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07/23/2021
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The Florida company at the heart of the latest ransomware outbreak confirms it's working with victims to unlock their files. Akamai, the web infrastructure firm, blames a buggy update for major down time. And Apple urges users to adopt the latest iOS software. This is CyberScoop for July 23, 2021.

Kaseya gets the key

Florida-based IT firm Kaseya obtained a working decryption key to unlock the files encrypted by ransomware group REvil earlier this month, the company confirmed Thursday. Kaseya says it's already working with victims of the attack to help them restore their files. Upwards of at least 1,500 companies were impacted by the attack. Kaseya won't say where it got the decryption key or if they paid REvil's $70 million demands to get it. The FBI has also been mum so far, adding to speculation over whether the U.S. government provided some kind of assist. Tonya Riley has the latest.


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No cyberattack in sprawling internet outage

A global internet outage on Thursday downed tens of thousands of websites, including those of giant corporations like McDonald’s and Delta Airlines, according to companies that track web statistics. Akamai, the company at the center of it all, says the downtime was not the result of a hack, data breach or other kind of malicious attack. The specific problem was with Akamai Edge DNS, a service that touts its ability to provide constant Domain Name System availability. Tim Starks explains.


Dutch 'Fraud Family' gets police visit

Dutch police arrested a 24-year-old man and 15-year-old boy for their alleged roles in developing and selling, respectively, a phishing fraud service. Group-IB, which aided Dutch police in the arrests, dubbed the fraud-as-a-service syndicate "Fraud Family." The 24-year-old suspect in a criminal operation that has focused on the Netherlands and Belgium was due in court Friday while the 15-year-old was released pending further investigation. Tim reports on the busts.


Apple's latest security update

A new theme is starting to emerge: Professional hackers are caught exploiting weaknesses in Apple's mobile software, only for the company to rush out a security fix in the days immediately afterward. Apple's latest iOS update, version 14.7, includes patches for 40 vulnerabilities, 37 of which are in iPhones. The update comes after watchdog groups published details about the war the Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group uses iOS features to target victims. Apple's update this week doesn't actually account for the NSO Group hacks, though that fix appears to be in the works, as ThreatPost reported. Read more here.


Senate passes bill to staff national cyber director's office

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that authorizes the national cyber director, a new office, to accept details from other federal government agencies. Chris Inglis, the first-ever NCD, was sworn in on July 12, though he's been functioning without a staff, and Congress has yet to appropriate the $15 million that the White House has sought to support up to 75 employees. It's a long way of saying: This is an office to watch. Here's the Senate statement.


Five years for a scheme to funnel data to China

A U.S. judge on Thursday sentenced a California man to 63 months behind bars in connection with a plot to export circuit technology, with military applications, to China. Yi-Chi Shih, 66, was convicted in 2019 of defrauding a U.S. company that makes semiconductor chips, which are used in missile guidance systems and electronic warfare, then sending that data to a state-owned company in China. Shih also worked as the president of Chengdu GaStone Technology Company, which the U.S. Commerce Department placed on its Entity List in 2014 for acting in contrary to U.S. national security interests. Read the announcement.


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