Overnight Tech: DOJ charges Russians with Yahoo hack | Trump to grade agencies on cybersecurity | Senators push for broadband study

Overnight Tech: DOJ charges Russians with Yahoo hack | Trump to grade agencies on cybersecurity | Senators push for broadband study
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DOJ CHARGES RUSSIANS IN YAHOO BREACH: The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against four suspects in the massive 2014 Yahoo data breach, including two Russian security service officers.

According to DOJ allegations, the hackers targeted high-profile government and military officials as well as commercial entities such as investment banks

A grand jury indicted the four men "for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy, beginning in January 2014, to access Yahoo's network and the contents of webmail accounts," a Justice Department press release says.


A DOJ official noted that the activity continued through 2016, but declined to comment on whether the suspects had any relation to a 2013 hack.

Officials also noted that they had no reason to believe the hack was connected to the cyber attack on the Democratic National Convention allegedly carried about Russians.

Two of the defendants, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, worked for Russia's main security agency, known as the FSB, the successor unit to the KGB and the FBI's point of contact with Moscow for cyber crime. Sushchin, Dokuchaev's superior also, worked as the Head of Information Security at a Russian investment bank.

The other two defendants, Alexsey "Magg" Alexseyevich Belan and Karim Baratov, are believed to be the criminal hackers.

Read more here.

DEM SAYS YAHOO SHOULD HAVE ACTED SOONER: Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump officially makes Richard Grenell acting intelligence chief Top Democrat on Senate Intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick Trump expected to tap Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as acting intel chief MORE (D-Va.) noted in a statement that while he applauded the DOJ, "Yahoo had a responsibility to be more forthcoming in publicly reporting this breach sooner than it did." Warner had previously slammed Yahoo after the breach came to light in September and called for the SEC to investigate the company over the potential delay in telling the public about the breach.

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TECH COMPANIES JOIN FIGHT AGAINST NEW TRAVEL BAN: More than 50 technology companies have signed onto an amicus brief opposing President Trump's revised executive order barring foreign nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Airbnb, Lyft, Dropbox and Y Combinator were among the major technology-focused organizations and companies that signed onto the brief, which was filed Wednesday and supports Hawaii's lawsuit to block the implementation of the order Trump signed last week. In the brief, the groups railed against the travel ban, writing that "the purported urgency of implementing the new travel ban is entirely unsupported by facts, data, or logical explanations that would justify such a dramatic reversal of American tradition."

Read more here.

Breaking: On Wednesday evening, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the new travel ban. Read more here and check out TheHill.com for updates

SENATORS PUSH FOR BROADBAND STUDY: Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoTrump hammers Manchin over impeachment vote Senate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle Democrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race MORE (R-W.Va.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWarren declines to disavow super PAC that supports her San Diego Union-Tribune endorses Buttigieg 'Where's your spoon?' What we didn't learn in the latest debate MORE (D-Minn.) are pushing for the federal government to start measuring the impact of broadband on the economy. The two co-chairs of the Senate Broadband Caucus introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to study the economic effects of broadband deployment and adoption.

"Broadband is a great equalizing force for creating jobs, leveling the playing field, and increasing opportunity," Klobuchar said in a statement, adding that the bill would give lawmakers the data necessary to make informed policy decisions on broadband.

Read more here.

TWITTER ACCOUNTS HACKED: Numerous high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday morning to display Nazi swastikas and messages supporting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Some of the more prominent accounts that were hacked included BBC North America, Reuters Japan, Forbes Magazine and Justin Bieber Japan. Many of the compromised account holders have regained control of their profiles according to tweets sent out after the hacks.

The tweets from compromised accounts bear the hashtags #NaziHollanda or #Nazialmanya and, according to Engadget, are being tweeted from a variety of different accounts in addition to those of high-profile users.

Read more here.

ENCRYPTED APPS PATCH UP FLAWS: Encrypted messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram repaired flaws in their apps that allowed hackers to seize control of users' accounts. Reuters reported that the companies made the new updates a day after researchers at Check Point Software Technologies announced their discovery of the flaws.

TRUMP WILL GRADE AGENCIES ON CYBERSECURITY: A White House adviser said Wednesday that the Trump administration will develop metrics to track federal agencies' implementation of a federal cybersecurity framework.

Thomas Bossert, an adviser to President Trump on homeland security and counterterrorism, said that the new administration will require agencies and departments to abide by the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the White House on their adoption and implementation of the cybersecurity recommendations. The aide said the move is part of a larger effort by Trump to treat the entire federal network as its own entity and safeguard it from cyber threats.

Read more here.

NEW HIRE: The Innovation and Technology Industry Council, a D.C. based tech trade group, announced Wednesday that Naomi Wilson will be the new director of its Global Policy for China department. Wilson previously served in the Department of Homeland Security as Acting Director for Asia-Pacific, where she was a senior advisor to then-Secretary Jeh Johnson. In her new role at ITI, Wilson will work with member companies and stakeholders on "complex issues important to cybersecurity and the health of the global economy."


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation holds a panel on China at 10 a.m.

The House Commerce Committee holds a hearing on "smart communities" at 10:15 a.m.


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