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05/18/2020
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Someone is trying to catfish women by impersonating Gen. Paul Nakasone. Romanian police nab ransomware suspects. And the Commerce Department updated its export controls amid allegations against Huawei. This is CyberScoop for Monday, May, 18.

'Persistent engagement,' indeed

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, is a busy man. He oversees vast surveillance efforts, while also commanding a military outfit charged with launching cyberattacks. Emailing random women from an outpost in Syria is probably not on his to-do list. So when, Susan, a woman from the New York City area, started receiving correspondence from a “Paul Nakasone," she wondered why the self-proclaimed “head of U.S. Army Cyber Command” was trying to flirt with her. “I Googled this guy and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’" she says now. Jeff Stone tells the story.


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Romanian police stopped a ransomware attack against hospitals

Hackers posing as Romainian government officials sent malicious emails to public health institutions purporting to contain information on the coronavirus, according to the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism. Such ransomware attacks could disrupt the IT systems of hospitals. Before that could happen, though, police and security officials said they searched the suspects’ properties in Romania and neighboring Moldova. All four suspects were arrested. Sean Lyngaas has more context.


Another Huawei crackdown

The Department of Commerce said it's tightening regulations to prevent Huawei from using U.S. software to make semiconductors abroad, the latest move by U.S. officials to crack down on a Chinese telecommunications giant they deem a national security threat. The new regulations are an effort to “narrowly and strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology,” according to the department. If history is any guide, the U.S. will continue squeezing Huawei’s commercial opportunities, and the Chinese company will continue to find market power from elsewhere in the world. Sean explains.


Ohio moves toward "Tough on Hacking" approach

The Ohio House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would expand the state’s definition of what constitutes a cybercrime, and increase penalties. The bill aims to make attempted hacking a felony-level offense. Current law only criminalizes successful cyberattacks, which are currently defined broadly as either criminal mischief or unauthorized use of a computer. The bill also gives computer-crime victims the ability to sue people convicted of cybercrimes for civil damages. Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop.


TSA says its prioritizing insider threat detection

The Transportation Security Administration says it's working to stop people inside its systems from wittingly or unwittingly accessing restricted information that could help intruders attack U.S. infrastructure. Under an agency plan, issued in response to a Department of Homeland Security directive, TSA says it aims to use threat information more efficiently, and establish technical capabilities to identify and evaluate risks. FedScoop's Dave Nyczepir has the details.


Miss anything last week?

Greg Otto, Dave Nyczepir and Jake Williams take you through the week's news across the Scoop News Group publications. The topics? GSA's EIS contract, the latest in state and local government cybersecurity funding legislation and the U.S. government putting China and North Korea on blast for their hacks. Watch here.


Tweet Of The Day

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Looks like the firewall is working, though.


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