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12/16/2020
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The White House puts an important process in motion. The Biden team checks in on SolarWinds. And senators are poking specific agencies about what they're doing next. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

National Security Council takes action

In the wake of the SolarWinds breach, the National Security Council has activated an emergency cybersecurity process that is intended to help the government plan its response and recovery efforts, according to White House officials and other sources. The move — along with the national security adviser's early return from a trip to Europe — is a sign of just how seriously the Trump administration is taking the foreign espionage operation, former NSC officials told CyberScoop. In the meantime, questions continue to bubble up over how the suspected Russian hackers were able to slip past U.S. counterintelligence and defensive cybersecurity operations. Shannon Vavra has the big picture.


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Biden’s team sizes up the SolarWinds debacle

U.S. national security officials have now held multiple briefings for the incoming Biden administration on the staggering scope and scale of the SolarWinds hack. A classified session was due to be held Tuesday, according to person familiar with the matter. As the victim list grows, so, too, does the realization that this could be one of Biden’s first big cybersecurity tests. Sean Lyngaas takes you behind the scenes.


Senators seek info on Treasury compromise, other agency breaches

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio pressed the Treasury Department for information on both its reported SolarWinds-related breach by suspected Russian hackers, and how the department would use tools like sanctions to go after the culprits. Treasury has been perhaps the least forthcoming agency among the many believed to have been breached through the SolarWinds vulnerability. Also Tuesday, leaders of two panels with jurisdiction over a number of agencies sought information from CISA and the FBI about which agencies have been affected and how they're lending a hand. Tim Starks has more.


Electric utilities on guard for SolarWinds fallout

U.S. utility executives on Monday convened a private briefing on the potential ramifications of the SolarWinds hack, underscoring the extent to which the vulnerable software is embedded in industrial supply chains. Some industrial organizations are just now realizing they run the affected code in their networks. Securing supply chains has long been a focus for many electric utilities and energy organizations. But the SolarWinds ordeal could be a learning experience for others in the sector, according to experts. Sean talks to the industry.


A wonky marriage between MITRE ATT&CK and the NIST framework

The MITRE ATT&CK framework and the NIST cybersecurity framework are two popular tools with threat intelligence pros and network defenders, respectively, and now a number of organizations have joined in an effort to bring them together. The "mapping" project is the result of a collaboration between MITRE Engenuity's Center for Threat-Informed Defense, JPMorgan Chase, AttackIQ and the Center for Internet Security. While the mapping idea isn't unique, what the collaborators hope their project brings is a chance for smaller organizations to not have to do all the work themselves. Tim explains.


French, Russian spies used Facebook to troll each other

Facebook just removed two networks of accounts — one connected to the French military and the other to a Russian oligarch — that were trying to influence public opinion in the Central African Republic. The accounts posted about news and current events ahead of a general election in an apparent competition to sway potential voters. More interestingly, though, they also trolled each other in comment sections, added their rivals as Facebook friends and used the direct messages feature to threaten each other. The spy vs. spy competition represents the perhaps clearest example yet of how traditional espionage has spilled onto social media. The Washington Post covered the news.


Tweet Of The Day

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Yule have to guess if we actually laughed at this tweet.


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