Politico: Russia, China and Iran trying to hack presidential race, Microsoft says

Politico: Russia, China and Iran trying to hack presidential race, Microsoft says. “Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers have mounted cyberattacks against hundreds of organizations and people involved in the 2020 presidential race and U.S.-European policy debates, with targets including the campaigns of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Microsoft said Thursday. The report is the most expansive public warning to date about the rapid spread of foreign governments’ efforts to wield hackers to undermine U.S. democracy.”

ZDNet: Transparent Tribe APT targets government, military by infecting USB devices

ZDNet: Transparent Tribe APT targets government, military by infecting USB devices. “Transparent Tribe is involved in campaigns against government and military personnel, revealing a new tool designed to infect USB devices and spread to other systems. The advanced persistent threat (APT) group, as previously tracked by Proofpoint (.PDF), has been in operation since at least 2013 and has previously been connected to attacks against the Indian government and military.”

The Verge: US files expanded charges against former Twitter employees accused of espionage

The Verge: US files expanded charges against former Twitter employees accused of espionage. This is NOT the recent big hack; it’s from before. “The US has filed new and expanded charges against two former Twitter employees and a third individual for allegedly spying on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia. The three men have now been charged with acting as agents of a foreign government, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. One individual, former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo, was also charged with three counts of money laundering and falsification of records to obstruct the investigation.”

BBC: How a Chinese agent used LinkedIn to hunt for targets

BBC: How a Chinese agent used LinkedIn to hunt for targets. “Jun Wei Yeo, an ambitious and freshly enrolled Singaporean PhD student, was no doubt delighted when he was invited to give a presentation to Chinese academics in Beijing in 2015. His doctorate research was about Chinese foreign policy and he was about to discover firsthand how the rising superpower seeks to attain influence.”

Reclaim the Net: UK parliamentary committee on Russian disinformation calls for new social media content removal protocols

Reclaim the Net: UK parliamentary committee on Russian disinformation calls for new social media content removal protocols. “A UK parliamentary intelligence committee report on Russian ‘disinformation and influence’ has called for the UK Government to establish a protocol with social media companies to remove covert hostile state material and to commit to “clear timescales” for removal.”

Coronavirus: Russian hackers target Covid-19 vaccine research (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Russian hackers target Covid-19 vaccine research. “The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers ‘almost certainly’ operated as ‘part of Russian intelligence services’. It said the group used malware to try and steal information relating to Covid-19 vaccine development.”

Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home (New York Times)

New York Times: Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home. “A Russian ransomware group whose leaders were indicted by the Justice Department in December is retaliating against the U.S. government, many of America’s largest companies and a major news organization, identifying employees working from home during the pandemic and attempting to get inside their networks with malware intended to cripple their operations.”

NBC News: Spyware hidden in Chinese tax software was probably planted by a nation-state, say experts

NBC News: Spyware hidden in Chinese tax software was probably planted by a nation-state, say experts. “Earlier this year, a multinational technology vendor doing business in China was instructed by its Chinese bank to install software to pay local taxes. The tax software was legitimate, but embedded inside it was a nasty surprise, according to a new report by a private security firm: A sophisticated piece of malware that gave attackers complete access to the company’s network.”

Twitter Blog: Disclosing networks of state-linked information operations we’ve removed

Twitter Blog: Disclosing networks of state-linked information operations we’ve removed. “Today we are disclosing 32,242 accounts to our archive of state-linked information operations — the only one of its kind in the industry. The account sets we’re publishing to the archive today include three distinct operations that we have attributed to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, and Turkey respectively. Every account and piece of content associated with these operations has been permanently removed from the service.”

New York Times: Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say

New York Times: Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say. “The officials interviewed for this article work in six different agencies. They included both career civil servants and political appointees, and some have spent many years analyzing China. Their broader warnings about China’s spread of disinformation are supported by recent findings from outside bipartisan research groups, including the Alliance for Securing Democracy and the Center for a New American Security, which is expected to release a report on the topic next month.”

State report: Russian, Chinese and Iranian disinformation narratives echo one another (Politico)

Politico: State report: Russian, Chinese and Iranian disinformation narratives echo one another. “China, Iran and Russia are using the coronavirus crisis to launch a propaganda and disinformation onslaught against the United States, the State Department warns in a new report. The three governments are pushing a host of matching messages: that the novel coronavirus is an American bioweapon, that the U.S. is scoring political points off the crisis, that the virus didn’t come from China, that U.S. troops spread it, that America’s sanctions are killing Iranians, that China’s response was great while the U.S.’ was negligent, that all three governments are managing the crisis well, and that the U.S. economy can’t bear the toll of the virus.”

Just Security: A Model for Countering Foreign Disinformation and Interference in Elections

Just Security: A Model for Countering Foreign Disinformation and Interference in Elections. “The lessons from 9/11 are instructive and should be internalized in considering what an effective whole-of-government response might look like in the context of countering foreign disinformation and interference in elections.”

Ars Technica: US government goes all in to expose new malware used by North Korean hackers

Ars Technica: US government goes all in to expose new malware used by North Korean hackers. “The US Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security on Friday exposed a North Korean hacking operation and provided technical details for seven pieces of malware used in the campaign.”

FedScoop: Army looks to block data ‘poisoning’ in facial recognition, AI

FedScoop: Army looks to block data ‘poisoning’ in facial recognition, AI. “Adversaries are becoming more sophisticated at providing ‘poisoned,’ or subtly altered, data that will mistrain artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. To try and safeguard facial recognition databases from these so-called backdoor attacks, the Army is funding research to build defensive software to mine through its databases.”

The Register-Guard: How Chinese military hackers allegedly pulled off the Equifax data breach

The Register-Guard: How Chinese military hackers allegedly pulled off the Equifax data breach. “The criminals identified a flaw in the credit agency’s security system, executed a plan of attack to penetrate it and devised a scheme to cover their tracks on their way out, according to a criminal indictment unsealed Monday. Those alleged criminals, four members of the Chinese military, exploited a flaw in software that allowed U.S. consumers to dispute problems with their Equifax credit reports. That gave the hackers access to Americans’ personal information, according to the indictment.”