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07/07/2022
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WorkScoop
Apple makes moves against spyware operators. Maui ransomware takes a toll on health care organizations. And hackers tied to Beijing are targeting Russia. This is CyberScoop for July 7.

Apple has a new weapon in the war against spyware

Apple announced Wednesday it will introduce a setting this fall that allows users to lock services that could otherwise be exploited by malicious hackers looking to infect iPhones with spyware. "Lockdown mode" is the company's latest parry against a growing industry of highly targeted spyware used by mercenaries and nation states to go after victims like dissidents and journalists. Apple is currently suing the NSO Group, one of the world's most prominent spyware providers. In addition to its anti-spyware feature, Apple announced it is awarding a $10 million grant to groups researching spyware.   Tonya Riley reports.


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China ramps up hacking on Russian targets

The political alliance between the Russian and Chinese governments that was intensifying before the Russian invasion of Ukraine has intensified in the months after the invasion, as the Russian government was increasingly isolated from much of the rest of the world. But behind the scenes, the Chinese government has intensified its hacking efforts on Russian targets, launching a barrage of campaigns to gather intelligence. A SentinelOne analysis out Thursday analyzed the latest example, which came in the form of a phony Russian CERT warning to Russian entities about phishing attempts.   AJ Vicens has the details.


Russian info ops seek to divide the west on Ukraine

State-controlled Russian media has been pumping out propaganda that seeks to chip away at the Western coalition supporting Ukraine, according to a report the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future released Thursday. The propaganda Recorded Future found matches up with an unverified "analytical note" the Security Service of Ukraine reportedly intercepted from Russian intelligence and published on June 5. Both the propaganda and the analytical note focus on dividing the Western coalition through influence operations about domestic political issues such as the burden Ukrainian refugees will place on Western governments. Suzanne Smalley has more.


Maui wowie

The FBI, CISA and Treasury Department warned Wednesday that North Korean hackers targeted the health sector targets with Maui ransomware. The FBI began responding to Maui ransomware incidents in the sector in May 2021, and some of the incidents "disrupted the services ... for prolonged periods." North Korea is "ruthless" about attacking the health care sector, said John Riggi with the American Hospital Association. "The fact that there's an urgency by the health care sector to continue the uninterrupted provision of health care is a reason why they're targeting health care," he said.   Tim Starks writes.


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