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03/09/2022
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A highly influential cyber policy board prepares for its next phase. Biden issues a broad executive order, including security measures, on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. FinCEN checks in with the financial sector on Russia's potential games with ransomware proceeds. This is CyberScoop for March 9.

What's next for the Cyberspace Solarium Commission?

The Cyberspace Solarium Commission has gotten some big recommendations enacted into law, such as the creation of a national cyber director. Now, it's moving into its final phase. CSC 2.0 will spend the next two years tracking how its ideas are becoming practice, as well as turning to a series of topics it didn't get to study as much as it would've liked then making another series of recommendations. Those topics include protecting the water, maritime transport and health care sectors, as well as strengthening the federal and private sector workforce and ensuring plans to avert disruptions to the economy caused by cyberattacks. Tiim Starks dives in.


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New EO defines the feds' view on crypto

Citing the need for federal agencies to address security issues with cryptocurrencies, as well as their role in the overall financial system, President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday on "responsible innovation” for digital assets. The EO lists seven areas of concern, including mitigating “illicit finance” and the related national security risks. The order also called out the lack of adequate of cybersecurity protections in the industry. Tonya Riley and Joe Warminsky report.


A warning about ransomware profits as sanctions evasion

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued guidance on the responsibility that private institutions have for detecting “sanctions evasion activity” and reporting it under the Bank Secrecy Act and other laws. In short, if your organization handles cryptocurrency trades or has visibility into them, FinCEN wants to hear from you about suspicious transactions. Several of the bullet points in the alert were about the potential use of ransomware proceeds by Russian entities to get around punitive actions for the invasion of Ukraine. Joe explains.


State governments alerted to China-linked APT41

Cyberthreat analysts at Mandiant say the networks of at least six state governments in the U.S. have been compromised since May 2021 by APT41, a China-linked hacking group. The intruders used multiple vulnerabilities, including one discovered late last year in the popular Log4j logging tool, as part of the campaign, the researchers say. The efforts by APT41 are aggressive and ongoing, and they represent a new focus from the group on U.S. state governments, Mandiant's Rufus Brown says. Benjamin Freed has the research at StateScoop.


Nakasone: NSA and Cyber Command still working on a split

U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency are continuing to work toward measures Congress set in place to separate the two co-located organizations, but the official who leads them reiterated Tuesday the power of having a single person in charge. Gen. Paul Nakasone told lawmakers that Cyber Command and NSA’s requirements continue to grow and that dependencies between the two entities — such as shared infrastructure — have decreased. Mark Pomerleau reports at FedScoop.


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