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08/14/2020
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The NSA has called out Russian hackers like never before. Facebook launches a new way to help tamp down election disinformation. And ex-DHS employees want to see more cyber coming out of their former place of employment. This is CyberScoop for Friday, August 14.

Being fancy has its limits

The NSA and FBI jointly exposed malware Thursday that they say Russian military hackers at the GRU use in cyber-espionage operations. Hackers working for the 85th Main Special Service Center, military unit 26165 — AKA Fancy Bear or APT28 — use the malware, which the Russians themselves call “Drovorub,” to target Linux systems. The NSA and FBI warned DOD personnel and the defense industrial base to take steps to protect against the malware, while the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade took steps to signal to Russians that U.S. officials are capable of tracking some of the Russian military’s work. Shannon Vavra has the story.


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Facebook aims to stifle misinformation, criticism

Facebook just unveiled its Voter Information Center, an online hub meant to give users up-to-date information about mail-in voting, voter registration deadlines and other election-related material. The company also will flag high profile voting-related posts with a link to a nonpartisan explanation about the political process. The plan comes after civil rights groups said Facebook, by allowing false claims from President Trump to go unchecked, could be exploited to suppress participation in the November election. Jeff Stone has more.


Upping their game

Threat actors using a common banking trojan, IcedID, are improving the ways they get it on victims’ systems, according to new research from Juniper Networks’ threat research team. In recent months the operators have been working to evade detection by using password protected attachments and keyword obfuscation in their trojanized documents, according to Juniper Threat Labs. And in the last month, the hackers have gone a step further and begun using a malicious DLL file to run a second-stage attack that ultimate delivers IcedID. Shannon has more.


More Cyber!

Now more than 15 years old, the Department of Homeland Security is at a crossroads. It is the face of some of the Trump administration’s most controversial policies, but it is also charged with protecting critical infrastructure, including elections, from hacking. A new report from former senior DHS officials suggests the department to ditch the “most partisan” aspects of its work and double down on its cybersecurity investments. Sean Lyngaas has more.


Trump's soft spot for...Snowden?

President Trump reportedly asked aides Thursday whether he should allow former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to return to the U.S. from Russia without going to prison, according to an exclusive interview with the New York Post. “There are a lot of people that think that he is not being treated fairly. I mean, I hear that,” Trump reportedly said, adding that he thinks the Obama administration spied on his campaign. In 2013 Trump said, “Snowden is a spy who should be executed-but if it and he could reveal Obama’s records, I might become a major fan.” Read the full interview here.


Tweet Of The Day

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Poetry. Literally.


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