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Big changes have been announced for the way intelligence agencies will brief Congress on election threats. A cybercriminal 'Empire' felled by a rumored scam. And state officials update Congress on their cyber readiness. This is CyberScoop for Monday, August 31.

Just two months from the election, ODNI cancels in-person briefings

Anyone hoping for cooperation between senior Democrats and the Trump administration on election security is going to be disappointed: After Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said his office would share threat information with Congress via written materials, rather than in-person briefings, Democrats exploded with outrage. Lawmakers say they, and thus the American people, will be deprived of crucial information on foreign interference without the in-person briefings. One even suggested Congress use its subpoena power. Sean Lyngaas has the story.

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What happened to Empire Market?

A dark web market frequented by scammers and drug dealers disappeared last week amid rumors of apparent bitcoin heist, according to new findings. Empire Market, an English-language site where stolen cards were available for sale, suddenly went down last week. A post on another forum reported that Empire Market's administrators had shut down the site amid a distributed denial-of-service attack. The incident recalled prior incidents where influential markets went down, only for the admins to steal millions of dollars worth of bitcoin that was in escrow. Digital Shadows has the latest context.

Hackers are at door, but the locks are holding

Foreign adversaries are again attempting to breach election-related computer systems in states, Kentucky’s top voting official told members of Congress. So far, they've been unsuccessful in repeating the 2016 efforts made by Russian government agents to access voter registration databases. “We’ve not been breached, but there has been rattling at our doorknob,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams. Benjamin Freed explains at StateScoop.

Everything you need to know about voting by mail

As state and local governments, political candidates and U.S. voters navigate ways to run an election in a pandemic, mail-in ballots increasingly are an issue of concern. They also have to navigate a U.S. Postal Service that's increasingly the target of President Donald Trump, and overcome a confusing process. The thing is: Mail-in ballots are verifiable, and secretaries of state throughout the nation are mulling ways to increase their capacity. It's a lot to think about. Sean breaks it down.

Meet the new (deputy) boss...of Air Force tech

Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett has selected Lauren Knausenberger as the branch's next deputy CIO. Replacing the recently departed Bill Marion, Knausenberger takes the role after spending the last three years with the Air Force, most recently as its chief transformation officer. The deputy CIO performs most of the major leadership, policy and management duties for the Air Force's IT and cyber missions. (The full CIO position and its budgetary authority are held by the service's undersecretary, but that role has less direct impact on IT business.) Billy Mitchell looks closer at FedScoop.

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