Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley — Cyberattack hits Taiwan’s presidential office

A cyberattack hit Tawain’s presidential office on Tuesday, coinciding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to the island. 

Meanwhile, a San Francisco-based crypto firm lost $190 million worth of cryptocurrency in a series of thefts.  

This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Taiwan hit with cyberattack

Taiwan’s presidential office was hit with a cyberattack on Tuesday, the same day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited the island amid warnings and opposition from China. 

A spokesperson for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in a Facebook post that the attack happened around 5:15 p.m. local time, causing 200 times more than normal weekday website traffic. 

NBC reported that attacks affected at least four websites, those of Tsai, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan Taoyuan International, the island’s largest airport. 

The spokesperson said on Facebook that the attacks were “outside-border” distributed denials of service, in which a service or network is overwhelmed with more internet traffic than it can handle. 

Read more here.

Hackers target US crypto firm

Nomad, a San Francisco-based crypto firm, has lost $190 million worth of its digital currency in a series of thefts, according to blockchain security firm PeckShield. 

The crypto firm said on Twitter that it was “aware of the incident” and was investigating the matter. 

  • “We are working around the clock to address the situation and have notified law enforcement and retained leading firms for blockchain intelligence and forensics,” Nomad said.  
  • “Our goal is to identify the accounts involved and to trace and recover the funds,” the firm added. 

Read more here.

DEMS PRESS FCC ON BROADBAND FOR NATIVE COMMUNITIES

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele (D-Hawaii) led a group of Democrats in a letter to the Federal Commnications Commission (FCC) Tuesday urging the agency to consider ways to advance Tribal nations’ ownership of spectrum over their lands.  

“The need is clear. So is the solution: enhance Tribal self-sufficiency and self-governance by facilitating Tribal spectrum access and ownership,” they wrote.  

“We request that you and the FCC take steps consistent with the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations by working to create economic opportunities for Tribal Nations and Native communities by expanding Tribal broadband and Native spectrum access and ownership.” 

The letter was also signed by Sens. Tina Smith (Minn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Jacky Rosen (Nev.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (N.M.), and Reps. Ed Case (Hawaii) and Teresa Leger Fernández (N.M.).

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Refocusing on high tech R&D will help make America competitive again 

Notable links from around the web: 

Privacy bill strips FCC oversight of telecom data abuse, worrying consumer advocates (CyberScoop / Tonya Riley) 

Amazon Hires Senior Seante Aide, Boosting Efforts to Stymie New Tech Antitrust Bill (Bloomberg / Anna Edgerton, Leah Nylen and Emily Birnbaum) 

The Crypto Market Crashed. They’re Still Buying Bitcoin (The New York Times / David Yaffe-Bellamy)

📱Lighter click: Too easy it’s dangerous

One more thing: DOD ‘wiped’ Trump leaders’ phones

The Department of Defense (DOD) failed to retain text messages from a number of its top officials relating to Jan. 6 because it wiped their phones during the transition, a watchdog group that sued for the records disclosed Tuesday. 

American Oversight filed a public records request for the communications of former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy in the days after the attack on the Capitol. 

But it was informed during litigation that the records were not preserved. 

“DOD and Army conveyed to Plaintiff that when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government-issued phone, and the phone is wiped. For those custodians no longer with the agency, the text messages were not preserved and therefore could not be searched,” the agencies wrote in a March court filing. 

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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Tags Elizabeth Warren Nancy Pelosi Tina Smith Tsai Ing-Wen
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