IN THE NEWS: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES TARGETED
FBI probes computer hacks in California House campaigns
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The FBI has launched investigations after two Southern California Democratic U.S. House candidates were targeted by computer hackers, though it’s unclear whether politics had anything to do with the attacks.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press the FBI looked into hacks involving David Min in the 45th Congressional District and Hans Keirstead in the adjacent 48th District. Both districts are in Orange County and are seen as potential pickups as the Democratic Party seeks to win control of the Congress in November.
The CEO of a biomedical research company, Keirstead last summer was the victim of a broad “spear-phishing” attack.
IN THE NEWS: MICROSOFT-RUSSIAN HACKING
UNDATED (AP) — Microsoft said Tuesday it has uncovered new Russian hacking attempts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the midterm elections.
The company said that a hacking group tied to the Russian government created fake internet domains that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute. Three other fake domains were designed to look as if they belonged to the U.S. Senate.
Microsoft didn’t offer any further description of the fake sites.
The revelation came just weeks after a similar Microsoft discovery led Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who is running for re-election, to reveal that Russian hackers tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate her Senate computer network.
The hacking attempts mirror similar Russian attacks ahead of the 2016 election, which U.S. intelligence officials have said were focused on helping to elect Republican Donald Trump to the presidency by hurting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
IN THE NEWS: FIRST LADY-ADDRESSES CYBER BULLYING
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Melania Trump talked up the importance of teaching children positive cyber habits Monday on the same morning that her husband sent tweets deriding current and former U.S. officials, including one message referring to a former CIA director as a “political hack.”
Asked about the contradictory messages, the first lady’s office said in a statement that she “is aware of the criticism but it will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. The President is proud of her commitment to children and encourages her in all that she does.”
Mrs. Trump delivered brief remarks to help open a government-sponsored summit called Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention, encouraging social media and technology companies to provide more opportunities for young people to share ideas for how to be good citizens online.
Mrs. Trump spoke highly of a group of students she recently met who participate in Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good. The students provide the computer software maker with ideas and feedback for Microsoft’s policy work on youth-centered online safety.
SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to block a settlement the State Department reached with a company that wants to post blueprints for printing 3D weapons on the internet.
The federal agency had tried to stop a Texas company from releasing the plans online, arguing it violated export regulations. But the agency reversed itself in April and entered an agreement with the company that would allow it to post the plans.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued and last month secured a restraining order to stop that process, and now they want to make it permanent.
The U.S. Justice Department says federal law already prohibits the manufacture or possession of undetectable plastic guns. The states say the government’s actions could cause “drastic, irreparable harm.”