The Weekly Newsletter of The George Washington University Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute
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March 14 , 2016
cybersecurity and privacy events 
scheduled in the Greater Washington Area in the next few weeks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
Lunchtime seminar at GW on 
Cybersecurity, Encryption, "Going Dark", and 
the Broader Issues Around the Apple-FBI Controversy 
Thursday, March 24
12 noon-2 pm
Lerner Hall, Moot Courtroom. 2000 H St. NW, Washington DC
Phone with eye behind it from NYT
Andrew Sondern, 
The New York Times
With all the attention that cybersecurity, encryption, and "going dark" is getting these days, and with Apple and many tech giants facing off against the FBI and the Justice Department, sit in on a lunchtime conversation about it on Thursday, March 24 with some of the best minds in cyber law and policy. 

The FBI/Apple case is not the only one.  On Saturday, the New York Times described similar issues with WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging application that raises similar issues but is not currently the subject of a public court proceeding about its privacy and security features.  Looking into the future, one can predict many similar cases until the rules of the road are resolved.  That may not be any time soon, with the Internet  ubiquitous.  

This is part of the GW  University   Seminar  on Internet Freedom and Governance that CSPRI in the School of Engineering and Applied Science hosts in conjunction with entities from the Law School, the Elliot School of International Affairs, and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (see their logos below).   If you want to get up to speed on this issue, this is a great opportunity to do so in one lunchtime, and we'll even provide the lunch!

CSPRI co-Director Prof. Lance J. Hoffman will be moderating the discussion at the GW Law School that will feature these panelists: 

Paul Rosenzweig, professorial lecturer at GW Law School; previously Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security 
Ari Schwartz, Managing Director of Cybersecurity Services, Venable LLP; previously Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Cybersecurity at the White House
Amitai EtzioniUniversity Professor at GW, Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, author of Privacy in a Cyber Age: Policy and Practice

Lunch is provided for registrants.  More details on the speakers and the event are provided at the free registration link,

Cyber Security and Privacy News
  • The Obama administration is planning to publicly blame Iranian hackers for a 2013 cyber attack against a small dam in New York state, Reuters reports. "The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the hackers, two of the sources said, and a public announcement could come as soon as next week," the Reuters report notes. "U.S. officials believe the hackers gained access only to some back office systems, not the operational system of the Bowman Avenue Dam, a flood control system around 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City. The attack was not considered sophisticated, the sources said."
  • Citing ongoing security concerns, the  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has suspended a service offered via its Web site that allowed taxpayers to retrieve so-called IP Protection PINs (IP PINs), codes that the IRS has mailed to some 2.7 million taxpayers to help prevent those individuals from becoming victims of tax refund fraud two years in a row. The move comes just days after the security blog KrebsOnSecurity first exposed how ID thieves were abusing the service to revisit tax refund on innocent taxpayers two years running.
  • On March 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") issued its first Consent Order against a company for flawed data security practices in violation of the Consumer Protection Act's prohibition on unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices concerning a consumer financial product or service, according to the Data Security Law blog. "The Order signals the CFPB's decision to prioritize data security issues, its willingness to pursue companies even before a breach occurs, and its scrutiny of companies' representations about their data security practices," wrote Lia Marie Brooks and Peter A. Nelson. Check out the full story here.
  • The Dec. 23 attack on the Ukrainian energy sector offers a look at how cyber will play into the future of armed conflict, says Defense One. "This was no simple hack involving celebrity emails or embarrassing personal information but a highly coordinated and complex cyber-physical assault that knocked out power to more than 225,000 people ... in a war-torn country ... in the dead of winter," Patrick Tucker reports. "On Thursday, the head of Southern Company, one of America's larger regional electricity producers, said that the United States was well protected against a similar attack. But that doesn't mean that a repeat, or a similar event, couldn't trigger a larger conflict even if it doesn't shut off the lights."
  • A major step was taken last week in the U.S. government's plan to hand off oversight of the Internet domain name system," The Hill reports. "A nonprofit international group approved a plan and forwarded it to the Obama administration Thursday for review and approval. "The Commerce Department will have to sign off on the transition plan before it is allowed to go forward. But the Obama administration and Congress have been 'watching closely,' said Steve Crocker, who leads ICANN's board of directors." Read more here.

The Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) is a center for GW and the Washington area to promote technical research and policy analysis of problems that have a significant computer security and information assurance component. More information is available at our website,

Click here for detailed descriptions

-Mar. 14, 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
ISSA Baltimore Meetup: The Next Generation of Social Engineering

-Mar. 15, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p .m.
ISSA DC Meetup: Cloud Breaks Traditional Security?

-Mar. 16, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., 
NCA Meetup: Preventing the Breach - Annual NCAC Conference on Cybersecurity

-Mar. 16, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., 
The Year Ahead in Drone Innovation .

-Mar 16, 11:00 a.m.,
(Hearing) Disrupter Series: Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology.

-Mar. 16, 2:00 p.m.,
VA Cybersecurity and IT Oversight.

-Mar. 16, 2:00 p.m.,
(Hearing) FY2017 Budget Request for U.S. Cyber Command 

-Mar. 17, 10:15 a.m.,
(Hearing) Privatizing the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA).

-Mar. 17, 12 noon-1 p.m.,  Privacy: Plural, Contextual, Contestable but not Unworkable,
Prof. Dierdre M ulligan, University of
California, Berkeley.
-Mar. 22, 10:00 a.m., (Hearing) The Role of Cyber Insurance in Risk Management.

-Mar. 23-24, International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals.

-Mar. 24, 12 noon-1 p.m.,  The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work,Prof.  Phillip Rogaway, University of California, Davis.
-Mar. 24, 12 noon-2p.m., 
GW University Seminar, Broader Implications of Apple vs. the FBI for Cyber Security and Privacy Profs. A. Etzioni, P. Rosenzweig, L. Hoffman, and Mr. Ari Schwartz

- Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 
Charmsec Meetup

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,
202 994 5613.
Tompkins Hall,  Suite 106
725 23rd Street NW
Washington DC, DC 20052