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The Justice Department rethinks its handling of ransomware cases. Unpacking the Supreme Court's big decision about an anti-hacking law. And the White House updates rules regulating Chinese investment. This is CyberScoop for June 4, 2021.

DOJ orders prosecutors to prioritize ransomware cases

The Biden administration’s attempts to crack down on ransomware gangs continued Thursday when the Justice Department told federal prosecutors across the country to share key developments in ransomware cases with senior officials in Washington. The memo from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco elevates the fight against ransomware as a top priority for the government’s law enforcement division. The goal is to have a clearer view of extortion attempts occurring in every state. Sean Lyngaas has more.

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A Supreme Court ruling raises the need for privacy legislation

The decision on the case of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act points to a need for sweeping privacy legislation, said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has criticized the law. “The Supreme Court recognized today that the terribly written CFAA crossed the line by criminalizing everyday activities like using your work computer to read the news or send personal emails,” Wyden said in a statement. “Today's ruling helps rectify the damage caused by that reactionary law. However, today's case highlights the pressing need for Congress to pass comprehensive privacy legislation and to protect users against corporate employees who abuse their access to databases of sensitive personal information.” Tonya Riley reports.

White House tries to curb export of Chinese surveillance tech

President Biden on Thursday expanded restrictions on U.S. investments in the Chinese defense sector, bring to 59 the list of Chinese firms that Americans are barred from investing in. It’s a continuation of Trump administration policy, but an effort to make the bans more targeted and effective, analysts and officials said. Chinese repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang loomed large over the decision. Sean is on the case.

SIM swapping victim alleges T-Mobile failed to stop $20k scam

A Pennsylvania woman who lost the equivalent of $20,000 in cryptocurrency as part of a mobile fraud scheme says T-Mobile failed to protect her account in the face of a wave of similar incidents. Sima Kesler alleges she was the victim of a May 2020 SIM swapping scheme, in which scammers convince a phone carrier to give them control of an individual user’s account. Unknown fraudsters had tricked T-Mobile customer service personnel into handing over access to Kesler’s account, which they then used to deplete her Coinbase of virtually all cryptocurrency, according to the complaint. Jeff Stone has more details.

Apparent ransomware hack roils Fujifilm

It’s been a banner week for ransomware attacks that have disrupted multinational companies. Fujifilm, which makes much more than just cameras, said Wednesday that an apparent digital extortion attempt had forced it to shut down computers and “disconnect from external correspondence.” It’s too early to say how wide the impact will be on the firm’s operations. Sean has more.

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