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CISA, the NSA and the FBI want you to think about a particular nation-state’s hackers. Microsoft says the Log4j flaw has been used for deploying ransomware. And the Federal CISO office could get firmer standing. This is CyberScoop for January 12.

CISA warns Russian hackers may strike during political tensions

In a Tuesday advisory, CISA singled out Ukraine's critical infrastructure as being especially at risk as Russia builds up its forces on the border. Russian state-sponsored hackers have in the past been able to gain access to energy networks in the U.S. and abroad. The advisory lists 14 known vulnerabilities previously exploited by suspected Russian groups. CISA issued the warning alongside the NSA and FBI. Tonya Riley has more.

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With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Log4j attacks spotted in the wild, Microsoft warns

Chinese hackers have been using the Log4Shell bug in the ubiquitous Log4j logging software to deploy ransomware, Microsoft researchers reported Monday. The campaign, which uses ransomware the hackers call "Night Sky," targets internet-facing VMware Horizon software, which allows remote users access to virtual computers. The hackers used spoofed domains of well-known cybersecurity firms such as TrendMicro and Sophos as part of the campaign. AJ Vicens reports.

Solidifying the Federal CISO role

A proposed revamp of a key federal information security law includes a provision that would codify the role of the federal chief information security officer. The Office of the Federal CISO was created in September 2016 within the Office of Management and Budget, and only three people have led it over the past half-decade. The goal of the legislative language — part of a draft bill to overhaul the Federal Information Security Management Act — is to clarify the CISO's role at the White House and its line of authority beneath the federal chief information officer. John Hewitt Jones has more at FedScoop.

Cyber executive order has resonance beyond federal agencies, survey finds

A heavy majority of state, local and education IT officials say their organizations are likely to follow the practices laid out in the 2021 executive order targeting the federal government’s cybersecurity, according to a survey published by the network-monitoring software company SolarWinds. (The company made no mention of the 2020 breach of its own supply chain, which was one of the incidents that precipitated the order by President Joe Biden.) The survey found that 67% of state and local officials are “somewhat likely” to adopt practices and activities outlined in Biden’s order, while another 19% said they are “very likely” to do so. Benjamin Freed breaks it down at StateScoop.


New research analyzes industrial cybersecurity maturity

As the frequency and severity of cyberattacks on industrial organizations increase, defenders struggle to keep ahead of threats. Security leaders know that a unified IT and operational technology (OT) approach is key to protecting the safety and availability of operations but are faced with cultural and technical differences between IT best practices and OT. A new report describes how IT security leaders can build a unified strategy. Read the full report.

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