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DOD's free rein on cyber-operations is under review. The Viasat hack gets more complicated. And Treasury dishes the Trisis sanctions. This is CyberScoop for April 1.

White House may scale back Trump-era cyber authorities at DOD

The National Security Council has launched an interagency review to determine how and whether to scale back Trump-era cyber-operations authorities given to the Department of Defense and U.S. Cyber Command. The effort to review and potentially roll back a policy known as NSPM-13 could meet resistance from DOD, which has grown accustomed to the new broader authorities. A source briefed on the Biden administration's plans said the cyber-ops authority the Trump administration gave to the military was unprecedented. The White House, the source said, plans to "regularize cyber-operations." Suzanne Smalley has the scoop.

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Attack on US telecom firm may have been another wiper

The Feb. 24 hack targeting communication networks in Ukraine and Europe may have been yet another wiper-malware attack emanating from Russia, researchers with SentinelOne reported Thursday. The researchers analyzed a piece of malicious code they've dubbed "AcidRain," which seems to be designed to wipe system files on routers. The malware shares some code and functionality with VPNFilter, botnet malware tied to Russian nation-state hackers a few years ago. Thursday's revelations complicate the version of events put out by Viasat, the California-based company whose modems were targeted in the attack. AJ Vicens has the details.

Sanctions follow Trisis-related indictment

The Russian agency that allegedly created the infamous Trisis malware has been added to the U.S. Treasury’s sanctions list, as the federal backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. The State Research Center of the Russian Federation Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics, as well as its two leaders, were sanctioned Thursday, as well as a specific employee: Evgeny Viktorovich Gladkikh, a researcher with expertise in industrial control systems. Gladkikh was indicted last week in the U.S. for the 2017 Trisis attack against a Middle East petrochemical plant. Joe Warminsky explains.

Local governments can’t escape pressures of ransomware, FBI says

The FBI issued a bulletin this week highlighting the stress on local governments as they face disruptions to critical public services due to ransomware activity. “These types of attacks can have significant repercussions for local communities by straining financial and operational resources and putting residents at risk for further exploitation,” the advisory says. More from StateScoop’s Benjamin Freed.

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