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11/08/2021
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Alleged hackers connected to REVil, a pernicious ransomware gang, are taken into custody. A cyber deadline for the government arrives. And word from a former scammer who was arrested in Russia. This is CyberScoop for November 8, 2021.

Suspected REvil scammers arrested

Two cybercrime suspects accused of launching 5,000 ransomware attacks and netting roughly $579,000 were arrested by Romanian authorities, Europol announced. The suspects are allegedly used the REvil ransomware strain, the malware variant associated with a notorious Russian cybercrime gang that’s been used in a recent string of high-profile international ransomware incidents. REvil was, until recently, perhaps the most commonly used ransomware generating hundreds of millions in revenue for attackers and affiliates. The Europol arrests coincide with the U.S. Department of Justice’s seizure of $6 million in ransomware payments in connection with REvil activity, according to CNN. AJ Vicens is following the news.


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MFA, encryption deadlines for feds arrive

It's deadline day for U.S. federal agencies to implement multifactor authentication and encryption under a May executive order. It's widely expected that not all agencies will hit the mark. MFA and encryption are two defensive mechanisms increasingly common in the private sector and that Biden administration officials have touted as among the top tools for averting the majority of cyberattacks. Former officials say it's a hard task, and current officials say they're preparing for when agencies fail and prioritizing high-security users and remote access. Tim Starks dives in.


Alleged scammer surprised to be arrested in Russia

Sergey Pavlovich, an admitted former scammer charged in the U.S. for his alleged role with a forum where thieves bought and sold stolen credit card numbers, was taken into custody in Russia on Nov. 1. After years of living openly in Russia and writing a book about his exploits, the 38-year-old suddenly found himself behind bars in a police station, locked up on what he says was a warrant issued by Interpol. His arrest comes amid heightened U.S. pressure on the Russian government to apprehend suspected cybercriminals. During his three-hour detention, Pavlovich said, police “only asked, do I know that I am wanted by the States.” Jeff Stone has the interview.


Hackers with Chinese links breach defense, energy targets

Suspected spies using similar tools and tactics to a Chinese government-connected hacking group compromised nine organizations in the defense, education, energy and health care industries across the globe beginning in September, according to new research. The hackers were “indiscriminate” in targeting that included parts of the U.S. Defense Department, according to Palo Alto Networks, which published its findings on Sunday with an assist from the National Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center. That center primarily works with defense contractors to collect and share threat information. Tim looks closer.


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