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10/29/2019
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The same state-sponsored hacking group that infiltrated the Democratic National Committee has spent the past month targeting anti-doping officials. The FCC boss proposes a plan to block ZTE and Huawei. And India's payment card problem isn't going away. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, October 29.

Fancy Bear is training for the Olympics, too

State-sponsored Russian hackers known as Fancy Bear — or Strontium, APT28 and other names — targeted at least 16 national and international organizations across three continents starting Sept. 16, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security and trust said in a blog post. That date roughly coincides with when World-Anti Doping Agency officials told international media outlets that Russia may be banned from all international sporting events over “inconsistencies” at its Moscow testing facility. The World Anti-Doping Authority long has been a target of interest for Russian hackers. Jeff Stone has more context.


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An eerily familiar feeling in Georgia

It’s been more than a decade since DDoS attacks on Georgian government websites coincided with Russia’s bombing of Georgia over a territorial dispute. On Monday, the Georgian president’s website, along with those of Georgian courts and media outlets, were hit by hackers who posted an image of an ex-Georgian president with the words, “I’ll be back.” No culprit has been named and Georgian officials are investigating. But for a country accustomed to foreign interference in digital and physical form, the attacks stirred uncomfortable memories. Sean Lyngaas reports on the attacks there.


FCC puts Huawei and ZTE in the doghouse

The head of the Federal Communications Commission revealed a plan Monday that would bar U.S. communications companies from using federal subsidies from an $8.5 billion fund to buy Huawei and ZTE equipment and services. The order by Chairman Ajit Pai also would compel companies to remove equipment built by those Chinese companies from their networks, and create a process to designate other suppliers that may pose a national security threat in the future. It’s the latest push from the Trump administration to block Chinese-owned telecommunications equipment and services from being used in the U.S. over national security concerns. Shannon Vavra explains what happens next.


More than 1 million payments cards uploaded to Joker's Stash

A database containing roughly 1.3 million credit and debit card numbers belonging primarily to Indian bank customers was uploaded this week to Joker’s Stash, an online market specializing in stolen personal data, according to Group-IB. Ninety-eight percent of the files belong to Indian banks, while 1% originate with a Colombian entity. Group-IB did not name any of the banks affected or victims included in the database. The company also wouldn't speculate on who may have uploaded the information. Group-IB’s findings provide the latest proof that Joker’s Stash has emerged as a leading marketplace for identity thieves. Jeff has more details.


Look! Positive security news from an inspector general!

The Department of Veterans Affairs generally does a good job managing department-issued mobile devices, a recent report by the agency’s inspector general has found. However, as with most topics of cybersecurity, there’s a bit of an asterisk here — specifically when it comes to overseeing and enforcing a “blacklist” of potentially malicious mobile applications. VA’s Office of Information and Technology told the IG that it had decided not to enforce a blacklist on its roughly 50,000 mobile devices because of the work associated with it. This, the IG says, introduces some potential vulnerability. The IG report makes a total of three recommendations, including that VA OIT figures out how to enforce app blacklisting, and make sure that mobile device users participate in security training. Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has the letter.


Local utilities have work to do

Local governments are increasingly at risk of cyberattacks, such as ransomware, which can cripple citizen services or control systems for electricity, water or public transit. Government must safeguard those physical systems and educate all members of their organizations to do the same, said Pete Tseronis, the former chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Education. Too often, the cybersecurity of these systems is left untouched so long as they meet the minimum standards of consistently delivering service on time. Because agency officials are more concerned with service delivery than cybersecurity risk, he said, many potential problems are never addressed. Ryan Johnston has the details at StateScoop.


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The solution to the cyber skills shortage: Art teachers.


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