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Cyberscoop 10/21/2020 13:35
Rep. Ro Khanna has one message for politicians who continue to suggest technology companies should give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted data: This is a power grab. The U.S. Department of Justice has long called for technology firms to create software that would allow law enforcement agencies to investigate suspects who use encryption to hide illegal behavior. For Khanna, a California Democrat, the tradeoff is too dangerous. Legislation that enables law enforcement to crack strong security measures in order to root out some criminals, while also but leaving other people’s communications exposed, just is not worth it, he said Wednesday during CyberTalks, a virtual event produced by CyberScoop. “What I worry about is at a time whe.
Cyberscoop 10/21/2020 11:05
China is increasingly tolerant of criminal hackers on its soil if they are willing to hack on behalf of the Chinese government, a senior U.S. Justice Department official has alleged. Recent U.S. indictments of accused Chinese hackers indicate that the country “has become a safe haven for cybercriminals as long as they’re also doing work on behalf of the state,” John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, alleged in an interview for CyberTalks, the annual summit produced by Scoop News Group. “That’s very worrisome…because now you’ve got a country that’s giving free rein to criminal hackers.” It’s an accusation that U.S. government officials and security researchers have frequently leveled against Russia, as well. The b.
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 17:16
After some initial doubts, Tuesday brought encouraging signs that a multi-front attempt to dismantle the massive TrickBot botnet in advance of Election Day has taken root, perhaps thanks to an extra push. In recent weeks, a Pentagon hacking division and a coalition of organizations led by Microsoft took aim at TrickBot, one of of the world’s largest armies of zombie computers. Fears that attackers could use the botnet to deploy ransomware and disrupt the 2020 election motivated the takedown bids. Microsoft said on Tuesday that, as of the start of this week, it had disabled 120 out of 128 command-and-control servers the company identified as part of TrickBot’s infrastructure, good for a 94% takedown rate. Nearly 60 of the 128 sprung up as cy.
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 13:30
FBI Director Christopher Wray once called the 2018 midterm elections a “dress rehearsal for the big show” of protecting the 2020 presidential election from foreign interference. The big show is finally here, and American officials say they are pulling out all the stops to try to keep it secure. U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and national security agencies have for weeks been in an “enhanced operational posture” to share any election-related threats with state and local officials, said Chris Krebs, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The week before Election Day, which is Nov. 3, those security efforts will kick into overdrive. Officials from the Department of Defense, FBI,
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 13:00
Disinformation works on you, too. Coordinated social media campaigns aimed at influencing public opinion, both in the U.S. and abroad, represent such a threat to democratic discourse because propagandists seize on emotional conversations with little accountability. By using Facebook and Twitter to plant misinformation, attackers implicitly nudge readers into the kind of tunnel vision that accelerates a cycle of mistrust, according to two researchers who have spent years examining the issue. Graham Brookie, the director and managing editor of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and Nina Jankowicz, author of “How to Lose the Information War,” said during a panel Tuesday that stopping disinformation requires the kind of coope.
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 11:05
As the FBI investigated alleged Chinese hacking of American COVID-19 research, it used information it found in known victims’ networks to identify others who had been victimized or potentially might be, according to a top bureau official. It was just one step of several in how the FBI confronted threats to that research, said Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director in the bureau’s cyber division, speaking Tuesday at Cyber Talks, a virtual summit hosted by Scoop News Group. The FBI’s role in defending vaccine makers and others combating the virus is part of a government-wide effort, which has included indictments and public joint agency warnings sounding the alarm that both China and Russia have been trying to steal U.S. research secrets. T.
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 09:57
The operator of two “mixer” or “tumbler” services that exchanged cryptocurrency for users on “the darkest spaces of the internet” is facing $60 million in civil penalties from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The decision against Larry Dean Harmon, who operated the services known as Helix from 2014-17 and Coin Ninja from 2017-20, is the first of its kind from FinCEN against a bitcoin mixer. The agency said he failed to register both as money services businesses and violated federal obligations “to develop, implement, and maintain an anti-money laundering compliance program; and to meet all applicable reporting and recordkeeping requirements.” More specifically, Harmon failed to file suspicious activity repo.
Cyberscoop 10/20/2020 09:47
It looks like the alleged founder of a notorious piracy website is on the run. Artem Vaulin, the accused operator of KickassTorrents, has eluded custody in Poland, where he was arrested in 2016. The site — which is frequently blocked by internet browsers for linking to malicious software — has illegally distributed more than $1 billion worth of movies, video games, television shows and music downloads, U.S. prosecutors say. Polish authorities released Vaulin on bail in May 2017 for health reasons, pending his extradition to the U.S. Now, though, the 34-year-old Ukrainian defendant “has left Poland in violation of his release conditions, and his current whereabouts are unknown,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing dated Oct.
Cyberscoop 10/19/2020 18:26
Suspected Russian hackers were behind multiple recent intrusions of U.S. state and local computer networks, according to an industry analysis obtained by CyberScoop. The group responsible is known as TEMP.Isotope, according to a private advisory distributed by Mandiant, the incident response arm of security company FireEye. The alert notes that the same group has also been described as Energetic Bear, which multiple security firms have linked to Russia. The FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Oct. 9 publicized a hacking campaign in which attackers breached some “elections support systems,” or IT infrastructure that state and local officials use for a range of functions. Those systems are not involved in tall.
Cyberscoop 10/19/2020 11:30
When it comes to stamping out the kind of surveillance software that domestic abusers use to spy on their romantic partners, there’s still a long way to go. Security firms, victim advocacy groups and anti-domestic abuse organizations combined forces roughly a year ago to bring an end to stalkerware, the kind of technology that people use to monitor their domestic partners’ devices. The group, known as the Coalition Against Stalkerware, has made progress in the past 12 months or so, though there’s still a long road ahead, said Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the founding members of the coalition. The surveillance can be incredibly intrusive — stalkerware can monitor targets’ geolocati.
Cyberscoop 10/19/2020 09:49
Accused Russian cybercriminal Alexander Vinnik’s legal odyssey continues Monday in Paris, where he faces trial on charges of extortion, money laundering and involvement in organized crime. It’s the latest milestone in a case that spans multiple countries: Vinnik was arrested in 2017 in Greece, which extradited him to France this year with the understanding that he was also wanted in the U.S. and Russia. French and U.S. prosecutors allege Vinnik helped create the infamous Locky ransomware and then launder the resulting bitcoin ransom payments through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange. French prosecutors are focusing on $157 million that the alleged scheme captured from French organizations. A U.S. indictment says he laundered as much as $4 b.
Cyberscoop 10/16/2020 15:37
A defense attorney for the head of an alleged cybercriminal conspiracy that defrauded American companies out of tens of millions of dollars is refusing to visit the defendant in a Brooklyn jail because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lawyer for Aleksandr Zhukov, the accused boss of the Methbot/3ve advertising fraud conspiracy, informed a U.S. judge that they would no longer visit Zhukov behind bars to prepare for trial, according to a court filing submitted Friday. The attorney, who goes unnamed, cited unsafe conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where Zhukov has been incarcerated for more than a year. Zhukov pleaded not guilty in January 2019 to charges that he functioned as the ringleader of the so-called Methbot fraud operation, w.
Cyberscoop 10/15/2020 17:55
Joker’s Stash, one of the most notorious web forums for stolen credit card data, has claimed a new scalp. Sellers on the site this week claimed to be offering 3 million payment card numbers used at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a U.S. fast-food chain, researchers at intelligence firm Gemini Advisory said Thursday. More than 100 of the barbecue joint’s locations were affected by the breach, and the data is being sold for $17 per card, according to the research. Data from the forum’s latest victim, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, appears to have been compromised between July 2019 and August 2020, according to Gemini Advisory. Numerous restaurant and hospitality chains have been hit by scammers in recent years because of the personal financial data they colle.
Cyberscoop 10/15/2020 14:24
The National Security Agency and the Department of Defense announced an initiative on Thursday meant to increase access to cybersecurity education, mentoring and paid internships for students at historically Black colleges and universities. The workforce development program will connect students at eligible educational institutions with internships and mentorship through the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, officials said Thursday during a call with reporters. Students may also participate in exercises at the Maryland Innovation & Security Institute’s virtual cyber range, to gain hands-on technical training that will help them to later provide technical assistance to small businesses. Students may receive paid stipends during t.
Cyberscoop 10/15/2020 11:57
U.S. and European law enforcement have embarked on a coordinated crackdown on a Eastern European cybercriminal group accused of trying to launder tens of millions of dollars stolen from victims. Fourteen people have been charged for allegedly laundering money for QQAAZZ, as the group is known, the U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday. Meanwhile, houses were raided across Europe, a number of arrests were made in Latvia and a cryptocurrency mining operation was seized in Bulgaria. It’s the most significant law enforcement offensive to date against QQAAZZ, whose members are allegedly from Bulgaria, Latvia, Georgia, Romania and elsewhere. The network has allegedly operated hundreds of bank accounts throughout the world to launder money st.

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