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Let's put some numbers on the extent of cryptocurrency scams. Maricopa County's government wants the final word on the Cyber Ninjas. And senators want more explanation of DOT's cybersecurity role. This is CyberScoop for January 6.

Criminals got the virtual bag in 2021

Cryptocurrency-based crime hit a new all-time high in 2021, researchers at Chainalysis said in a report published Thursday. Illicit addresses tracked by the company received $14 billion in deposits over the course of 2021, almost double the amount they collected in 2020. Revenue from scams and stolen funds saw the biggest jumps. Investors lost nearly $7.8 billion in cryptocurrency to scammers, with a lot of those losses stemming from "rug pulls," where developers create a seemingly legit project and then run off with investors money. One common thread between the uptick is the rise of DeFi, or peer-to-peer technologies, which tend to be less vetted. Tonya Riley has the latest.

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So much for the Cyber Ninjas

A 93-page report released Wednesday by the Maricopa County Elections Department is meant as the final, official word in response to the work of the Cyber Ninjas, the firm recruited to look into alleged voting irregularities in Arizona. The county’s report states that all 76 claims in the Cyber Ninjas report were misleading, inaccurate or completely false. The new document "proves what we have said all along – the Maricopa County November 2020 election was conducted fairly and accurately,” County Recorder Stephen Richer said. Benjamin Freed has the report, and more, at StateScoop.

2022's tally of government ransomware attacks begins

Local government buildings in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area were closed Wednesday in response to what appears to be the first ransomware attack this year against a local government in the United States. Officials with Bernalillo County, which includes the city, said computer systems were taken offline in response to the incident, which has not been attributed to any known malicious actor. A ransom demand has not been identified, either. Benjamin has this one, too.

Senators ping DOT, DHS on transportation cybersecurity

The departments of Transportation and Homeland Security should update Congress on what they're doing to detect, prevent and respond to cyberthreats to the nation’s transportation systems, a bipartisan group of senators said this week. In a letter to the department, the lawmakers cited the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline last year, as well as a report showing that only 60 percent of local transit agencies have a cybersecurity plan in place. Dave Nyczepir explains at FedScoop.

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