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06/07/2021
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The ransomware outbreak exposes different approaches to malicious software from the U.S. government and major American companies. An accused malware author appears in Cleveland court. And could Russia's president be operating in bad faith? This is CyberScoop for June 7, 2021.

Dissonance, harmony over ransomware from government, industry

Last week Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger penned a letter to the private sector suggesting they take steps to combat ransomware. Weeks before, the Chamber of Commerce had sent its own recommendations list to the federal government on tackling ransomware. The hacking technique's increased prominence following the Colonial Pipeline and JBS hacks is prompting the latest big exchange of the long-heralded "public-private partnership," with both sides working to commend the other even as they redouble their messages. Tim Starks takes a deeper look.


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A big TrickBot indictment

U.S. prosecutors indicted Alla Witte, a 55-year-old Latvian woman, in connection with writing malicious software that hackers paired with Trickbot, another hacking tool. Trickbot, known for distributing ransomware, was the subject of a U.S. government takedown operation prior to the election last year. Witte was arrested in February, arraigned Friday in Cleveland and faces decades in prison if convicted on all counts. Sean Lyngaas has the story.


Putin refers to US hack investigations as 'nonsense'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that accusations that the Russian state is in anyway linked to a recent ransomware attack against global meat supplier JBS are “nonsense.” The FBI has blamed the attack on REvil, a group thought to be based out of Russia. That breach came after an unrelated incident against Colonial Pipeline, a major U.S. fuel supplier, in which the FBI blamed another alleged Russia-based gang, DarkSide. The accusations are meant to “provoke some new conflicts before our meeting with Biden,” Putin alleged, referring to a summit between the world leaders scheduled to take place later this month. Tonya Riley looks closer.


Olympic officials' data exposed after Fujitsu breach

The hack of a Japanese government contractor exposed data on about 170 people who took part in a cybersecurity drill ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Japanese media reported. The incident began with unidentified attackers accessing data-sharing software made by technology firm Fujitsu, but has now affected numerous government ministries. Cybersecurity measures have become a more urgent concern for Olympic organizers after a 2018 Russian cyber-espionage operation aimed at the games in Korea. Sean has more.


DDoS strikes German tech firm

Fiducia & GAD IT AG, a German IT company that provides IT services for banks' online software, was struck with a distributed denial-of-service attack last week that slowed some services and disrupted customers' browsing activity. The incident, in which attackers directed fabricated web traffic at their target, affected some 800 financial institutions. DDoS attacks are a mostly outdated form of malicious cyber activity, as digital defenses have mostly updated their protections, though officials are still on the lookout for infrequent large attacks. Reuters had a brief story on the matter.


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