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The military and DHS expose a cyber-espionage campaign. The Treasury Department issues a clear warning about ransomware payouts to certain countries. And Emotet gets political. This is CyberScoop for Friday, October 2, 2020.

Cybercom and CISA team up on info-stealer

The military's Cyber Command and the DHS’s CISA called out an unspecified “sophisticated cyber actor” Thursday for using malware to launch cyberattacks against targets in India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Russia and Ukraine. The malware, which Cybercom has dubbed “SlothfulMedia,” is an information-stealer capable of logging keystrokes of victims and modifying files, according to a malware analysis prepared by both agencies. The campaign is ongoing, a military spokesperson said. Shannon Vavra has the details.

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Treasury: Step carefully on ransomware payouts

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control warned Thursday that companies that help deliver payments to hackers on behalf of ransomware victims could suffer financial penalties if those criminals are on the U.S. sanctions list. The move has potential ramifications for cyber insurers, financial institutions and cybersecurity forensics and response companies, as OFAC fines can exceed several million dollars. Cooperation with law enforcement, however, will help shield from potential fallout, OFAC said. Tim Starks makes his debut at CyberScoop with the story.

It's DNC week for Emotet

It's been a big week for U.S. political campaigns, to say the least, and whenever interest spikes in a topic, hackers often seize on that moment. For those behind the banking trojan known as Emotet, this week brought a shift in tactics that preys upon potential Democratic Party volunteers. Researchers at Proofpoint identified a phishing email sent to hundreds of U.S. organizations that included a malicious Word document that installs the malware if opened. The content of the email was taken directly from the Democratic National Committee's website, the researchers said. Cybersecurity agencies worldwide have noted a spike in Emotet activity in general this month. Joe Warminsky has more.

Charges filed in Michigan robocall case

Michigan's attorney general announced felony charges Thursday against a pair of right-wing scam artists over a robocall aimed at discouraging voters in Detroit and elsewhere from voting by mail. A four-page complaint accuses Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl of planting a call in which a woman's voice suggests, falsely, that people who cast ballots through the mail will have their personally identifiable information added to police and debt-collection databases, and that the Centers for Disease Control will use mailed ballots to "track people for mandatory vaccines." Benjamin Freed has more at StateScoop

Facebook had its hands full with this scam

Facebook has fended off plenty of pill-pushing fraud campaigns over the years, but one last year takes the cake. The hackers infected web browsers, not the Facebook platform itself, to steal login credentials and then buy ads on Facebook. The company detailed its findings on Thursday and called for help in tracking these types of advanced fraud campaigns. Sean Lyngaas explains how it worked.

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