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07/20/2020
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The head of the DHS's cyber wing says election interference attempts are way down. More details emerge about the big Twitter breach. And a new indictment spotlights how digital extortion tactics are evolving. This is CyberScoop for Monday, July 20.

All quiet on the election interference front — so far

Four years ago, Russian intelligence officers already were conducting a sweeping interference operation in the U.S. elections. Right now, according to the head of DHS’s cyber division, officials aren’t seeing similar levels of interference. “We absolutely have better visibility across the networks and we’re just not seeing that same level of activity that we saw in 2016,” CISA Director Chris Krebs said during a Brookings Institution webinar. Krebs did express concern that voter registration databases were “absolutely ripe for a destructive or disruptive attack by a capable adversary." Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said intelligence officials have informed his campaign that Russian operatives are seeking to interfere in the contest again. More on all that here.


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Hacker tried ripping off the Ripoff Report

Joshua Epifaniou, a Cypriot national, just arrived in the U.S., more than two years after he was initially arrested in connection with a corporate hacking spree. Epifaniou is charged with stealing personal information from at least four sites, then demanding a payment in exchange for not publishing that data, according to the Justice Department. Epifaniou also hacked Ripoff Report, a business accountability site, and charged his clients between $3,000 and $5,000 to delete relevant complaints, prosecutors contend. He also allegedly worked with an SEO firm to research companies disparaged on Ripoff Report that would be most likely to pay for his services. Jeff Stone has the indictment.


More on the Twitter breach

Attackers who breached high profile Twitter accounts to launch a bitcoin scam also downloaded data from eight of the affected accounts, the company said in an update. While none of those eight pages were verified, the announcement demonstrates how the ongoing forensic review, and FBI investigation, are likely to turn up more details on what these hackers actually did with their access. They were able to rest passwords of 45 accounts, which made it possible to log in and tweet, while 130 were targeted. Somehow, they manipulated certain Twitter employees into turning over their own credentials, which unlicked the company's internal systems. Here's the latest.


No, that wasn't a security incident

Web security and infrastructure company Cloudflare says an outage on Friday that affected service at sites such as Discord, Shopify, Medium and Politico wasn't due to nefarious activity. "This afternoon we saw an outage across some parts of our network. It was not as a result of an attack," the company said. "It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available. We believe we have addressed the root cause and are monitoring systems for stability now." Twelve of the company's data centers in the U.S. and Europe were affected, causing outages of half-hour or more at affected sites. Cloudflare says its network protects "27 million Internet properties" overall from DDoS attacks, botnets and other cyberthreats. Read the incident report.


CTA partners with ISAC in Colombia

The Cyber Threat Alliance announced it will be collaborating on threat intelligence and coordinating during cybersecurity incidents with CSIRT Asobancaria. CSIRT Asobancaria is the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) for the Colombian financial sector, focused on supporting financial entities’ cybersecurity standards. The move is just the latest from the CTA, which shares threat information amongst its members, to expand digital awareness. Here's the announcement.


Tweet Of The Day

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...or when you wake up in terror and think about your passwords.


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