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Pulling back the curtain on a Russian cybercrime syndicate known for devastating banking malware. The FBI warns about cryptocurrency scams. And spyware targets Thai activists. This is CyberScoop for July 18.

Unpacking the TrickBot leaks

Moscow's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine fractured some highly effective Russian cybercrime groups such as Conti. A Ukrainian researcher leaked the group's internal communications after they posted a public declaration backing the war. The leaks made a splash in the infosec world, but another, much larger, attack didn't get quite the same level of attention. A Twitter account called @trickleaks began posting reams of internal messages from TrickBot, another cybercrime group within the Wizard Spiders family, which includes Conti. British cybersecurity firm Cyjax on Friday published an analysis of the more than 250,000 leaked communications, as well as more than two dozen PDFs that included details of alleged members of TrickBot. The cache of documents provided a rare, detailed view inside the criminal group. Read more from AJ Vicens.

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FBI says watch your crypto wallets

Fraudulent cryptocurrency investment apps swindled at least 244 victims out of funds amounting to $42.7 million in losses, the FBI warned in an alert Monday. Two of the fraudulent exchanges named in the alert, YiBit and Supayos, stole branding from legitimate or formerly legitimate exchanges to confuse victims. The scams aren’t uncommon. In June, the Federal Trade Commission reported that Americans lost over half a billion on cryptocurrency investment scams in 2021. Tonya Riley has it.

Citizen Lab identifies more than two dozen Thai activists targeted with Pegasus

NSO Group's Pegasus spyware targeted at least 30 Thai pro-democracy protesters and activists between October 2020 and November 2021, according to an analysis from Citizen Lab and Thai NGOs iLaw and Digital Reach. "Multiple" recipients of Apple's November 2021 warning of state-backed hacking attempts reached out to Citizen Lab and the other groups, Citizen Lab researchers said in a report published Sunday. The findings add the Thai protesters to the list of validated victims of Pegasus targeting around the world. Read the research.

States may need extension on cyber grants, NASCIO director says

As the wait continues for the Department of Homeland Security to publish guidance on the cybersecurity grants contained in last year’s infrastructure law, National Association of State Chief Information Officers Executive Director Doug Robinson said Thursday that state governments will likely need an extension to take advantage of the first year of the four-year, $1 billion program. Near the end of an hourlong discussion on recent trends in state and local IT, Robinson and Alan Shark, director of CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute, noted that the Sept. 30 end of the federal fiscal year is looming, even as their members wait for a planning document known as a notice of funding opportunity.   StateScoop's Benjamin Freed has more.

Experts see challenges, opportunities for restricting Chinese military access to AI chips

China’s People’s Liberation Army is leveraging American-designed semiconductors to enhance its artificial intelligence capabilities, which could play a key role in a future war against the United States and its allies. Limiting the Chinese military’s access to AI chips will be difficult, but new approaches could help mitigate the problem, analysts say. Jon Harper with the story in FedScoop.

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