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We're heading to Las Vegas, so we put together a preview for Black Hat, DEF CON and BSidesLV. There's a growing collective of Elves battling Russian disinformation. And researchers have uncovered a sophisticated Chinese hacking campaign. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 9.

What we're watching at Hacker Summer Camp

A trio of cybersecurity conferences — BSidesLV, Black Hat USA and DEF CON — kicks off this week in Las Vegas in what’s collectively known as Hacker Summer Camp, bringing together policymakers, executives, experts, hackers and enthusiasts against a backdrop of some of the most unsettled international events of recent years. Thousands of cybersecurity professionals will gather on the Vegas Strip nearly six months into Russia’s war in Ukraine, two-and-a-half years into the COVID-19 pandemic and less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic visit to Taiwan triggered a wave of cyberattacks. All of this, in addition to the looming risk of COVID-19 infections, will drive much of the conversation at panels, workshops and in the hallways during the conferences, and we’ll be there to cover as much of it as possible. See what Suzanne Smalley and AJ Vicens are tracking in Vegas.

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With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

The 'Elves' battling Russian trolls

Several thousand everyday citizens working to combat Russian disinformation have emerged as one of civil society's most important anti-disinformation collectives, experts say. "Elves" working together across 13 European countries — including Finland, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic — fastidiously track, archive and publicize Russian disinformation found on social media platforms. The Elves — motivated by an increasingly polluted European information space — formed in Lithuania in 2014, not long after the Russian invasion of Crimea. The movement's founder told CyberScoop he called his members "Elves" because they are "bright creatures" confronting "ugly" trolls. Suzanne has more.

Global Chinese hacking campaign exposed

A Chinese hacking group simultaneously used six different backdoors against more than a dozen industrial plants, research institutes, government agencies and ministries in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Afghanistan, researchers with Kaspersky said Monday. The multiple backdoors were likely a means to ensure access if one or more of them were found out and closed, they said. Ultimately the exploit used to gain access and what the group did once inside were pretty "standard," the researchers said, but it was highly effective. AJ Vicens reports.

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