Senators want details on NRCC hack
(Source: politico.com)

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(Original link: politico.com)

With help from Eric Geller and Derek Robertson Morning
SENATORS WANT TO DIG INTO NRCC HACK — Senate Intelligence Committee leaders plan to ask the FBI for a briefing on the agency’s investigation into the National Republican Congressional Committee hack. “We’ll get a briefing on that,” Chairman Richard Burr told reporters Wednesday night. POLITICO first reported that the NRCC was hacked in the spring, though it remains unclear who carried out the intrusion.
The Intelligence Committee “absolutely” wants to speak with the FBI about the incident, said Sen. Mark Warner, the panel’s top Democrat , adding he was “not even sure which foreign country” was responsible for the attack. “Too often countries see disarray in America as their goal,” Warner told reporters. “At the end of day, they're not in favor of Republicans over Democrats; they're in favor of disrupting our country.”
Burr and Warner aren’t the only ones who want to learn more about the latest political hack . Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rounds said he expects to get filled in on what happened “when the time is right.”
EVERYTHING’S GETTING A REMAKE THESE DAYS — The Defense Intelligence Agency is in the midst of a massive revamp of the top-secret network that’s become the backbone of the clandestine community and the Defense Department. The Pentagon’s intelligence arm is working to ensure the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) keeps up with technology, especially against cyber attacks
The latest version of the super-secret network is already in use in some spots , according to Jack Gumtow, DIA’s chief information officer. He compared the network to the U.S. tax code: It was created for “good purposes” but has since become “unwieldy.” Pros can read the full story here.
HAPPY THURSDAY
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UP TO THEIR OLD TRICKS — The Council on Foreign Relations is out today with a report on the resurgent efforts by Chinese hackers to steal and disseminate American IP and trade secrets. The report recommends that the Trump administration augment its fight against Chinese hacking with “an international attribution-and-sanction regime,” sanctions on the companies that benefit from such hacks, and outreach from the counterintelligence community to the companies that could be hackers’ most tempting targets.
The report comes on the heels of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where the U.S. and China agreed to “immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions, and cyber theft,” according to a White House statement . In 2015, the Obama administration brokered an agreement with China that the countries wouldn’t steal trade secrets from each other to benefit domestic companies, an agreement both the Trump administration and American cybersecurity firms agree China has breached.
Just this week the Chinese government announced a crackdown on the theft of western IP, following President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s conversations at the G20. The CFR report says the annual cost of IP theft to the United States is over $300 billion, the vast majority of it done by China. According to the CFR, the financial and technological incentives for China to continue are unlikely to go away anytime soon, but the existing framework for halting IP theft could serve as a foundation for more robust efforts in the future.
DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO — The Federal Election Commission will hold a public meeting today to discuss whether to let members of Congress use campaign funds to secure their personal electronic devices and internet accounts, a campaign finance law exemption that, if approved, would make it much easier and more attractive for politicians to follow cybersecurity best practices with the non-government products and services that they use every day. In May, Sen. Ron Wyden asked the FEC to grant this permission, and FEC commissioners will today debate a draft opinion doing just that.
“The reasonable expenses incurred in protecting your personal electronic devices and accounts from, and responding to, cybersecurity threats … constitute ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with your duties as a holder of federal office, which are a permissible use of campaign funds,” the draft FEC opinion tells Wyden. It cites a previous FEC ruling on physical security expenses, as well as supportive comments by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Johns Hopkins University professor Thomas Rid and former NSA Director Michael Rogers.
BLUNT’S A BELIEVER — Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt on Wednesday said he sees a “new role” developing for the Election Assistance Commission. Shortly after his panel advanced Trump’s two picks to serve on the commission, Blunt — who admitted he hasn’t been a “very big advocate” of the EAC — told reporters it has morphed into a “great interface” for state and l...

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