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CISA Director Jen Easterly was in Las Vegas over the weekend at the DEF CON hacking conference talking about election disinformation. The crackdown on the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash continues. And the number of exploits taking advantage of Microsoft Office vulnerabilities skyrockets. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 15.

Election disinformation tops CISA's agenda

Election disinformation is a growing problem, according to Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency Director Jen Easterly. During the DEF CON hacking conference last week, she told reporters that she has added staff to the disinformation arm of the agency. Her efforts to fight it are being bolstered by a former Republican Secretary of State from Washington who she hired along with a prominent disinformation expert from Harvard University. Easterly said she has deliberately recruited both Republicans and Democrats to support CISA’s election efforts. “Where I fear that the system will break down in a spectacular way is if CISA all of a sudden becomes a partisan agency," she said. Suzanne Smalley has more.

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Developer arrested in association with Tornado Cash

Dutch authorities announced Friday the arrest of a developer suspected of involvement in "concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash. The arrest took place the same week the Treasury Department sanctioned the technology behind the mixing tool as well as several crypto wallet addresses associated with the service. Treasury said Tornado Cash is used to facilitate money laundering for the sanctioned North Korean Lazarus hacking group. Cryptocurrency trade publication The Block reported that the arrested developer was Alexey Pertsev. Pertsev’s wife maintained his innocence to the publication.

Microsoft Office vulnerabilities plague businesses

Researchers from the cybersecurity company Kaspersky tracked a significant jump in exploits that took advantage of Microsoft vulnerabilities during the second quarter of 2022, according to the company's quarterly malware report. In fact, it found that Microsoft Office exploits amounted to 82% of all of exploits discovered during the period across different software platforms. The report reinforces the point that old software is still a massive problem for businesses. Kaspersky noted that number of users who were affected by a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer, first revealed in September 2021, jumped by eight times. Read to full report.

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