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06/26/2020
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WorkScoop
Aleksei Burkov, the Russian man who pleaded guilty to hacking-related charges after a long extradition battle, is headed to prison. A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants a cyber boss in the White House. And how U.S. Cyber Command changed its simulation plans during the pandemic. This is CyberScoop for Friday, June 26.

Russian carder gets more prison time

A U.S. judge has sentenced an admitted Russian scammer to nine years in prison, marking the likely end of a years-long legal saga that has involved secretive cybercriminal forums, high-level political negotiations and a proposed prisoner swap. The Russian man pleaded guilty in January to access device fraud and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, identity theft, wire and access device fraud and money laundering in connection with his involvement in two cybercriminal forums. U.S. prosecutors accused Burkov of operating two web forums; one that facilitated more than $20 million in credit card fraud and another invite-only club where “elite cybercriminals” gathered to share stolen information and pool their resources. Jeff Stone and Sean Lyngaas walk through the case.


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Leadership needed in the White House, Republicans say

John Bolton axed the top White House cyber position two years ago, but now even Republicans want to bring it back...this time with more authority. A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill to create a “national cyber director” in the White House with jurisdiction over budgets and incident response. The creation of such a position was a key recommendation from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. There’s currently no counterpart bill in the Senate, though. Sean has more.


COVID-19 impacts Cybercom, too

When U.S. Cyber Command convened with allied countries to test how they would collectively defend against a cyber-operation targeting allied networks, it straightforward simulation of an attack against a European airbase. But the coronavirus pandemic had other plans in mind. For the first time ever, participants conducted the exercise from home on a new software platform, according to U.S. military cyber commanders. Although Cybercom says it was planning to use the platform for the annual exercise, called Cyber Flag, long before the coronavirus started spreading, the pandemic forced the military commanders to reassess how they would work together virtually and solidified how important it is for the U.S. military to be able to work with and allies from afar in times of crisis. Get the details with Shannon Vavra.


This round's on Salesforce

The venture arm of Salesforce has invested in Tanium at a funding round that values the security firm at $9 billion, the companies announced. While exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, it's a big injection for Tanium, which sells software that enables IT teams to monitor threats on devices of employees who are working from home. In a statement to CNBC, Tanium said its raised a total of $900 million, suggesting Salesforce is behind $100 million of that. A 2018 fundraising round valued Tanium at $6.5 billion. Here's an explainer.


Won't someone think of the routers?

U.S. prosecutors have indicted two men, one from Canada and another from Northern Ireland, in connection with a botnet scheme that co-opted hundreds of thousands of connected devices, like routers, to launch cyberattacks against specific web services. Aaron Sterritt, 20, and Logan Shwydiuk, 31, allegedly worked together to build the Satori botnet, which they leased to customers who carried out distributed denial-of-service attacks, KrebsOnSecurity first reported. A third man in the scheme, Kenneth Schuchman, pleaded guilty to to acquiring software exploits to boost the botnet in 2019. A judge has since sentenced Schuchman to 18 months of community confinement and drug treatment. The new indictment is online.


The pandemic has been good to ransomware attackers

Emptying out government offices during the COVID-19 pandemic has had the side effect of greatly expanding the potential attack surface for ransomware by introducing countless home Wi-Fi networks and personal devices into agency networks, state officials have learned. Government staffers have prioritized continuity of operations and high-demand services like unemployment benefits while more traditional concerns, like hackers haven’t gone away. At least 11 state or local government agencies have endured digital extortion attacks — which are becoming more sophisticated — since the start of the pandemic, according to StateScoop’s ransomware research. Benjamin Freed has more.


Tweet Of The Day

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A true white-hat hacking idea here, people.


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