The Weekly Newsletter of  
The George Washington University Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute
APRIL 18, 2016
CBS News: 60 Minutes Sits Down with Hackers to Show How Easily Cellphones are Hacked 
On Sunday, April 17, CBS' 60 Minutes gathered a group of expert hackers to discuss the vulnerabilities of cellphones in global cellular networks. Hackers offered ways to protect your privacy, and demonstrated how they can test-crack mobile devices with just a phone number.    
60 Minutes Shows How Easily Cellphones Are Hacked
60 Minutes Shows How Easily Cellphones Are Hacked

For more on this story, and the full "Hacking Your Phone" 60 Minutes Episode click below.
Cyber Security and Privacy News
  • Another federal appeals court is siding with the Obama administration's position that court warrants are not required to track a suspect's cell-site location, Ars Technica reports. "The Wednesday decision (PDF) by the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals adds to the growing number of federal appeals court rulings siding with the government, likely meaning the US Supreme Court won't weigh into the legal thicket any time soon," writes David Kravets. "Only one federal circuit has sided against the government, but that ruling was set aside, (PDF) and a new decision is pending after the court accepted the government's petition to rehear the dispute." Read more here.
  • Microsoft is suing the Justice Department, challenging its frequent use of secrecy orders that prevent Microsoft from telling people when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, the New York Times reports. In its suit, filed Thursday morning in Federal District Court in Seattle, Microsoft's home turf, the company asserts that the gag order statute in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 - as employed today by federal prosecutors and the courts - is unconstitutional," writes Steve Lohr. "The statute, according to Microsoft, violates the Fourth Amendment right of its customers to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and it breaches the company's First Amendment right to speak to its customers."
  • The chief executive of MasterCard, the former head of the National Security Agency and officials from Microsoft and Uber will join a commission to strengthen U.S. cyber defenses, Reuters reports. "After high-profile hacks in the private sector and an embarrassing theft of information from government personnel files, President Barack Obama this year set up a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity," the public reports. "The commission, due to make long-term recommendations by early December on tightening cyber security in the private sector and government, is part of Obama's $19-billion proposal to boost defenses against hackers."
  • Senior cybersecurity officials from the U.S. and Russia are holding meetings this week on cybersecurity, renewing efforts to prevent the countries from mistakenly getting into a cyber war, according to CNN. "The meetings in Geneva include officials from the White House, State Department and FBI and will include a review of cybersecurity agreements signed in 2013 by the two countries," CNN's Evan Perez reports.
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is urging Windows users to get rid of Apple's Quicktime, warning users that two new vulnerabilities which could be used to remotely commander Windows systems running the software have been publicly released, and Apple has no intention of providing additional security updates. Brian Krebs has more.
Legislative Lowdown
  • The House Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to advance the Email Privacy Act, legislation that would update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act by requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant before acquiring electronic communications older than 180 days. Read more at Morning Consult.
  • GovInfoSecurity carries an analysis of the controversial proposed encryption legislation, arguing that it would infringe on Americans' right to privacy and set a bad example. Check out Eric Chabrow's take 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,
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CSPRI in the News
CSPRI Co-Director, Lance Hoffman was interviewed by Voice of America to discuss one of the most anticipated pieces of cybersecurity legislation.

                        Read on...
Upcoming Events

for event descriptions

Apr. 19, 10:00 am,
Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives

Apr. 21, 6:30 pm- 9:30 pm, 
ISSA DC Meetup: Cyber Security Management, An analytics based approach

Apr. 20, 8:30am - 4:00 pm, 
ISACA NCA Meetup: Conference on Cloud Computing

Apr. 20, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 
 NovaInfosec Meetup, West

Apr. 20-22,
  AFCEA Cyber Defensive Operations Symposium

Apr. 21, 8:30 am - 10:30 am, 
CryptoWars: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Apr. 21, 7:00pm -10:00pm, 
CharmSec Meetup

Apr. 21, 7:30am -3:00pm, Safeguarding a Dynamic Government

Apr. 23-24, 
BsidesCharm Conference

Apr. 26, 10:00am -1:00pm, 
National Insider Threat Special Interest Group

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CSPRI co-Director, Lance Hoffman:

CSPRI co-Director, Costis Toregas:
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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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