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A hacked cryptocurrency firm says scammers have returned some of the $600 million they stole. Facebook catches an anti-vaccine effort. And NSA just launched an internal review. This is CyberScoop for August 11, 2021.

File under: That was fast

Less than 24 hours after an unnamed hacker stole $600 million worth of virtual currencies from cryptocurrency company Poly Network, the hacker began to funnel them back. By 8 a.m. ET Wednesday the individual had sent back roughly $5 million worth of currency — a number that skyrocketed to over $250 million within three hours. The unusual incident is the biggest public hack against the decentralized finance industry to date and comes at a time when the industry is under immense regulatory pressure. A representative of Poly Networks declined to say if the company was working with law enforcement on the matter. Tonya Riley has the story.

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Influencing the influencers on COVID-19 vaccine disinformation

A Russia-based disinformation campaign sought to exploit Instagram, TikTok and YouTube influencers to undermine the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Facebook said in its monthly report on disinfo. An earlier leg of the campaign by the marketing firm Fazze also bashed the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it would turn recipients into chimpanzees. That clumsier AstraZeneca effort got no real traction, and while the Pfizer effort got a little more, it also was the campaign's undoing: Some influencers that Fazze tried to spoon-feed articles and instructions flagged the work as suspicious on social media. Tim Starks takes a look.

Fair and balanced?

The Tucker Carlson surveillance drama is back in the news. The National Security Agency’s inspector general on Tuesday announced it would investigate the agency’s actions in relation to the Fox News personality’s claim that the NSA monitored his communications. The NSA, whose mission focuses on foreign intelligence gathering, has flatly denied surveilling Carlson. It’s a made-for-TV controversy. Sean Lyngaas reports.

False flags, they’re all the rage

One of the most famous cases of an intelligence service framing another for a hack came in 2018, when the Russians posed as the North Koreans in hacking the Olympics in South Korea. This week brought news of another such ruse when FireEye revealed that alleged Chinese hackers were using leaked Iranian hacking tools to breach Israeli targets. It could be a sign of things to come. Sean explained the significance.

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