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Who is Arkady Bukh? The FBI and CISA issue another warning about the election. And the Trump administration's mind is on ocean cybersecurity. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, September 23.

Meet ‘the godfather of cybercriminal defense’

CyberScoop profiles Arkady Bukh, the grandson of a Soviet military general who’s emerged as a go-to lawyer for the cybercrime underworld. Like a Perry Mason for the digital age, Bukh has defended dozens of accused cybercriminals over a 10-year span in which internet crime sprees have evolved from a corporate nuisance to a crucial tool for information warfare. It’s a world where international intelligence agencies mingle with freelance hackers, where cash disappears from ATMs and the pictures that hackers post of themselves posing in front of luxury cars in Red Square later appear as evidence in U.S. courtrooms. At the center of it all is an attorney that some have described as “the godfather of cybercriminal defense.” Jeff Stone spent a year on the story.

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Feds to voters: Be patient for results, wary of disinformation

With voting already underway and Election Day less than two months out, the FBI and DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are telling voters that “foreign actors and cybercriminals” could try to undermine confidence in the results. Those adversaries could peddle false reports of “voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud, and other problems intended to convince the public of the elections’ illegitimacy,” the agencies said in a public advisory Tuesday. The statement did not explicitly mention domestic sources of disinformation, of which there are plenty. Sean Lyngaas breaks down the alert.

Trump admin diving in on maritime cybersecurity

The White House hopes to update U.S. government’s approach to its maritime cybersecurity in coming months, according to two senior Trump administration officials. The administration’s priorities are to enhance and secure the United States’ ability to project power at sea and defend against adversarial cyberattacks, the officials told reporters Tuesday. The plan involves re-examining the national approach to information sharing and better emphasizing the use of operational technologies in ports, the officials said. Shannon Vavra has more.

New gang: OldGremlin

It's uncommon for Russian-speaking hacking groups to focus on Russian targets, but a ransomware gang dubbed OldGremlin by security company Group-IB is bucking that trend. Medical labs, banks, manufacturers and software developers in Russia are the prime targets for the group, which began operating with custom tools as early as March of this year, according to Group-IB. The perpetrators could be a Russia-based crew looking to refine its tactics before expanding outside the country, researchers say, or they could be based in a former Soviet bloc country that has frosty relations with Moscow. Joe Warminsky looks at the research.

Battleground states can still make progress

A report published Tuesday by election security researchers found that the states believed to be most competitive in this year’s presidential election have largely improved the security of their voting systems since 2016, and there is still time to make more progress in the six weeks before Election Day, according to a new report from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. Officials like secretaries of state and county election directors have “learned a lot” since 2016, the researchers say. The retirement of paper-free voting machines, investments in cybersecurity resources like firewalls and network intrusion detection devices and expansion of absentee ballots were all cited as areas of progress. Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop.

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