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Attorneys squared off in court over whether the alleged Capital One hacker should be freed before trial for her own safety. Illinois has a new plan to avoid being victimized again by Russian hackers. And some campaign websites are not what they appear. This is CyberScoop for Wednesday, October 16.

First on CyberScoop: The investigation into Paige Thompson continues

Investigators probing the Capital One data breach say they have between 20 and 30 terabytes of data in their possession as they prepare for trial against the alleged hacker, Paige Thompson. The government now is parsing through millions of individual files, prosecutors said, as well as a spreadsheet agents say they found recently on Thompson’s computer, which contains aggregated information apparently stolen from the bank. It was all part of an argument to keep Thompson incarcerated before her trial. But Judge Robert Lasnik seemed more receptive to a defense argument that Thompson, who is transgender, may be safer in a halfway house. Jeff Stone and Greg Otto have the transcript.

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Illinois model can help secure 2020, lawmakers say

Some of the best understood Russian hacking in 2016 occurred in Illinois, where GRU officials breached a voter registration database to access tens of thousands of records. Scarred by that experience, Illinois officials have implemented a slew of changes, including standing up a more secure computer network for voter data, exercising the National Guard, and implementing a “Cyber Navigator” program that embeds IT specialists at local election offices. On Tuesday, a House Homeland Security Committee hearing featured Illinois officials and pondered how those policies might be replicated in other states. Sean has the takeaways to remember.

'Typosquatting' comes for 2020 candidates

Researchers have detected more than 500 websites that appear to belong to U.S. presidential candidates but actually are illegitimate, threat intelligence researchers from Digital Shadows said Wednesday. Sixty-eight percent of the sites were re-directs, meaning that when a web user types an address into their browser it takes them somewhere else. Sometimes that's normal, like "Faceboo.com" sending visitors to "facebook.com." Sometimes it's not, like a mistyped version of WinRed.com, a GOP fundraising site, sending users to ActBlue, which is dedicated to raising campaign funds for the Democrats. This research comes after suspected Iranian operatives used similar techniques to impersonate news outlets to spread fabricated news. Read more.

Intrigue in Minsk as ex-IRA operative is detained, released

It’s always been a long shot that one of the 13 Russians indicted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 election would appear inside a U.S. courtroom. Earlier this week, there a fleeting glimmer of hope that that might come to pass when Anna Bogacheva, who allegedly worked for the Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, was detained in Belarus. But authorities in Belarus, a neighbor and, generally, an ally of Russia, found no reason to keep her there to be extradited, the prosecutor general’s office there said. The incident was long on intrigue and short on details. Bogacheva promptly returned to Russia upon her release, according to The Washington Post. Sean Lyngaas is on the case.


Using cloud as a security advantage to detect cyberthreats

Can cloud’s unique properties as an elastic, scalable and distributed service be turned into a security tool? Security experts from VMware Carbon Black sit down to share their insights into how organizations can look at cloud through a new lens. Listen to the discussion.

State cyber bosses consider (actual) AI solutions

State technology officials will primarily use artificial intelligence to build more robust cybersecurity tools, reduce fraud and expand the digitalization of civic services, according to a report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. NASCIO compiled interviews from IT officials across 45 states who are invested in expanding the use of AI within their agencies. Officials shared best practices, operational hurdles and use cases for the technology, which is still nascent in many state IT offices. But AI does have clearly defined use cases, and among the states that have embraced it so far, a shared vision of best practices. Ryan Johnston has more context.

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