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Chinese made GPS trackers could let hackers track, disrupt and turn off cars. Even Russian hackers need to use Google's storage tools. And score one for the U.S. in the ongoing fight against North Korean ransomware gangs. This is CyberScoop for July 19.

The trouble with GPS trackers

Vulnerabilities in a popular GPS tracking device could allow malicious hackers to secretly track, disrupt or even remotely shut off vehicles, federal cybersecurity officials warned Tuesday. “Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow an attacker control over any MV720 GPS tracker, granting access to location, routes, fuel cutoff commands and the disarming of various features (e.g., alarms),” according to a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory. The Chinese-made tracker is used across the globe by consumers and businesses alike seeking theft protection and location management, according to the cybersecurity company BitSight, which discovered the problem earlier this year and notified CISA. BitSight and CISA collaborated on the vulnerability alert. Suzanne Smalley has the story.

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Cozy Bear adds Google Drive to its arsenal

Cozy Bear — one of the most successful hacking units within the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service — has added Google Drive to its arsenal, using the popular cloud service as part of its multi-stage malware delivery scheme. Researchers with Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 said Tuesday that they spotted the development while reviewing a pair of recent spear-phishing campaigns targeting diplomats. That the group has long leveraged cloud services and web applications as part of its operations is worrying enough, but researchers said the addition of Google Drive shows both Cozy Bear's ability to adapt quickly and also adds another avenue for evading detection. AJ Vicens reports.

Feds claw back $500,000 from North Korean hackers

The U.S. Department of Justice recovered nearly $500,000 from a 2021 ransomware attack on a Kansas medical facility, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday. The attack was part of the basis for the July 6 federal notice about North Korean ransomware attacks using a previously unseen malware variant dubbed "Maui." Monaco said the incident is just the latest example of the benefits of prompt incident and ransom payment reporting, setting aside the heat the FBI has taken in recent months for sometimes leaving companies in the lurch. AJ has this one, too.

New Mexico’s new CIO says cybersecurity a focus amid state's broadband rollout

New Mexico Chief Information Officer Peter Mantos told StateScoop on Monday that cybersecurity is a focus of his office as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration pushes for greater broadband connectivity across the state. Efforts to expand the reach of high-speed internet connections are underway as the state applies for federal infrastructure funding. The state’s broadband office estimates that nearly 200,000 New Mexicans are without broadband. Mantos, whom Lujan Grisham appointed as CIO last month, said that new cybersecurity initiatives are already rolling out, spurred on by a January ransomware attack against Bernalillo County. Colin Wood reports for StateScoop.

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