Week InReview
Friday | Sep 25, 2020
#wfh | No longer the territory of slobby creatives.
Vanished are the days when working from home meant being invisible. Working remotely has become newly social thanks to co-working spaces and teleconferencing. Here’s how to upgrade your look without sacrificing comfort.

— The Wall Street Journal
let's recap...
Photographer: Gabriella Demczuk for Bloomberg Businessweek
Andreas Lehnert, director of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Financial Stability, at his office in Washington.
A red alert sounded at the Federal Reserve in mid-March when Americans began pulling out of prime money-market funds, one of the safest places to park cash. As policymakers cut interest rates to near-zero, it quickly became clear that they’d need to get creative, and fast, to prevent a shutdown in the flow of credit. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his board called on Andreas Lehnert and his 50-person team at the Division of Financial Stability. (Bloomberg Businessweek | Sep 23)

The Securities and Exchange Commission raised the bar for investors to submit proposals for a vote at companies’ annual meetings, a win for executives who have bristled at shareholder efforts to influence corporate policies on social and political issues. (The Wall Street Journal | Sep 23)

Jay Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, warned Congress that the U.S. economic recovery would suffer if lawmakers failed to pass a new fiscal stimulus package, saying small businesses and lower-income households still needed government help. (Financial Times | Sep 22) see also Fed’s Rosengren says recovery may weaken, criticizes big banks (Bloomberg Economics | Sep 23)

The Members Exchange, a new U.S. stock exchange backed by some of the biggest customers of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc, launched on Monday with pricing aimed at taking market share from the incumbents. The new bourse went live trading seven symbols, including Alphabet Inc, BlackBerry Ltd, and Exxon Mobil Corp, and plans to begin trading all U.S. stocks on Sept. 29. (Reuters | Sep 21)

The U.S. economy is likely to grow more slowly in coming decades and the public debt burden will increase more than previously forecast, due in large part to the coronavirus-induced recession, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. The agency released new projections showing weaker growth and significantly more red ink over the next 30 years than it had previously forecast. (The Wall Street Journal | Sep 21)
Fed moving to final rule on Wall Street liquidity
(Sep 23) — A major rule requiring that Wall Street banks have sufficient long-term liquidity is close to being finalized four years after it was proposed, Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles says.
  • The rule known as the Net Stable Funding Ratio, or NSFR, will be approved soon and adhere to an international agreement of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Quarles said during an online event hosted by the Institute of International Bankers
  • The new regulation – meant to work in tandem with an existing, shorter-term rule known as Liquidity Coverage Ratio – will require banks to maintain stable funding over a one-year time horizon
  • Banking lobbyists have argued for abolishing NSFR, which they contend would have made the Covid-19 economic crisis even worse; The Bank Policy Institute says adopting it “would be both ironic and reckless”
  • Quarles also said the Fed will announce a decision by the end of the month on whether to extend limits on bank dividends and stock buybacks into the fourth quarter
  • He said this year’s second round of stress tests will influence dividend and buyback decisions for the first quarter of 2021
  • Quarles said he hopes the stress-test results serve as a basis “for returning to regular order”
  • Quarles said the Fed is also working on a package of regulations to close out Basel III capital agreements, with the central bank seeking to ensure the requirements don’t materially increase the industry’s capital demands

Source: Bloomberg Government
the cyber cafe
CISA warns of notable increase in LokiBot malware
The U.S. government's cyber-security agency issued a security advisory Tuesday warning federal agencies and the private sector about "a notable increase in the use of LokiBot malware by malicious cyber actors since July 2020." The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said that its in-house security platform (the EINSTEIN Intrusion Detection System) has detected persistent malicious activity traced back to LokiBot infections.
— ZDNet

Billions of devices vulnerable to new 'BLESA' Bluetooth security flaw
Billions of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices are using Bluetooth software stacks that are vulnerable to a new security flaw disclosed over the summer. Named BLESA (Bluetooth Low Energy Spoofing Attack), the vulnerability impacts devices running the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol.
— ZDNet

How ransomware operators are joining forces to carry out attacks
Lately, ransomware operators have been upping their game by teaming up with fellow criminals as a type of organized cybercrime. The Maze and Sodinokibi groups were the most active culprits of this type of extortion during the second quarter, according to Positive Technologies. DoppelPaymer, NetWalker, Ako, Nefilim, and Clop are also engaged in this type of threat. Some gangs, such as Ako, employ a "double extortion" scheme by demanding separate ransoms for decryption and nondisclosure of data.
binge reading disorder
#wfh | Responding to ransomware
"Do NOT pay the ransom." So exhorts the National Security Agency in advice to government employees working from home who think they have been attacked by ransomware. The NSA's dryly named but useful Compromised Personal Network Indicators and Mitigations alert includes tips on how to tell if you have been compromised in various kinds of hacks, and what to do about it in the first few minutes. Here is the agency's take on ransomware: 
  1. Disconnect suspected compromised devices from the network
  2. Run an anti-virus/redirection scan on the device and remove the malware if possible
  3. Reset the device to factory settings
  4. Restore the device to a previously backed up good state, then run automatic updates for the operating system and software
  5. Sign out all untrusted devices from services such as social media accounts

— The Wall Street Journal
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