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02/23/2021
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Senators hold a public hearing on the SolarWinds hack. Clues about the Accellion breach culprit emerge. And a disinformation standards body forms. This is CyberScoop for Feb. 23, 2021.

SolarWinds hack takes center stage today on the Hill

SolarWinds CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday afternoon on the big hack of his company, alongside Microsoft President Brad Smith, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia and CrowdStrike President and CEO George Kurtz. Ramakrishna offered something of a preview of his message to Congress during a Center for Strategic and International Studies event. He said SolarWinds is still investigating the scope of the attack that afflicted numerous federal agencies and large companies, working to change going forward and suggesting Congress help by making it easier for companies to report incidents to the federal government. While the hack didn't happen when he was CEO, he is responsible for the clean-up — although senators are likely to have questions about both the incident and the response. Tim Starks breaks it down.


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FireEye IDs hacking group suspected in Accellion, Kroger breach

Accellion, a software firm that provides file transfer services to more than 3,000 clients, said that UNC2546, a “criminal” attacker, had exploited multiple vulnerabilities in its software to install malware. FireEye investigators said the hackers appeared to infiltrate an Accellion tool to gather information from clients, then contact victims, threatening to publish their stolen data. The update came after the grocery chain Kroger on Friday announced that personal data belonging to some customers of its pharmacy services may have been compromised as a result of the still-unfolding incident. Look for more news on this one before long. Jeff Stone has the latest.


A disinformation milestone

Microsoft, Adobe, the BBC, Intel, Truepic and Arm announced this week they have established the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a standards body that is working to develop tools that will help publishers and consumers verify the authenticity of media content such as images, videos and documents. The standards body is pushing the concept of “provenance media” — the idea that identifying what is true may be easier than labeling everything that is false — as part of an effort to root out disinformation. “We believe that the implications of this standard and global scale are tremendous in building trust in online content,” said Mounir Ibrahim, vice president of strategic initiatives at Truepic. More details on the announcement.


New ransomware hits payment vendor

City and state agencies around the country this month have begun disclosing a recent ransomware attack against a widely used payment processing service. The disclosures came after a malicious actor calling itself “Cuba ransomware” said it had compromised the vendor, Automatic Funds Transfer Services, and stolen financial documents and correspondence. Among the company’s customers is the California DMV, which told residents that the past 20 months’ worth of vehicle registration records, including names, addresses and license plate numbers, may have been exposed. StateScoop’s Colin Wood has more.


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