Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — American gravely worried about cyberattacks | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Today is Monday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

A new poll out today took a look at how Americans feel about cyberattacks on critical groups and found that a large majority are seriously concerned about attacks on the financial and national security sectors, and they are also worried that nations such as Russia and China are carrying out these attacks. 

Meanwhile, a former top Pentagon official blasted the pace of tech innovation in the U.S. to compete with China after resigning his position in protest, and Frances Haugen, the former Facebook employee who has served as a whistleblower against the company, is set to detail her concerns to the Facebook Oversight Board. 

Follow The Hill’s cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Let’s jump in.

Poll: Majority of Americans seriously concerned about cyberattacks on critical groups

The vast majority of Americans are concerned about cyberattacks on critical groups, in particular those in the financial and national security sectors, a poll released Monday found. 

Foreign concerns: The poll, conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs and the University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute, found that around three-quarters of those surveyed are especially concerned about cyberattacks from the Russian and Chinese governments, while just over half were concerned about attacks from cybercriminal groups. 

There was a high level of concern around attacks on financial institutions, with over 90 percent of respondents very or somewhat concerned about threats to their data as a result of these attacks. Over 90 percent of respondents were also similarly concerned about attacks on national security and defense systems, healthcare groups, and the electricity sector. 

Old vs. young: There was a significant split in concerns based on the age of respondents. Over 75 percent of respondents over the age of 60 were concerned about cyberattacks, while less than half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were similarly concerned. Older adults were also more concerned about attacks from the Russian or Chinese governments than younger adults, according to the survey. 

The findings were released after a difficult year in cybersecurity for the nation, with multiple major cyberattacks impacting both government and private sector groups. 

Read more about the poll results here.

A MESSAGE FROM LOOKINGGLASS

In 2021, LookingGlass observed 170,000 instances of DIB assets acting as C2s for malware. Learn how LookingGlass can provide a global attack surface view to better protect critical infrastructure.

Can’t win them all 

Strong words: “We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” the Pentagon’s former software chief, Nick Chaillan, told the Financial Times, adding that some of the U.S.’s cyber defense systems were at “kindergarten level.”

Chaillan announced his resignation last month as an act of protest against the United States’ slow pace of tech development. Chaillan said America’s failure to aggressively pursue AI capacity was putting the nation at risk, according to Reuters

In the next decade, Western intelligence reports predict China will dominate with many emerging technologies like AI, synthetic biology and genetics, Reuters reported.

Chaillan also attributed the sluggish pace to companies like Google hesitating to work with the government on AI and ongoing debates about AI ethics in the U.S., while China pushes forward without consideration for the potential ethical consequences. 

Read more here. 

FACEBOOK’S (STILL) IN TROUBLE

Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who testified in front of Congress last week that the tech company placed profits ahead of children’s safety, said on Monday that she has agreed to speak with the Facebook Oversight Board.

“I have accepted the invitation to brief the Facebook Oversight Board about what I learned while working there. Facebook has lied to the board repeatedly, and I am looking forward to sharing the truth with them,” Haugen tweeted.

Last week, Haugen testified in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. She said Facebook was aware of how its products were harming children and teens, but still sought to profit off of their engagement, doubling down on targeting the younger demographic.

Read more here.

 

DON’T PUT IRAN IN A CORNER

Microsoft on Monday released evidence showing Iranian-linked hackers targeting and at times compromising systems of U.S. and Israeli defense technology companies. 

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Security Unit assessed that a new cyber “activity cluster” linked to Iran had targeted hundreds of Microsoft Office 365 accounts beginning in July tied to groups including U.S. and Israeli defense companies, Persian Gulf entry ports, and global maritime transportation companies.

Microsoft also observed targeting by the Iranian-linked hackers of defense companies that work with U.S., European Union and Israeli government partners on producing technology such as drones, satellites and emergency response communications systems. 

Read more here.

A MESSAGE FROM LOOKINGGLASS

 

Protect critical infrastructure with an outside-in approach and actionable threat intelligence. Learn how LookingGlass can help mitigate vulnerabilities, exposures, and threats before an attack occurs.

 

WORK’S OUT FOREVERAmazon announced Monday that it will allow many corporate and tech employees to work from home indefinitely under the stipulation that they can come into the office when necessary.

The new guidance, announced in a blog post by the tech giant’s CEO Andy Jassy, is a change from August, when Amazon said it would require most employees to be in the office at least three days a week beginning in January 2022.

Jassy said company directors would be able to determine whether their teams could continue to work remotely.

Read more about the announcement here.

NEW POLITICAL NFT MARKET

A new group is launching a marketplace to raise money for Democratic candidates and causes, as the political firms look to incorporate the nonfungible tokens that have become popular in sports and entertainment circles.

Front Row announced Monday that it is launching the political world’s “inaugural NFT marketplace” to convert memorabilia, media and art into “valuable digital assets” to boost support for Democratic organizations, causes and missions.

The marketplace is launching operations through a partnership with the Texas Democratic Party, which will sell “political digital relics” that support the party’s agenda, especially protecting voting and abortion rights.

Read more here.

BITS AND PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: Bipartisan bill will change checkerboard of broadband connectivity in rural America

Lighter click: Coming soon to theaters

Notable links from around the web:

The education of Frances Haugen: How the Facebook whistleblower learned to use data as a weapon from years in tech (The Washington Post / Cat Zakrzewski and Reed Albergotti) 

OMB orders federal agencies to let CISA access defenses of devices, servers (CyberScoop / Tim Starks) 

Now every Twitter user can ‘soft block’ annoying followers (The Verge / Jay Peters)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s
technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Monday.

 

One last thing: Big Tech isn’t winning any popularity contests

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said “the world is rooting against” Big Tech in an interview for “Axios on HBO,” amid rising skepticism from investors and the general public. 

Chesky was asked by Axios’s Mike Allen, “What do you think is the biggest risk at this moment for Big Tech?”

“That the world is rooting against them because they don’t think they have society’s interest in their favor,” Chesky replied. 

      .@mikeallen: What do you think is the biggest risk at this moment for Big Tech?

       Airbnb CEO @bchesky: That the world is rooting against them.

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Tuesday.





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