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09/24/2020
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The Secret Service rethinks how it fights cybercrime. Customs and Border Protection hears more about a big hack. And another scammer is sentenced. This is CyberScoop for Thursday, September 24, 2020.

Secret Service seeks help in fighting cybercrime

The U.S. Secret Service is pulling in outside expertise from the private sector and from U.S. Cyber Command as it weighs changes to its investigative methods in an attempt to keep pace with international hackers. The engagement with Cyber Command, the Pentagon’s offensive cyber unit, is focused on learning from the military’s experience with transnational cybercriminals, a Secret Service official told CyberScoop. The Secret Service’s efforts to consult with private sector experts, meanwhile, are focused on specifically overhauling the agency’s investigative practices. Shannon Vavra has the scoop.


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Customs and Border — but not data — Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection last year failed to enforce basic security practices at a subcontractor in advance of a hack that exposed 100,000 unique traveler photos, according to an inspector general report released Wednesday. The hack of surveillance technology firm Perceptics “may damage the public’s trust in the government’s ability to safeguard biometric data,” the watchdog said. CBP pointed the finger at Perceptics, but the IG said the buck stops with CBP. Sean Lyngaas has the IG's report.


Hacker gets 3 years in scam against federal agencies

Olumide Ogunremi, a Nigerian national, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for his role in a hacking operation aimed at U.S. government employees. Ogunremi, along with other alleged co-conspirators, targeted government employees with web pages that spoofed U.S. government agencies’ email systems in order to steal their access credentials, prosecutors said. After government personnel visited the pages and fell for the trick, the fraudsters used the stolen usernames and passwords to then fraudulently order office products from General Services Administration vendors, according to the Department of Justice. Shannon has more.


Government IT provider probes 'security incident'

As of Thursday morning, visitors to the website for Tyler Technologies were getting a message explaining that the company "is in the process of responding to a security incident involving unauthorized access to our internal phone and information technology systems by an unknown third party." The Plano, Texas, company is one of the largest vendors of IT services to local governments. It's not known what the impact is on Tyler’s thousands of customers, which use the company’s software for everything from enterprise resource planning, managing open-data programs, scheduling court hearings and collecting fines and bill payments. More from Benjamin Freed at StateScoop


GAO rips White House cyber planning

It’s been more than two years since the White House scrapped a senior cybersecurity position and released an ambitious strategy to shore up the nation’s network defenses. A report this week from the Government Accountability Office took aim at both moves, and lawmakers from both parties seized on the assessment to renew calls for restoring the senior cybersecurity post at the White House. In the face of persistent hacking threats from foreign powers, the Trump administration’s effort to mobilize resources to fix important security weaknesses risks coming up short, according to the report. Sean has more from the GAO.


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