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03/03/2021
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Chinese hackers used Microsoft zero-days for espionage. Ryuk ransomware is demonstrating self-replicating capabilities. And Clubhouse has some security issues. This is CyberScoop for March 3, 2021.

Microsoft sounds alarm on Chinese hacking

Microsoft on Wednesday warned that Beijing-linked spies were exploiting multiple previously unknown software flaws in Microsoft's Exchange Server to steal data from select targets. The group, dubbed Hafnium, has tried to hack U.S.-based infectious disease researchers, defense contractors and educational institutions. The security implications of the disclosure go well beyond the targeted victim organizations. Microsoft’s announcement allows other organizations to apply fixes for the software flaws, but could also set off a race among other state-sponsored actors or criminal groups to exploit unpatched systems. Sean Lyngaas reports.


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Questions about Clubhouse security just keep adding up

Suddenly, the social media app Clubhouse has more than 10 million downloads. Researchers and frustrated users have articulated concerns about a number of security issues in the app, though, catapulting Clubhouse into a club of startups that dealt with an influx of interest before ironing out major security issues, a group that includes Zoom and established social media companies. Account deletion difficulties, data collection concerns and making some data accessible to the Chinese government are among the top concerns. Jeff Stone sums it up.


How Ryuk is beefing up its ransomware

A new sample of Ryuk ransomware appears to have worm-like capabilities, according to an analysis from the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems, France’s national cybersecurity agency. With such self-replicating capabilities, Ryuk, one of the most prolific strains of ransomware in the world, can spread from machine to machine without any human interaction. The disclosure will likely not be welcome news to the medical sector — the FBI, DHS and HHS took note of Ryuk in October, warning the health care sector in an alert of an “imminent” ransomware threat to hospitals. Shannon Vavra dives in.


'Zoombombing' still big problem for higher ed

'Zoombombing' was a top security issue for universities when the pandemic hit and some have seen an uptick again recently, higher education officials said Tuesday. “Using Zoom and ‘Zoombombing’ was probably one of our biggest concerns and one of our main focuses as we first went remote,” one official said during an online event hosted on Tuesday by the higher education technology magazine Campus Technology. Gerard Au, the deputy chief information officer and chief information security officer at California State University, San Bernardino said of Zoombombing, "It has not subsided."

Colin Wood has the story at EdScoop.


The role of cyber education and grant spending in city governments

City governments need to improve education and use federal grant money creatively to enhance cybersecurity, tech leaders said during an online event on Tuesday hosted by Bloomberg CityLab. "We should have computer science for all," said Jeanne Holm, Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for budget and innovation. Chris Krebs, the former director of CISA, praised legislation Congress has passed to help state and local governments, as well as a DHS decision from last week to increase the percentage of FEMA grants required to be spent on cybersecurity. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed has it covered.


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