technology

Romanian Cyberattack Targeted Security Cameras Ahead of Inauguration
Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to wire and computer fraud

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty to a cyberattack on surveillance cameras ahead of the 2017 inauguration. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack against the D.C. police department that disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by Metropolitan Police Department, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Eveline Cismaru, a Romanian citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to her role in the cyberattack.

Lawmakers Eye Cyber Bounties to Fix Bugs in Federal Networks
House panel approves Senate bill to set up pilot program at DHS

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a Senate bill last week that would set up a bug bounty program at the Department of Homeland Security. Above, Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., at a 2014 hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers last week moved closer to mandating that the Department of Homeland Security start a bug bounty program that will pay computer security researchers to spot weaknesses in DHS’s computer networks. That requirement would bring the department in line with other U.S. agencies with similar cybersecurity programs.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday by unanimous consent approved a Senate bill that would set up a pilot program at the department. The Senate passed the bill on April 17. The Pentagon, the IRS and the General Services Administration already operate such programs, and lawmakers have proposed legislation that would launch similar efforts at the departments of State and Treasury.

Cybersecurity Background Key for New Information Officer at GPO
Sam Musa comes at a time of heightened scrutiny across government for cybersecurity

Sam Musa will take the helm at the Government Publishing Office as chief information officer. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Government Publishing Office, the agency that processes and publishes information from the federal government, has named a new chief information officer. Sam Musa, a longtime federal IT and cybersecurity expert, will be the new CIO for the agency.

“Sam brings a wealth of experience working in Federal Government IT and cybersecurity to GPO,” said acting GPO Deputy Director Herbert H. Jackson, Jr. “I look forward to his ideas of strengthening the agency’s IT operations, which will enhance our service to Congress, Federal agencies and the public.”

They’re Crying in the Cyber Wilderness
Attacking American institutions has become a lot simpler since 9/11

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spent the summer warning that a democracy-withering cyberattack is “just one click of the keyboard away.” Is anyone listening? (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Seventeen summers ago, 19 men had to make their way physically into the country, train to fly planes while avoiding scrutiny, and then crash them into buildings in order to pull off a devastating attack on a superpower.

In the years since then, attacking the United States and its institutions has become a lot simpler: a few strokes on a keyboard can now disrupt elections or shut off a power grid.

Summer Renovations Yield New House Voting System
While chamber was away, new voting infrastructure went up

New voting machines and voting cards debuted in the House this week. Former Speaker John A. Boehner holds his old one up a few years ago. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House lawmakers had new hardware to try out Tuesday night — new voting cards and voting machines.

Over the August recess the Office of the House Clerk installed new voting machines in the House chamber for tallying roll call votes. Members descended on the Speaker’s Lobby  to pick up their new cards. 

Republicans Have Questions for Twitter, and They’re Not About Election Meddling
When tech execs head to the Hill on Wednesday, Walden wants to talk about censorship

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, arrive to testify before a Senate hearing on Wednesday on the influence of foreign operations on social media. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The world’s largest social media companies are due Wednesday on Capitol Hill as lawmakers grapple with how to protect American voters from foreign influence operations and deal with charges that conservative views are being censored online.

First some top brass — Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — will face questions from the Senate Intelligence panel, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. While the panel had also invited Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, the search engine giant decided to send its chief legal officer instead. 

Khanna Says Trump vs. Google Is a ‘Dumb Fight to Pick’
President says searches are programmed to show only ‘Fake News Media’

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., walks up the House steps for a vote in the Capitol on Nov. 9, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna said it would be a bad idea for President Donald Trump to get into a fight with Google after the president said the company treated him unfairly.

Khanna, whose district includes Silicon Valley, told Time it is a “dumb fight to pick.”

New Day, New War For Trump. This Time It's Google
President also lashes out at Facebook and Twitter

President Donald Trump, here with defense officials in front of an F-35 fighter jet last month at the White House, lashed out Tuesday at Google and other tech firms. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump warned Google, Facebook and Twitter "better be careful," charging them with altering search results and other functions to push a liberal political agenda.

After nearly 48 hours of battle with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., even after his death, the president needed a new foe on Tuesday. Or at least a new way to change the subject and drive the day's narrative.

Donald Trump Googled Himself and Didn’t Like What He Saw
Tech firms have ‘RIGGED’ search results against him, president alleges

President Donald Trump lashed out at technology firms, singling out Google for what he says is biased search results intended to hurt him. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump went after technology firms Tuesday morning, singling out Google by alleging its search settings are biased against him.

He used a pair of morning tweets to, as he often does, paint himself and fellow conservatives as the victims of a liberal conspiracy. In this incarnation of what is a running Trump narrative, he used this search topic to make his point: “Trump News.”

Sen. Pat Toomey’s Campaign Latest Political Email Hacking Target
Targeted email accounts have been dormant for over a year

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., was the latest senator to be targeted by a foreign phishing scam. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey is the latest U.S. politician to announce his campaign was the target of an attempt to hack into its emails.

Google notified Toomey’s office that “hackers from a nation state may have attempted to infiltrate specific email accounts associated with his campaign apparatus” through a phishing scam, Steve Kelly, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement.