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10/27/2020
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Facebook has a repeat-offender problem. Twitter makes another adjustment ahead of Election Day. State and local IT officials are projecting calm, for now. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.

Fool me twice ... shame on Facebook

When researchers find bots, spam and coordinated disinformation on Facebook, they sometimes report their discoveries to the company, only to find the same behaviors again later. Including Spamouflage Dragon, a Chinese spam effort, and the Proud Boys, a right-wing American hate group, a number of groups recently have managed to sneak through Facebook’s security controls to reach users on the site after their removal. While Facebook says it uses artificial intelligence to detect repeat offenders, outside specialists are hoping that detection becomes a more proactive process. Jeff Stone has the story.


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A 'banner' day for disinfo

Twitter launched a feature Monday that seeks to debunk misinformation about voting by labeling certain tweets with a descriptive banner. It's the latest effort from social media companies to tamp down on misinformation ahead of Election Day in the U.S. To some critics of Twitter, the move felt like a last-minute decision with limited potential for effectiveness. Although Twitter is branding the effort as a “prebunk,” meaning it is getting ahead of the misinformation it will label with the banners, the subject of one of its first banners — fraud related to mail-in ballots — has been spreading for months. Shannon Vavra talks with disinformation experts.


State and local IT officials hunker down

With Election Day right around the corner, state and local IT officials are projecting much more calm than your Facebook feed or family group text. The consensus is that if the 2016 election was the game-changer and the 2018 midterms were the dress rehearsal for a new era, the 2020 count will benefit from everything that state and local agencies have learned in the last four years. “Compared to 2016, it is 180 degrees different,” says Trevor Timmons, the chief information officer to Colorado's secretary of state. Threats abound, of course, but awareness is so much broader and deeper. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed talks to election officials with only a week to go.


Keybase is gone but not forgotten at Zoom

For a couple of weeks, Zoom has been touting the arrival of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all paid and free users of its videoconferencing platform, and Monday marked the initiative's appearance in Windows, macOS and Android versions. In announcing the milestone, the company gave a shoutout to a team that helped pull it off: the engineers from Keybase, a startup that Zoom acquired in May. The major project had a six-month turnaround, and Zoom executives said the Keybase team was critical to its success. Zoom's servers will now be blind to the encryption keys that users employ to protect the privacy of their sessions, the company said. Joe Warminsky has more.


Analysts call on NATO members to invest more in cyber

While President Donald Trump has exhorted NATO members to spend more on military kit, a new report argues that the alliance also needs to shell out more for digital defenses. Analysts at the Atlantic Council suggest NATO members pledge 0.2% of their GDP to cybersecurity. It might not seem like much, but it would make it harder for NATO’s digital adversaries, which include Russia, to conduct operations. “NATO is grappling with how to navigate and operate in cyberspace and must follow strategy with resources,” the report says. More from the Atlantic Council.


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