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Google unveils its latest look into how suspected foreign spies are breaching iPhone technology. A Russian scammer is sentenced to ten years. And the White House is talking the talk. This is CyberScoop for November 12, 2021.

Likely state-based hackers infected Hong Kong websites to spy on Apple users

Suspected foreign government-backed hackers infected websites belonging to a Hong Kong-based media outlet and a pro-democracy group in a bid to install malware on visitors’ Apple devices, Google researchers say. Google’s Threat Analysis Group discovered the watering hole attack in August, which relied on a previously unreported backdoor, or zero-day flaw. While Google didn’t attribute the attackers to a specific nation, China has long been suspected of conducting cyber-espionage and sowing disinformation aimed at democracy advocates in Hong Kong. Tim Starks looks closer.

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Self-described 'king of fraud' is sentenced to 10 years

A Russian man who once described himself as the “king of fraud” for his role in orchestrating a multimillion dollar crime spree was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison. Aleksandr Zhukov, 41, was convicted in May of defrauding U.S. advertising companies out of $7 million in part by using botnets to artificially inflate web traffic. Working with a small network of cybercriminals, Zhukov directed bot traffic to inauthentic websites, charging marketing companies to run advertisements on websites that attracted little, if any, real visitors. Two of Zhukov’s associates have pleaded guilty to involvement in the 3ve scheme, also known as Methbot, while six others have faced charges for the alleged roles in the effort. Jeff Stone has the story.

US joins global cyber pact

Vice President Kamala Harris announced Wednesday that the U.S. has joined an 80-country agreement that denounces malicious cyber activity and aims to boost supply chain security. The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, a French government initiative launched in 2018, includes principles such as defending election infrastructure from hacking, seeking intellectual property from spies and stopping non-state entities from using hacking tools. The Trump administration previously declined to participate. CNN explained the significance.


The benefits of understanding industrial cybersecurity

Digital transformation of operational technology (OT) provides significant benefits but can come with increased cybersecurity risk. A new report highlights best practices to secure OT systems and overviews the reasons why remediating OT vulnerabilities requires a different approach than IT vulnerabilities. Read the full report.

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