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united-states

China draft cyber law mandates security assessment for outbound data

BEIJING China’s top cyber authority on Tuesday released a draft law that would require firms exporting data to undergo an annual security assessment, in the latest of several recent safeguards against threats such as hacking and terrorism.

Any business transferring data of over 1000 gigabytes or affecting over 500,000 users will be assessed on its security measures and on the potential of the data to harm national interests, showed the draft from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

The law would ban the export of any economic, technological or scientific data whose transfer would pose a threat to security or public interests . It would also require firms to obtain the consent of users before transmitting data abroad.

The proposed law, which focuses on personal information security, comes just a day after state media reported government rewards of $1,500 to $73,000 for citizens who report suspected spies.

It is also an extension of legislation passed in November formalizing a range of controls over firms that handle data in industries the government deems critical to national interests.

Business groups have criticized the November law, which is effective from June, calling rules “vague” and claiming they unfairly target foreign companies with stringent requirements.

Chinese officials denied that the November law targets foreign firms.

Under the rules released on Tuesday, sensitive geographic data such as information on marine environments would also be subject to scrutiny . Destination countries and the likelihood of oversees tampering would also be factored in to any assessments.

The draft is open for public comment until May 11.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Security Commissionaire

Security CommissionaireCond Nast Publications UK is seeking an efficient and organised Security Commissionaire to
ensure the smooth running of the front desk at our Hanover Square, London office.

The overall purpose of this unique role is make sure the reception is run in an orderly manner and
guarantee security measures are enforced to keep our properties and staff safe at all times.
Reporting directly to the Head of Facilities, you will be responsible for ensuring all members of staff
and visitors to Cond Nast are greeted efficiently with a high level of customer service, act as the
switchboard overflow outside of normal business working hours as well as keeping the reception
tidy. A key duty in this role is to liaise with the Facilities team on a daily basis regarding all aspects
of Health and Safety, cleaning and to continually look for improvements in these areas.
This is an excellent opportunity to join one of the world’s largest magazine publishers in a front of
house capacity. Key Duties & Responsibilities

Greet staff and visitors to Cond Nast efficiently with a high level of customer service.
Act as the switchboard overflow outside of normal business working hours.
Keep the reception tidy.
Liaise with the Facilities team on a daily basis regarding all aspects of Health and Safety and cleaning.

Essential Skills & Requirements

Proven reception / front-of-house and customer service experience is essential.
Applicants should be computer literate with a high level of verbal and written communication skills.
SIA License holder, Fire Marshall training and/or First Aid training is advantageous but not essential.

Read the original:
Security Commissionaire

After CIA leaks, tech giants scramble to patch security flaws

After CIA Leaks, Tech Giants Scramble To Patch Security Flaws

(Image: file photo)

Several tech giants have said they are examining a trove of documents leaked earlier this week that purport to show the CIA’s ability to hack into phones, computers, and smart TVs. The documents, released by WikiLeaks1, did not contain exploit code that could be used by hackers to carry out attacks, but the documents do provide details of vulnerabilities that may help security researchers identify some flaws in tech products, including Android devices and iPhones. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung were all named in the thousands of released documents, which are believed to have come from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. The CIA has so far not commented directly on the authenticity of the leak, but on Wednesday it suggested that the release had damaged national security by helping its adversaries “with tools and information to do us harm.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a Thursday press conference that he will give the tech companies “exclusive access”2 to some of the technical details it has of the CIA’s hacking tools, as part of an effort to expedite the security patching process. But so far there has been no such evidence of sharing files with tech companies, however. Apple said in a statement3 that it will “rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities” it finds in its Macs or iPhone software. Google, too, said it will4 “implement any further necessary protections” and that its analysis is ongoing.

Microsoft said it was “looking into” the reports, but didn’t comment further. But security experts say that many of the vulnerabilities have already been patched. Jon Sawyer, an Android security researcher, said that most of the Android bugs listed have been already patched.

“The list seems to be limited to Android 2.2 to 4.4.4 — we are on Android 7.1.1 now,” said Sawyer . He said that many of the bugs related to legacy versions of Android and older devices. “Vague descriptions of bugs is no more worrisome than the fact they know any software has unknown vulnerabilities,” he said, adding that Google was “in no worse position than they were a week ago.”

An analysis by F-Secure showed that the majority of Android users are still using Android 4.45 . Google’s own statistics shows that the software version is third6 behind Android 5 and Android 6. Will Strafach, an iOS security researcher, said that “essentially, there is nothing” in the documents that point to working vulnerabilities of iOS 10 and later. Almost 80 percent of users are currently on a version of iOS 10, says Apple7. Strafach said the Samsung smart TV vulnerability, which required an older firmware version and physical access to the device, had also been fixed. In a brief statement, a Samsung spokesperson said the company was “urgently looking into the matter.”

Linux, the open-source operating system, was also listed in the cache of documents. “Linux is a very widely used operating system, with a huge installed base all around the world, so it is not surprising that state agencies from many countries would target Linux along with the many closed source platforms that they have sought to compromise,” said Nicko van Someren, chief technology officer at The Linux Foundation, speaking to BBC News8. He emphasized that the rapid release of security patches “enable the open source community to fix vulnerabilities and release those fixes to users faster.” But the status of other products isn’t fully known.

In the cache, close to two-dozen antivirus products, including Kaspersky, Symantec, and Avast, were listed as having vulnerabilities that were exploitable by the CIA. According to the Associated Press9, the CIA used unflattering terms to deride antivirus makers, many of which the agency exploited through vulnerabilities in their software. In one case, a flaw in Kaspersky antivirus allowed the CIA to “bypass Kaspersky’s protections,” but founder Eugene Kaspersky told an AP reporter that the vulnerability was fixed “years ago.”

Avira, another antivirus maker, said it fixed a “minor vulnerability” within hours of the documents’ release. Cindy Cohn, director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the CIA had “failed to accurately assess the risk of not disclosing vulnerabilities.” “Even spy agencies like the CIA have a responsibility to protect the security and privacy of Americans,” she said.

WikiLeaks said so far it has released only a fraction of what it says it obtained, and that more files will be released in the coming days and weeks.

References

  1. ^ released by WikiLeaks (www.zdnet.com)
  2. ^ give the tech companies “exclusive access” (www.zdnet.com)
  3. ^ in a statement (www.zdnet.com)
  4. ^ said it will (www.zdnet.com)
  5. ^ still using Android 4.4 (labsblog.f-secure.com)
  6. ^ the software version is third (developer.android.com)
  7. ^ says Apple (developer.apple.com)
  8. ^ speaking to BBC News (www.bbc.com)
  9. ^ to the Associated Press (hosted.ap.org)