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A Russian propaganda effort coincided with years of Kremlin-backed hacks. Some job recruiters on LinkedIn aren't what they seem. And Sen. Ron Wyden wants to know if U.S. spies are re-evaluating their cybersecurity plans. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, June 17.

Russia tried amplifying fake documents, without success

A years-long propaganda effort that relied on thousands of blog articles and internet forgeries to discredit adversaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin is the latest reminder that Kremlin operatives are trying to influence foreign affairs, even if their level of success often is difficult to measure. Since 2014, disinformation specialists have authored roughly 2,500 anonymous blog stories, social media posts and other techniques in an attempt to amplify Kremlin messaging, according to Graphika. The activity focused on a range of topics, such as the Ukrainian government, former U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the World Anti-Doping Agency. Jeff Stone has the report.

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That's not really a recruiter...

It’s a tale of flattery and subterfuge, with a business email compromise scheme thrown in for good measure. Researchers from ESET blew the lid on an audacious spying scheme in which an unidentified group used LinkedIn to breach two European defense and aerospace firms, and ultimately exfiltrate sensitive corporate data. Clues suggest North Korean involvement, but the researchers aren’t confident enough to point the finger. It’s just another reminder of why spies have LinkedIn accounts. Sean Lyngaas explains.

Vault 7 fallout

In a letter to the director of national intelligence, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked for more information about what he described as “widespread security problems across the intelligence community.” Wyden was referencing, in part, an internal Central Intelligence Agency audit that described “longstanding imbalances and lapses” in data protection before WikiLeaks published secret U.S. hacking tools, known as the Vault 7 files, starting in 2017. The October 2017 audit encouraged the CIA to view the audit’s findings as “a wake-up call” and “an opportunity” to “reorient how we view risk.” Now, Wyden is asking whether known vulnerabilities still exist. Jeff breaks it down.

DOJ's huge cyber contract

The Department of Justice issued a $1.9 billion Cybersecurity Program Management blanket purchase agreement. DOJ awarded 14 spots on the BPA to two service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) and 12 unrestricted contractors. Dutch Ridge Consulting Group is one of the winners under the 10-year contract. Dave Nyczepir has the FedScoop story.

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