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08/03/2020
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WorkScoop
The Department of Homeland Security doesn't mention the president in its disinformation warning. Quick arrests in that Twitter hack. And a big test for election security. This is CyberScoop for Monday, August 3.

DHS frets over mail-in voting disinfo

Attackers could exploit the public’s limited understanding of the mail-in voting process to “mislead and confuse” Americans in the November elections, according to a new analysis from the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity wing. Disinformation is similar to other voting threats, though it uses “different content” to sow divisions, DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said Friday. (The agency didn’t mention President Trump’s role in spreading falsehood’s about voting by mail.) The document also says that “integrity attacks on voter registration data and systems” are higher risk when one votes by mail compared to voting in person. Read it here.


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Suspected Twitter hackers ID'd following noisy breach

Florida police have arrested a 17-year-old male and the Department of Justice has charged two others for their alleged roles in a breach where attackers seized control of high-profile Twitter accounts to push an apparent bitcoin scam. A Florida state attorney said Graham Ivan Clark was the "mastermind" of a hack that involved, essentially, calling Twitter employees on the phone and gaining access to high profile accounts. Two others, another Florida resident and a man in the U.K., also were indicted. Jeff Stone has more context.


Testing election security defenses, with little time to spare

DHS just held its third annual tabletop exercise for state and local election officials, simulating how some of the worst-case scenarios, including potential cyberattacks, physical attempts to disrupt the voting process and civil unrest would play out. The exercise featured about 2,100 participants from federal, state and local governments, as well as private-sector election technology vendors. They tested website defacements, attacks on election reporting sites and disinformation. Benjamin Freed looks deeper at StateScoop.


Guilty pleas mount in Infraud case

For the second time in as many months, U.S. prosecutors secured a guilty plea in the case against a $568 million Eastern European crime ring. Valerian Chiochiu, a 30-year-old Moldovan man, pleaded guilty for his role in writing malware and training Infraud members on how to use it. Chiochiu admitted to authoring a piece of code known as FastPOS, which rapidly exfiltrates data from a credit card. The Justice Department previously said Infraud was the largest prosecution ever against a cybercrime ring. In this case, scammers specializers in stolen credit cards and banking data. Sean Lyngaas has the court docs.


Anti-encryption bills abound

Republican lawmakers are pushing more legislation on Capitol Hill that would require tech companies give law enforcement access to encrypted devices and services. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., introduced a bill that would require manufacturers of encrypted devices and service providers to be able to decrypt data in response to a court order. It’s the latest in a series of GOP-backed bills, including the EARN IT Act, which could degrade encryption’s security and privacy benefits at the peril of all users, for the benefit of some law enforcement probes, security and privacy experts say. Shannon Vavra breaks it down.


Lawmakers hope to expose data brokers

Citing surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters, 10 U.S. lawmakers on have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the lucrative market for tracking and selling Americans’ personal information. “[T]here is no effective way to control these tools absent intervention by regulators and Congress,” the lawmakers, including Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., wrote to the FTC. Multiple hacks of marketing firms have also brought the security practices of the online ad industry under scrutiny. Sean has more.


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