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Follow The Hill cyber reporter Maggie Miller (@ magmill95) and the technical team Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Lawmakers focused on cybersecurity like never before in 2021, responding to a wide variety of incidents, including ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and large nation-state-backed attacks like the SolarWinds hack.

And in Tuesday’s breaking news, the gaming development group behind League of Legends agreed to pay $ 100 million to settle a harassment lawsuit brought against the company by thousands of women employees.

Let’s jump into the news.

A wake up call on Capitol Hill

The last 12 months have been a parade year in terms of the severity of the cyberattacks that have devastated businesses both large and small.

Impact: In the wake of the chaos, a silver lining has formed on the horizon of an unprecedented level of bipartisan support and genuine interest on Capitol Hill in strengthening the country’s cybersecurity.

“Everyone was aware of cybersecurity threats, from ransomware attacks to other various types of cyber intrusion,” said Rep. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinFederal agencies need to close hundreds of security holes Legislators praised the imminent establishment of a cyber office at State Federal first aid workers deserve the retirement we promised them MORE (DR.I.), chairman of the House Armed Services cybersecurity subcommittee, told The Hill earlier this month. “We are now more aware, more members are paying attention than ever before.

Rough year: The changes come after one of the most painful years in cyberspace history, with a spate of high-profile and highly damaging attacks in rapid succession.

These included ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline, meat producer JBS USA, IT company Kaseya and numerous schools and hospitals during the year that were already under pressure from the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Incidents also included nation-state-backed efforts such as the SolarWinds hack, which allowed Russian hackers to compromise at least nine federal agencies, and Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities, the exploited affected by Chinese hackers and potentially thousands of groups.

“It doesn’t seem like a week goes by without a major new cyber problem, so it’s getting more attention and more willingness to do something about it,” said Langevin.

Read more here.



Riot Games will Pay $ 100 million to settle yourself A case of discrimination and harassment brought up by more than 2,000 female employees, the California Civil Rights Agency announced on Monday.

Details: Under the terms of the agreement, the developer of the League of Legends game will provide at least $ 80 million to compensate workers. The company also announced it will reserve $ 18 million over three years to make salary adjustments and fund diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) first notified Riot of its investigation into allegations of harassment and discrimination in October 2018, and employees filed a class action lawsuit a month later for a proposed $ 10 million settlement apply for.

In January 2020, DFEH and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) intervened to appeal the proposed $ 10 million settlement.

The state agencies reportedly argued that the women could be eligible for potential back payments of over $ 400 million due to the wage gap between men and women. according to the Los Angeles Times.

Read more here.

Crypto puzzles

The cryptocurrency explosion has forced Washington to adjust Federal financial rules to a fast growing and changing industry.

Americans poured billions of dollars into cryptocurrencies and a wide range of blockchain-based financial platforms over the past year when the pandemic sparked an investment boom.

While the crypto market has been steadily gaining traction over the past decade, increasing interest in the space and the rapid rise of decentralized financial networks has drawn new attention from regulators and lawmakers.

Democrats, Republicans, and industry representatives largely agree that the current patchwork of state and federal regulations on cryptocurrencies and technology is no longer feasible.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Treasury Department, and state money transfer licensors all share overlapping responsibilities for parts of the crypto industry, which often leaves companies in the dark about their regulatory obligations.

Ron Hammond, director of government relations for the Blockchain Association, said two forces had sparked a regulatory awakening in DC: a growing understanding among crypto critics that the industry will stay here, and the industry is accepting the need to partner with Washington.

“You can’t avoid DC,” said Hammond. “DC is a huge obstacle in most cases and an opportunity in some cases, and it’s important to educate members of Congress and get the narrative right. Otherwise you may find yourself at the wrong end of things. “

Read more here.


A federal appeals court on Monday confirmed Settled Google in a class action lawsuit on allegations of illegally collecting WiFi data through its Street View program.

The US 9th Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the $ 13 million settlement was unfair because it only distributed money to privacy groups and did not pay group members.

Judge Bridget Bade in the ruling argued that it was not possible to distribute money directly to the 60 million people whose data was allegedly inadvertently collected.

The first lawsuit was filed in 2010 by plaintiffs who alleged that the vehicles Google used to take street photos around the world had collected sensitive information such as emails, passwords, and documents from Wi-Fi connections.

Read more here.



A comment on chewing: America needs more science and technology literacy

Light click: Choose wisely

Notable links from the internet:

TikTok content moderator sues companies alleged trauma of hours of reviewing rape and murder videos (The Washington Post / Bryan Pietsch)

Our predictions for the next year in audio (The Edge / Ashley Carman)

Japan and USA likely Strengthen cooperation on ransomware threats (The Record / Adam Janofsky)

Logan Paul and the elusive quest build a platform for free expression that is not a cesspool (The Los Angeles Times / Brian Contreras)

One last thing: Apple is closing stores in NYC

Apple has closed 16 of its stores in New York as the city sees a significant surge in COVID-19 infections.

During the temporary closure, customers will be able to place orders online and collect their items in stores. according to Bloomberg.

In addition to the closings in New York, Apple has also closed stores in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Florida, the outlet added.

The closings come as the highly contagious variant of Omicron spread across the country, including its significant impact on New York, which was also a hotspot in the early weeks of the pandemic.

As of Monday, New York City had a seven-day average of 14,025 daily cases, compared with a 28-day average of 6,786. New York City government data showed.

Read more here.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hills technology and Internet security Pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see each other on Wednesday.


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