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05/05/2021
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High school drama in Florida has the cybersecurity world gossiping. Twitter flagged the account belonging to a shadowy group that doxxes hackers. And DHS is getting used to a new legal authority in cyberspace. This is CyberScoop for May 5, 2021.

Florida, still the land of "brouhaha"

A Florida homecoming queen faces up to 16 years in prison for allegedly hacking a student database with her mother to win the contest. Emily Grover will be tried as an adult in the case, in which the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded she swung the election with the aid of her mother, an assistant principal in the school district. It's a potentially stiff sentence in a time when Europe is trying to more gently steer teens who dabble in illicit hacking away from the lifestyle. The attorney for both women said the decision to try Grover as an adult was unsurprising, but that for the case in general, "the brouhaha is mind-boggling." Tim Starks catches you up.


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Twitter adds drama to the Intrusion Truth mystery

Twitter restricted the account of a mysterious group that has published details on suspected state-sponsored hackers from China. The group, Intrusion Truth, had spent recent days hinting that it would go public with new allegations against possible hackers, teasing followers with messages like “Watch this space” and “Who’s excited? We are.” The messages came after a long period of inactivity, resulting in Twitter flagging the recent hype as spam. Jeff Stone has the latest.


CISA starts shaking what Congress gave it

Subpoenas are a powerful tool at many a government official’s disposal. Now, DHS’s cyber agency gets to use them, too. Last week marked the first time that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency subpoenaed an ISP for information on a client that is vulnerable to hacking. It’s a milestone for an agency that the White House and Congress are trying to beef up. Sean Lyngaas is on the case.


Qualys researchers find 21 bugs in mail tools

Researchers have found 21 vulnerabilities in Exim, a popular mail transfer agent, some of which would allow hackers to run full remote unauthenticated code execution against targets, Qualys said Tuesday. Attackers could execute commands to install programs, manipulate data, create new accounts or change settings on the mail servers, according to the research. Hackers working for Russia’s military intelligence agency — the group known as Sandworm, specifically — used Exim vulnerabilities last year to disable victims’ network security settings and execute commands and code remotely, according to the NSA. Shannon Vavra has more details.


CRI to Biden: Do these things to help small biz on cyber

The nonprofit Cyber Readiness Institute urged the Biden administration on Wednesday to establish a cybersecurity center within CISA to specifically help small and medium businesses, and create tax credits for such businesses to incentivize cybersecurity. The institute — founded by the likes of Mastercard and Microsoft and with members that include ExxonMobil and General Motors — also said the feds should set cybersecurity standards, launch national cyber squads of student interns to help small businesses and roll out a nationwide awareness campaign. "SMBs are critical components of our digital economy and there are fundamental actions we can take to help them become more secure and resilient to make our nation stronger and cyber ready," said Kiersten Todt, managing director of the Cyber Readiness Institute. Read the full white paper.


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