OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: McConnell gambles 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 ...


--MCCONNELL'S GAMBLE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey House and Senate health leaders reach deal to stop surprise medical bills Biden: 'No party should have too much power' Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill MORE (R-Ky.) will allow a vote on legislation to overhaul the government's surveillance programs. But the move is not necessarily a concession to privacy advocates. McConnell, who supports the controversial data collection programs, thinks the bill will fail, giving momentum to his plan: a short-term extension of the Patriot Act provisions authorizing the NSA's collection programs revealed to the world two years ago by Edward Snowden. That could give the Senate leader more time to bring his colleagues around to his position. To read our full piece, click here.

--BACK AT IT: Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE (D-Minn.) is resurrecting his fight to get mobile spying apps banned. Franken's call to action this time are reports that sensitive data collected by mSpy, the maker of popular mobile monitoring software, were posted on a dark Web forum. Franken wrote the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday, urging them to investigate mSpy, whose products he called "deeply troubling" and "nothing short of terrifying" when "in the hands of a stalker or abusive intimate partner." Franken has several times tried to push legislation outlawing what he calls "stalking apps." To read our full piece, click here.

--WANT TO HACK A SATELLITE?: Chris Roberts, the alleged plane hacker, can tell you how. Roberts bragged to a hacking conference in 2012 that he and his colleagues managed to "mess around with" the International Space Station and that satellites are even more "fun to play with." His comments are nabbing attention amid debate over whether Roberts could have actually hacked a commercial flight from inside the cabin, and criticism from fellow security experts who question his judgment. "We might need to come back next year and see how many satellites we could actually take control of," Roberts told the conference. "Your homework for the next 12 months: see who can f--k with the most satellites." To read our full piece, click here.


--AFTER A BREAK. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on a key data security subcommittee, wants to return to data breach legislation after the upcoming Memorial Day recess.

"We're all aiming at the same goal," he told The Hill Tuesday. "I'm very hopeful we can come together right after the recess."

The upper chamber is weighing a slate of bills that would require companies to notify customers when their information has been exposed by a breach. The bills would also set a series of nationwide data security standards.

The Senate has at least three similar offerings on the table right now, two with bipartisan support.

"I think there's a real possibility for some joint consensus," Blumenthal said. Read on here.


--R.I.P WALMART.HORSE. The mega-retailer has gone and ruined everyone's fun. Per The Guardian: "Registered in late February by Massachusetts-based cartoonist Jeph Jacques, author of webcomic Questionable Content, Walmart.horse was a simple website containing nothing but a picture of a horse superimposed on top of a Walmart store."


MARK KARPELES, CEO of Mt. Gox, formerly the world's largest bitcoin exchange until its swift downfall in early 2014. A reported hack caused nearly half a trillion dollars worth of bitcoins to mysteriously disappear, causing Mt. Gox to go bankrupt. What happened? Motherboard goes behind the scenes:

    Mark would later say that during this time he was spending his daylight hours at the office and his nights at his apartment, alone with his cat Tibanne, furiously working his way through hundreds of pieces of paper containing the private keys to Mt. Gox's Bitcoin wallets.



--Microsoft will hold a discussion on the Internet of Things, with remarks from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

--Georgetown Law School will host the first day of its cybersecurity conference, including a keynote address from FBI Director James Comey.

--The Financial Services Roundtable will hold an event on cyber information sharing.

--The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion about cybersecurity regulation at noon.


--Georgetown Law School will continue its cybersecurity conference, including a speech from NSA Director Mike Rogers.

--The Chamber of Commerce will hold an event on the Internet of Things.


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

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis confirmed that it experienced a cyberattack. (The Hill)

It is hard to deter hackers with the threat of prosecution, experts told lawmakers on Tuesday. (The Hill)

Home Depot reported $7 million in recovery costs related to its data breach in the first quarter of 2015. (The Hill)

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its annual report on cyber crime. (The FBI)

Experts are disputing whether Chris Roberts could have actually hacked a passenger jet. (The Guardian)

Should hackers be tolerated to test public systems? (CSO)

It is time for companies to start sharing cyber threat data. (Quartz)

"Winter is coming to the icy land of IT departments." (TechCrunch)

Airlines should be worried about planes' vulnerability to hacking, experts say. (Homeland Security Today)

The Navy needs help making sure its drones are hack-proof. (Nextgov)


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