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02/03/2020
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WorkScoop
Joshua Schulte, a former CIA engineer, will stand trial for espionage-related charges over the next month in downtown Manhattan. The password management firm Dashlane went big for an ad during one of the most valuable time slots all year. And states are working with federal officials as primary season begins. This is CyberScoop for Monday, February 3.

The case of an alleged CIA leaker finally goes to trial

Nearly three years after WikiLeaks began publishing secret CIA hacking tools, the legal team for the former agency employee who allegedly stole those files will try to convince a jury he did so in order to reveal the government’s methods for breaking into widely used consumer technology. Based on the evidence, it's shaping up to be a difficult argument even before you consider that the U.S. justice system has taken a hard-line approach to those who go public with classified information. It’s also a fresh strategy for the defense. Jury selection in Joshua Schulte’s trial is underway now. Jeff Stone has the preview.


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Yes, that Super Bowl commercial was for a security company

Sandwiched between the first half of the game and the Shakira/Jennifer Lopez halftime performance was a minute-long ad for Dashlane, a password management company that was taking up time usually reserved for multibillion-dollar car companies or giant beer brewers. Founded in 2012, the company last year took on $110 million in a funding round led by the venture capital firm Sequoia, and added a chief marketing officer, Joy Howard, formerly of Lyft. In the spot that ran Sunday night, a Grim Reaper-like character is rowing an unlucky schlub toward heaven. But our hero is apparently doomed to eternal damnation when he can’t remember the answers to a series of security questions, demonstrating how knowledge-based authentication is frustrating and not all that secure. Jeff reports on how much it cost.


NSA's general counsel has left the building

The last day on the job for the NSA's general counsel was Friday, CyberScoop has learned. “It was truly an honor to be able to serve this agency and play a part in keeping our nation safe,” Glenn Gerstell said in an email. The NSA confirmed his departure but declined comment on who will be replacing Gerstell as general counsel. Gerstell began working at the NSA in 2015 at the height of the agency’s conversations about civilian privacy and trust in the U.S. government. For months, Gerstell has been painting a bleak picture of the intelligence community’s efforts to counter malicious behavior in the cyber realm, noting during remarks before the American Bar Association in January that “it is almost impossible to overstate the gap between the rate at which the cybersecurity threat is getting worse relative to our ability to effectively address it.” Shannon Vavra has more.


States, feds practice election security measures

There was an air of vigilance and signs of maturing attitudes toward cybersecurity at a big conference of state election officials on the eve of the Iowa caucuses. State officials received briefings about ransomware, and on working with ethical hackers, while also vowing to coordinate with their federal partners as the presidential election approaches. While U.S. officials have not seen more hackers targeting election infrastructure recently, “[W]e are planning as if they’re coming back,” said Chris Krebs, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity division. Sean Lyngaas was there.


Managed services: A weak link for states?

The companies that many government organizations pay to host and manage IT functions aren’t doing enough to fend off cyberthreats that could affect elections systems, according to one official who spoke at last week’s National Association of Secretaries of State meeting. Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin lit into managed service providers (MSPs). “Firewalls and system patches and antivirus: what used to be sufficient for MSPs, they are no longer,” Ardoin said Friday. “As attacks grow more sophisticated, many MSPs have not been upfront with their clients about the need to invest more in security.” Ardoin detailed how his office responded last year when other Louisiana agencies were compromised by ransomware that came by way of an MSP. Benjamin Freed of StateScoop reports from the NASS conference.


Nobody can dodge the CMMC

If you work for a defense contractor of any kind, you will start to hear the phrase “CMMC” if you haven’t already. The Pentagon issued the final standards for the program, known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, on Friday. It’s intended to assess the cybersecurity of the military’s entire supply chain, and contractors will be grouped into five levels that correspond to the sensitivity of the information they handle. All five levels will be certified by third-party assessors chosen by the CMMC’s nonprofit board. "Today represents an import milestone but we still have a lot of work to do," Ellen Lord, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, said at a press conference. Jackson Barnett has the latest update at FedScoop.


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Alright these qualifications are getting ridiculous.


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