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Police say three were arrested at a Daniel Webster College basketball game after a DWC player stomped on an opposing player on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Twenty-five officers were called to the scene. Daniel Webster forfeited the game, its first loss at home this season. (Kimberly Houghton/Union Leader Correspondent)
By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
New Hampshire Sunday News
NASHUA – Two dozen police officers responded to Daniel Webster College to defuse a brawl that erupted during a basketball game Saturday afternoon. Two DWC players and a female spectator were arrested. The incident began when DWC player Marquise Caudill, 22, of South Hadley, Mass., assaulted a player from the other team, Southern Vermont College, according to a news release.
Caudill, a 6-foot-7 junior guard, “proceeded to stomp the downed opposing player,” police said. Officer John Hannigan was working a security detail for the game and attempted to intervene in the assault, and Caudill threatened the officer, according to the release. That’s when police said Elizabeth Morris, 43, of Malden, Mass., stood between Caudill and Hannigan, preventing the officer from making an arrest.
Another DWC player, Antwaun Boyd, 23, of Stamford, Conn., “appeared to be inciting an already hostile crowd that had now surrounded Officer Hannigan,” the release said. Hannigan called for backup, and about 25 Nashua officers responded to the college. Once the extra officers arrived, “the crowd was able to be dispersed and the entire situation de-escalated,” police said. Caudill was charged with second-degree assault (a Class B felony), simple assault, criminal threatening and disorderly conduct.
Boyd was charged with disorderly conduct and Morris was charged with obstruction of government administration. Police did not release the name of the Southern Vermont College player involved. Sgt. Joshua Albert of Nashua police said the injured player’s teammates took care of him, removing him from the area. He did not know whether he sought medical treatment.
Albert said the game ended after the fight broke out. Caudill, the team’s leading scorer this season, is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail pending arraignment. Boyd and Morris were released on bail.
Daniel Webster forfeited the game, its first loss at home this season.
This is the final season for the program after ITT Educational Services of Carmel, Ind., the parent company of DWC, said it was shutting the school down last year. Southern New Hampshire University has helped keep the school going. Under a “teach-out” arrangement, seniors will graduate with a DWC diploma; underclassmen will earn a degree from SNHU.
The candidates vying to lead the Democratic National Committee into the mid-term elections are doling out cybersecurity promises like never before. They re vowing to hire a senior cyber point-person, rebuild the party s computer defenses, expand relationships with law enforcement and instill a culture of digital security in a party rattled by the cyberattacks that helped keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. Story Continued Below
We have lived the consequences of a catastrophic breakdown in systems and a reaction which was obviously substandard, said former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, one of the leading contenders in the race for the DNC chairmanship. We can safely assume that cyber warfare is going to be a tactic of the future, and we must prepare for it.
Few events shaped the 2016 presidential election like the cyberattacks that federal and private investigators have pinned on Russian intelligence agencies. The thefts and subsequent leaks exposed the internal communications of the DNC, the Democrats House campaign group and other high-profile targets, knocking Clinton off balance, rattling races further down the ballot and unseating the committee s former chairwoman. Now the people competing to lead the Democrats into battle with President Donald Trump have one consistent message: Never again.
We always wonder when the first serious cybersecurity attack on the U.S. will come. I think it has, said Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., another of the 10 Democrats vying for party chair. We ve learned the hard way why cybersecurity needs to be a priority. The DNC s 447 members will select their next chairperson over a long weekend starting Feb. 23 in a voting process that s expected to go to multiple rounds. Whoever wins will inherit an organization shaken by one of the most transformative cyberattacks in American history.
It was crippling, said South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, who also hopes to lead the DNC. We now have Donald Trump as president.
Already, things are changing at DNC headquarters. Staffers call each other and visit each other s desks rather than send emails. Entering the building feels a bit like walking into a crime scene, a senior DNC official told POLITICO. The ramifications of what happened kind of touch everything that we do. People share a dark humor about the fact that foreign hackers could breach the walls again at any time, the official said.
There s a lot of, you know, when you re on a conference call and there s a weird noise and people say, Hi Vlad, or whatever, the official said. It s a shared bond and burden. But preventing hackers from striking again will require a lot more than just recognizing that digital communications are vulnerable. And the Democratic Party is more than just the DNC it s a constellation of state parties and campaign arms for governors, the House and the Senate, including campaigns that often erect security measures haphazardly on tight budgets. That creates myriad pathways for hackers to infiltrate computer networks and hop around until they hit pay dirt.
The people vying for the top post including Perez, Buttigieg and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, along with Harrison, two other state party leaders and former Fox News analyst Jehmu Greene all believe they have an effective plan to overhaul the party s defenses. The 2016 election could signal just the very beginning of attacks, said another candidate, New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley. It is critically important that we stay out front of it.
Perhaps the most unifying proposal is to hire a cybersecurity leader to guide high-level strategy, equivalent to the chief technology officer or chief information security officer found in many large companies. The lack of such a point-person was a glaring hole in the response to the Russian hacking. As The New York Times later revealed, the FBI agent who first called the DNC to report an intrusion wound up speaking to a tech-support contractor who didn t believe the caller was genuine. For now, the senior DNC official told POLITICO, the team monitoring the party s networks reports directly to interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile. The candidates running to succeed her want the team to be led by one person who reports to the chair.
It is integral to an organization of our size to have a security person on site that we pay to just stay up with best practices, said candidate Sally Boynton Brown, who is now the Idaho Democratic Party s executive director. Perez, Boynton Brown, Buttigieg and Harrison all suggested that the cyber leader could streamline the DNC s relationship with law enforcement. The person should have a direct line to the FBI, Harrison said. A single senior cyber official would also build institutional memory on cybersecurity, Perez said, an issue the party has historically handled with little continuity. Such an official could spearhead a long-term cyber rebuilding plan, which candidates said could include implementing basic security measures, such as deleting emails after 30 days something some state parties already do and doing a full audit of the DNC s computer architecture.
Another challenge is getting frequently reshuffled party staff to follow basic cybersecurity protocols. Investigators have said DNC staffers and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta fell victim to spear-phishing attacks, in which Russian hackers tricked them into clicking on malicious links and typing their usernames and passwords opening the door for the intruders to grab emails and sensitive files. Commonplace guards against those attacks include two-factor authentication, which requires people to enter a separate, one-time code provided by either a text message, an app or a physical key fob in addition to a password. Businesses like banks, Apple and Google increasingly offer that kind of security to their customers.
If Tom Perez can have two-factor authentication on his iPhone, Perez said, I think we oughta be able to do that. That s low-hanging fruit.
The top of a cybersecurity awareness poster found throughout the DNC’s headquarters. The DNC would not allow the rest of the poster, which lists security tips for employees, to be included in this story. The DNC has rolled out two-factor authentication in recent months as part of its initial digital defense overhaul, which included the establishment of a four-member cybersecurity advisory board. CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm brought in to investigate the Russian infiltration, also performed a complete restructuring and rebranding of the committee s management systems.
But several DNC candidates stressed the importance of not having to rely on contractors like CrowdStrike in the future. The party s network security needs to be more in-house than it is right now, Buttigieg said. While the DNC hack was unfolding, Perez said, we didn t have sufficient expertise within the building.
You need people around you who can diagnose the problem, he added. On-site expertise would allow for more consistent training and a constant, visible reminder that cybersecurity is important regardless of any hassles it may create.
The question is, OK, if it takes me two extra minutes to log in in order to send out an email, do I want that, or do I want to have Donald Trump reelected again? said Harrison, the head of the South Carolina party. Yeah, I m going to take the two extra minutes. That s a no-brainer.
I think we just have to paint that picture as clear and as simple and as concise as that, he added, which might even mean putting up actual pictures of Trump.
Well, Donald Trump and Putin posters, Harrison said with a laugh.
A more permanent, in-house team at the DNC would also improve communications with state parties on cybersecurity matters, possibly reducing some of the digital security gaps inherent in such a far-flung organization, Boynton Brown said. Cyber experts say the Democrats biggest digital security challenge is the state parties, which lack the resources and expertise to combat armies of foreign government hackers.
I m very, very scared on the state party front, Harrison said. I think that is a huge gaping hole. But the national party has its own budget limitations, Perez cautioned, meaning that hiring will have to depend on fundraising.
Whoever wins the DNC race will have to move quickly. Digital security upgrades can take time, and preparation is already underway for the 2018 midterm elections, in which Democrats face an unpleasant Senate map and bleak prospects in many state legislatures. The senior DNC official said the organization has a very serious briefing planned for the next chair.
Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic strategist who is not running for chair, urged the DNC to make cybersecurity a priority no matter the cost.
Whatever it is, Varoga said by email, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the billions that will be spent opposing the current occupant of the White House.
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U.S. corporations that have long resisted bending to the demands of computer hackers who take their networks hostage are increasingly stockpiling bitcoin, the digital currency, so that they can quickly meet ransom demands rather than lose valuable corporate data. The companies are responding to cybersecurity experts who recently have changed their advice on how to deal with the growing problem of extortionists taking control of the computers.
It s a moral dilemma. If you pay, you are helping the bad guys, said Paula Long, chief executive of DataGravity, a Nashua, New Hampshire, company that helps clients secure corporate data. But, she added, You can t go to the moral high ground and put your company at risk.
A lot of companies are doing that as part of their incident response planning, said Chris Pogue, chief information security officer at Nuix, a company that provides information management technologies. They are setting up bitcoin wallets. Pogue said he believed thousands of U.S. companies had prepared strategies for dealing with hacker extortion demands, and numerous law firms have stepped in to facilitate negotiations with hackers, many of whom operate from the other side of the globe.
Symantec, a Mountain View, California, company that makes security and storage software, estimates that ransom demands to companies average between $10,000 and $75,000 for hackers to provide keys to decrypt frozen networks. Individuals whose computers get hit pay as little as $100 to $300 to unlock their encrypted files.
Companies that analyze cyber threats say the use of ransomware has exploded, and payments have soared. Recorded Future, a Somerville, Massachusetts, threat intelligence firm, says ransom payments skyrocketed 4,000 percent last year, reaching $1 billion. Another firm, Kaspersky Lab, estimates that a new business is attacked with ransomware every 40 seconds. If you re hit by ransomware today, you have only two options: You either pay the criminals, or you lose your data. Raj Samani, Intel Security
If you re hit by ransomware today, you have only two options: You either pay the criminals or you lose your data, said Raj Samani, chief technical officer at Intel Security for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We underestimated the scale of the issue. Hackers often send out email with tainted hyperlinks to broad targets, say, an entire company. All it takes is one computer user in a company to click on the infected link to allow hackers to get a foothold in the broader network, leading to hostile encryption.
The official FBI policy is that you shouldn t pay the ransom, said Leo Taddeo, chief security officer for Cryptzone, a Waltham, Massachusetts, company that provides network security. Until 2015, Taddeo ran the cyber division of the FBI s New York City office. But practical considerations increasingly are dictating a different approach. It s an option to pay the ransom to get back up and running. Sometimes it s the only option, Taddeo said. Paying ransom just invites the next attack. Leo Taddeo, former FBI cyber expert
But it has downsides, he added. Paying ransom just invites the next attack.
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Moreover, 1 in 4 companies that pay ransoms never get their files restored, Gibbons said.
The idea of rewarding extortionists with payment makes some technologists see red.
That makes me super mad, said Lior Div, chief executive of Cybereason, a Boston-area cybersecurity company. There are things that are unacceptable, and we need to fight them. Div and his company have done something about the extortion epidemic. They built a product called RansomFree that claims to detect 99 percent of all ransomware strains. So far, the free software has been downloaded 125,000 times, the company says.
As extortionists get more sophisticated, researchers say, they are modifying their malicious code, their infection strategies and the way they collect payments. Once they weasel their way into your network, they now take a look around. They ll actually explore your system to see how much money they can squeeze from you. Andrei Barysevich, researcher at Recorded Future
And they won t offer any sympathy, no matter how valuable the encrypted data, even if lives are at stake, say, in a health care network. They may even say they are doing nothing evil.
They actually think they are on the moral high ground. They think the companies should have paid more for security, said Barysevich, who spoke at a presentation this week at the annual RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco, which bills itself as the world s leading gathering of cybersecurity specialists. One of the reasons midsize and large companies are storing bitcoin for emergency use is that extortionists, once they succeed at penetrating a system, commonly give a deadline for payment before destroying data. But victims can t rush out and buy bitcoin in a day or two.
It takes at times a week for (brokers) to process you, Barysevich said. Setting up the wallet ahead of time, Pogue said, allows businesses an option that is quick, although perhaps repugnant.
If they need to go to it, they are not spinning their wheels standing up a bitcoin wallet, Pogue said.
- ^ bitcoin (www.mcclatchydc.com)
- ^ DataGravity (datagravity.com)
- ^ Chris Pogue (www.nuix.com)
- ^ How to set up a bitcoin wallet (bitcoinsimplified.org)
- ^ Symantec (www.symantec.com)
- ^ the use of ransomware has exploded (www.mcclatchydc.com)
- ^ Recorded Future (www.recordedfuture.com)
- ^ Kaspersky Lab (usa.kaspersky.com)
- ^ Raj Samani (www.rsaconference.com)
- ^ Robert Gibbons (www.datto.com)
- ^ not to succumb to ransom demands (www.fbi.gov)
- ^ Cryptzone (www.cryptzone.com)
- ^ Hacker group finds no buyers for NSA hacking tools (www.mcclatchydc.com)
- ^ Lior Div, chief executive of Cybereason (www.cybereason.com)
- ^ a product called RansomFree (ransomfree.cybereason.com)
- ^ Andrei Barysevich (twitter.com)
- ^ RSA cybersecurity conference (www.rsaconference.com)