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11/04/2020
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We're watching how U.S. agencies are tracking election-related threats, including bogus robocalls and misinformation campaigns. And there's some interesting Silk Road-related news. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.

US officials preach digital vigilance as election results come in

It was a quiet night in terms of reports about cyber-activity against election infrastructure. Now, U.S. officials are focused on disinformation campaigns or cheap cyberattacks that might spring up to try to cast doubt on the voting results. “The [potential] attack surface is shifting from the actual voting technology into a different set, and that includes election-night reporting,” as a senior CISA official put it. Sean Lyngaas checks in with the feds.


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FBI looking into voter suppression-oriented robocalls

The FBI is investigating robocalls that encouraged recipients to skip Election Day, according to a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Reports of an estimated 10 million calls urging people to "stay safe and stay home" were accompanied by reports in the Flint, Mich. area of calls saying that due to long lines, voters should instead vote on Wednesday. The apparent attempts at voter suppression were nonetheless in line with similar attempts in past elections, the CISA official said. New York's attorney general is likewise looking into the robocalls. Tim Starks has more.


Silk Road-linked bitcoin wallet is being drained

About $1 billion in cryptocurrency linked to the infamous Silk Road dark web market is being moved out of a coin wallet, but the source of the transaction is unclear, according to analysts cited by the BBC. Cryptocurrency trackers Elliptic and Ciphertrace have issued reports saying that the account had been dormant for years but recently had seen a flurry of activity. The transactions could be from people associated with Silk Road — which the U.S. government shut down in 2013 — but it's also possible that hackers could be stealing the coins or law enforcement could be confiscating them. Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht is currently serving two life sentences in prison. Read more.


CISA's new cyber workforce project

CISA has a plan to boost the influx of talent into cybersecurity jobs. The idea is to create a national network of technical institutes that would train workers to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide. CISA awarded $2 million to the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute — a project led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — to begin working on the idea. “This award to create a national network of institutes to educate and train dynamic and diverse cybersecurity professionals is part of the administration and CISA’s initiatives and efforts to begin a trend of reducing this workforce gap," says Bryan Ware, assistant director of cybersecurity at CISA. FedScoop's Dave Nyczpir has more.


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Security transformation is about more than technology

Jeanette Manfra, a Director of Government Security and Compliance at Google Cloud, said that a proactive mindset can help organizational leaders overcome obstacles that arise during a digital transformation. During a keynote session at CyberTalks — the annual summit of security leaders from the government and private sector hosted by Scoop News Group — Manfra explained that effective buy-in from throughout a company or a government agency can streamline technology and other operations. Watch the keynote here.


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We're doing the math, and it appears that these Canadians are going to be very busy.


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