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06/28/2021
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Microsoft says Cozy Bear compromised a customer support rep's account to try to hack others. Researchers find hackers infecting torrented video games with malware that disables antivirus programs. And Alaska's CISO is off to the Homeland Security Department. This is CyberScoop for June 28, 2021.

Russian hackers breached Microsoft customer support

The same state-sponsored Russian hacking group behind the SolarWinds campaign exploited access to a Microsoft account to try hacking targets in 36 countries, the company said. The group, known as Cozy Bear and Nobelium, gathered "basic account information" from IT firms, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, though the activity was "mostly unsuccessful," per incident responders. Jeff Stone has the news.


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Hackers are turning pirated games into gold

Hackers are infecting torrented copies of popular video games, including "The Sims 4" and "Grand Theft Auto V," that allow them to turn victim’s computers into crypto-mining machines. Hackers have made roughly $2 million worth of Monero cryptocurrency using the malware, which researchers at Avast are dubbing “Crackonosh.” The report is just the latest indication that hackers are increasingly cashing in on the video game industry. Scammers have largely focused on attacks targeting player login credentials and personal information, according to recent research from Akamai. As the Avast research shows, though, cybercriminals are employing a variety of techniques to profit off the industry. Tonya Riley has more.


Alaska CISO moves to DHS

Alaska’s chief information security officer, Mark Breunig, recently took a new position as a cybersecurity adviser with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The move, which happened last month according to his LinkedIn profile, was against the backdrop of two cyberattacks that affected Alaska’s court system and Department of Health and Social Services, the state’s lead agency responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Breunig had been hired as the state CISO in January 2019. The Alaska Department of Administration, which includes the state IT bureau, is now recruiting a successor. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed has the story.


Legislation to boost cyber training at CISA, VA

Lawmakers want to create cyber training programs at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs to bolster the federal workforce, through legislation introduced Friday. The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act would launch a registered apprenticeship program at CISA and a veteran training pilot at the VA with costs to be determined. Recent supply chain attacks like the SolarWinds hack, targeting agencies through a government contractor, underscored the lack of cyber talent at the federal level on down, with more than 500,000 job openings nationally, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dave Nyczepir reports for FedScoop.


Massachusetts woman who stole from nonprofits headed to prison

A U.S. court sentenced a woman last week after she pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity heft charges in embezzlement schemes that netted her $1.4 million from the non-profits where she worked. Nicole Lescarbeau got six years in prison and five years of supervised release. At one employer, she wrote unauthorized checks to herself using the organization's accounting software and logged on to its online bank accounts to send herself payments. While on pre-trail release for those alleged crimes, Lescarbeau worked at a second Boston-based nonprofit where the Justice Department said she diverted checks and made unauthorized wire transfers to a PayPal account she opened. Read the DOJ press release.


More lessons from CyberTalks 2021

CyberTalks, the summit of decision-makers from the government and private sector presented last week by Scoop News Group, included a range of expertise about a host of emerging issues. Tune in for conversations with Invicti's Mark Ralls, Tony D'Angelo of Lookout, PC Matic CEO Rob Cheng and Travis Rosiek, of BluVector. Find everything from the event here.


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