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02/25/2020
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Leading election security officials say 2016 was a watershed moment for government cooperation, but keep quiet on a simmering controversy. The FBI details its efforts to find stolen cash. And Kansas fails to impress on a cybersecurity test. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, February 25.

Thank Russia for stronger information sharing

Two top government cybersecurity officials — DHS’s Chris Krebs and the NSA's Anne Neuberger — say that information sharing and collaboration on cybersecurity issues between the two agencies have dramatically improved in recent years. Krebs says he attributes the bolstered collaboration between DHS and the NSA to “the 2016 election” and “interference by the Russians” in that year’s presidential election. “Are things perfect? Absolutely not,” Krebs said at CyberTalks in San Francisco on Monday. “This is going to be a lifetime — a generational engagement on election security.” His comments come at a tenuous time for the intelligence community. Shannon Vavra explains why.


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Cybercrime recovery. Hey, it's a good start.

A special unit inside the FBI helped victims of cybercrime recover $300 million of the roughly $3.5 billion in reported losses in 2019. Tonya Ugoretz, a deputy assistant director in the cyber division at the FBI, said Monday the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) responded to more than 467,000 complaints in 2019, up from 351,937 complaints in 2018. Each one of the submitted complaints is analyzed by an individual human, who then determines whether to begin an investigation and, in some cases, try to recover stolen funds, Ugoretz said at CyberTalks in San Francisco. In one case, a Recovery Asset team at the bureau helped a victim of email fraud find $655,000 of $785,000 in stolen funds. Jeff Stone has the story.


Chinese spies don't want to come to the U.S.

Don't count on any tourist dollars from suspected Chinese spies. Assistant Attorney General John Demers said Monday that accused Chinese agents are reluctant to visit the U.S., or even travel outside China, for fear of arrest by the FBI or a cooperating agency. Instead, Chinese agencies that want to meet with U.S. citizens tempt them to travel to Europe, where all parties are most comfortable, as part of recruiting them to be spies at American companies or within the U.S. government. It's a tried-and-true espionage tactic that nonetheless has recently resulted in a "burgeoning insider threat" that's kept U.S. law enforcement busy. Read more coverage of China's operations.


Another so-so state cybersecurity audit

State-government IT officials are well aware of the perils of poor cybersecurity, but the agency-by-agency upgrades are often long-term projects. And when auditors take a close look, they often don’t like what they see. The latest state to get a sharp critique is Kansas. Of the 19 agencies examined by state auditors, 11 of them fell short across a variety of standards required by statute. Among the details: 79 percent of Kansas agencies failed to scan or patch their computers to ensure the most recent security protections. Other states that recently had less-than-stellar cyber-checkups include Mississippi and Colorado. Colin Wood has more at StateScoop.


Behind the scenes at the Zero Trust Security Summit

We picked the brains of the experts that graced the stage at Duo Security's Zero Trust Security Summit last month.

  You can watch all of the videos here.


Tweet Of The Day

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So real it hurts.


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