Overnight Tech: Twitter to share info on Russian activity | Amazon looking for second headquarters | DNC phishing itself

Overnight Tech: Twitter to share info on Russian activity | Amazon looking for second headquarters | DNC phishing itself
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TWITTER TO HELP RUSSIA PROBE: The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Twitter plans to give Congress an analysis of Russian activity on its social media platform.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFive Senate Democrats reportedly opposed to Biden banking nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US mulls Afghan evacuees' future MORE (D-Va.) told reporters the report from Twitter will be similar to one Facebook provided to congressional investigators on Wednesday.

In Facebook's report, the company said fake accounts linked to a pro-Kremlin group in Russia had purchased $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Twitter declined to comment on the matter to The Hill.

Warner said he expects the revelations in Facebook's analysis to be the first of many and criticized the company for not acting sooner.

"I think we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. They had a fairly narrow search. I've been raising this issue for months. They have dismissed this issue for months," he said, according to a transcript from his office.

The fake accounts on Facebook were linked to a company called the Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm" that uses social media operations to promote Kremlin propaganda, The Washington Post reported.

Read more here.


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AMAZON WANTS A SECOND HQ: Amazon announced on Thursday that it will begin looking for a location for a second headquarters in North America.

The $474 billion company said that it would entertain proposals from cities looking to host what CEO Jeff Bezos is calling "HQ2."

"We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," Bezos said in a statement. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We're excited to find a second home."

Amazon says it plans to invest over $5 billion in construction and expects HQ2 to host more than 50,000 employees. The company adds that it is looking for a metropolitan location with more than a million people that's a "business-friendly environment."

Read more here.


DNC PLANS TO HIT EMPLOYEES WITH SIMULATED PHISHING ATTACKS: The Democratic National Committee's new chief technology officer is launching a series of simulated phishing attacks on DNC staff in an effort to prevent another cybersecurity breach.

Raffi Krikorian, who joined the DNC in June, told Wired that he is planning a series of simulated phishing attacks to test DNC staffers' preparedness.

The simulated attack is among several steps being taken by Krikorian to tighten the DNC's cybersecurity to avoid a repeat of the breach last year that led to thousands of internal emails being posted on WikiLeaks.

Read more here.


HOUSE PANEL APPROVES PORT CYBERSECURITY BILL: A House panel easily advanced legislation on Thursday aimed at protecting ports in the United States from cyberattacks, in the wake of a massive malware outbreak that crippled some operations at the Port of Los Angeles.

The House Homeland Security Committee approved the bill, introduced by a California Democrat, at a meeting Thursday morning. Members commended it as a step toward boosting cybersecurity of America's infrastructure.

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) introduced the legislation in late June, after the "notPetya" malware attack ravaged computer systems in Europe and the United States. The computer virus shut down the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles after it made its way into the operations of global shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk. The shipping terminal was closed for several days after the cyberattack.

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HOUSE PANEL EXAMINES PRIVATE MOON MISSIONS: A House panel on Thursday met to discuss ways to boost private missions to the moon.

Lawmakers from both parties on the House Science Subcommittee on Space expressed support for private lunar expeditions, but raised concerns about property rights and the role of NASA. Representatives from private space companies Blue Origin LLC, Moon Express Inc. and Astrobotic, testified about their plans.

"It's time for America to return to the moon -- this time to stay," said Bretton Alexander of Blue Origin in an opening statement. Blue Origin was founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and is "committed to building the next generation of space transportation infrastructure."

Read more here.



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The New York Times looks at some fake social media accounts pushing Russian propaganda

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