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Spyware gets attention from House Intelligence Chairman Schiff who vows to fight its spread. ICE accused of using data brokers to find private information. And China appears to have compromised a Fed employee's devices. This is CyberScoop for July 28.

House Intel signals willingness to take on spyware

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday that he is concerned about the spread of foreign commercial spyware that “can be used against every member of this committee or in the executive branch, every journalist and political activist, every American citizen, every citizen of the world with an electronic device.” Schiff’s comments came during a House Intelligence hearing focused on the threat posed by spyware. Prominent threat researchers from Citizen Lab and Google along with a spyware victim all testified. The hearing followed the committee's approval last week of a bill giving the president and intelligence community more power to sanction and ban contracts with vendors selling spyware.   Suzanne Smalley has the story.

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China allegedly tapped Fed employee's computers and phones

Chinese officials allegedly compromised IT equipment belonging to a Federal Reserve employee and copied information from the individual’s WeChat account, according to a report published yesterday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. An investigation by minority staff on the committee alleges that the equipment was compromised while the Fed employee was detained four times by Chinese government staff during a trip to Shanghai in 2019. John Hewitt Jones covers it in FedScoop.

Illinois officials say ICE bought protected info from data brokers

During a public hearing Wednesday, officials from Cook County, Illinois, took aim at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for its use of third-party firms to obtain public and private data on individuals. That practice, the county officials said, violates the spirit of local sanctuary laws and similar measures in other jurisdictions around the country. Under those statutes, local law enforcement agencies are prohibited from assisting federal immigration authorities in detaining immigrants. Lindsay McKenzie writes for StateScoop.

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and ex-state CIO launch cyber firm

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Tuesday that he and three business partners, including a former state chief information officer, are launching a cybersecurity company serving small- and medium-sized organizations. The company, called SensCy, said in a press release it will pursue a “high-tech, high-touch” approach to helping its customers assess their security postures, develop best practices and reduce their overall risks of attacks from digital threats, including ransomware. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed writes.

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