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07/20/2022
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Foreign adversaries may be looking to disrupt the midterms with cyberattacks and disinformations ops. Details surface about malware targeting Ukraine. And the top FBI cyber official is worried about increasingly sophisticated hacks. This is CyberScoop for July 20.

FBI director expects onslaught of digital assaults targeting midterm elections

Federal law enforcement officials are preparing for a wave of multilayered cyberattacks and influence operations from China, Russia and Iran in the run up to November’s midterm elections, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday. He pointed to a multi-pronged 2020 Iranian cyber campaign to intimidate and influence American voters, saying officials expect to see more such incidents in the coming months. The risks posed to the American public by “relatively modest hacking” increase exponentially when foreign governments layer such efforts with influence operations and disinformation that “causes panic or lack of confidence in our election infrastructure,” Wray said during a cybersecurity conference at Fordham University in New York City. Suzanne Smalley reports from New York.


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Cyber Command shares bevy of details on hacks targeting Ukraine

Cyber Command on Wednesday published details related to various malware the agency says has been used in attacks on Ukrainian entities in recent months. The agency posted the data to VirusTotal, Pastebin and Github, saying that the information, which did not include attribution, is intended to help American law enforcement and intelligence as well as international partners to "defend critical infrastructure and our democratic values and institutions." The last time the agency posted data in this way was in January when it shared what it said were the technical details associated with Iranian hacking attempts. AJ Vicens reports.


The growth in targeted, sophisticated cyberattacks troubles top FBI cyber official

The FBI is deeply worried that cybercriminals and nation-state adversaries are developing more precision in their attacks and taking advantage of innovations in artificial intelligence that will compound the digital threat in the years to come, FBI Assistant Director for Cyber Bryan Vorndran said Wednesday. “When we think about software as a service or even supply chain attacks, what happens when the adversary understands that there is perhaps one software factory that services the entire community,” said Vorndran, who oversees 1,000 FBI agents focused on cybercrimes nationwide, during a speech Wednesday at a Fordham University cybersecurity conference. Suzanne has this story, too.


Senate wants tighter cyber-electronic warfare integration, clarity on organizations for cyber ops

The Senate Armed Services Committee wants a strategy and more coherent integration of cyber and electronic warfare effects in military operations. A provision in the committee’s version of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act is requiring the Department of Defense to develop a strategy for “converged cyber and electronic warfare conducted by and through deployed military and intelligence assets operating in the radio frequency domain to provide strategic, operational and tactical effects in support of combatant commanders.” Mark Pomerleau has the story in FedScoop.


California AG leads call for federal data privacy 'floor, not ceiling'

A coalition of 10 state attorneys general, led by Rob Bonta of California, has called on Congress to adopt national data privacy legislation that “sets a federal floor, not a ceiling.” In a letter dated July 19, Bonta and colleagues from Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington, urged congressional leaders to “respect the important work already undertaken by states to provide strong privacy protections for our residents.” StateScoop's Lindsay McKenzie reports.


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