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06/08/2022
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Attorneys are taking a skeptical glance at recent announcements about the chief federal cybercrime law. Top cyber feds are touting advances in collaboration. And the FBI takes down another dark web marketplace. This is CyberScoop for June 8.

CFAA changes are oversold, lawyers say

Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Freedom Foundation, has fought to defang the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for years. He said the Department of Justice’s announcement last month that it is revising the guidance on when to charge computer security researchers under CFAA were “intended to generate good PR” and do not reflect significant change. Former and current Justice officials acknowledge that the updates are not substantively consequential given that DOJ almost never prosecuted good-faith security researchers under the statute. They say that there are still many ambiguities around CFAA and how and whether it can be applied to good-faith research. Since security researchers can still be prosecuted at the state level and sued in civil court, lawyers say plenty remains for so-called white-hat hackers to worry about. Suzanne Smalley has the story.


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The next frontier of cyber collaboration

Top cyber feds are striving to deepen cyber collaboration with the private sector, foreign partners and others, they said at the 2022 RSA Conference Tuesday. One forum for that is the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), announced last August. Before the JCDC, “there was not this real-time exchange of insights and data and information on a frankly, minute-to-minute basis, that we’ve tried to evolve over the past nine months,” CISAA Director Jen Easterly said of the center. But the JCDC still needs some nurturing, she said: “It’s starting to build momentum, but most importantly, it’s starting to build trust ... We are very aware that building trust is hard and breaking trust is easy.” Tim Starks reports.


JCDC has more to do, group says

Members of the Multilateral Cyber Action Committee, a group of private sector organizations and cyber advocacy groups, announced at RSA Conference on Tuesday a new set of principles it's hoping CISA’s JCDC will adopt. Initiatives include involving more private sector businesses, working with the government on a legal framework that supports positive incentives for cybersecurity and preparing the U.S. for future cybersecurity challenges to AI and quantum computing. The JCDC currently has 25 members but “we need to expand that vigorously,” said Art Coviello, member of the group and former RSA president. Read the group's announcement.


SSNDOB marketplace is DOA

The FBI seized an illicit marketplace that has made millions selling the personal data of roughly 24 million U.S. citizens, according to a Justice Department press release Tuesday. SSNDOB Marketplace operated through an updating rotation of websites that sold records including names, dates of birth and U.S. Social Security numbers. The website took bitcoin payments, which researchers at Chainalysis were also able to link to the infamous Joker’s Stash dark web marketplace, though it’s not clear what the relationship between the two were. Tonya Riley has more.


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