Morning Security Brief: White House Staffer Fired For Tweets, Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework Out, And More

By Lilly Chapa

► A National Security Council staffer was fired after a government probe revealed that he was behind a Twitter account that mocked government officials and possibly revealing sensitive information. After a 34-month probe into the social media account, officials finally identified White House staffer Jofi Joseph as the person behind the tweet account, active since 2011. Joseph tweeted jabs at public officials, reporters, and politicians; the Department of Justice is opening an investigation to determine if any of the tweets contained leaked information.

►The Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework was published for comment Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "The Preliminary Framework outlines a set of steps that can be customized to various sectors and adapted by both large and small organizations while providing a consistent approach to cybersecurity," states the NIST release. NIST is asking for companies’ help (as it has been throughout the process) to strengthen the document. Companies can make public comments on the draft for 45 days before NIST issues a final version in February 2014.

►In other news, the U.S. ambassador to Germany is meeting with German officials Thursday following allegations that the U.S. has tapped the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. U.S. officials stated that Merkel’s phone is not currently being tapped and would not be in the future, but didn’t comment on whether it had been tapped in the past. ⇒And Fox News reports that as part of an exercise held by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on July 18, ethical “white hat” hackers found a flaw in the U.S. stock market that would allow attackers to cripple the market, according to a new report on the exercise. The exercise was a mock cyber attack event in which more than 500 ethical hackers attempted—and succeeded—to break down the digital security of the market. SIFMA has since worked to improve the industry’s coordinated response in the event of a cyberattack. 


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