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Zoom has heard what we all have been saying and will be working to make things right. Hackers tried to attack a biotech firm helping out with COVID-19 treatments. And a different bunch of hackers (we think?) continue to pester Italy. This is CyberScoop for Thursday, April 2.

That was fast

Zoom’s founder says the company behind the popular videoconferencing app will spend the next 90 days focused on fixing security issues. In a blog post Thursday, Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan said the technology firm is enacting a “feature freeze,” in which employees will turn their attention from enhancing usability to tightening data protection. The announcement comes as the number of daily Zoom users has skyrocketed to 200 million users in March, up from 10 million in December, as much of the world’s workforce moves to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The update from the San Jose-based company comes after the FBI issued a public warning about “Zoombombing,” in which white supremacists and other unauthorized outsiders hijack teleconferences. In some cases, internet trolls have disrupted online classes to shout profanities at teachers. Zoom also was hit with a class-action lawsuit in which users claimed the company was sharing their data with Facebook in violation of California’s privacy law Shannon Vavra has more.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Biotech firm hit with ransomware, resumes operations

As the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading through the U.S. last month, hackers struck a California-based biotechnology company which makes tools that researchers are using to learn about the coronavirus. In a financial disclosure form filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, 10x Genomics Inc. said it experienced an attempted ransomware attack that also involved the theft of company data. The firm restored normal operations “with no material day-to-day impact,” and said it is working with law enforcement to investigate the breach. Exact details of the attack remain unclear. Jeff Stone has more.

Hackers hit Italian site distributing coronavirus benefits

Unidentified hackers forced the shut down on Wednesday of a social security website providing relief to Italians during the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple news reports. “In the last few days we have suffered several hacker attacks that produced a major breakdown,” said Pasquale Tridico, head of the social security agency. Italy is in the midst of a national lockdown to fight the virus, which has killed more than 13,000 people the European country. It is the latest example of malicious hackers exploiting the most vulnerable in the health crisis. Reuters had the exclusive.

Thinking about the future of DHS

A new group led by former Department of Homeland Security secretaries is preparing proposals to improve DHS's response to emerging threats, including cyberthreats and other tech issues. The Future of DHS Project will tackle not only the coronavirus pandemic but also "threats to democracy," including election security, social media disinformation campaigns and the sabotage of critical infrastructure. “In the tech area, we’ve seen some great work being done by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, but it’s equally clear that a lot of what [Director] Chris Krebs is doing there isn’t getting anywhere near the attention or the support that it needs,” said Tom Warrick, the department’s first deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy. The group's senior advisory board includes former Homeland Security secretaries Michael Chertoff, Jeh Johnson and Janet Napolitano. Dave Nyczepir talked to Warrick.

On the latest Securiosity...

We’ve seen malware, scams, and surveillance pop up since COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. The CyberScoop staff looks at the whirlwind of news from the past month, how is the cybersecurity community dealing with it, and the lasting changes that will come from the pandemic. Listen here.

The real deal behind IT modernization

FedScoop recently hosted its fourth annual IT Modernization Summit. At the conference, we spoke with top federal IT officials and leaders from industry about the latest in federal IT modernization and what exactly modernization means to them. Today, they released videos from:

Watch them all here.

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