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Venture capitalist drives 'deep tech' investments to advance U.S. cybersecurity. Is cyber insurance robust enough to handle a critical infrastructure hack? And hackers target Pentagon tech for bounties. This is CyberScoop for July 11.

Investment fund with White House ties to focus on deep tech, cybersecurity

The White House is supporting a high-profile investment fund partially bankrolled by tech VIPs Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt and Craig Newmark that will focus on investing in technologies that are needed to keep the U.S. ahead of China, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. The newly launched initiative, known as America's Frontier Fund, is targeting innovation in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, fusion, microelectronics, 6G cellular technology, advanced manufacturing and synthetic biology. Gilman Louie, CEO of the new fund, said these technologies will be vital to cybersecurity in the coming years. Suzanne Smalley has more.

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Cyber insurance’s next big hurdle

Growing worries about digital assaults on critical infrastructure compounded by the war in Ukraine are reviving questions about the ability of cybersecurity insurance to cover the risks of a catastrophic attack. As a result, both the public and private sectors are digging deep on how to bring the cyber insurance industry up to speed. Experts say that it’s not so easy given the unpredictable nature of cyberattacks. That may be where a government backstop could come in handy, as it has with terrorism insurance. But insurance industry experts say there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before a federal cyber insurance program is effective, including by better defining critical infrastructure.   Tonya Riley reports.

Pro-Russian 'Hacktivists' target Congress

Late Thursday, a pro-Russian "hacktivist" group that's been launching distributed denial-of-service attacks around the world turned its efforts toward Congress.gov, the website administered by the Library of Congress with information about congressional activity. A spokesperson for the library told CyberScoop that the site was intermittently unavailable for roughly two hours Thursday night, but that its network wasn't breached and no data was accessed. The group has been on a run over the last few weeks, going after targets across Europe perceived as hostile to the Russian government. AJ Vicens with the news.

Ongoing bug-bounty pilot pinpoints many vulnerabilities in DOD’s cyberspace

White-hat hackers in the U.S. and overseas are uncovering potentially serious vulnerabilities in the Defense Department’s cyber assets through a bug bounty program, with an $110,000 pool that cybersecurity company HackerOne and several Pentagon components are hosting between July 4 and 11. The initiative — known as Hack U.S. — is enabling the DOD to experiment with paid public incentives in its vulnerability disclosure program (VDP) to see if such approaches could result in more high-value findings with greater impact.   See more on FedScoop from Brandi Vincent.

$9M settlement in civil-cyber fraud case

Federal contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne has agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in its representation of compliance with cybersecurity requirements in certain government contracts. In a statement late Friday, the Department of Justice announced details of the case, which is the second such investigation to be brought as part of the agency’s Civil-Cyber Fraud Initiative. In March, a medical services contractor paid $930,000 to settle allegations related to services it provided to the State Department and Air Force. FedScoop's John Hewitt Jones has the details.

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