The Weekly Newsletter of The George Washington University Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute
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Many meetings this week on cybersecurity
If you haven't made use of our Events Calendar before, now may be a good time to start.  There are so many events on cybersecurity in the upcoming days in our area.  Look in the right-hand column to decide which you want to attend.
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              February 22, 2016
10 cybersecurity and privacy events 
scheduled in the Greater Washington Area in the next few weeks. ----------------------->
Legislative Lowdown
- House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) have discussed their intention to introduce a bill that would convene an expert commission to study and propose a solution to the security issues posed by encryption, writes Morning Consult. The two lawmakers are slated to appear together at the Bipartisan Policy Center  on Wednesday , during which the organization says the two lawmakers will roll out their legislation to address the issue.

Cyber Security and Privacy News
- Tech giant Apple and the FBI appeared headed for a deepening confrontation Wednesday after the company's chief pledged to fight federal demands to help mine data from an iPhone used by one of the shooters in December's terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, The Washington Post reports. "The clash reflects wider debates in the United States and elsewhere over security measures used by companies to protect users of devices such as smartphones - and how much leverage authorities should have to gain special access," writes Ellen Nakashima.
Meanwhile, The head of the FBI and CEO of Apple were invited to testify before a House committee late last week, following days of heated rhetoric. The Hill reports that FBI Director James Comey and Apple chief Tim Cook should appear in Congress to discuss the "critical juncture" in the debate over encryption technology, following a court order that Apple help the FBI hack into one of its protected iPhones.
Comey released a statement Sunday calling for a national dialogue on the matter. "Although this case is about the innocents attacked in San Bernardino, it does highlight that we have awesome new technology that creates a serious tension between two values we all treasure-privacy and safety," Comey said. "That tension should not be resolved by corporations that sell stuff for a living. It also should not be resolved by the FBI, which investigates for a living."
-The United States developed an elaborate plan for a cyberattack on Iran in case the diplomatic effort to limit its nuclear program failed and led to a military conflict, The New York Times reports. The report, based on a coming documentary film and interviews with military and intelligence officials involved in the effort, notes that the plan was devised to disable Iran's air defenses, communications systems and crucial parts of its power grid, and was shelved, at least for the foreseeable future, after the nuclear deal struck between Iran and six other nations last summer was fulfilled.
-A California hospital which paid $17,000 in ransom to hackers to regain control of its computer system has told the world of its plight. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center relented to the demands, President Allen Stefanek said, because he believed it was the "quickest and most efficient way" to free the Los Angeles hospital's network, which was paralyzed for about 10 days. Read more at TechEye.
-The Internal Revenue Service said there's been a "400 percent surge" in phishing and malware attacks designed to defraud taxpayers this tax season, NextGov reports. "The numbers are ugly for taxpayers. As of mid-February, the IRS has already experienced 1,389 incidents, more than half way to eclipsing last year's total of 2,748 incidents," writes Frank Konkel. "The 1,026 incidents reported this January are four times the number of incidents reported in January 2015."
-Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will lead a special presidential cybersecurity commission, according to Federal Computer week. "The White House announced Feb. 17 that Donilon is being appointed chairman and Palmisano vice chairman of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which President Barack Obama established via executive order earlier this month," writes Zach Noble. Read more here

Click here for detailed descriptions

Feb. 24,
IT Trends and Standards 

-Feb. 24, ISSA Baltimore:  Vendor Risk Assurance, Data Breach and Business Impact 

-Feb. 24, Hearing on OPM Data Breach

-Feb. 24, Implementing Cyber Info Sharing

-Feb. 24, Going Dark

-Feb 24, Cybersecurity of Medical Devices

-Feb 25, Cross-Border Data Flow and Law Enforcement Requests

-Feb. 25,  Emerging Cyber Threats to US

-Feb 26, Communications, Consumer Info, and Regulatory Trends

-Mar 1, Regulating Broadband Privacy

About this Newsletter
This newsletter is a weekly summary of events related to cyber security policy and research, with a special focus on developments and events in the Washington, DC area. It is published by the Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) of the George Washington University. CSPRI is a center for GW and the Washington area that promotes technical research and policy analysis of topics in or related to cybersecurity and privacy. More information is available at our website,
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