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At Black Hat this week, former CISA Director Chris Krebs causes a stir by suggesting his old agency split from DHS, an idea that experts aren't embracing. The State Department offers a bounty for tips on Conti gang members. And are ransomware attacks really on the decline? This is CyberScoop for Aug. 12.

Experts say removing CISA from DHS won't work

Chris Krebs, the former head of CISA, created buzz at the Black Hat security conference this week when he suggested the agency be pulled out of DHS. Krebs said such a move would streamline how the private sector and other stakeholders work with the government to manage cyberthreats. But CyberScoop spoke with eight experts and a majority of them questioned the practicality of Krebs' idea. They said CISA won't have enough muscle without the clout of DHS supporting it and argued that new National Cyber Director Chris Inglis needs time to coordinate the government's cyber portfolio before making dramatic moves along the lines of what Krebs suggests. Suzanne Smalley has it from Las Vegas.

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State Department goes after Conti ransomware gang

The State Department on Thursday announced a $10 million reward for information related to five specific individuals associated with the Conti ransomware group. The Russian-based cybercriminal group has wreaked havoc around the world. As of January 2022, there were more than 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware and payouts exceeding $150 million, according to the FBI. An additional $5 million reward was available to anybody who could provide information leading to the arrest and or conviction of anybody in any country conspiring to take part in a Conti variant ransomware attack. AJ Vicens reports.

Are ransomware attacks really on the downswing?

On this week’s episode of the Priorities podcast, Recorded Future intelligence analyst Allan Liska tells StateScoop Managing Editor Benjamin Freed that while ransomware attacks appear to be happening less than last year, there’s still plenty of reason for public sector leaders to stay on guard. Liska’s data was a key part of a report earlier this year from the Ransomware Task Force, which found that there had been 64 documented attacks on local governments, schools and hospitals through May 2022, compared with nearly 150 over the same period a year prior. Hear more from StateScoop's Benjamin Freed.

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