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01/21/2022
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Remarks from the president draw skepticism from cyber experts. Ukrainians face sanctions for FSB ties. And North Dakota takes the lead on a regional SOC. This is CyberScoop for January 21.

Cyber experts question Biden's cyber tit-for-tat

President Joe Biden said this week that the U.S. government could respond to Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine in kind, "with cyber." His implied cyber tit-for-tat had cyber and policy experts immediately questioning whether he'd pulled the idea straight out of the 1990s, and noting that there is no plausible scenario in which the U.S. government would want to go down that road. The comments took on extra import as military tensions between the U.S., Russia and Ukraine continue to mount, even as the parties agree to keep diplomacy alive. AJ Vicens explains.


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Sanctions for Ukrainian pols allegedly working for Russia

Four current and former Ukrainian government officials got slapped with sanctions from the Treasury Department on Thursday for allegedly conducting influence operations on behalf of Russia's FSB. The sanctioned men include two active members of parliament, and another man whom Treasury said gathered information on Ukraine's critical infrastructure, a frequent target of Russian hacks. The sanctions are separate from any responses the U.S. and allies might take should Russia further invade Ukraine. Tim Starks has the story.


N.D. ready to launch interstate cybersecurity center

North Dakota is preparing to launch a regional cybersecurity operations center that would be the first of its kind. The governments of Montana and South Dakota are on board, and officials say other states could be involved, too. The project is years in the making, and North Dakota state CIO Michael Gregg said more news could come within months. “Really what this is about is taking those indicators of compromise we see and sharing those out,” Gregg said about the center. Benjamin Freed has the news at StateScoop.


Easterly to mayors: Think more about cyber

“My hope with all of you is to make cybersecurity a kitchen-table issue,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said Thursday at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In urging city officials to increase their awareness of threats, she pointed to various CISA resources, including StopRansomware.gov, which collects information about malware and the related vulnerabilities; the suite of risk-assessment and vulnerability-scanning services the agency offers at no cost; the cybersecurity advisers that the agency has hired for every state; and the $1 billion grant program created in last November’s infrastructure spending plan. Ben has this one, too.


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The Wi-Fi network was clean that day, though, right?


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