Hillicon Valley – Presented by Xerox – EU encourages Russian hacking efforts targeting member states

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Today is Friday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley. Everything you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley is here. Register here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

The European Union took public action against Russia on Friday when a senior official released a statement accusing Russia of being behind recent hacking efforts against several member states.

Meanwhile, a top executive at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has reached an agreement that will allow her to return to China after years of incarceration in Canada, and China’s central bank has taken a tough stance on cryptocurrency transactions.

Follow The Hill cyber reporter Maggie Miller (@ magmill95) and the technical team Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more range.

Let’s jump in.

Russia in the hot seat … again

A senior European Union official called on Russia on Friday for its involvement in recent hacking efforts against the governments of several member states, describing these efforts as “unacceptable”.

“Some EU member states have observed malicious cyber activities, collectively referred to as ghostwriters and associated with the Russian state,” said Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign and security policy, in a statement on Friday. “Such activities are unacceptable as they aim to threaten our integrity and security, democratic values ​​and principles, and the core function of our democracies.”

Borrell pointed out that the attackers attacked “numerous MPs, government officials, politicians, members of the press and civil society in the EU” by gaining access to networks in order to steal data.

“These activities contradict the norms of responsible government behavior in cyberspace approved by all UN member states and try to undermine our democratic institutions and processes, among other things by enabling disinformation and information manipulation,” said Borrell.

Germany is not happy: Borrell’s comments came two weeks after the New York Times reported that German federal prosecutors launched an investigation into a recent spate of Russian-related phishing emails against German lawmakers ahead of this month’s elections.

Read more here.

A MESSAGE FROM XEROX

Huawei manager gives a little, gets a little

US prosecutors have reached an agreement to release a jailed Huawei executive from prison.

Chief Official: The federal prosecutor’s office in New York informed the court on Friday of a hearing in the case of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, according to court records.

The parties will “discuss with this court a resolution of the charges against the defendant in this matter,” the prosecutors said.

The documents did not reveal what the parties agreed, but according to The Wall Street Journal, Meng is expected to admit wrongdoing in exchange for prosecutors to suspend the wire and bank fraud charges against them and eventually drop.

Time to go: Meng was arrested by Canadian law enforcement agencies in 2018 at the request of the United States for accusing US sanctions against Iran by misrepresenting Huawei’s business in the country. She was in Vancouver and is on trial on an extradition request from the United States.

Read more here.

CHINA SAYS NO TO CRYPTO

China’s central bank announced Friday that all cryptocurrency transactions are illegal, citing price volatility and potential national security risks.

Ten other government agencies also pledged to keep all trade in the country under control.

Banks and non-bank payment institutions in the country are excluded from providing crypto services.

The People’s Bank of China’s long statement stated that cryptocurrency disrupted the financial order and was a breeding ground for “illegal and criminal activities such as gambling, illegal fundraising, fraud, pyramid schemes and money laundering”.

Read more here.

A MESSAGE FROM XEROX

CYBER NINJAS ON CAPITOL HILL

The Key House Democrats ask Cyber ​​Ninjas CEO Doug Logan to testify about the company’s role in the Arizona election review.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Chair of the Committee’s Civil Rights Subcommittee, wrote in a letter asking Logan to testify to Congress next month, and accused the company for failing to provide documents related to its review of the Arizona 2020 presidential election.

“This request follows your repeated refusal to submit documents requested by the committee on this largely privately funded examination,” wrote the two legislators in the letter on Thursday.

“As a result of your disability, your attendance at a committee hearing is required so that the committee can advance its investigation into the questionable audit of your company and see whether that audit prejudices Americans’ right to vote without partisan interference,” the two continued.

Read more here.

PUBLISHERS UNDER PRESSURE

The largest book publishers in the US are facing pressure from Democrats over e-book rental deals with libraries that have been criticized by proponents and librarians.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) And Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) Sent letters to publishers Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan on Thursday asking for detailed answers on the contracts and any Limitations on Library Businesses for E-Book Licensing.

“Many libraries face financial and practical challenges in providing e-books to their customers, which endangers their ability to do their job,” the legislature wrote. “We understand these difficulties arise because e-books are typically offered under more expensive and more limited license agreements, as opposed to printed books, which libraries can usually buy, own, and lend on their own terms.”

Read more here.

INCOMING WALLET APP UPDATE

Apple will soon allow users to upload their COVID-19 vaccination card to the Wallet app for easy access to the vaccination record.

As with using subway cards and credit cards, showing vaccinations through the Wallet app can be used as a form of verification by companies or venues, USA Today reported.

Users can provide proof of vaccination via a QR code. However, the full details of the vaccination card will not be visible until the user unlocks their phone to protect privacy.

Third-party apps are also subject to restrictions and encryption.

Read more here.

BITS AND PIECES

A comment on chewing: Webb: Big Tech won’t change; the tech sector can

Light click: Then please excuse everyone else

Notable links from the internet:

A teenage boy on Tiktok disrupted thousands of scientific studies with a single video (The Verge / Rafi Last)

Legislators want people to check out AI that is out of control. Research shows that they are not up to the job. (Minutes / Issie Lapowsky)

Disclosed ransomware negotiations shed light on cybercrime, but make things difficult for victims (CyberScoop / Tonya Riley)

How Facebook’s “Metaverse” became a political strategy in Washington (The Washington Post / Elizabeth Dwoskin, Cat Zakrzewski and Nick Miroff)

One last thing: deep in the heart of Texas

The port of Houston, a major US port, was attacked by an attempted cyberattack last month, the port said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Port of Houston Authority (Port Houston) successfully defended itself against a cybersecurity attack in August,” the statement said. “Port Houston followed its Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) facility security plan and no operational data or systems were compromised.”

The attempted hack was a password management program called ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus, according to The Associated Press.

In a joint statement last week, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, along with the FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard, announced that the vulnerability in the software poses a serious threat to critical infrastructure companies, defense contractors, and others.

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hills technology and Online Safety Pages for the latest news and coverage. See you monday.



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