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The leaders of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission want everyone to focus on defense. Coronavirus misinformation may be the only thing spreading faster than the virus itself. And an update to our Group-IB story. This is CyberScoop for Friday, March 6.

Building a resilient cyber future

Everyone has heard of the phrase "the best defense is a good offense." It's a popular adage for games, sports and military combat. But the leaders of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission write in an op-ed that there is one place where the saying doesn't apply: the internet. Rep. Mike Gallagher and Samantha Ravich say that when it comes to defending the U.S. in cyberspace, the best defense is, in fact, actual defenses. The two write about what the government and the private sector can do moving forward to make sure resiliency is the primary focus when it comes to the country's digital defenses. Read the full op-ed here.

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Group-IB stands by their guy

Security vendor Group-IB said Thursday it considers a U.S. indictment against the company’s head of network security nothing more than “allegations.” In a 2014 indictment unsealed Monday, Nikita Kislitsin is accused of trying to sell data stolen in 2012 from Formspring. He joined Group-IB six months later, and has been a visible face on Moscow’s conference circuit ever since. Meanwhile, Group-IB says it remains dedicated to ferreting out cybercrime. “We are aware that the decision we have taken may carry reputational risks for Group-IB and treat this fact with the utmost seriousness,” a spokesman said. Jeff Stone has an update.

Of course coronavirus is now a part of misinformation

As coronavirus infections surge globally, hackers and nation-state actors are weaponizing information about the outbreaks to spread malware and disinformation, according to security researchers and the State Department. Russian actors, linked with Moscow through “state proxy websites,” for instance, have been using “swarms of online, false personas” to spread misinformation about the virus online, according to the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. Threat actors have also begun sending messages laced with malicious software to targets in Italy, where coronavirus infections have surged in recent weeks, according to new research unveiled this week from security firm Sophos. Sophos Principal Research Scientist Chet Wisniewski warned these kinds of opportunistic hacking campaigns may not be limited to Italy moving forward. Shannon Vavra has more.

FDA gets the word out about potentially vulnerable pacemakers

After researchers found IoT devices running on a popular set of wireless protocols could be hacked, the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Homeland Security are telling medical manufacturers to shore up their security. Pacemakers and glucose-monitoring systems are among the equipment affected. There are no reports of malicious attacks or patient harm, and a hacker would have to be within radio range of a device to exploit the vulnerabilities. But the FDA advisory is another shot across the bow of medical device manufacturers trying to keep up with security vulnerabilities. Sean Lyngaas has more.

Check your Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Tesla models

Several Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Tesla car models that use radio-enabled keys are vulnerable to theft due to some “serious” cryptographic flaws, researchers at the University of Birmingham and KU Leuven found. These manufacturers aren’t implementing a Texas Instruments encryption system, DST80, properly, in the vehicles’ immobilizers, researchers say. The flaws could allow hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities by being within close range of a key fob and, with an RFID reader used to scan the fob, essentially clone it. Hackers would also need to turn the ignition barrel, adding one more step for them to complete the thievery. Dive into the research here.

Call it what you want, it’s still vulnerable

Congress' watchdog agency is reminding the White House that recategorizing a piece of IT does not change its essence. Last year the Office of Management and Budget narrowed its definition of “data center,” a decision that excluded most “non-tiered” facilities — places like server rooms and closets — from the government's master list. The goal was to help agencies focus on big IT modernization projects. But the Government Accountability Office reported this week that the decision also removed a lot of those smaller facilities from cybersecurity oversight. Agencies “may lose track of the security vulnerabilities" that these smaller facilities present "due to the consequent reduction in overall visibility and oversight into all data centers,” the report says. Dave Nyczepir explains at FedScoop.

DOJ tech leader lands at KPMG

The man who ran the Department of Justice’s information technology office until recently has landed at the accounting firm KPMG. Joe Klimavicz, who retired from government in February after more than six years as the DOJ, will focus on cloud migration and cybersecurity at the company. Klimavicz had more than 40 years in government overall, and his work with DOJ’s IT included uniting the department under a single email system and consolidating data centers from more than 110 facilities to less than a dozen. Dave also has this one at FedScoop.

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