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We heard back from the Belarusian Cyber Partisans. The Beijing Winter Games are probably different for APTs. And are U.S. venture capitalists trying to buy NSO Group? This is CyberScoop for January 26.

Details emerge on Belarusian hacktivist attack

Details related to the apparent hacktivist cyberattack on the Belarusian Railways are starting to emerge. The Belarusian Cyber Partisans — a couple dozen IT professionals and possibly others working within the Belarusian government to expose the corruption of the Lukashenko regime — said Monday they'd breached and encrypted servers and databases of the Belarusian Railways in order to slow down Russian troop movements as a potential invasion of Ukraine looms. The group demanded the release of 50 political prisoners and the expulsion of Russian military. A person identified as the spokesperson for the group told CyberScoop that the Cyber Partisans “assess this attack as successful,” even as the full results are not yet known. AJ Vicens reports.

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Beijing Olympics' biggest cyberthreat is China

State-sponsored hacking groups from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea have been uncharacteristically quiet leading up to the 2022 Olympics, researchers at Recorded Future say in a report out Wednesday. But that doesn't mean visitors shouldn't be on guard. Recorded Future researchers assessed surveillance of personal devices by Chinese actors to be “very likely.” Financial scammers will also be looking to swipe personal data to sell on the dark web. But the likelihood of an attack by an advanced persistent threat group on the games themselves appears to be relatively low. Tonya Riley has more.

NSO Group in ‘advanced stages’ of acquisition by U.S. venture capital firm, report says

U.S. venture capital firm Integrity Partners is in “advanced stages” of negotiations to acquire Israeli spyware company NSO Group, reports the English-language version of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. A new company, Integrity Labs, would acquire NSO and “would also stream $300 million to the firm,” Haaretz says. The goal is to undo the U.S. government’s blacklisting of NSO and address lawsuits by Silicon Valley companies and privacy advocates against the company, which is known for selling its Pegasus spyware to governments who have used it outside of its stated purposes. NSO also would “reduce its sales to only five clients: the Five Eyes Anglosphere intelligence alliance of New Zealand, the United States, Australia, Great Britain and Canada,” the report says. Read the story.

SEC wants to beef up cyber rules for financial sector

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler signaled this week that he wants to extend the agency's core cybersecurity rules to other kinds or entities, and enhance breach disclosure. He's directed staff to examine how existing standards for trading organizations and others might apply to the largest market-makers and broker-dealers. He also wants staff to take on subjects like strengthening the financial sector's cyber hygiene. The SEC joins a host of other feds who are looking at improved incident reporting. Tim Starks explains.

Top CISA official to exit

Bob Kolasky, head of the National Risk Management Center at CISA, announced Tuesday that he is leaving the agency. Kolasky has worked with the center since its formation in 2018 as it seeks to help critical infrastructure companies assess their cyber risk. He's also been at the center of a lot of other agency business. Kolasky did not say what his next job will be. Tim has this one, too.

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