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Conspiracy theorists and election deniers use voting day glitches to sow distrust in midterms. DDoS attacks with more bark than bite. And the BlackCat cybercrime group uses a novel attack method. This is CyberScoop for Nov. 9.

Trump and allies push election fraud claims

During midterm voting Tuesday, former President Donald Trump and his allies seized on procedural hiccups at polling centers to lay the groundwork to claim widespread fraud. Weeks before the election, security experts warned that technical glitches during voting would be seized on to undermine public confidence in election results — and these predictions played out most starkly in Arizona’s Maricopa County, where right-wing figures such as Trump began alleging the election was rigged against Republicans long before polls closed. Elias Groll and Suzanne Smalley report.

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Mississippi election websites affected by DDoS attack

Websites operated by the office of Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson appeared to be back online Tuesday evening, following an apparent distributed denial-of-service attack that lasted much of Election Day. The office’s public-facing websites, which included information for voters, were unavailable for large parts of the day. The outages had no impact on the casting and counting of votes, state and federal officials said throughout Tuesday. “We want to be extremely clear and reassure Mississippians our election system is secure and has not been compromised,” read a statement late Tuesday from Watson’s office and the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services. Benjamin Freed writes for FedScoop.

Higher ed leaders brace for reporting requirements

Higher education IT leaders are preparing for new federal reporting requirements on cybersecurity, data privacy and web accessibility, Educause’s policy lead, Jarret Cumming, says on the Cutting EDge podcast. One of the changes is to the FTC's Safeguards Rule, a long list of breach-notification requirements. But he says concerns about a federal privacy law can stay on the back burner. “Unless someone decides to take a crack at rewriting FERPA — and no one seems to be lining up in either the House or the Senate to take that task on — I actually think we’re unlikely to see significant change in privacy requirements for colleges or universities or federal privacy in general,” he says. Listen to EdScoop Radio.

A deep-dive into BlackCat

Cybersecurity firm Netskope took a deep dive into an attack by the BlackCat ransomware-as-a-service group. BlackCat, also known as ALPHV or Noberus, is thought to be the revamped Darkside and BlackMatter group that was used in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in 2021. BlackCat affiliates targeted a contractor supporting critical infrastructure firms with access to the victims internal networks, Gustavo Palazzo, a staff threat research engineer at NetSkope told CyberScoop. The malicious hacker then used a commonly used tool by network administrators called PsExec. Palazzo said the tool stands out because "when we think about a ransomware or even in an APT group, we might think that these attackers are using super expensive tools or custom software to breach networks and deploy payloads and this incident demonstrates that this is not always the case." Read the full report.

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