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Mandiant researchers expose a pro-China influence operation attempting to disrupt U.S. elections. The Justice Department unseals charges related to a massive malware market. And a federal official makes the case for improving supply chain security. This is CyberScoop for Oct. 26.

Meddling with the midterms

A pro-Chinese government information operation is “aggressively targeting the United States” across a variety of fronts, including by attempting to discredit the U.S. democratic process and “discourage Americans from voting in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections,” researchers said Wednesday. The influence campaign represents an escalation of both tactics and rhetoric designed to “sow division both between the U.S. and its allies and within the U.S. political system itself,” said researchers with Google’s Mandiant. AJ Vicens reports.

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Raccoon Infostealer unmasked

The Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed charges against a Ukrainian national for his role in the Raccoon Infostealer malware-as-a-service operation, which U.S. law enforcement officials blamed for infecting millions of computers around the world to steal personal data. Raccoon Infostealer sold its malware on the for $75 per week or $200 per month, but reportedly claimed it shut down in March after one of its developers died in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bleeping Computer reported at the time. AJ has this, too.

The hunt for critical software

The federal IT community must prioritize the identification of critical software components within product suites as it works to address supply chain risk, according to the Federal Acquisition Service commissioner. Speaking Tuesday at ACT-IAC’s Imagine Nation ELC, Sonny Hashmi called for work to pinpoint code with national security implications to begin, even as certain critical software definitions continue to evolve. He said: “[I]t’s important for us to start to think about what parts of our product suites — many of the products that your companies build and make available — are considered critical software. John Hewitt Jones writes in FedScoop.

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