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08/25/2021
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WorkScoop
A who's who of big name CEOs are headed to the White House for a meeting on cyber this afternoon. A conversation with Jen Easterly, new head of CISA. And the FCC proposes a record fine for election chicanery. This is CyberScoop for August 25, 2021.

The White House's big cyber summit gets underway

President Joe Biden on Wednesday is meeting with the CEOs of Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, PG&E and many more as a "call to action" on cybersecurity from the private sector. A senior administration official told reporters there would be "concrete announcements" that emerge from the summit, which also will feature cabinet heads leading breakout discussions with the technology, finance, energy, insurance and education sectors. The focus is on "technology and talent," the senior official said. Tim Starks previews the meeting.


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One-on-one with the new CISA chief

Jen Easterly spent much of her career on the offensive side of cyber operations, helping stand up the U.S. military’s most potent capabilities. Now, she’s back in government but firmly on the defensive side as leader of CISA. She spoke at length with CyberScoop on her plans for avoiding the next big hack, the type of technical talent she needs to hire and retain, and how election security efforts for 2024 are already well underway. Sean Lyngaas had the exclusive interview.


Throwing down the phone book

The FCC is proposing a $5.1 million fine against two right wing operatives, John Burkman and Jacob Wohl, for spamming voters with robocalls ahead of the 2020 election. The FCC claims that the pair phoned 1,100 voters with the automated calls without their permission, a violation of federal law. The two already face a number of federal and state charges for the calls, which falsely claimed to voters that if they voted by mail their personal information would be put into a registry that could be used by police, debt collectors and to enforce mandatory vaccines. The two have pled not guilty and are fighting the charges. Tonya Riley reports.


That modified version of WhatsApp might not be safe

Researchers at Kaspersky found a trojan hiding in a variant of a modified version of WhatsApp that can spy on text messages, enroll users in unwanted subscriptions and launch ads. The trojan, Triada, sneaked into a version of FMWhatsapp along with the advertising software development kit. While "mods" of WhatsApp might offer features the regular version doesn't, they aren't vetted the same way as products in the Google Play store and therefore might give users more than they bargained for. Tim has this one, too.


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