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05/24/2022
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WorkScoop
A Senate investigation finds fault in agencies' ransomware response. Activists want AWS to step away from a DHS biometric data program. And researchers scrutinize a hyper-localized disinformation campaign in Ukraine. This is CyberScoop for May 24.

Senate report faults agencies for ineffective response to ransomware

Ransomware attacks are sharply on the rise but the federal response to them is ineffective, according to a report Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released Tuesday. The report primarily examines how cryptocurrency enables ransomware, but its biggest finding may be what it suggests is poor communication between federal agencies. Data reporting of ransomware incidents is inherently “fragmented and incomplete” the report says, a reality that is fueled by the fact that many victims choose to stay quiet. The already difficult environment for understanding the scope of the ransomware problem is exacerbated by the fact that what the government advertises as a “one-stop” location for reporting ransomware attacks is in reality no such thing. The  report says that ransomware incident response firms dispute the FBI/CISA claim that they share information, alleging that the firms “questioned the effectiveness of such communication channels’ impact on assisting victims of an attack.” Suzanne Smalley writes.


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Shot through the HART

Civil society groups are asking Amazon Web Services to drop DHS’ HART (Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology) database, a project to host biometric data that wills significantly expand DHS' surveillance capabilities. Opponents say the project risks human rights violations and too many details have been kept secret from the public. The project, which has run years over schedule and budget, has also received criticism from the GAO for its handling of privacy. Amazon did not respond by publication time. Tonya Riley has the latest privacy news.


Russian Telegram network targets occupied Ukrainian towns with disinformation

At least 88 hyperlocal Telegram channels that Russia established spread disinformation to occupied areas of Ukraine, according to research from Ukrainian think tank Defector Media. Content on the channels is locally tailored and is designed to both demoralize Ukrainians and build support for annexation to Russia in occupied areas, experts say. Gavin Wilde, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, said the effort is driven by the Russian “need to somehow launder the narratives through local people that are not necessarily occupying forces directly.”  He said the Russians are trying to identify “standard bearers” in local populations and that even if they only find one per town they will have succeeded. Suzanne has the story.


Tweet Of The Day

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We're betting on MF DOOM to win this.


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