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Cyberthreat hunters do a case study on a Russia-linked incident in Ukraine. A top Russian official talks about the REvil arrests. And the State Department cleans up an IT incident. This is CyberScoop for January 31.

Threat hunters look closely at a hack in Ukraine

Researchers at Symantec say they have insights about the specific tactics used by Gamaredon, the Russia-linked hacking group outed by Ukraine's government last year. The advanced persistent threat, also known as Armageddon, typically uses phishing emails to try to install remote access tools on victims’ computers, with the goal of exfiltrating data. Symantec’s Threat Hunter Team thoroughly examined one incident in the summer of 2021, where the attackers used infected email attachments to allow for the delivery of more malware. Joe Warminsky has more.

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Russian government touts cyber cooperation with U.S., but wants more back

Dmitry Medvedev, the former prime minister and president of Russia, said in an interview Friday that the Jan. 14 Russian government takedown of several members of the notorious REvil ransomware group was a sign of true cooperation between the U.S. and Moscow. It was proof, he said, that the two countries can work together on important things even during difficult times. But he added that the U.S. government had yet to provide information to the Russians on what they say is foreign election meddling that occurred during September 2021 elections. Medvedev still serves as deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia. AJ Vicens reports.

No 'malicious activity' in State Dept. outage

The State Department says it has resolved a global IT services outage that began Thursday. A spokesperson said it was due to a defect found in a recently deployed operating system patch. Employees began reporting their email was down Thursday morning, stoking fears of a possible cyberattack. The affected applications are now operating normally. “At this time we don’t have any indication that this outage had anything to do with malicious activity, and again we’re proud to say that it’s a thing of the past as of now,” a spokesperson said. Dave Nyczepir has more at FedScoop.


Cyber measures gain momentum at federal agencies

Nearly one-third of federal IT executives polled describe last year’s cybersecurity executive order as “game-changing” in getting agency leaders to commit more resources for critical cybersecurity projects, according to a new CyberScoop and FedScoop report. The new report explores perceptions of agency maturity on zero-trust strategies, capabilities to manage security, challenges getting to zero trust and the move to adopt Secure Access Service Edge security solutions. View the full report.

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