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Conspiracy theorists threaten 5G cell towers. Facebook scrubs dozens of white supremacist groups. Hackers targeted the German government on the same day it announced a health equipment task force. This is CyberScoop for Monday, June 8.

Coronavirus conspiracy theorists threaten 5G cell towers

COVID-19-related threats come in all flavors — foreign spies with eyes on vaccine research, hucksters selling phony PPE and people who claim 5G cell towers cause coronavirus. The latter is the subject of a recent DHS memo to industry about physical attacks on telecom infrastructure. Celebrities like Woody Harrelson have promoted the erroneous theory that 5G gear can cause health problems. Those theories have been seized on by arsonists in the U.K. and, increasingly, in the U.S. The DHS memo advises telecom operators to watch out for rogue drones at their facilities, among other things. Sean Lyngaas has the warning.

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Facebook removes white supremacist groups

Facebook removed multiple account networks connected with white nationalist hate groups that encouraged members to bring guns to anti-racism demonstrations throughout the United States. The social media company removed sites affiliated with the Proud Boys and American Guard, which have been designated as extremist hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, respectively. Facebook staff that had been monitoring both networks in an attempt to map their connections decided to accelerate the account removals as protests related to the police killing of George Floyd have continued. Jeff Stone has more context.

A Cyber Command price tag grows

A major initiative that U.S. Cyber Command has been working on for two years, software called Unified Platform (UP), is going to cost five times the price military officials originally estimated, according to the Government Accountability Office. UP is meant to help the military services working with Cyber Command streamline data processing, storage, queries and information-sharing. But the projected cost of UP was not based on any independent analysis, which GAO says contributed to the miscalculation. Shannon Vavra explores the numbers.

A telling effort to hack a German PPE supplier

Nearly every part of governments’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic can be infiltrated by computer operatives. That includes the supply chain for personal protective equipment, as IBM research makes clear. The findings show a months-long effort to phish senior executives at a German company tasked by the government to procure masks and other gear. Malicious links were designed to direct executives to fake Microsoft login pages to steal their credentials and send them to accounts hosted on Yandex, a popular Russian email service. The researchers suspect other German companies were also targeted. Sean has more details.

IT services companies have a target on their backs

We’re beginning to see a pattern. For the second time in as many months, the Maze ransomware actors reportedly have breached a multibillion-dollar IT services company with clients in critical industries. The latest victim is Conduent, a company that provides business processing services for customers in the banking and aerospace sectors. And Maze isn’t the only set of crooks known to take aim at the tech that so many companies rely on. Sean digs in to the news.

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