State-Federal collaboration is going to be essential in combating state and local cyber threats, according to witnesses at a cybersecurity congressional hearing. “States have constantly ranked their cyber capabilities among the lowest capabilities,” said Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y. “What is preventing us from reaching an appropriate level of cybersecurity?” […]

The increasing sophistication of cyberattacks and the emerging threat of ransomware are placing a new premium not only on high-level technical skills but on bold, effective leadership. “Each day, the cyber threat landscape changes, and our attackers are unrelenting,” said Rob Potter, vice president of the Americas for Symantec.






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Ransomware attacks, which the FBI estimated could cost the United States $1 billion this year, have “become a real plague on the Internet,” according to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. As these attacks are becoming more sophisticated and destructive, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary addressed whether law enforcement has the right tools to foil them.






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The sun could pose the largest digital security risk to U.S. critical infrastructure, according to witnesses at a House Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. “All critical infrastructure sectors are at risk from EMP [electromagnetic pulse],” said Brandon Wales at DHS.






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A cyber vulnerability known to have existed as far back as October 2015 has led to a data breach at the General Services Administration’s 18F digital services organization, the GSA’s inspector general announced today.






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Cyber espionage group Pawn Storm has launched further attacks on U.S. allies, Trend Micro reported. Pawn Storm last month targeted Germany for a second time, through an attack on the German Christian Democratic Union, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political party.






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The 2016 Symantec Government Symposium is coming up on Aug. 30, and its Cyber Awards deadline is June 1. The Cyber Awards recognize individuals who show excellence and leadership in government cybersecurity through individual contributions to programs that protect critical data and systems.






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Content management company Box unveiled its Box for Government initiative, which brings together different product suites designed for government and enables agencies to work remotely, collaboratively, and with an assurance of security. Box for Government has already received a FedRAMP Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Defense Information Systems Agency.






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There seems to be no middle ground in the Internet surveillance versus privacy dispute. The two sides found little to agree on at a debate hosted by the Hudson Institute. David Rivkin, a constitutional law attorney, said government surveillance “has to be indiscriminate. … We have to surveil more.”






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Law enforcement reported an increase in ransomware attacks during 2015, and it looks like these attacks will continue throughout 2016. To deal with the rising threats, the FBI posted recommendations. “These criminals have evolved over time and now bypass the need for an individual to click on a link. They do this by seeding legitimate websites with malicious code, taking advantage of unpatched software on end-user computers,” said James Trainor, the FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director.






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Cyber hygiene is essential for combating the modern, professional hacker, according to Symantec Security Response director of project management Kevin Haley. “When cyber criminals work in call centers, write documentation, and take the weekend off, you know it’s a profession,” he said.






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Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oregon will participate in a policy academy on developing and implementing comprehensive cybersecurity strategies, the National Governors Association announced. “Threats to our cybersecurity remain one of the most significant homeland security challenges facing the nation,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.






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The new reality of elections in the United States is a return to paper ballots. They’re a semi-high-tech optical scan ballot that is first marked by the voter and then processed by an optical scanner to tabulate the votes.






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Many cars on the road contain dangerous cybersecurity flaws, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that identified three major types of security flaws: direct access, short-range wireless, and long-range wireless.






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MeriTalk Executive Editor Dan Verton discusses the theme of this year’s Akamai Government Forum—Safeguarding a Dynamic Government—with Akamai CEO Dr. Tom Leighton. During his keynote address, Leighton offered a unique look at the future of the Internet and security.






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