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12/06/2019
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Amy Hess, a high-level FBI official who questioned the bureau's encryption-busting approach, is leaving the federal government. Suspected North Korean hackers fling malware from behind a cryptocurrency exchange. And Facebook catches malware developers trying to boost ads. This is CyberScoop for Friday, December 6.

After three decades, a senior FBI official is out

Amy Hess, the most senior woman at the FBI and head of its Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, is heading to Louisville, Ky. to work as a municipal security official,  Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said last month. In her time at the bureau, Hess has spoken out about hacking threats from the Chinese and Russian governments, but also about how the FBI is working more closely with U.S. companies to guard against such threats. She's also known for raising concerns within the FBI about the bureau’s approach to trying to break into the iPhone of a perpetrator of the 2015 San Bernardino, Ca., terrorist attack. She is one of multiple senior FBI cyber officials to leave the bureau in the last 15 months. Sean Lyngaas has the story.


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Lazarus Group hides malware behind cryptocurrency exchanges

It looks like North Korean hackers are cloaking malicious software meant to breach Apple systems behind a cryptocurrency trading platform. Hackers are using tools associated with the Lazarus Group, a loosely defined state-sponsored group operating on Pyongyang's behalf, capable of loading from memory, then writing malicious files, according to malware researcher Dinesh Devadoss. The malware, a MacOS trojan, is hidden in a fake cryptocurrency-trading platform called Union Crypto Trader, which bears many of the Lazarus Group's hallmarks, the Mac specialist Patrick Wardle wrote in a blog post. Lazarus "has a propensity for targeting users Orr administrators of cryptocurrency exchanges. And their de facto method of infecting such targets is via fake cryptocurrency company and trading applications," he said. Read more about Lazarus Group.


About CBP's biometric ideas...

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Thursday that, despite some recent considerations to the contrary, U.S. citizens will still be able to opt out of the agency’s Biometric Exit facial recognition program. “There are no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States,” a CBP spokesperson told FedScoop. “CBP intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding U.S. citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published.” Earlier this week, condemnation came swiftly from privacy advocates and a member of Congress after the CBP’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, said in a published notice that it was considering expanding the scope of the program to include U.S. citizens. Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more at FedScoop.


Facebook takes alleged malware developer to court

Facebook is suing two Chinese nationals and a Hong Kong advertising firm or allegedly using the social media platform to distribute malware, then push misleading advertisements to try to make money. Since April, Facebook has been notifying hundreds of thousands of users that their accounts may have been compromised by the scheme and instructing them to change their passwords, according to the complaint. The defendants also allegedly relied on a technique called “cloaking” to hide the true destination of ad links to subvert Facebook’s review protocols. Facebook has paid more than $4 million to reimburse victims for the fraudulent ads, per the complaint. Sean has the details.


Huawei hits back

Huawei is suing the Federal Communications Commission over a measure passed last month that limits the Chinese telecommunication firm’s ability to conduct business in the U.S. The suit involves the FCC’s recent decision to block U.S. firms from using government subsidies to purchase Huawei equipment. Huawei alleges the U.S. government flouted the company’s due process rights and that it hasn't provided evidence Huawei is a security threat. Shannon Vavra has the overview.


Tweet Of The Day

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Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, honestly.


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