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The pushback continues against the IRS's plan to use ID.me. An aviation company is the latest ransomware target in Europe. And Pentagon leaders say they're listening to complaints about technology. This is CyberScoop for February 7.

Lawmakers tell IRS to hit the brakes

Republicans and Democrats from both chambers of Congress have written to the Internal Revenue Service in the past week demanding answers about its decision to use facial recognition on millions of Americans. They want to know how the agency vetted its third-party contractor ID.me for security and accuracy. Lawmakers worry that the collection of the biometric information of millions of Americans could make ID.me a prime target for hackers and spies. Some, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are taking their concerns a step farther by calling the agency to halt use of facial recognition for good. Tonya Riley has the run-down.

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A tough week of ransomware in Europe

Aviation services company Swissport announced Friday that ransomware had struck part of its IT infrastructure, causing flight delays and knocking its website offline. It was just the latest news about ransomware attacks against European energy and transportation targets. Two German oil companies were recovering from their own incidents, and oil port terminals in Belgium and the Netherlands had reported attacks as well. BlackCat ransomware, which researchers have traced to Russia, was cited in at least one of the incidents. Tim Starks has more.

Pentagon tech leaders react to ‘fix our computers’

Defense personnel have taken to social media platforms in recent weeks calling on senior Pentagon leaders to “fix our computers,” and CIOs across the department say they are heeding those calls. “We know there is a lot of work to do to make your user experience better, increase our #cybersecurity, and enable modern office productivity and analytical capabilities,” said one note posted on LinkedIn by DOD CIO John Sherman and other tech leaders from the armed services. Michael Kanaan, director of operations for the U.S. Air Force and MIT Artificial Intelligence Accelerator, led the charge on social media with a spirited open letter on LinkedIn pleading with DOD leadership to do more. Billy Mitchell has the story at FedScoop.

Florida cyber bill includes ban on ransomware payments by government agencies

Legislation introduced recently in the Florida House of Representatives would give public-sector agencies across the state more cybersecurity-related responsibilities, including requirements to report ransomware attacks and other incidents to state authorities. The bill also would ban state and local government entities from making ransomware payments. North Carolina implemented a similar ban last year. Benjamin Freed explains at StateScoop.

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