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Six months into the war in Ukraine, Moscow's cyber strategy is messy and uncoordinated, a top Ukrainian cyber official tells us at Black Hat. The FTC plans to write new data privacy rules. And China could be getting early access to vulnerabilities. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 11.

Russia's chaotic approach to cyber in Ukraine

Victor Zhora, a top Ukrainian official responsible for the country's cyber defense, told CyberScoop Wednesday that six months into the Russian invasion, cyberattacks are generally uncoordinated and the lack of a coherent Russian strategy on that front has benefited Ukrainian defense. Zhora came to the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas to share information about cyberattacks on Ukraine, and to continue rallying support for his country's ongoing defense. AJ Vicens reports.

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The FTC will explore new privacy rules

The Federal Trade Commission will explore new rules to crack down on commercial surveillance practices that put Americans’ data at risk of falling into the hands of “hackers and data thieves,” the agency announced Thursday. The process would take a look at issues like poor data security practices and the use of inaccurate data leading to biased decision-making. The rule making process would coincide with efforts in Congress to pass federal privacy legislation. While Democrats insist the two aren’t in conflict, Republicans have already chimed in to say the FTC shouldn’t be regulating through rule making and that legislative action is needed. Tonya Riley writes.

China likely getting first look at zero-days

The Chinese government appears to use its software vulnerability disclosure rules to preview dangerous zero-day flaws before tech companies can deploy fixes, a top Department of Homeland Security official said Wednesday. Beijing’s strict vulnerability reporting rules mean government officials could get “early access” to even the most serious vulnerabilities, DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers said during the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. If the Chinese government is analyzing zero-days, or previously unknown software flaws, before affected companies can deploy a fix, Beijing could gain the upper hand when carrying out cyberattacks against the U.S. or other digital adversaries. Suzanne Smalley reports from Black Hat.

CISA publishes cyber toolkit for election officials

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Wednesday released a guide to digital threats facing state and local election officials and recommendations on how to mitigate them in the run-up to November. The “Cybersecurity Toolkit to Protect Elections” aims to help election administrators and their staffs protect themselves against threats including phishing, ransomware, email scams, denial-of-service attacks and other vectors that could potentially disrupt the voting process or confuse voters. The guide notes, for instance, that election officials “are often required to open email attachments, which could contain malicious payloads,” to run processes like absentee ballot applications. Benjamin Freed has the story in FedScoop.

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