The annual RSA conference has attracted 40,000 people to San Francisco, but no senior Trump representatives are among them. The administration had been expected to release an executive order on cybersecurity during the conference. That hasn’t happened.
“Hacktivists are almost like vigilantes. They’re looking to disrupt,” said Brian Calkin of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a federally funded group that tracks cybersecurity issues for state and local governments. His group tracked 65 hacktivist incidents involving state and local governments in 2015; the number jumped to 160 last year.
Although President Obama has suggested the possibility of retaliation against Russia for its alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election, CIA Director John Brennan urges restraint. He told NPR, “The skullduggery that some of our opponents and adversaries engage in, I think is beneath this country’s greatness.”
Police shootings and former Dallas Chief David O. Brown head TCR’s list of top criminal justice stories and newsmakers for 2016. Readers and contributors also selected Donald Trump’s election win, the bipartisan justice reform movement in the states, and the probe into Russian election hackers as among the 10 developments that bear watching next year.
The Russian government tacitly supports private hackers and hires them for official work. “You can indict 400 people. They don’t care,” former FBI cybercrime investigator Robert Anderson tells the New York Times.
From sheriff’s offices to district attorneys, more justice officials are being forced to pay for decryption keys when their computer files are frozen by the use of ransomware. “Small organizations are basically sitting ducks,” said Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union.
More local governments, hospitals, and police departments are being hit by hackers who demand ransoms for returning access to data. Local and state agencies were hit by 450 such infections monthly between October and May, says Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.