NEWS WRAP-UP: Russian bots conduct social media blitz to discredit Trump-Russia probe

Week ending Jan. 26, 2017. The use of Russian bots and trolls in social media  propaganda blitzes continues . Counter terrorism expert Malcolm Nance minced no words in lambasting the latest deployment of Russian botnets to influence American politics.

Related article: Trump is top bait used in spam campaigns

Nance appeared on the Stephanie Miller radio show to decry as ‘treasonous’ the bold move by House Republicans to spread word of — but no details from —  a top secret memo purportedly discrediting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.


This move was accompanied by the unleashing of Russian bots and trolls to hype the  #Releasethememo campaign on Twitter and other social media platform. This appeared to be an attempt to add validity to the memo in question.

Lest we forget, Russian botnets fueled wildly conflicting polling results during the 2016 presidential race, and fabricated 6.1 million Twitter followers for then-candidate Trump

Insurance halo effect

Here’s more evidence that the insurance industry is aggressively seeking to nurture the anticipated $20 billion-plus market for cyber liability insurance policies. Insurance carriers and underwriters need to figure out how to triangulate complex cyber risks —  not as easy as setting actuarial tables for fires or earthquakes.

So the Barbican Insurance Group announced it has partnered with software analytics provider FICO to offer a cyber threat monitoring and vulnerability assessment solution.

Barbican will now provide all its cyber insurance clients with a free subscription to something called FICO ESS Portrait.

The service  produces a ‘cyber rating,’ reflecting the likelihood of a material network breach. This is the halo effect I’ve written about: as insurance carriers promote new tools and best practices — the better to identify low-risk policy purchasers —  the general state of security should incrementally improve.

Protecting students’ privacy

It may seem like all federal agencies are ineffectual and crumbling, given the current state of partisan politics. That’s why it was encouraging to see the  The U.S. Department of Education dusting off an obscure privacy law to protect students’ privacy.

The DoE recently found that the Pennsylvania-based Agora Cyber Charter School violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when it made the use of third-party services that shared students’ data with unauthorized parties – doing so as requirement for enrollment.

A company called K12 Inc. illegally imposed ‘terms-of-use’ stating that K12 Inc. and its affiliates had “the right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distributed, and promote” identifiable information students were required to provide “in any form, anywhere and for any purpose.”

(Editor’s note: This weekly aggregation of news articles is sourced via the underlying stories linked in each summary.)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The Last Watchdog authored by bacohido. Read the original post at: