Overnight Tech: Dems turn up the heat on Equifax | Trump's science budget | Inside Rupert Murdoch's fight with Facebook | Cyber experts identify Olympics malware

Overnight Tech: Dems turn up the heat on Equifax | Trump's science budget | Inside Rupert Murdoch's fight with Facebook | Cyber experts identify Olympics malware
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DEMS CALL FOR MORE ACTION ON EQUIFAX: The outrage over the massive Equifax data breach is heating up, with Democrats suspicious that Republicans are delaying efforts to crack down on the credit reporting industry and secure consumer data.

The fresh outcry started when Reuters reported that Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyProtect the Military Lending Act On The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors MORE, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), had slowed the agency's investigation into Equifax.

The 2017 breach exposed sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, of 143 million Americans.

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A group of 32 Senate Democrats responded to the Reuters report by demanding answers from the agency about the progress of its investigation.

The CFPB declined to comment on the letter, instead pointing to an earlier statement from Mulvaney senior adviser John Czwartacki.

"Acting Director Mulvaney takes data security issues very seriously," Czwartacki said. "Under his direction, the CFPB is working with our partners across government on Equifax's data breach and response. We are committed to enforcing the law. As policy, we do not confirm or deny enforcement or supervisory matters."

Democrats have kept up the heat on Equifax and other credit reporting agencies since the hack, using the breach to call for reforms.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenCarbon tax could give liberals vast power to grow federal government Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her More Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren MORE (D-Mass.) also released a report on the breach, excoriating Equifax for a lack of safeguards and calling on Congress to crack down on credit reporting agencies.

Read more here.

 

EQUIFAX HIRES NEW CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER: Equifax has hired a new chief information security officer (CISO) following the abrupt retirement of the company's top security executives following its massive data breach last year.

Jamil Farshchi is joining the embattled credit bureau from Home Depot, where he has served as CISO since 2015.

"Equifax is a company with tremendous potential, and I am confident that we will transform our security program into one of the most advanced and recognized globally," Farshchi said in a statement.

Farshchi was tapped as Home Depot's first CISO after the company revealed that more than 2,000 of its stores had been breached, exposing credit card information from more than 50 million shoppers.

Last year, Equifax's chief information officer and chief security officer both retired after the credit reporting agency revealed the data breach that compromised sensitive information of more than 145 million people.

Read more here.

 

Please send your tips, comments and compliments to Ali Breland (abreland@thehill.com) and Harper Neidig (hneidig@thehill.com) and follow us on Twitter: @alibreland and @hneidig. We're also on Signal and WhatsApp. Email or DM us for our numbers.

 

BUDGET DAY FOR TRUMP: President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE on Monday rolled out a White House budget that includes deep cuts to some federal agencies, an increase in funding for the Pentagon and $18 billion for a wall on the Mexican border.

It includes proposals to cut deficits by more than $3 trillion over a decade and lower debt levels as a percentage of the gross domestic product, but does not balance by doing away with annual deficits.

Read more here.

And click here for the full text of the budget.

 

MORE BUDGET TIDBITS: The proposed Trump budget for NASA also calls for private companies to take the lead on building future space stations. CNBC explains.

The Hill's Brett Samuels also has a list of 22 agencies and programs that are eliminated in Trump's budget.

Trump is also seeking $3.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security's cyber unit. The Hill's Morgan Chalfant has those details here.

The president is also pushing cuts to clean energy loan and research programs, The Hill's Timothy Cama reports.

 

ALSO TODAY... TRUMP'S INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN: The White House on Monday officially released a 55-page proposal for President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure overhaul.

The plan puts forth a framework for lawmakers to craft legislation for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that would focus on public-private partnerships and funding from state and local governments.

Read more here.

 

GERMAN COURT SAYS FACEBOOK PRIVACY SETTINGS ARE ILLEGAL: A regional court in Germany has found Facebook's default privacy settings and use of personal data it collects from users to be in violation of consumer protection laws.

The Berlin court found that Facebook did not provide users enough information for them to understand how their data is being collected and that any agreements users signed did not constitute meaningful consent.

VZBV, the German privacy advocacy group that filed the suit, argued that data collection agreements that Facebook users are automatically opted into don't give users enough notice about what they're agreeing to.

"Facebook hides default settings that are not privacy-friendly in its privacy center and does not provide sufficient information about it when users register," said Heiko Dünkel, a litigation policy officer at the VZBV. "This does not meet the requirement for informed consent."

Read more here.

 

UNILEVER THREATENS TO PULL ADS FROM GOOGLE, FACEBOOK: Unilever is warning digital platforms like Google and Facebook to address the proliferation of fake news, or the company will stop advertising with them.

Unilever marketing head Keith Weed is delivered a speech Monday at an advertising conference detailing his concerns with the spread of troublesome content on social media.

"We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain ... which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency," Wood said.

Unilever, which owns brands like Dove, Axe, Good Humor and Ben & Jerry's, reportedly spends close to $2 billion annually on digital advertisements.

Read more here.

 

MURDOCH SAID TO HAVE PRESSURED ZUCKERBERG ON TREATMENT OF NEWS SITES: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch pressured Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFight looms over national privacy law Facebook teaming with nonprofits to fight fake election news China may be copying Facebook to build an intelligence weapon MORE in 2016 to alter the social media platform's handling of news stories to help the struggling media industry, according to Wired.

Murdoch was concerned that companies like Facebook and Google had been vacuuming up much of the online advertising money that news publishers had relied upon.

According to the report, Murdoch shared his concerns at a meeting with Zuckerberg and suggested that his company would push back if Facebook did not offer more favorable terms.

Wired reports that Zuckerberg and other executives worried the executive chairman of the News Corp. empire would start pushing for federal regulators to look into Facebook's influence and practices.

They also worried Murdoch would use his media to cover Facebook more critically. News Corp., though, insisted that was not part of any plans, according to the report.

Read more here.

 

CYBER EXPERTS IDENTIFY MALWARE TARGETING OLYMPICS: Cybersecurity experts say they have identified a destructive malware campaign likely used in a cyberattack against the 2018 Olympic Winter Games during the opening ceremony on Friday.

Experts at Cisco's threat intelligence arm Talos have dubbed the malware "Olympic Destroyer," saying that initial analysis indicates that the malware was designed to destroy data. 

Officials organizing the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, said Sunday that a cyberattack impacted the games' systems resulting in technical failures during the opening ceremony, according to Reuters

Organizers have not disclosed much publicly about the incident, which disrupted internet access and Wi-Fi during the opening ceremonies and also took the Olympics website offline. It remains unclear who was behind the attack.

Read more here.

 

TRANSITIONS: Dori Friedberg former senior advisor for Congress's Joint Economic Committee will join Software.org as their senior director.

 

ON TAP:

AT&T will hold an event on spectrum featuring remarks from FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly at 12:30 p.m.

Intel will host an event on quantum computing policy at 5:00 p.m.

The Federal Communications Bar Association will hold an event on state regulation of voice over IP at 6:00 p.m.

CompTIA will honor Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Colorado governor sets up federal PAC before potential 2020 campaign Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (R-Colo.) and Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her 11 Dems float anti-Pelosi leadership plan: reports To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (D-Mass.) during a reception dinner at 6:15 as a part of their annual fly-in.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

BuzzFeed: Predicting the information apocalypse

Wired: Inside the two years that shook Facebook

Recode: Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year

Bloomberg: Snap head of sales departs, latest in string of executive exits