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09/24/2019
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Diplomats visiting New York for the U.N. General Assembly are weighing what kind of conduct is acceptable online. New Citizen Lab findings link recent disclosures on apparent Chinese cyber-espionage. And phishing emails flood the utility sector. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, September 24.

The debate over what states can get away with in cyberspace is back on

The U.S. and 26 other nations on Monday kicked off the U.N. General Assembly in New York by issuing a statement that called out both state and non-state actors for targeting critical infrastructure during peacetime, interfering in politics and conducting intellectual property theft. They also suggested imposing costs on those that seek to undermine established cyber norms. And although none of the dignitaries or foreign ministers present Monday named Russia or China, the subtext was clear: It is the hope of the U.S. and 26 other nations that the cyber norms delineated here will not be diluted in the future. Shannon Vavra was on the sidelines.


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Who could possibly be trying to hack the leaders of Tibet?

Hackers apparently tried to infect mobile phones belonging to senior members of Tibetan groups, including people who worked directly for the Dalai Lama as well as members of Tibet's parliament. Citizen Lab on Tuesday detailed the apparent cyber-espionage effort, which involved attackers posing as journalists, Amnesty International researchers, non-governmental organization workers and other faked identities to send malicious links in WhatsApp conversations. Researchers observed the campaign, dubbed Poison Carp, between November 2018 and May 2019. Some of the malicious tools were noted in similar attacks against China’s Uighur population reported by Google’s Project Zero team, and in another report by the security firm Volexity. Jeff Stone breaks it down.


An APT group is bullying U.S. utilities

A set of possibly state-sponsored hackers has targeted a much longer list of U.S. utility-sector organizations than previously documented, according to cybersecurity company Proofpoint, underscoring the steady interest that well-resourced hackers have in U.S. critical infrastructure. From April to August, the unidentified hackers have targeted at least 17 entities in the sector, Proofpoint said. The tally jumped from the three utilities the company reported on in August after a fresh batch of phishing emails was found. Sean Lyngaas is on the case.


Plan to help secure state, local governments gains steam

Federal legislation creating new grants and other programs designed to help state and local governments with cybersecurity is expected to advance in Congress in the next few weeks, following a year that has seen scores of ransomware attacks against municipalities large and small. The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act would represent one of the most significant federal investments in state and local information security efforts, according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, which took the rare step in July of endorsing the legislation. The proposal by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, was recently placed on the Senate's official list of bills ready for floor action this fall. Benjamin Freed has the details at StateScoop.


Why Zero Trust is important

Akamai's Global Director of Security joins CyberScoop's Editor-in-Chief Greg Otto to talk about zero trust and why enterprises should incorporate it into their security strategy. Watch the video here.


Tweet Of The Day

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Step aside please, sir.


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