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11/27/2019
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The disclosure program order we told you about last month has been publicly released. A 2015 hack results in years of litigation, including an ongoing big-dollar dispute between an insurer and the victimized firm. And an update in Facebook's fight against that Israeli spyware vendor. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, November 27.

DHS pulls the trigger on (draft) vulnerability disclosure order

DHS’s cybersecurity agency uses its “binding operational directive” authority as a tool of last resort to get agencies to clean up their security practices. For its latest directive, which compels civilian agencies to establish vulnerability disclosure programs, DHS is taking the unusual step of asking for public feedback on the order before issuing it. “[I]t’s the public that will provide those reports and will be the true beneficiaries of vulnerability remediation,” CISA’s Jeanette Manfra said in explaining the decision to ask for public input. The draft order, which CyberScoop first reported on last month, seeks to rectify the dismal number of agencies that have VDPs, which are common in the private sector. Sean Lyngaas has the story.


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Another cyber insurance snafu

The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that it does not need to fund a legal defense for the Landry’s restaurant chain following a breach uncovered in 2015. JP Morgan Chase and its payment processing arm, Paymentech, filed a $20 million suit in 2018 against Landry’s, alleging the company has failed to compensate the bank for breach-related costs. Chase accused Landry’s, which operates Bubba Gump Shrimp, Rainforest Café and Joe’s Crab Shack locations, among others, of failing to reimburse the bank for post-breach assessments conducted by Visa and Mastercard. Hackers spent months lurking inside Landry’s systems from 2014 to 2015, accessing customers’ payment card information from some 350 locations. Jeff Stone reports on what happened next.


State-sponsored spearphishing keeps coming

Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) announced Tuesday it has sent more than 12,000 notifications to users in 149 countries informing them they were targeted by state-backed hackers between July and September of this year. Those numbers, which were primarily spearphishing attempts, are roughly on par with the same time period for the previous two years, TAG’s Shane Huntley said. TAG, which also tracks vulnerabilities, IP theft, intelligence operations, and the targeting of dissidents and activists, also revealed plans to release more technical details and data on suspected state-sponsored operations. Here's the news.


NSO Group ups the ante in Facebook fight

After Facebook’s landmark lawsuit against NSO Group for allegedly violating a federal anti-hacking law, the Israeli surveillance vendor has fired back. Or at least its employees have. Several NSO Group employees this week filed a motion in Israeli court asking a judge to order Facebook to unblock their accounts. The plaintiffs say they are being unfairly muzzled by Facebook, while the social media giant says it disabled some accounts as a defensive measure to prevent further cyberattacks. Sean Lyngaas has the court documents.


Trump’s supply-chain order gets Commerce plan

The Department of Commerce on Tuesday released a broad outline for how it would implement an executive order President Donald Trump issued in May to clamp down on security gaps in tech used by U.S. critical infrastructure companies. The short statement says the Commerce secretary will decide which foreign components to exclude from U.S. IT supply chains “on a case-by-case basis” and give companies a chance to implement new security measures to avoid a ban. The proposal is a key step toward making a more stringent national policy governing U.S. supply chains a reality. Sean is on the news.


Can cyber acquisitions help stocks recover?

Palo Alto Networks announced its intention to acquire Aporeto, a cloud and identity vendor, at a time when Wall Street seems to be unsure about how to value the cybersecurity giant’s stock. Palo Alto said Monday it plans to purchase the company, which helps customers improve their cloud access controls, for $150 million in cash. News of the deal came on the same day shares of Palo Alto Networks fell 8.45% in extended trading to $229.14 per share. Prices fell again Tuesday, sitting at a price around $220 around the end of the day. (The value sank to $217 per share by the time this newsletter reached your inbox.) Jeff has more details.


How EU ports can deal with cyberthreats

Two years after NotPetya held Maersk's business to a halt, cybersecurity at EU ports remains an afterthought, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) said on Tuesday. “[T]he maritime sector is historically very aware of safety and security matters, but it seems cybersecurity is not fully integrated yet in stakeholders’ minds,” found the report, based on interviews with different IT and operational technology managers of European Port Authorities. A lack of digital culture in the port ecosystem, a lack of awareness and training on cybersecurity, cybersecurity budgeting issues, a talent management, and keeping current on the latest threats are among the most pressing challenges. The report also lays out possible attacks on ports, and recommends ways to mitigate them, including a ransomware attack that affects the operations of companies in ports, a major data theft scheme, and an effort to compromises OT systems. Here's the full report.


Welcome to the crossroads

Government organizations, like all enterprises, need to operate with a “not if, but when” mentality. Organizations need to do their best to cover basics like vulnerability management, patch management, and data backup as well as ensure that people, process, and technologies are in place to prevent, detect, and respond to threats. Bandura Cyber's Chief Strategy Officer Todd Weller writes about how this was a key lesson from a panel he was recently on that focus on cybersecurity at the state and local level. Check out the op-ed.


Tweet Of The Day

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Should've studied blockchain.


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