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Agencies fall short of White House targets for cybersecurity

The White House continues to see an upward trend in new cybersecurity practices governmentwide, but the Obama administration is finding that not all agencies are living up to the cyber standards it set forth in last year’s cross-agency priority goals.

Published with the 2015 budget, the cross-agency priority (CAP) goals focus on longstanding and critical issues affecting agencies across the federal government. Cybersecurity — one of the first mentioned of the White House’s 15 CAP goals — is a mission-based goal to “[i]mprove awareness of security practices, vulnerabilities, and threats to the operating environment, by limiting access to only authorized users and implementing technologies and processes that reduce the risk from malicious activity,” according to a goal statement. It says the president views cybersecurity as “one of the most serious national security, public safety, and economic challenges we face as a nation.”

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Sony Weighed Sale of Music-Publishing Arm, Emails Show

Sony has considered selling its vast music-publishing business, which includes the rights to more than 250 Beatles songs owned in conjunction with the estate of Michael Jackson, according to hacked emails.

As recently as last month, Sony executives in Japan and the United States discussed a “top secret” plan to divest itself of Sony/ATV, as detailed in emails first reported on Tuesday by Bloomberg News.

“I’d like to hear your thoughts on the music publishing business, which has a rather complex capital and governance structure and is impacted by the market shift to streaming,” Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s chief financial officer, wrote on Oct. 3 to Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s chief executive, and Michael Lynton, the Los Angeles-based head of the company’s entertainment businesses.

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Who’s Behind The Internet Outages In North Korea, Anyway?

North Korea blamed the U.S. and called President Obama a “monkey” today when the country’s Internet and mobile network went down for the third time this week. However, it’s still not clear who’s behind the Internet outages.

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” said the National Defence Commission, North Korea’s ruling body, as reported in Reuters.

Whether North Korea’s Internet was just down or the result of a cyber attack isn’t apparent at the moment. What is clear is that the U.S. government doesn’t want to talk about it. The White House hasn’t commented on the matter and a spokesperson from the State Departmenttold the press in a conference on Tuesday that it would also not be commenting on those reports “in any way.”

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State Department Computers Hacked, Email Shut Down while Repairing Possible Damage from Suspected Hacker Attack

The State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system as technicians repair possible damage from a suspected hacker attack.

A senior department official said Sunday that “activity of concern” was detected in the system around the same time as a previously reported incident that targeted the White House computer network.

That incident was made public in late October, but there was no indication then that the State Department had been affected. Since then, a number of agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service and the National Weather Service, have reported attacks.

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Is North Korea to Blame for Sony’s Cyber Security Breach?

Leading electronic products manufacturer, Sony Corporation (SNESnapshot Report) is reportedly contemplating to officially name North Korea as its prime suspect for triggering a massive cyber attack at its corporate network last week. North Korea, however, has denied any involvement in this matter

What Actually Happened?

On Nov 24, the internal data of the Sony Corporation’s American subsidiary, Sony Pictures Entertainment, was hacked and valuable data related to upcoming movies and employees pay were stolen. The data, in particular, comprised five unreleased movies, around 7,000 global employees’ paycheck and medical records, and other confidential data.

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Huawei in Bid to Improve Global Cyber-Security

Chinese computing giant Huawei has released a new report outlining what it believes are the top 100 requirements organizations should consider when appraising the security capabilities of their technology vendors.

The white paper, Cyber Security Perspectives, is authored by former UK government CIO John Suffolk, who is Huawei’s global cyber security officer.

It claims to draw on the experience not only of the company itself and the questions asked of it by customers, but also various standards and industry best practices.

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Exclusive: FBI warns of ‘destructive’ malware in wake of Sony attack

Reuters) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned U.S. businesses that hackers have used malicious software to launch a destructive cyberattack in the United States, following a devastating breach last week at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Cybersecurity experts said the malicious software described in the alert appeared to describe the one that affected Sony, which would mark first major destructive cyber attack waged against a company on U.S. soil. Such attacks have been launched in Asia and the Middle East, but none have been reported in the United States. The FBI report did not say how many companies had been victims of destructive attacks.

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