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08/04/2021
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Email users are falling for CAPTCHA scams more often. Hackers take down an Italian COVID-19 vaccine portal. And the SEC is scrutinizing cryptocurrency. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 4, 2021.

Gotta CAPTCHA all

More email users fell for more scams using CAPTCHA technology in 2020, a report from security firm Proofpoint shows. The technique, which uses a visual puzzle to help authenticate human behavior, received 50 times as many clicks in 2020 compared to 2019. That’s still only a 5% overall response rate, researchers note. More popular are scams that use attachments like PowerPoints and Excel spreadsheets to trick users into launching malware. Tonya Riley reports.


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Cyberattack on an Italian COVID-19 vaccine registration system

Hackers knocked a COVID-19 vaccine registration portal offline in the Lazio region of Italy, which includes the city of Rome. The apparent ransomware attack led to the region temporarily suspending new vaccinations, although anyone who had one booked could still keep the appointment. As of Tuesday afternoon, the region's government was predicting that the registration system would be back to normal within 72 hours. Tim Starks took a look.


A new cryptocurrency sheriff in town

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler wants to crack down on cryptocurrency tokens that act as securities, but are not registered as such. Doing so will help the agency apply investor protections currently lacking in the industry, he said at an Aspen Security Forum event on Tuesday. “We just don't have enough investment protection and frankly, at this time, it's more like the Wild West than some sort of protection against fraud and manipulation in the space,” Gensler said. “This asset class is rife with fraud scams and abuses in certain applications.” Gensler cited the risk that trading platforms may be be used to "side step" public policy goals and facilitate crime including ransomware. Check out more from the forum.


Coast Guard launches new cyber strategy

The Coast Guard will build more cyber teams to focus on the cybersecurity of maritime critical infrastructure from attacks after a rash of hacks and ransomware incidents that shut down key services, the service’s top cyber officer announced Tuesday. Its new Cyber Strategic Outlook was developed over the past 18 months and is the first update to the Coast Guard’s cyber strategy since it was signed in 2015. The changes come amid concerns over the increased vulnerability of critical infrastructure and uptick in attacks like the Colonial Pipeline ransomeware incident, Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, commander of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command said at the Sea-Air-Space conference. Jackson Barnett has the story at FedScoop.


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Committing crimes to help crime victims.


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