Overnight Cybersecurity

Hillicon Valley — Feds consider sharing cyber costs

The federal government has asked stakeholders in the cyber industry whether it should help cover some of the costs tied to ‘catastrophic’ cyber incidents. 

Meanwhile, some on the left are blasting Elon Musk’s looming takeover of Twitter, claiming the platform will soon be flooded with hate speech and misinformation.

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.

Government weighs in on cyber costs 

As cyberattacks continue to rise, the federal government is contemplating whether it should step in to help private insurance companies cover some of the costs related to severe cyber incidents

The Treasury Department and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently asked stakeholders in the industry to weigh in on whether there’s a need for a federal insurance response to “catastrophic” cyber incidents and, if so, how such a program should be implemented. 

  • This comes as private insurance firms have significantly increased premiums for companies seeking cyber coverage and, in some cases, denied coverage for state-sponsored cyberattacks as their frequency has surged over the past few years. 
  • Currently, the U.S. government does not have a federally backed cyber insurance program to deal with destructive cyberattacks. 
  • “I think what you’re seeing is the government sort of thinking about this from their side … if they should be doing more to help companies that are hit and, if so, how should they define what the thresholds are,” said Josephine Wolff, an associate professor of cybersecurity policy at the Tufts University Fletcher School. 

Read more here

Critics alarmed over ‘Twitter troll’ takeover

Elon Musk’s looming Twitter takeover has triggered warnings on the left that under his leadership the platform will be flooded with hate speech and misinformation, especially ahead of coming election cycles.  

Musk hasn’t provided a detailed picture of the version of Twitter he plans to run, but he’s foreshadowed creating a platform focused on what he deems “free speech,” meaning there would be less content moderation and a strong likelihood of former President Trump regaining access to his once-favored account. 

With the deal barreling ahead after Musk agreed to follow through on his purchase of the company and a judge halted the trial in Twitter’s lawsuit against the billionaire, those changes could be fast approaching — and they have critics worried.  

  • “Even if you don’t use Twitter, this is going to affect you,” Angelo Carusone, president of the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters, told The Hill.  
  • He likened the potential Musk acquisition of Twitter to when Fox News launched more than two decades ago, offering an alternative to balance what its founders viewed as a media landscape that catered to liberals.  
  • “That’s what Fox became — and it had a profound distorting effect on the news media, on our society. And if you look at what Musk says about social media, we are in the same moment, just updated 30 years later,” Carusone said.  

Read more here.  

THE TRUMP QUESTION

Elon Musk’s renewed interest in purchasing Twitter is again raising the prospect that its most famously banned user could be allowed back. 

Former President Trump has been adamant that he will stick with Truth Social, the fledgling social media platform he helped found, regardless of whether he is welcomed back to Twitter. But experts and Trump allies believe the allure of the massive Twitter audience would be too great to resist, putting his future on the popular platform front and center as the Musk deal shows new signs of life. 

“It’s coming…” former Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis tweeted this week, along with an edited video that showed Trump returning to Twitter with a tweet that read: “Your favorite president is back!” as Musk looked on. 

Trump has been banned from Twitter since January 2021 in the wake of his tweets around the violence at the Capitol, which followed months of spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election. YouTube and Facebook have both also kicked Trump off their sites. 

Read more here.  

Russian hackers target US airports

Several U.S. airport websites were temporarily down on Monday morning following a cyberattack reportedly carried out by Russian-backed hacking group Killnet, according to news reports.   

The Atlanta and Los Angeles international airports were among 14 airport websites impacted by the attack, CNN reported.   

“ATL’s website (atl.com) is up and running after an incident early this morning that made it inaccessible to the public,” the airport said in a now deleted tweet. “An investigation into the cause of the incident is underway. At no time were operations at the airport impacted.”  

Last week, Killnet also claimed responsibility for knocking several U.S. state government websites offline, including in Colorado, Mississippi and Kentucky. 

Read more here

META DETECTS MALWARE APPS

Facebook’s parent company Meta said on Friday that it has detected more than
400 malware apps this year designed to steal users’ Facebook login information. 

The apps, which were listed on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, were disguised to look like fun or useful apps, from photo editors to VPNs to fitness trackers, Meta said in a press release. 

Users were typically prompted to login into their Facebook account upon downloading the apps, which would allow the malware to steal their login information. 

The people who developed the malware apps also published fake positive reviews in the app stores to cover up any negative reviews that appeared, Meta noted. 

Read more here.  

AMAZON-BACKED EV MAKER RECALLS VEHICLES

An electric vehicle maker backed by Amazon has issued a voluntary recall for almost all its vehicles over an issue with loose fasteners.  

The electric vehicle company Rivian notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the safety recall on Thursday after it learned that the fastener connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle might have been improperly tightened.  

A loose steering knuckle fastener could cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and increase the chances of a crash, according to a letter that Alex Ansley, the chief of the NHTSA’s Recall Management Division, sent Friday to acknowledge Rivian’s notification of the recall.  

The recall is for certain 2022 R1T, R1S and EDV models, totaling about 12,000 overall. 

Read more here.  

BITS & PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: SpaceX studies extending the life of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope 

Notable links from around the web: 

Skepticism, Confusion, Frustration: Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Struggles (The New York Times / Ryan Mac, Sheera Frenkel and Kevin Roose) 

Cyborg cockroaches are coming, and they just want to help (The Washington Post / Pranshu Verma) 

U.S. Chip Curbs Threaten China’s Emerging Manufacturers (The Wall Street Journal / Dan Strumpf and Liza Lin) 

🌽 Lighter click: Without the fall vibes, though

One more thing: Twitter blocks Ye  

Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, had his social media account suspended this weekend making an antisemitic comment.   

Twitter suspended the rapper’s account on Sunday for violating the platform’s policies.   

Ye’s account was suspended after tweeting that he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”  

The comment has since been deleted by Twitter.  

Ye’s social media suspension follows a controversy-filled week for the rapper which began after the artist launched the ninth season of his YZY clothing label at Paris on Monday wearing a t-shirt decorated with the phrase “White Lives Matter” on it.   

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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