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U.S. cyber officials are warning about a big bug in F5 tech. Huawei’s not safe in the U.K. anymore. And European authorities cracked encryption as part of a novel investigation. This is CyberScoop for Monday, July 6.

Cyber Command, DHS flag a big issue

If you missed the alerts over the weekend about the just-uncovered F5 vulnerabilities, you won’t want to delay patching further, government officials warned. F5 Networks, one of the largest providers of enterprise networking equipment in the world, released a fix for a major issue that, if exploited, could lead to “complete system compromise,” and allow hackers to execute arbitrary system commands, create or delete files, or disable services. The vulnerability is so serious it received the highest possible score of 10 from the Common Vulnerability Scoring System, the Department of Defense’s Cyber Command warned that patching is “URGENT” and that it “should not be postponed[.]" Shannon Vavra has more context.

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Meanwhile at the NSA...

The National Security Agency has issued another advisory on properly securing virtual private networks. The bulletin identities common misconfigurations and flaws of VPNs, and recommends implementing strict traffic filtering rules and avoiding using default VPN settings. The warning comes months into the coronavirus pandemic, as telework surges around the world. Read it here.

The US is quietly bringing accused BEC scammers to trial

Justice Department officials said they've brought a Nigerian national to the U.S. to face charges that he conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars as part of various business email compromise (BEC) campaigns. Ramon Abbas, 37, allegedly helped scammers cover their tracks after bilking an American law firm, an English soccer team and a foreign bank, all while posting pictures of himself wearing expensive watches and designer clothes. Abbas already has appeared in a Chicago courtroom, and is due to be sent to Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Here's the news.

The UK's U-turn on Huawei

Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei could be facing a ban in the U.K. within months, according to exclusive reporting from The Daily Telegraph. British officials said in January that Huawei could play a role, if limited, in 5G networks in the U.K., despite U.S. pressure to strip the company's gear from Britain’s 5G build-outs. GCHQ has now made plans to revise its previous assessment that risk from Huawei gear can be managed, according to The Telegraph. Here's the latest.

EARN IT gets a makeover, still needs work

U.S. lawmakers failed to address concerns that the EARN IT Act — which would strip technology companies of liability protections if child pornography is shared on their platforms — could result in action that forces them to weaken product encryption. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill unanimously, despite complaints from heavyweights like Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The senators say they have no issue with strong encryption — just the technologies that make it difficult to prosecute pedophiles. But security pros point out that there are other ways of cracking down on child porn that don’t put pressure on encryption technology, which protects all internet users. Sean has more.

Who says cops can’t crack encryption?

French, Dutch and British police announced they hacked into an encrypted messaging platform as part of an investigation that resulted in hundreds of arrests, and the seizure of thousands of pounds of cocaine. To borrow the words of Dutch authorities, the key to the operation was “state-of-the-art cyber technology” that allowed the cops to snoop on messages on the EncroChat platform. It’s an example of how integral data collection has become to modern policing, and coincides with the years-long debate over the issue in the U.S. Sean Lyngaas has the story.

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