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06/16/2022
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A key lawmaker says the Pentagon's national security software and systems are too vulnerable. A cybersecurity firm examines how Latin America is primed for ransomware attacks. And House appropriators are laying groundwork for cyber funding. This is CyberScoop for June 16.

House Armed Services chairman calls nat sec systems 'too vulnerable'

Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that national security software and systems are "too vulnerable" to cyberattacks. The Washington Democrat called the systems "old" and said it is vital that the Department of Defense receive funding to update them. Smith said rather than buying more F-35 combat planes, DOD must focus on investing in "a secure communication system that we can protect.” Smith emphasized that military weapons systems are only as good as the security underpinning them. “We’re talking about software systems that, you know, operate our missiles and our ships and everything, they just don’t, they are not as protected as they should be,” Smith said. “When it comes to cyber, protecting our systems, I think, is our greatest problem right now — even more so than our ability to exploit other people’s systems, though we certainly need to develop that capability as well.” Suzanne Smalley has more.


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Latin American countries need some cyber help

Some Latin American countries are sitting ducks for cybercriminals due to a lack of cyber resources, education and support, according to a Thursday analysis from Inskit Group, the threat research division of cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. The recent high-profile ransomware attacks on dozens of government entities in Costa Rica and Peru — forcing a national emergency in Costa Rica — highlight this problem, the researchers said. Not only are the attacks expensive and disruptive, they could represent threats to domestic and regional security as well. AJ Vicens has the story.


Operation First Light

A worldwide sweep of more than 1,770 call centers suspected of telecommunications and email scams resulted in the arrests of 2,000 suspected scammers and money launderers, INTERPOL announced Wednesday. The two-month operation, which involved 76 countries, also intercepted $50 million worth of stolen funds. Investigators noticed some disturbing new trends in how financial scammers operate, including faking a kidnapping situation. Tonya Riley reports.


Homeland Security funding proposals include $334M boost for CISA

Proposed spending legislation for the Department of Homeland Security will provide a $334.1 million boost to CISA over the fiscal 2022 total if it passes in its current form. Under the proposal from House appropriators, CISA would receive $2.93 billion, $417.1 million more than President Joe Biden requested. Subcommittee leaders also announced plans for $400 million for election security grants; $100 million for the Technology Modernization Fund; and $22 million for the Office of the National Cyber Director. Dave Nyczepir has the CISA news at FedScoop.


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WATCH: How NIWC Atlantic is approaching zero trust and trusted user policies

Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic’s Justin Hodges says cybersecurity exists to make things more secure while allowing the mission to be successful. He shares NIWC Atlantic’s approach on modernizing data storage, retention and collection, in addition to expanding access to trusted users. Watch Hodges’ full interview here.


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