OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: Bitcoin regulation begins

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 ...




--RULING BITCOIN: The bitcoin regulation era has begun. A top Wall Street watchdog on Wednesday issued new rules that place stricter cybersecurity requirements on financial firms wishing to use virtual currencies. Under the guidelines, financial firms handling bitcoins and other digital currencies will need to obtain a "BitLicense" from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), ensure a strong cyber defense and maintain detailed records of all bitcoin transactions. Tech companies like Reddit and digital rights advocates have pushed back against the rules since a first draft was released last year. They argue the guidelines could inhibit some of the privacy and market benefits of cryptocurrency. To read our full piece, click here.

--MULTI-FACTOR MADNESS: The White House is using the recent Internal Revenue Service data breach as a way to promote its executive order requiring federal agencies to adopt new identity authentication measures by next April. "The recent IRS fraud case may have been limited or may have even been prevented if we had relied on multi-factor authentication as set forth in the executive order," said Ari Schwartz, the senior director for cybersecurity on the National Security Council, during a Financial Services Roundtable event Wednesday. To read our full piece, click here.

--SONY HACK: THE MOVIE: It was inevitable. The Sony Pictures hack is becoming a movie, or a documentary at least. The major cyberattack on Sony that laid bare back-room Hollywood sniping, froze U.S.-North Korean relations and even moved cybersecurity policy forward on Capitol Hill is getting its first film treatment from two Oscar-nominated documentary makers. Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, best known for their documentary "The Square" about the Egyptian uprising, are turning their lens to the Sony incident, which grabbed headlines late last year across major news outlets and tabloids alike. We'll see how it stacks up with other cyber thrillers like "Backhat" and everyone's favorite, "CSI: Cyber." To read our full piece, click here.



--COME AT ME BRO. House lawmakers this week tacked on two amendments to a key funding bill in an effort to stymie what they see as attempts by the Obama administration to weaken encryption. Both were approved by voice vote as a bill to fund the Commerce and Justice Departments was debated Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately for privacy advocates, it's unlikely the Senate will take them up as well. Check out the full story here.




--OR PERHAPS NOT a lighter click, depending on your political persuasions. Either way, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states California Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE's got jokes about her whole personal email controversy. At a $2,700-a-head fundraiser Monday night, Clinton joked that the White House networks would have repelled its hackers "had they been using my server." Check it out here.



--DON'T DISMISS. Beijing officials are pointing to a first-of-its-kind report from Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 that describes a long-running, perhaps U.S.-backed cyber espionage campaign against the Asian power as evidence the country is a victim, too, in the worldwide escalation of cyber snooping.

Many have dismissed the report as mere propaganda, "but that would be a mistake," writes Adam Segal, a Chinese cyber policy expert and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in a blog post Tuesday. "Instead, the United States government and U.S. cybersecurity firms should actively respond to the report. It is an opportunity to engage Beijing and Chinese cybersecurity companies in questions about what standards for public attribution of cyber attacks should be met."




--Georgetown University Law Center will hold the second day of the two-day Health Privacy Summit.



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

A simple eight-character combination -- "http://:" -- can apparently wreak havoc on Skype. (The Hill)


For privacy advocates, USA Freedom doesn't end the push for surveillance reform. (Christian Science Monitor)

The IRS breach shows why the government needs to modernize its online security. (Huffington Post)

Citigroup Inc, Capital One and JPMorgan Chase were the ones that rejected a $19 million settlement between MasterCard and Target over the retailer's major data breach. (The Wall Street Journal)

The cost of a breach has doubled in the United Kingdom. (The Wall Street Journal)

If you're in college and want to work in tech, just drop out. (The Wall Street Journal)

Defense contractor Raytheon has opened a cybersecurity center near Washington, D.C. (UPI)

Weapons systems remain vulnerable to hacking despite the billions of dollars the Defense Department spends annually on cybersecurity, Pentagon officials said. (FCW)


The "Yemen Cyber Army" says it hacked the Saudi government. (BuzzFeed)


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