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Senior cybersecurity officials in the Biden administration meet with critical infrastructure executives to talk cyberthreats. Chinese hackers execute a cyberespionage campaign in Australia. And Veterans Affairs gets a new CISO. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 30.

Exclusive: White House briefs aviation executives

The White House has been conducting classified cybersecurity briefings with executives from select critical infrastructure sectors as part of an ongoing effort to compel industry leaders to invest more in their digital defenses. The next meeting, scheduled for September, will be with executives from across the aviation industry, a senior White House cybersecurity official told CyberScoop. The Biden administration’s effort to increase industry support for upgrades to critical infrastructure formally launched last summer when the president signed a national security memorandum assigning federal agencies to develop cybersecurity performance goals for various critical infrastructure initiatives. Suzanne Smalley has the story.

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Chinese hackers spin up fake news site

A Chinese-based cyberespionage group targeted Australian officials with reconnaissance malware to siphon off details about the victims hackers could use to execute more targeted strikes, researchers with cybersecurity firm Proofpoint and the PwC Threat Intelligence team said in joint research published Tuesday. The cyberespionage campaign that focused on government, energy and manufacturing personnel in the Asia-Pacific region deployed phishing emails directing targets to a fake news outlet, the researchers said. The attackers — referred to as both TA423, Red Landon and APT40 — designed the site to deliver malware known as ScanBox. AJ Vicens reports.

Veterans Affairs installs permanent CISO

The Department of Veterans Affairs has named Lynette Sherrill as permanent deputy assistant secretary for information security and chief information security officer, FedScoop can reveal. Her appointment concludes a months-long process to appoint a new cybersecurity leader at the agency following the departure of Paul Cunningham in February. Sherrill has carried out the responsibilities of CISO at the agency on an acting basis since the departure of Cunningham. Previously, she was the executive director of enterprise command operations at the VA, in which role she oversaw the enterprise service desk, enterprise command center and major incident problem management teams.   John Hewitt Jones writes in FedScoop.


FortiGuard Labs’ new threat report shows alarming trends in cybercrime

New research from FortiGuard Labs indicates that cybercriminals are building an investment strategy around new weaponized techniques that can penetrate IT systems at the same level of sophistication as nation state actors and APT groups, according to FortiGuard Labs executive Derek Manky. Watch the interview with Manky.

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