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08/20/2020
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A key official in the Department of Homeland Security's cyber wing just resigned. Facebook is taking belated action against a far right conspiracy. And Marriott is sued in a London court. This is CyberScoop for Thursday, August 20.

A senior cyber official bails on DHS

A senior DHS official who has led major cybersecurity exercises, as well as a security team at the Super Bowl, submitted his resignation Thursday. A former electric sector executive, Brian Harrell joined DHS in December 2018 and has been the face of the agency’s work on drone security and other key issues. His departure follows that of another senior federal official, Grant Schneider, who announced his resignation from the White House earlier this week. Sean Lyngaas has the story.


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Facebook finally starts removing QAnon groups

Facebook has removed more than 790 groups, 100 pages and 1,500 advertisements affiliated with QAnon, the social media movement that spreads an unfounded conspiracy theory accusing President Donald Trump’s critics of child sex trafficking. The company said Wednesday it also would limit the reach of more than 10,000 Instagram pages and 2,000 Facebook groups in connection with a conspiracy theory that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has described as a domestic terror threat. The move comes after researchers uncovered massive QAnon groups, some with more than 1 million members, thriving on the site, even while Twitter and TikTok took action on their own platforms. Jeff Stone looks closer.


Another job offer scheme out of Pyongyang

The FBI and DHS’ cybersecurity agency, CISA, exposed malware that North Korean government hackers have been using this year to target defense contractors in the military and energy sectors. The malware, a remote access trojan they call BLINDINGCAN, is used alongside lures of fake job postings, a perennial tactic North Korean hackers leverage to dupe victims. The campaign has some overlap with the LinkedIn campaign North Korean hackers aimed at the Israeli defense sector recently, as well as some overlap with a similar McAfee-identified campaign, researchers said. Shannon Vavra breaks it down.


Marriott sued over that big 2018 breach

Marriott International is the subject of a lawsuit in the United Kingdom brought by millions of former guests seeking compensation for the exposure of their data in a massive breach. The class action-style lawsuit, filed by U.K. resident Martin Bryant, comes in response to a security incident in which hackers accessed information about more than 300 million people between July 2014 and September 2018. “If a major corporation suffers a breach because it didn’t do everything it could to protect your data, and the worst it sufferers is a fine for breaking data protection rules, there’s little incentive for anything to really change,” Bryant wrote. Jeff has the latest.


It’s always cyber winter in Taiwan

Taiwan has had an especially eventful 2020 in cyberspace. First, the island’s state oil company was hobbled by a ransomware attack it blamed on Chinese hackers. Then, a campaign to plunder Taiwan’s prized semiconductor industry was laid bare, with Chinese hackers also implicated. Now, Taiwanese officials are accusing multiple groups with suspected ties to Beijing of carrying out a two-year campaign to steal sensitive data form government agencies. It came as no surprise to Taiwanese executives, who said providers are the weak link in government defenses. Sean has more.


Tweet Of The Day

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What's more: Russian hackers are almost certainly watching John's Twitter.


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