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03/30/2021
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Suspected foreign hackers got their hands on emails from DHS higher-ups. A different kind of supply chain issue makes waves. And a lawsuit against the Election Assistance Commission to know about. This is CyberScoop for March 30, 2021.

SolarWinds breach included DHS emails

Suspected Russian operatives reportedly breached the email account belonging to former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf as part of the fallout from the SolarWinds breach. Wolf and other top DHS officials resorted to new phones with the encrypted messaging application Signal, even though a DHS spokesperson said only a "small number" of accounts were affected. “The department no longer sees indicators of compromise on our networks and remains focused on further securing our networks against future attacks, integrating lessons learned from this incident,” the spokesperson said. Dave Nyczepir has the story at FedScoop.


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The big hack that wasn't

The PHP programming language accounts for nearly 80% of websites on the internet, according to one estimate. So when PHP developers revealed that hackers had tried to slip malicious scripts into the source code, alarm bells rang. The backdoors didn’t appear to make it into the wild, but it was a reminder of supply chain security risks. Sean Lyngaas has the story.


EAC faces new lawsuit

An activist group sued the Election Assistance Commission on Monday for access to its communications with private voting machine vendors out of a concern that the EAC bent its guidelines following closed-door meetings with technology manufacturers. The plaintiff, called Free Speech for People, says it takes issue with the guidelines the commission landed on when it comes to wireless connectivity. (The guidelines allow wireless networking devices in voting machines if their wireless capability is disabled.) The suit alleges the changes “lessen the burden” on the private vendors. Read the filing here.


Google-backed organization to train state officials

The nonprofit National Cybersecurity Center on Monday kicked off an initiative to offer training sessions on cyber hygiene and IT security to elected officials in state governments and their staff members. The program will feature virtual briefings, on-demand workshops and other materials addressing not only good online safety measures, but also an overview of the many different cyberthreats state and local government face. StateScoop’s Ben Freed has more.


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