Apr 11, 2017

Microsoft invests in "hackers-as-a-service" startup

Former NSA analysts Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr have raised $21.25 million in new funding for their company, Synack — a sort of "good-hackers-as-a-service." The Silicon Valley startup's twist is that it hires vetted security researchers (currently from 46 countries), and then pays them to poke holes through its customers' networks — holes that could otherwise be found by bad actors. Kaplan tells Axios why that works:

You can't really beat a Russian hacker unless you have a Russian hacker on your side.

Why it matters: Synack is catching the eye of major enterprises like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Singtel, all of which are now investors. Synack will be able to lean on these companies' sales organizations, Kaplan says, adding that they could aid in international growth efforts.

Deal details: Microsoft Ventures led the funding round, with additional participation from HPE, Singtel Innov8, and existing investors like GGV Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. A rep from Microsoft Ventures will join the board, as will Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele. Synack has now raised more than $55 million in total funding.

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Minnesota files civil rights charge against police over George Floyd's killing

Police spray protesters with pepper spray during a demonstration outside the Third Police Precinct on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced an investigation on Tuesday into the conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department over the past decade, alongside a civil rights charge into the killing of George Floyd.

The big picture: Complaints of excessive force brought against the city's law enforcement officers "have become commonplace, especially by African-American residents," the New York Times reports.

GOP split over Trump's St. John's photo op

Sen. Tim Scott. Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers are weighing in on President Trump's decision to tear gas and physically clear peaceful protestors from outside the White House on Monday in order to stand in front of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo op.

The state of play: While some Republicans are backing the president's actions and condemning protestors, others are lamenting the decision and calling for improvement.

Cuomo: The NYPD and NYC mayor did not do their job Monday night

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department Tuesday, calling their lack of protection for people and personal property "a disgrace."

The big picture: New York City is on its seventh day of protests for George Floyd's death and overall law enforcement killings, with massive crowds day and night. The city was one of the worst affected in the U.S. for looting, including Macy's flagship store and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.