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Twitter reinstates a slew of election disinformation provocateurs. Federal agencies lack coordination with ransomware response. And the U.S. government is hoping to scoop new IT workers. This is CyberScoop for Nov. 22.

Elon welcomes back far-right disinfo influencers

Former President Donald Trump may be getting the gang back together — on Twitter. After Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account over the weekend following an online poll, Twitter’s new owner has welcomed a slew of extreme conservative figures back onto the social media platform — ranging from Project Veritas, the activist media outlet, to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia most famous for promoting QAnon conspiracy theories. Together, they make up key parts of a newly reconstituted online cohort with a history of amplifying the former president’s falsehoods and that researchers warn plays an important role in spreading lies that could cause real-world harm. Suzanne Smalley has more.

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For ransomware, feds need more rigorous comms

The closer collaboration with federal agencies that state and local governments depend on after incidents like a ransomware attack would be more achievable if those federal agencies played better with each other, according to a report last week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The two-pager, published Nov. 16, points out that while the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Secret Service and the FBI all play vital roles in helping state, local and K-12 entities protect against and recover from ransomware, they lack clear lines of communication for facilitating that assistance. Much of the three agencies’ coordination when assisting a state or local agency has been “informal” and lacks documented procedures, according to the GAO, Congress’ auditing branch. This latest report was meant as a reminder of lengthier reports the GAO put out this year analyzing federal agencies’ roles and performances in helping states, localities, tribes, territories and school districts protect themselves against what seems like an ever-escalating ransomware threat. Citing data collected by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, SLTT governments — including K-12 schools — experienced more than 2,800 ransomware incidents between January 2017 and March 2021. Benjamin Freed writes for StateScoop.

Big Tech lays off IT talent, gov senses opportunity

Big tech companies have dismissed nearly 50,000 employees as the sector braces for further economic turmoil in 2023. And while the private sector shrinks, public sector recruiters see an opportunity to attract new talent to government IT. Government leaders in Silicon Valley and beyond are courting recently laid-off tech workers, urging them to give back through public service. But experts with technology recruitment expertise suggest local government IT leaders need to do a better job at sharing how they make an impact if they hope to be successful. San Francisco Chief Information Officer Linda Gerull is among those hoping to capitalize on the recent round of layoffs by Amazon, Meta and Twitter. Lindsay McKenzie writes for StateScoop.

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