while renewing key portions of the Patriot Act. It was the most ardent support the administration has shown for the reform effort, which is seen as a necessary first step before lawmakers will move on any cybersecurity bill. But the administration's support does not guarantee the bill will get to President Obama's desk. Senate Republican leaders are still pushing a bill that would reaffirm the NSA's spying power and some privacy advocates are even pulling support for the reform bill, arguing it should go further. To read our full piece, click here.

--AFTER THE DUST CLEARS: If the reform bill does get through Congress, it would likely open a path up for a stalled cybersecurity bill that would increase the public-private exchange of hacking data. The White House has indicated it would likely sign that bill into law.

--ANONYMOUS TIED TO MASSIVE BOTNET: The international hacking collective Anonymous is being accused of hijacking tens of thousands of home and office Internet routers around the world in order to launch cyberattacks. Hackers exploited routers' lax security to infect them with malware, creating what is known as a "botnet," or group of zombie computers used by outside users for malicious purposes. Anonymous is one of several groups believed to be involved. The botnet was discovered by Incapsula, a security firm, which published its findings on Tuesday. "The attacks we will describe are enabled by what we perceive as particularly reckless security practices," the report stated. To read our full story, click here.

--ARE CHINA AND RUSSIA SEEKING THEIR OWN INTERNET?: The cyber pact that China and Russia signed on Friday threatens online freedom and represents a "real, concrete step" toward an alternative Internet, according to former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). "I think this is a huge, bad step for the Internet and economic prosperity on the Internet moving forward," Rogers said during remarks Monday at the Hudson Institute, where he is a distinguished fellow. Russia and China pledged on Friday not to hack each other. The two countries will also jointly develop technology that protects their "socio-economic atmosphere," including campaigns to thwart technologies that might "disturb public order" or "interfere with affairs of the state," he said. To read more about Rogers's comments, click here. To read about the announcement from Russia and China, click here.


--A slew of senators -- Republicans and Democrats -- aggressively rebutted the idea of a "clean" Patriot Act reauthorization on the floor Tuesday. In a series of speeches, Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections Senators offer bill to expand charitable giving tax break Overnight Energy: Senate passes major lands conservation bill | Mnuchin ordered to give Native American tribes full stimulus funding | Key Republican jeopardizes Trump consumer safety nominee MORE (R-Utah), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.) Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Navy won't reinstate fired captain | Dems probe use of federal officers in DC | Air Force appoints woman as top noncommissioned officer Dems request watchdog probe use of federal law enforcement in DC during Floyd protests Fights over police reform, COVID-19 delay Senate appropriations markups MORE (D-Vt.) all made the case for curbing the NSA's bulk collection of phone data, arguing the program is a threat to people's rights. The display points to a brewing fight over the USA Freedom Act in the upper chamber. To read more, click here.


--"The level of this problem, this is the largest national security problem we face that we have no answer to. And candidly, we're not winning." -- Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) discussing cyber threats at the Hudson Institute, where he is a distinguished fellow.


--GOOD NEWS ... IF YOU ARE A HACKER: Almost no one can accurately spot phishing emails, according to a "phishing quiz" administered to 19,000 people in 144 countries by Intel Security. Only 3 percent of the group were able to correctly identify all phishing emails, and respondents missed an average of 1 in 4. The results also don't look good for the United States, which came in 27th overall for the ability to spot a fake email. To read the full results, click here.

--RETHINKING CHINA'S CYBER ABILITIES: A new paper from Harvard's Belfer Center warned that exaggerating China's cyber capabilities is causing a "spiral of mistrust" that poses a considerable digital threat unto itself. The United States "is unlikely to experience either a so-called digital Pearl Harbor through cyber warfare or death by a thousand cuts through industrial espionage," wrote Jon Lindsay, an adjunct professor at the University of California San Diego, arguing that American cyber powers are still preeminent and that mistrust could spur a backlash from China. To read more, click here.



--The Atlantic Council will hold a webinar on the Pentagon's new Silicon Valley outreach strategy at 9 a.m.

--The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on NSA reform at 11:30 a.m. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) will make remarks.

--Two House Oversight subcommittees will hold a hearing on the state of preparedness against an electromagnetic pulse event at 2 p.m.


--Microsoft will hold a panel discussion on cyber crime policies at 8:30 a.m. at its Innovation & Policy Center. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and James Trainor, acting assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, will speak.

--A Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee will hold a hearing on cybersecurity at 10 a.m.

--The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on protecting consumers from data breaches at 10 a.m.


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

China's military banned the Apple Watch for its members. (The Hill)

New York's Wall Street watchdog is preparing new cyber regulations for banks. (The Hill)

A worker is claiming she was fired after deleting a location-tracking application from her phone. (The Hill)

Hackers are stealing from Starbucks gift card and mobile payment users. (Bob Sullivan)

What do cybersecurity and studying the Torah have in common? (Slate)

Cybercrime will cost global businesses more than $2 trillion by 2019. (Business Journal)

BitTorrent's encrypted chat service is launching a version that will work on iOS. (TechCrunch)

An introduction to EMV technology. (TechCrunch)

An alleged dark Web drug dealer was busted by a fake mailman. (Motherboard)

Nate McMullin is a former National Guard member who is now pursuing a cyber career. (Omaha World-Herald)

Microsoft is touting the security of its revamped browser, Edge. (Softpedia, Microsoft)

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