U.S. officials are raising warnings about potential Russian cyberattacks amid the escalating war in Ukraine.  

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and two House Democrats pressed Intuit over “shady business practices,” building off allegations the Federal Trade Commission leveled at the company last month.  

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 KlarChris Mills Rodrigo and Ines KagubareSubscribe here.

US officials ramp up cyber threat warning

Top U.S. officials are ramping up their warnings about possible Russian cyberattacks on critical infrastructure as the war in Ukraine escalates. 

In an interview with “60 Minutes” on CBS, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly discussed the threats they’re seeing and the various ways their respective agencies are preparing for potential Russian cyberattacks.  

“We are seeing Russian state actors scanning, probing, looking for opportunities, looking for weaknesses in our systems on critical infrastructure, on businesses,” Monaco told Bill Whitaker of “60 Minutes.” 

Easterly, who was also featured in the segment, said her agency is seeing “evolving intelligence” indicating the Russians are planning for possible cyberattacks and critical infrastructure should assume there is going to be a breach and prepare accordingly.

Read more here.

On Tax Day, Democrats press TurboTax

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) sent a letter to Intuit Monday pressing the company on its “shady business practices,” citing “deceptive” advertising for TurboTax’s “free” tax filing.

The Democrats slammed Intuit over “extensive lobbying” and “revolving door hires” to keep “these Free File scams.”  

The letter follows a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in March over the program. The FTC alleged the company deceived consumers with “bogus” advertisements for free tax filing.  

“This action is both welcome and long overdue,” the Democrats wrote in the letter to Intuit, asking the company to respond to detailed questions on the program by May 2.

The company’s response: Intuit spokesperson Derrick Plummer said in a statement the company is reviewing the letter from congressional Democrats and will respond.

“We are clear and fair with our customers and open and transparent about our advertising practices, and our participation in the Free File program was done in compliance and with the oversight of the IRS,” Plummer added.

Read the letter here.


A group of Tesla shareholders are trying to get a judge to order CEO Elon Musk to stop commenting on a case based on 2018 tweets about taking the company private, The Associated Press reported Monday.

In court documents, lawyers for the stockholders say the judge ruled Musks tweet’s about having secured funding to take Tesla private were false, the AP reported. 

During an interview last week at the TED 2022 conference, Musk said he had the funding to take Tesla private in 2018.  

Read more about the report here.


Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk over the weekend tweeted “Love me Tender” after Twitter took major steps to thwart his offer to take the company private, a hint that he now may be considering a tender offer to Twitter shareholders. 

Musk’s tweet suggests that he would bypass Twitter’s board of directors, which he rejected to join because of the condition he couldn’t buy more than 14.9 percent of the firm.  

What are tender offers? Tender offers are made to shareholders to purchase some or all of their stock, usually publicly and set at a higher price per share than the company’s current stock price, “providing shareholders a greater incentive to sell their shares,” according to financial information website Investopedia.  

Read more here.


An op-ed to chew on: Jeff Bezos prepares to challenge Elon Musk for space dominance  

Lighter click: King back 

Notable links from around the web

Midterm politicking comes for Biden’s stalled tech nominee (Politico / John Hendel) 

Elon Musk wants a free speech utopia. Technologists clap back. (The Washington Post / Elizabeth Dwoskin) 

Chromebooks or Handguns? Sensors NYC Mayor Wants to Install on Subway Can Struggle to Tell the Difference (Motherboard / Aaron Gordon)

One last thing: Infowars files for bankruptcy

Infowars, the far-right website created by Alex Jones, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday as the radio host faces a number of lawsuits. 

The website filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows companies to continue operating while assembling plans for reorganization. It also pauses some litigation issues. 

Jones is the target of a number of defamation lawsuits connected to comments he made regarding the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 

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.


Tags Elizabeth Warren Elon Musk Jen Easterly Lisa Monaco

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