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Biden signs cybersecurity executive order in the wake of pipeline shutdown

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Specifically citing a slew of recent incidents including SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange server hacks and the ongoing Colonial Pipeline situation, President Biden signed an executive order today that focuses on “improving the nation’s cybersecurity.” The steps it lays out are supposed to improve information sharing between agencies, set policies to protect federal networks and improve the response to breaches by creating a standardized “playbook” that will be reviewed by the director of CISA.

According to a summary released at the same time, it also sets standards for software that’s sold to the federal government, and tasks NIST with developing a labeling program “to educate the public on the security capabilities of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and software development practices” similar to existing Energy Star labels on appliances.

How much impact the order will have is unclear without action and funding from Congress, but it does lay out some first steps. According to NBC News, an administration official told reporters that it “reflects a fundamental shift in our mindset from incident response to prevention.” In a statement, Senator Mark Warner said “This executive order is a good first step, but executive orders can only go so far.”

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/white-house-eo-network-security-010757835.html

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US lawmakers want to restrict police use of ‘Stingray’ cell tower simulators

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According to BuzzFeed News, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Ted Lieu will introduce legislation later today that seeks to restrict police use of international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) catchers. More commonly known as Stingrays, police frequently use IMSI catchers and cell-site simulators to collect information on suspects and intercept calls, SMS messages and other forms of communication. Law enforcement agencies in the US currently do not require a warrant to use the technology. The Cell-Site Simulator Act of 2021 seeks to change that.

IMSI catchers mimic cell towers to trick mobile phones into connecting with them. Once connected, they can collect data a device sends out, including its location and subscriber identity key. Cell-site simulators pose a two-fold problem.

The first is that they’re surveillance blunt instruments. When used in a populated area, IMSI catchers can collect data from bystanders. The second is that they can also pose a safety risk to the public. The reason for this is that while IMSI catchers act like a cell tower, they don’t function as one, and they can’t transfer calls to a public wireless network. They can therefore prevent a phone from connecting to 9-1-1. Despite the dangers they pose, their use is widespread. In 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union found at least 75 agencies in 27 states and the District of Columbia owned IMSI catchers.

In trying to address those concerns, the proposed legislation would make it so that law enforcement agencies would need to make a case before a judge on why they should be allowed to use the technology. They would also need to explain why other surveillance methods wouldn’t be as effective. Moreover, it seeks to ensure those agencies delete any data they collect from those not listed on a warrant.

Although the bill reportedly doesn’t lay out a time limit on IMSI catcher use, it does push agencies to use the devices for the least amount of time possible. It also details exceptions where police could use the technology without a warrant. For instance, it would leave the door open for law enforcement to use the devices in contexts like bomb threats where an IMSI catcher can prevent a remote detonation.

“Our bipartisan bill ends the secrecy and uncertainty around Stingrays and other cell-site simulators and replaces it with clear, transparent rules for when the government can use these invasive surveillance devices,” Senator Ron Wyden told BuzzFeed News.

The bill has support from some Republicans. Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Representative Tom McClintock of California are co-sponsoring the proposed legislation. Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center have also endorsed the bill.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/cell-site-simulator-act-2021-164552880.html?src=rss_b2c

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‘RuneScape’ opens up to everyone on iOS and Android

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Publisher Jagex announced earlier this year that RuneScape would come out of early access on mobile sometime this summer. Starting today, anyone can dive into the long-running MMORPG on iOS and Android.

RuneScape is free-to-play, though subscribers get access to more quests, skills and other extras. You can check out the membership for free with a seven-day trial. The mobile versions support cross-play and cross-progression with PC, so you can hop between platforms and continue where you left off.

Note that this isn’t Old School RuneScape, a version based on a build from 2007. That’s been available on iOS and Android since 2018. This is the full-blown RuneScape that Jagex has been constantly updating for the last 20 years.

There’s a clear appetite for RuneScape on iOS and Android. More than 1.8 million players pre-registered for those versions, which have a mobile-friendly user interface with revamped menus, icons, text and textures. Combat mechanics have also been tweaked for iOS and Android.

You can download RuneScape from the App Store or Google Play Store. The app is available in English, French, German and Brazilian Portuguese.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/runescape-ios-android-release-date-161324420.html?src=rss_b2c

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Watch Microsoft’s second E3 showcase here at 1PM ET

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From Starfield and Halo Infinite to Redfall and Forza Horizon 5, Xbox and Bethesda had plenty to talk about during their 90-minute E3 showcase. But with so many games and so little time, there’s much more to delve into. As such, Microsoft is running it back with a second E3 conference, which promises behind-the-scenes info and chats with developers about upcoming games.

Xbox Games Showcase Extended, which is hosted by Parris Lilly of Gamertag Radio, will feature 343 Industries, World’s Edge, Playground Games, Ninja Theory and Double Fine, as well as some Xbox partners and other names. It’s unclear whether there will be any game announcements or more details about the Xbox Mini Fridge, so it’s maybe best to cool any expectations on those fronts. You can watch the stream right here at 1PM ET.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/microsoft-xbox-games-showcase-extended-stream-e3-160526475.html?src=rss_b2c

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‘Madden NFL 22’ has exclusive features for PS5 and Xbox Series consoles

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Madden NFL 21 included its share of features for next-gen consoles, and EA appears to be doing even more for the follow-up. The publisher is releasing Madden NFL 22 on August 20th with a string of “Dynamic Gameday” features exclusive to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The stadium atmosphere, on-field momentum and even home field advantages will change only if you have one of the newer systems. Even the AI is more refined on these consoles — it mimics player and team tendencies that change along with stats.

The game will still be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC players (including on Stadia).

You’ll still get new experiences regardless of which platform you use. A new single-player mode, The Yard, includes a new campaign and progression system that share your accomplishments with the Face of the Franchise mode. That, in turn, introduces a new story, a new player class system, and the option to play as a linebacker. The multiplayer Superstar KO mode, meanwhile, will let you use real NFL teams. Madden Ultimate Team will also introduce the next-gen stat system and half-time tweaks to major players’ “X-Factors.”

The shift in focus is clear: previous consoles are on the way out. Madden NFL 22 is simply more worthwhile if you have a PS5 or Xbox Series console. Although it’s not necessarily the end for last-gen hardware, we wouldn’t bet money on NFL 23 coming to older platforms.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/madden-nfl-22-release-date-152359613.html?src=rss_b2c

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