Automakers, DOT gathered for cyber huddle

AUTOMAKERS’ CYBER POWWOW — Leaders from 15 major automakers huddled with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Tuesday on ways the industry can improve the security of the onboard computer systems that increasingly dominate new car models. “Participants were asked to come prepared with suggestions to share, and spend the next month working toward concrete commitments to industry-wide safety measures,” said Namrata Kolachalam, a department spokesman. Participants in the meeting: BMW, FCA, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.

INDUSTRY PREPS TIPS — A technology association plans to forward a list of cybersecurity recommendations to Tony Scott, the government’s chief information officer, in the next week or two. The tips will include ways federal employees can avoid being used as a hacker conduit. Other topic areas include tactics to strengthen the government’s cyber workforce, improving cyber acquisition and faster responses to data breaches, said Mike Howell, a senior director with the American Council for Technology & Industry Advisory Council. ACT-IAC met with Scott and several federal agency CIOs several times while compiling the report, Howell said. ACT-IAC includes members from government and industry.

GET TO KNOW THE CIO — In a recent interview with our colleague Darren Samuelsohn over at POLITICO’s The Agenda, U.S. CIO Tony Scott likened cybercrime to pickpocketing and dismissed the idea of a new stand-alone Cabinet agency to handle cyber issues. “We have a department of cybersecurity. It’s called Homeland Security today and they’re well-suited, I think, to do that mission,” Scott said in a video posted Tuesday. Check it out here:

HAPPY WEDNESDAY and welcome to Morning Cybersecurity! Joe’s still in the driver’s seat today while Tim gets some much deserved rest and the Tony Scott twofer above has me pondering this age-old question: Whatever you’re wondering about today, drop us a line. Send your thoughts, feedback and especially your tips to [email protected] and follow @timstarks, @ POLITICOPro and @MorningCybersec. Full team info is below.

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VICTIMIZED BY OPM? The Office of Personnel Management released an online widget Tuesday to verify if you were among those affected by the breach. Check it out here: If you’ve already received a notification that your information was compromised, you can also use the site to sign up for identity theft and credit monitoring.

TIGHT LIPS ON SINO-U.S. HUDDLE — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a “candid conversation” Tuesday with Chinese officials about that nation’s commercial espionage and Chinese responses to U.S. law enforcement requests regarding cybercrime, the Financial Times reported, citing anonymous administration sources. FBI and U.S. Intelligence community officials were also at the meeting. The Justice Department told MC it would issue a meeting summary after the talks conclude. The talks follow the no-commercial-spying pledge President Barack Obama struck with Chinese President Xi Jinping in September. More from the FT:

MARKEY, BARTON PRESS VTECH ON HACKING — Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Barton are sending a letter to electronic toy company VTech, pressing the company for information on how it collects and protects children’s data and its compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act after a reported data breach. That breach affected roughly 6.4 million children’s profiles, the company disclosed Tuesday, as well as nearly 5 million parents’ accounts. “Among many requirements, COPPA requires these operators to notify parents and obtain consent from them before collecting personal information from children, as well as take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality, security, and integration of personal information collected about children,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter first reported by our friends at Morning Tech.

ALL ABOARD THE TRADE SECRETS TRAIN — The Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss trade secrets at a hearing this morning in the context of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 1890), sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Chris Coons. The bill would let companies go after trade secret thieves in federal court. Skeptics, including Sharon Sandeen, a Hamline University law professor, say the bill “will not solve the problems” of cyberespionage and “is likely to create new problems that could adversely impact domestic innovation, increase the duration and cost of trade secret litigation, and ultimately negatively affect economic growth.”



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