Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI investigating potential Trump team, Russia ties | Comey says no proof of Trump wiretap claim | Bill would help cops fight cyber crime

Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI investigating potential Trump team, Russia ties | Comey says no proof of Trump wiretap claim | Bill would help cops fight cyber crime
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Welcome to OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY, your daily rundown of the biggest news in the world of hacking and data privacy. We're here to connect the dots as leaders in government, policy and industry try to counter the rise in cyber threats. What lies ahead for Congress, the administration and the latest company under siege? Whether you're a consumer, a techie or a D.C. lifer, we're here to give you ...

THE BIG STORY:

FBI CONFIRMS PROBE INTO POSSIBLE COORDINATION BETWEEN TRUMP AIDES, RUSSIA: FBI Director James Comey on Monday confirmed that the bureau is investigating Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election -- including any links or coordination between members of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFederal judge extends order blocking Trump's revised travel ban Texas Dem targets Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 Budowsky: Putin’s KGB super PAC MORE's campaign and Moscow. The bombshell revelation puts an end to months of roiling speculation and frustration on the part of Democrats, who saw the director's silence as a double-standard after Comey's repeated disclosures in the FBI's investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWasserman Schultz to Sanders: Dems are already a grassroots party Comey: FBI is 'not on anybody's side' White House extends Obama executive order on cyber threats MORE's private email server. In a dramatic moment at the beginning of a hotly anticipated House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. election, Comey announced that he had been authorized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to break bureau policy and publicly disclose the probe. "As you know our practice is not to confirm the existence of an ongoing investigation," he said. "But in usual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so."

To read the rest of our piece, click here.

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MEANWHILE, WHITE HOUSE SAYS NO PROOF OF TRUMP-RUSSIA COLLUSION: The White House on Monday asserted there is "no evidence" that Trump's associates colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election after Comey confirmed a bureau investigation. "Nothing has changed," a White House official wrote in an email. "Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump-Russia collusion and there is NO EVIDENCE of a Trump-Russia scandal." Comey's explosive revelation earlier Monday morning ended months of speculation about whether the federal government is probing Trump's campaign and challenged the president's repeated efforts to downplay his team's alleged involvement with Moscow.

To read the rest of our piece, click here.

'NO INFORMATION' TO SUPPORT TRUMP WIRETAP CLAIMS: The Department of Justice has "no information" to support President Trump's claim that former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaOvernight Tech: FCC chief gives states more control over internet subsidies | Dems urge Trump to veto bill blocking online privacy rules | House boosts its mobile security Overnight Defense: Pentagon considers more troops for Afghanistan | McCain, Graham won't back short-term funding | GOP defends Trump rules of engagement Paul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender MORE "wiretapped" Trump Tower, Comey said Monday. Comey refused to "characterize" the tweets containing the allegation from President Trump, saying only that "I have no information" that supports the claim. Both the chairman and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee have previously said there is no evidence of Trump's claim that Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower ahead of the presidential election, a charge the president made on Twitter earlier in March. Trump has stood by his claims, though the White House has worked to walk back the accusation, saying it referred more broadly to surveillance activities by the Obama administration.

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INTEL LEADERS REGRET RUSSIAN HACKING RESPONSE: At the Thursday hearing, Comey said he regretted not being more forceful in notifying the Democratic party about the threat of Russian hackers. Though the FBI did notify the Democratic National Committee it faced a nation-level hacking threat as far back as September 2015, it did so by leaving messages at the IT help desk. The IT contractor told The New York Times it seemed like a prank call. At the hearing, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) asked Comey if he would do things differently. Comey replied, "We would have sent up a much larger flare, we'd have kept banging and banging on the door." "We made extensive efforts to notify, but knowing what I know now, I might have walked over there myself."

To read the rest of our piece, click here.

We also had a live blog of the hearing. Check it out here.

A POLICY UPDATE: 

BILL WOULD HELP TRAIN POLICE TO FIGHT CYBERCRIME: Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) on Friday introduced a bill aimed at helping state and local law enforcement fight cyber crime.

The legislation would authorize the National Computer Forensics Institute, a federally funded training center in Hoover, Ala., that has trained thousands of local officials across the country in investigating electronic crimes.

The bill would amend a 2002 law to authorize the institute, under operation of the Secret Service, to "disseminate homeland security information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime and related threats, and educate, train, and equip state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges."

The institute was set up in 2008 based on the Secret Service's cyber investigation strategies and has trained more than 6,000 local officials in conducting electronic crimes investigations.

Ratcliffe, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, said the bill would ensure that law enforcement officials have the training they need to address the surge of cyber crime.

To read the rest of our piece, click here.

A LIGHTER CLICK: 

Check out this cybersecurity lecture animated with cats and mice (via RSA, posted by Aeon).

WHAT'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT: 

DEFENSE SUPPLY CHAIN: Lawmakers are worried about the vulnerabilities of the Defense Department's supply chain and the risk of adversaries inserting malicious material into Pentagon weapons systems.

"For a sophisticated adversary, this complex, multi-tiered supply chain offers numerous targets for attackers to potentially subvert the design, integrity and resilience of key national security assets," Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Hill.

"As our military systems become increasingly interconnected, the implications of a compromised hardware or software component could have significant, wide-ranging impacts -- impacts that may not be realized until a serious emergency scenario."

Members of Congress have raised questions about the potential for U.S adversaries to embed malicious material into warfighting platforms, allowing them to be compromised during operations.

The Pentagon has been implementing policies to address cyber and other threats to the supply chain since 2011, including steps to prevent counterfeit parts from ending up in American weapons systems. Still, experts warn that more needs to be done to safeguard systems throughout their lifecycle.

To read the rest of our piece, click here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Links from our blog, The Hill, and around the Web

Gowdy suggests reporters should be prosecuted for leaks. (The Hill)

Comey disputes Trump tweet on Russian election interference. (The Hill)

House Intelligence chair says Comey has put a 'big, gray cloud' over White House. (The Hill)

White House tweet appears to suggest Obama could be behind Flynn leaks. (The Hill)

Dem bill would codify elections as critical infrastructure. (The Hill)

Assange chastises companies that haven't responded to CIA vulnerability offers. (The Hill)

Temporary tattoos turn your skin into wireless interfaces. (Washington Post)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe should have standardized rules on using data. (Reuters)

Beijing uses facial scanners to fight public toilet abuse. (The Guardian)

Germany's information security office raises alert level over cyberattacks, according to German newspaper. (Reuters)

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