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06/10/2021
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JBS pays an $11 million ransom. Amazon is worrying privacy advocates with a new project. And a House panel isn't pleased with Colonial Pipeline over government coordination. This is CyberScoop for June 10, 2021.

JBS to Colonial: I see your $4.4M and raise you to $11M

Meat giant JBS said Wednesday that it paid a ransomware gang $11 million not to unlock systems, but to ensure the hackers didn’t steal any company data. It’s another landmark extortion fee in an era where multimillion-dollar ransoms are the norm. There’s a sense on Capitol Hill and in the White House that the situation is untenable, and that companies will face increasing pressure not to fund the ransomware epidemic. Sean Lyngaas reports.


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Amazon wants its device users to be more neighborly

Amazon’s new project creating a network of its smart home devices has renewed major concerns about IoT security. The feature, which Amazon automatically opted users into on Tuesday, allows Echo and Ring device users to draw on slivers of WiFi from neighboring users. Privacy advocates say that extending the range of such devices could make it easier for tech savvy stalkers. Previous high-profile incidents of Amazon smart home devices being hacked has also created lingering doubt about the security of the project, though so far researchers haven't found any obvious flaws. Amazon says it’s taken a number of steps to deter hackers, including encrypting the data transmitted and requiring devices on the network to be registered with Amazon. Tonya Riley has further details.


House has gripes about Colonial's ransomware response

House Homeland Security Committee members frequently took Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount to task on Wednesday over how the company did — or didn't — coordinate with the government. He got a lot of questions over TSA reviews that never happened, in particular. Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin also lashed out at Blount over refusing help from CISA, with the Rhode Island lawmaker saying he was "outraged" by the company's "dangerous decision." Some  panel members suggested that the private sector isn't doing enough on its own in response to ransomware. Tim Starks has it covered.


Biden revokes Trump-era bans on TikTok, WeChat

Joe Biden has issued his second executive order on Chinese technology in a week. This one overturns Trump-era attempts to ban the apps TikTok and WeChat. The TikTok directive had stalled in the courts. In place of those prohibitions, Biden issued new guidelines for federal agencies to assess the national security risks of such software. Sean writes.


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