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The Ukraine invasion makes a convenient lure for hackers. Viasat serves up some info about the Feb. 24 incident. And an international sting takes down BEC crooks. This is CyberScoop for March 31.

International hackers using Russia's war as cyber fodder

Government-aligned hackers associated with China, Russia, Belarus, North Korea and others are part of a "growing" number of threat actors using Ukraine-themed lures as part of hacking campaigns, Google's Threat Analysis Group reported Wednesday. The report focused on three specific campaigns seen within the last two weeks, including some never-before seen activity from a Russia-based hacking group apparently targeting several U.S. nongovernmental organizations and think tanks; the military of a Balkans country; and a Ukrainian defense contractor. AJ Vicens reports.

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U.S. company targeted in Russia's satellite hack shares details

Viasat, the California telecommunications company whose modems and network were targeted by hackers Feb. 24 as the Russian military launched its assault on Ukraine, shared details of what it says were actually two cyberattacks that day. One, a targeted denial of service attack, flooded certain company modems around Europe with traffic making it difficult to stay online. The other attack involved the hackers accessing the misconfigured VPN of an associated third party and issuing commands that rendered the modems inoperable. AJ has this one, too.

Operation Eagle Sweep sweeps up scammers

The FBI and global partners arrested 65 U.S. individuals that allegedly scammed more than $51 million from U.S. businesses as a part of a joint “Operation Eagle Sweep.” The scammers are believed to have targeted over 500 U.S. victims, including a Puerto Rico-based renewable energy supplier, with business email compromise (BEC) scams. BEC and related types of schemes resulted in nearly $2.4 billion in reported losses from victims in 2021, topping complaints to the FBI's internet crime center. Tonya Riley reports.

Cybercrime data bill headed to president's desk

Congress this week cleared the “Better Cybercrime Metrics Act," legislation that aims to improve DOJ's collection and measurement of cybercrime statistics. It's the second bill this month that Congress has cleared that's intended to improve federal data collection on cybercrime, following a measure that requires critical infrastructure owners and operators to report ransomware payments within 24 hours. "A vast majority of these crimes are not properly reported or tracked by law enforcement,” said Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, the chief sponsor of the House DOJ bill. Tim Starks writes.

Langevin: States need to think about technical debt

Rep. Jim Langevin, a co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, says that government officials at all levels should be putting more emphasis on modernizing their IT systems to defend against persistent and emerging cyberthreats. “For many state and local governments, schools, institutions of higher education, the problem is often compounded by the prevalence of legacy IT throughout their networks,” Langevin said at a StateScoop event this week. “As this technical debt is carried forward, their information systems and the services that rely on those systems will become more and more susceptible to cyber-enabled disruptions.” Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop.

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