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01/21/2020
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An alleged Russian fraudster will fess up in court. Cyber Command's digital campaign against ISIS wasn't as seamless as it seemed. And Citrix expedites its schedule. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, January 21.

Aleksei Burkov set to plead guilty

A Russian man who has spent months at the center of an international political dispute is slated to plead guilty to hacking-related charges this week in Virginia. Aleksei Burkov faces criminal counts including access device fraud and conspiracy to commit identity theft in connection with allegedly operating two cybercriminal forums where visitors bought and sold stolen information worth $20 million. The 29-year-old initially pleaded not guilty during his first appearance in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, though a change-of-plea hearing now is scheduled for Jan. 23. “He will be pleading [guilty] to some, but not all of the original charges,” said Gregory Stambuagh, Burkov’s defense attorney. Jeff Stone had the scoop.


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New docs detail Cyber Command's stumbling blocks

Government files made public Tuesday show that while a U.S. Cyber Command operation that aimed to disrupt ISIS media operations was largely successful, there were significant shortcomings. Issues included difficulties collecting data, trouble vetting targets and a failure to prepare for the sheer amount of information that came in. The documents, obtained by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, highlight challenges for the government as it expands its offensive cyber missions beyond ISIS to other adversaries like Russia, Iran, China and North Korea. Shannon Vavra has more context.


Citrix drama: Hackers exploit bug, company issues first patches

With hackers actively exploiting a critical vulnerability in its products, corporate virtual private network provider Citrix has issued the first of several patches for that flaw, and accelerated the timeline for releasing other fixes. In a statement, Citrix chief information security officer Fermin J. Serna urged customers to apply the latest patches, and said that the company had increased staffing should customers need help installing the new software. Successful exploitation of this bug could allow a hacker to burrow into the many Fortune 500 company networks that rely on the software, experts say. Citrix also will release patches for other versions of the affected products in the coming days, Serna said. Sean Lyngaas had the story.


Senate proposes a new cybersecurity coordinator plan

The Department of Homeland Security would have to create a new program placing “cybersecurity coordinators” in every state, under a new bill in the Senate. The coordinators would manage the relationships between the federal government, states and their localities. It's the latest in a series of measures aimed at boosting federal support for state cybersecurity efforts. The coordinator program would be run out of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, according to the office of Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. In addition to intergovernmental relationships, the coordinators would be responsible for facilitating the sharing of cyberthreat information and raising awareness about federal resources for preventing cyberattacks like ransomware. Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop.


A DOJ official’s hack-and-leak warning for 2020

Although the nation’s defense of election infrastructure has improved greatly since 2016, Americans themselves are still highly susceptible to foreign hack-and-leak operations, according to John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security. “It really is dependent on their cyber hygiene practices … and not clicking on that wrong email,” Demers said Friday at the Wilson Center. Demers’ comments come in the wake of the departure of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s chief information security officer. That resignation means there is not a single campaign known to employ an in-house chief information security officer. Sean has more.


Tweet Of The Day

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Gonna need to tweak that algorithm, Google.


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