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05/10/2022
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Western governments make a formal attribution for the Viasat hack. A White House cyber office picks up some big-name personnel. And Clearview AI reaches a settlement. This is CyberScoop for May 10.

Western governments formally blame Russia for Viasat hack

A whole slew of Western governments — including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand — formally blamed the Russian government for the Feb. 24 hack of tens of thousands of satellite modems in the hours before its invasion of Ukraine. The attacks on the modems, which are operated by California-based communications firm Viasat, represent perhaps the most significant cyberattack of the Russian invasion so far, experts say, and forced the company to replace tens of thousands of modems for customers in Ukraine and across Europe. AJ Vicens reports.


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Office of the National Cyber Director staffs up

The Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) announced Tuesday that it has hired a Microsoft executive, a CIA official and a cybersecurity policy expert in a bid to bolster its ranks a year after its creation. ONCD formed in the aftermath of the SolarWinds breach, during which Russians broke into several federal agencies' systems. ONCD's hires are Kemba Walden from Microsoft, Neal Higgins from the CIA, and Rob Knake from the Council on Foreign Relations. Suzanne Smalley has the story.


Welcome to office, Mr. President. About that ransomware emergency ...

Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves Robles took office Sunday and, as one of his first official acts, had to sign an official declaration that an April Conti ransomware attack constituted a national emergency. The decree said the country was suffering at the hands of "cybercriminals, cyberterrorists," and that the designation would allow the government to respond to the attack as a criminal matter. Meanwhile, the attacker posted 97% of the data it stole from the country, which follows the posting of 100% of what it stole from Peru's intelligence agency shortly after the initial Costa Rica attacks in April. AJ has this one, too.


Clearview AI settles with ACLU over facial recognition database

Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI settled a 2020 lawsuit brought by the ACLU under Illinois' biometric privacy law by agreeing to a ban that will prohibit it from selling its facial recognition database of more than 20 billion images of individuals to private companies. The settlement between Clearview AI and the ACLU prevents the company from selling access to its database to any entity in Illinois, including state and local police, for five years. Private companies will still be able to purchase Clearview’s facial recognition algorithm without the database. Federal government agencies and other states will be able to purchase facial recognition technology.  Privacy and civil liberties advocates are hailing the settlement as a major victory and say now is the time for Congress to act to pass a national privacy law. Tonya Riley has more.


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