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07/07/2021
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The White House reiterates its intention to move on ransomware hackers if Russia does not, though exactly how remains unclear. Republican National Committee reportedly hacked. And app insecurity collides with crypto fraud. This is CyberScoop for July 7, 2021.

White House promises action on ransomware ahead of another meeting with Russia

The White House responded to Russia-based ransomware group REvil’s most recent attack against a U.S. company with a promise to take on cybercriminals if the Kremlin will not. “As the president made clear to President Putin when they met, if the Russian government cannot or will not take action against criminal actors in Russia we will take action or reserve the right,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. U.S. officials have not attributed the attack on Kaseya to the REvil group. However the recent hack — in which at least hundreds of businesses were affected, according to the company — adds to escalating tensions with Russia over its apparent willingness to tolerate ransomware gangs. Psaki said that the White House will meet with high-level Russian officials to discuss ransomware attacks next week. Tonya Riley explains the latest.


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Mind your cryptocurrency apps, folks

Scammers are pushing fake cryptomining apps in order to make a buck off of victims interested in virtual currency, researchers at Lookout found. Of the 170 apps identified by researchers, 25 made it into Google's Play store. What's interesting about this scam is that the apps themselves were harmless. They simply charged for a service that never existed. Google took down the bogus apps but this isn't the first time cryptocurrency fraud has popped up on legitimate app stores. The Federal Trade Commission reported more than $80 million in losses to cryptocurrency fraud between October and March. Tonya has the details.


Cyber insurance industry joins forces on ransomware

Two recent cyber insurance industry initiatives have sprung up in response to ransomware. One is CyberAcuView, a company formed by seven major cyber insurers to pool data and analysis to enhance ransomware. Another is a set of guiding principles on ransomware published by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. The initiatives come as ransomware is increasingly responsible for insurance claim payouts. Some insurers are retreating from the market, or are placing limitations on policyholders or what they're willing to cover. Tim Starks digs in.


Russian hackers accused of breaching RNC

The Russian government-sponsored hacking group known as Cozy Bear reportedly infiltrated the the networks of the Republican National Committee last week as part of a cyber-espionage operation. Whether the hackers accessed any sensitive information remains unclear, though the origin of the breach seems to have been Synnex, a third-party IT provider on contract with the RNC. Meanwhile, the apparent victims issued a carefully worded denial. "There is no indication the RNC was hacked or any RNC information was stolen," according to spokesman Mike Reed. Bloomberg broke the news.


Department of Defense cancels $10B JEDI contract

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it has canceled the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud procurement, nearly two years after awarding the contract to Microsoft. The contract will be replaced with a new multi-vendor enterprise cloud effort called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. Microsoft has said that it will “respect and accept” the Department of Defense's decision on JEDI, but in a blog post also called for reform of the federal contract bid protest process. Billy Mitchell has the story.


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