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A newly discovered cyberespionage group targets mostly high-profile Asian public and private sector organizations. Ransomware operators take out part of the Los Angeles school district's computer systems. And the IRS exposes taxpayer information. This is CyberScoop for Sept. 6.

Newest cyberespionage gang exposed

A previously unknown cyberespionage group has been using undocumented tools to go after high-profile Asian companies and local governments, researchers with cybersecurity firm ESET said Tuesday. The researchers dubbed the cyberespionage group “Worok” and say it’s been active since at least 2020, when it targeted an East Asia telecom, a Central Asia bank, Southeast Asian maritime firm, among other public and private targets. A “significant break in observed operations” took place between May 2021 and January 2022, the researchers said, but since then the group has homed in on a Central Asian energy company and a public sector entity in Southeast Asia. AJ Vicens reports.

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Ransomware hits Los Angeles school district

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-biggest K-12 system, reported over the weekend that its networks were targeted by a ransomware attack that has resulted in disruptions to several internal systems, including email services and other applications. Officials said that “unusual activity” detected over the holiday weekend was confirmed to have come from an external cyberattack, triggering a response that’s caused districtwide outages of multiple systems. The district said it is working with local and state law enforcement, as well as several federal agencies, including the Department of Education, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The type of ransomware used in the incident has not been identified. Benjamin Freed writes in StateScoop.

IRS exposes confidential taxpayer data

The Internal Revenue Service earlier this year published confidential information about taxpayers on its website before finding the error and removing the data, the agency said Friday. The data, which was accidentally shared on IRS.gov, related to entities that submit the business tax return document Form 990-T. Form 990-T is used to disclose untaxable income, including by retirees with certain categories of business income. It is typically filed by about 120,000 people. The inadvertent disclosures included names, contact information and financial information about income within those IRAs but did not include Social Security numbers, full individual income information or other data that could affect a taxpayer’s credit, according to a letter that the Treasury Department sent to key members of Congress on Friday that the Wall Street Journal reported. Nihal Krishan reports for FedScoop.


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