Feb 16, 2018

Indictments part of U.S. cyber deterrence strategy

A Kremlin mounting of the guard cerimony. (Mikhail Japaridze / Getty)

Russia is unlikely to extradite the 13 Russians indicted by Mueller for meddling in the 2016 election. Still, the U.S. has plenty of reasons for moving forward.

The bottom line: The "name and shame" approach is mostly meant to embarrass a foreign government, scare potential collaborators for future operations and let an adversary know the U.S. is on to them.

Flashback: In 2014, the U.S. indicted five Chinese hackers accused of a military operation to steal intellectual property. Later that year, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese President Xi Jingping reached an agreement for China to stop hacking for that purpose. The U.S. has also indicted Iranian hackers for attacking critical infrastructure and banks, and Russian hackers and affiliated hackers for an attack on Yahoo.

The impact: While accused Russians are safe within the confines of Russia, they are no longer able to travel to any country with a friendlier extradition policy. Its hardly the same as imprisonment, but does serve as a threat to anyone considering helping Moscow in the future.

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Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

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An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.