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10/30/2019
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Researchers poke holes in voting technology on Capitol Hill. WhatsApp's parent company files suit against professional hackers for exploiting the messaging app. And Imperva's CEO is out after the breach there. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, October 30.

Voting Village brings vulnerable equipment to the Hill

A year from the 2020 election, with fresh election security funding stalled in Congress, organizers of the Voting Village took to Capitol Hill to give lawmakers a vivid demonstration of the vulnerabilities lurking in voting equipment. Democrats from the House Homeland Security Committee showed up, criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not moving a proposal for $250 million in new funding. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the committee’s chairman, said there need to be federal incentives for election officials to buy new and more secure election equipment. Meanwhile, Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana watched as a young man pried open a ballot-marking device with a screwdriver. Sean Lyngaas was on the scene.


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Facebook takes NSO Group to court

For years, security researchers have documented how spyware made by NSO Group has been used to surveil human rights defenders. On Tuesday, Facebook said enough is enough: The social media giant sued the Israeli vendor for allegedly violating a federal anti-hacking law during an April and May attack that infected some 1,400 devices. NSO Group rejected the allegations and vowed to fight the suit. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart called the attack a “wake-up call” for tech companies and governments that the spyware industry is thriving. Sean details the blockbuster suit.


Foreign APTs shift to mobile malware

State-backed hackers from China and Iran have long been spying on their country’s political dissidents using mobile malware, but new research from BlackBerry’s Cylance shows hackers also are monitoring targets abroad. Researchers traced recent Chinese espionage on the Uighur and Tibetan populations, for instance, to Winnti, an APT group best known for its targeting of foreign commercial or defense targets. Tehran-linked hackers recognized for their spying on Iranian citizens with mobile malware have made a "dramatic shift" and added foreign espionage to their schemes, stealing military files from Middle Eastern countries using mobile malware. Cylance also IDs a couple of new APT groups relying on mobile malware. Shannon Vavra breaks down the revelations.


Imperva boss is out

Two months after Imperva disclosed a data breach, the CEO of the enterprise security company reportedly has resigned. Chris Hylen left his position last week. He began in that role in August 2017, according to his LinkedIn page, and led the company to a reported $2.1 bullion acquisition by Thoma Bravo, an American private equity firm. Imperva’s chairman, Charles Goodman, will assume the interim CEO position while the board seeks a permanent replacement. Hylen had been scheduled to continue as a director at the company following the Thoma Bravo deal, according to disclosure forms filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January. Jeff Stone has more context.


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