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12/06/2021
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The hacking group known as Cozy Bear continued launching attacks against American targets in the year since compromising SolarWinds. Cyber Command boss Paul Nakasone talks about ransomware strikes. And details on how an attacker used NSO Group technology to breach U.S. officials' iPhones. This is CyberScoop for December 6, 2021.

SolarWinds hackers keep busy

It's been nearly a year since the SolarWinds supply chain hack — in which hackers targeted a third-party software vendor to access a range of federal agencies and scores of private companies — came to light. Since then, new research from cybersecurity firm Mandiant shows, the same intruders compromised multiple cloud solution companies to steal data and harvest credentials to enable attacks on even more victims. AJ Vicens reports.


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Military has 'imposed costs' against ransomware

The U.S. military has taken offensive measures against ransomware groups, U.S. Cyber Command leader Gen. Paul Nakasone confirmed Saturday. “Before, during and since, with a number of elements of our government, we have taken actions and we have imposed costs,” Nakasone told The New York Times in an interview Saturday. “That’s an important piece that we should always be mindful of.” Cyber Command has reportedly been going after criminal hacking groups dating back to before the 2020 election, when it attempted to knock out TrickBot, a network of infected computers used to deliver malware. Tonya Riley looks closer.


NSO Group tech used to hack US officials' iPhones

As many as 11 U.S. diplomats received notices from Apple that they may have been targeted with the spyware, multiple media outlets reported. Apple began notifying potential targets around the world that they may have been targeted by the NSO Group software on Nov. 23, the same day the tech firm announced a lawsuit against NSO Group for allegedly violating its terms of service. NSO Group and another Israeli firm, Candiru, were added to the U.S. “entity list” on Nov. 3 after the U.S government accused the company of being used by foreign governments to “maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists, academics, and embassy workers.” AJ has more.


DOJ is ramping up its crackdown on money mules

U.S. law enforcement recovered nearly $3.7 million in fraud proceeds and charged more than 30 individuals for their alleged involvement in receiving or transferring illicit proceeds over the past 10 weeks. The arrests, announced Friday, were part of the Justice Department’s “Money Mule Initiative,” which is aimed at cracking down on Americans who assist international fraudsters in moving funds from victims of a wide variety of fraud efforts, including romance scams and business email compromise schemes. The initiative in total targeted 4,757 individuals involved in “money mule” activity, more than twice the number of individuals reached by last year’s initiative. Tonya breaks it down.


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