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More about Distributed Denial of Secrets, an emerging transparency group that was just banned from Twitter. An in-depth look at how the Pentagon is trying to improve contractors' cybersecurity. And exploring the value of U.S. cyber investigators abroad. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, June 24.

Meet DDoSecrets, a transparency group trying to avoid WikiLeaks' fate

After Twitter blacklisted an anti-secrecy group for distributing a vast collection of data stolen from U.S. law enforcement agencies, a co-founder of the WikiLeaks-style startup says it won’t go away quietly. Distributed Denial of Secrets co-found Emma Best says the group, which published 269 GB of police materials, is exploring its option for appeal, and getting set up on other social networks. Meanwhile, a longtime Anonymous scholar suggested that DDoSecrets represents the next logical step for the hacktivist movement. Jeff Stone has the details.

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A Pentagon cyber plan comes down to 15 volunteers

One of the biggest, most complicated projects in the defense industrial base isn’t a new weapons system or cloud computing environment. It’s the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which is set to upend how the Department of Defense does business with 300,000 contractors who provide everything from advanced aircraft to the shoelaces in soldiers’ boots. Effective security measures represent a key component of that effort, and the days when a contractor needs only to self-certify cyber compliance are coming to an end. Instead, the idea is to accredit thousands of people who will test companies against a new system of security controls. Without a CMMC certification, a company will not be able to land a DOD job (without a waiver). Jackson Barnett goes deep at FedScoop.

Why cyber attachés are worth it

International cybercrime investigations present an array of increasingly complex and diffuse challenges. Getting multiple investigative organizations and the legal procedures that bind them to work together requires unprecedented collaboration. To keep pace with these evolving borderless and highly technical crimes in cyberspace, the FBI has been leaning on its cyber attachés, which work with foreign partners to address the growing global threat. In this op-ed, two members of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission talk about what the program has done to take down criminals, and how it helps both the U.S. and foreign countries fight bureaucratic red tape when time is of the essence. Read more here.

Technologists slam new Senate encryption bill

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham and Marsha Blackburn just introduced a bill that would require device manufacturers to provide warranted law enforcement with access to encrypted communications. It’s the most hardline encryption bill in years, and technologists immediately decried it. “2020 just keeps giving,” tweeted Matthew Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University. The bill would also offer a prize to engineers who can meet lawmakers’ demands for building backdoors into encryption products, something that technologists say could weaken security for a huge number of people. But it also shows how much traction encryption hardliners have on Capitol Hill right now. The crypto wars rage eternal.

How do you fight off a ransomware attack?

Ransomware has been one of the biggest threats in cybersecurity over the past few years. Hospitals, governments, cities, companies. They’ve all been impacted by this wave of malicious behavior. But what happens when an enterprise is hit? What goes on in the short term? How do you stop the bleeding? And how do you recover? On this episode of Securiosity, Greg Otto talks with David Macias, president of ITRMS, a IT service provider based in California. Macias, a victim of a ransomware attack, tells us how he recovered, what he learned, and what he tells his clients to do in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring. Listen here.

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