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04/21/2020
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Coronavirus-themed phishing attempts are now being pointed at the military. The Supreme Court indicated it will hear a case involving the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Hackers posed as an Egyptian oil company ahead of a global oil summit. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, April 21.

Everyone's a target

Cybercriminals have been targeting U.S. military organizations with coronavirus-related spearphishing schemes, the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center said Monday in a release. According to DC3’s assessment, the phishing lures are being sent to companies in the defense industrial base, disguised as emails from the CDC. But those behind the campaign aren’t just targeting defense industrial base companies and their networks — the goal is to break into systems run by the DOD. D3 has shared the assessment with companies in the defense industrial base, hoping the information stops any such attempt from becoming a nightmare for the Pentagon. Shannon Vavra has more.


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CFAA will have its day

The future of a long-controversial federal law could come down to how the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the way that a local police officer looked up information on an exotic dancer. Justices indicated they will hear a case involving the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a piece of 1986 legislation that internet freedom advocates have described as “the worst law in technology.” The CFAA makes it illegal for computer users to access another computer or exceed authorized access without permission. Technologists have argued that the law is so vaguely-worded that it could open well-intentioned security researchers up to prosecution for doing their job, or criminalize the use of work computers for personal purposes. Jeff Stone has more context.


Even hackers want to know what's up with oil

Hackers are trying to infect organizations throughout the world with a popular strain of malware by sending emails that appear to be from an Egyptian oil company. Romanian antivirus company BitDefender noted a surge in attempted phishing attacks that try to trick users into downloading malware by masquerading as Enppi, an oil company owned by the Egyptian government. Attacks spiked before the world’s top oil producers debated whether to cut output during a meeting between the OPEC+ alliance and the Group of 20 nations, which suggests interest in specific countries’ strategies around an international standoff that’s had ramifications for the global economy. Jeff has the latest.


Google's new grant

Google is trying to ease the economic pain for security researchers during the coronavirus pandemic. The tech giant says it will offer a $1,337 grant to anyone who has submitted at least two vulnerability reports to Google within from 2018 through April 2020. The idea is to give researchers an injection of funding so they can keep hunting for software bugs as the economy reels from fallout around the coronavirus pandemic. "We are committed to protecting our users and we want to encourage the research community to help us identify threats and to prevent potential vulnerabilities in our products," the company said. Read the announcement.


North Korea is still schemin'

While the world waits to hear what is going on with North Korea's leader, the country's hacking operations are front and center again thanks to a new report from the United Nations Security Council. The reclusive country looks to be following the same blueprint it has for the past decade: hacking operations that help the country tiptoe around sanctions, shell companies that mask the country's involvement, and a general disregard for any injunction levied on their economy. We covered similar schemes in 2017, and it doesn't look like much has changed. Read the full report here.


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