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09/10/2020
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A key intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security said his boss told him to stand down on Russian disinformation because it made the president "look bad." A Twitter account belonging to China's ambassador to the U.K. liked pornographic images. And a book identifies the other Florida county hacked by suspected Russian attackers. This is CyberScoop for Thursday, September 10.

DHS intel official blows whistle on Russia reporting

A former senior DHS intelligence official has accused the department’s acting secretary, Chad Wolf, of ordering him to suppress reporting on Russian election interference because it was unflattering for President Donald Trump. The instructions originated with White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the complaint alleges. The White House and DHS denied the allegations. The complaint comes amid an ongoing dispute over election security intelligence between Capitol Hill and the Trump administration. Sean Lyngaas has the complaint.


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Chinese diplomat blames embarrassing Twitter likes on hackers

The Twitter account for Liu Xiaoming China's ambassador to the U.K. was compromised by “some anti-China” elements to “viciously” attack the ambassador and “deceive the public,” the Chinese Embassy in the U.K. said in a statement. The announcement came after social media users noticed that Liu’s account had “liked” a pornographic video, and a number of tweets criticizing Beijing’s treatment of the Uighur Muslim population. One tweet said Chinese officials “paid lip service to non-interference” in China’s internal affairs so the government “could murder their own people.” Jeff Stone has more details.


Book IDs the second Florida county hacked in 2016

According to an excerpt of Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” published by CNN, U.S. intelligence officials identified St. Lucie County as the second of two Florida jurisdictions where Russian hackers successfully accessed countywide voter registration databases in 2016. That hackers struck some Florida counties’ systems was first disclosed in the April 2019 report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election. A month later, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he had been briefed by federal authorities that two counties in the state were targeted. While DeSantis did not name either county, reporters later identified Washington County, home to about 25,000 people on the Florida panhandle, as one, while the second county wasn’t named. Benjamin Freed clears it up at StateScoop.


FBI teases a new cyber strategy

The FBI will be launching its new cyber strategy later this month, the Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, Tonya Ugoretz, said during the virtual Billington CyberSecurity Summit. The premise of the new strategy will be about “imposing risk and consequences” for adversaries, Ugoretz said. She said sharing indicators of compromise and threat information quickly will be a part of the strategy as well. Learn more here.


100 million...observables

The Cyber Threat Alliance’s member companies have shared over 100 million observables from cyber threats, which can include malware in different parts of a kill chain and related attack patterns, as part of their information-sharing with the CTA. “Although it may seem banal in some ways, this simple statistic represents an enormous accomplishment in its own right,” President and CEO Michael Daniel said. “While the cybersecurity community talked about threat sharing for years, the reality usually fell short.” The numbers were released Wednesday. More on the news here.


Tweet Of The Day

Image

It couldn't possibly be worse than what's already happened.


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