Daily Digest (8/7)

Senate Votes to Ban TikTok on Government Devices; First Wave of Chip Data From Intel Hack Released in 20GB Dump; US Offers Few Specifics on Chinese Tech Talks; FTC Commissioner Calls for Tougher Federal Privacy Law. Click “Continue reading” below.

Senate Votes to Ban TikTok on Government Devices

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously Thursday to ban TikTok on government devices, a bill introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

Amid threats from the White House, federal employees now are barred from downloading the app on government-issued devices, Reuters reports.

The video-sharing app has been under fire by U.S. lawmakers and the Trump administration over national security concerns because of its China-based owner, ByteDance.

A 2017 Chinese law required companies to support and participate in Beijing’s national intelligence work, but a TikTok spokeswoman said the U.S. team’s highest priority was the privacy of its users.

“With bipartisan support, we have seen to holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable,” Hawley said in a statement to Reuters. “We’re also holding accountable corporations who do China’s bidding.”

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First Wave of Chip Data From Intel Hack Released in 20GB Dump

As much as 20 gigabytes of confidential chip-engineering data stolen from Intel was released Thursday by a hacker, potentially bringing new zero-day threats for users across multiple platforms.

The hacker linked to a post on secret messaging platform, Telegram, detailing the contents of the leak and a mega file attached at the bottom, the AppleInsider blog reports.

While the contents are harmless on their own, they contain BIOS information and source code of proprietary Intel technology that could be used to build malware.

Billing it as “Intel exconfidential Lake,” the hacker claimed the data had not been published elsewhere and said much of the information was under strict non-disclosure agreements.

The data allegedly was acquired by an anonymous source who breached Intel earlier this year, AppleInsider reports.


US Offers Few Specifics on Chinese Tech Talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that “untrusted Chinese apps” should be pulled from the Google and Apple app stores.

Outside experts called Pompeo’s proposal vague and possibly illegal, The Associated Press reports.

Pompeo singled out the TikTok video app and the WeChat messaging app as “threats to the personal data of American citizens and tools for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) content censorship.”

The U.S. government, cracking down on Chinese technology companies, also has repeatedly singled out Huawei, encouraging allies not to use its telecom equipment.

Citing “national security concerns,” the U.S. barred Google from providing its Android apps to Huawei cellphones.

The Federal Communications Commission is also considering barring operations of two other Chinese telecom companies, China Telecom and China Unicom, the AP reports.


FTC Commissioner Calls for Tougher Federal Privacy Law

Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Phillips told the U.S. Senate that more than 1,400 reported data breaches last year exposed more than 160 million records.

Nearly every week, Americans learn of a major cyberattack, breach or data vulnerability, the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) reports.

“The loss, corruption and ransoming of (this) data can pose serious harm to people and businesses,” Phillips told a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The commissioner urged that federal privacy and data-protection legislation be a top priority, IAPP reports.


— By DPN Staff