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"Surveillance-for-hire" activity is purged from Facebook. A retiring government CISO talks about accelerating cyber awareness. And the FTC has an eye on impersonators. This is CyberScoop for Friday, December 17.

Meta takes on hackers for hire

Meta removed seven “surveillance-for-hire” organizations that used Facebook to target at least 50,000 individuals across 100 countries for surveillance operations, some of which included the deployment of spyware, the company says. Included among the takedowns were accounts used by Cytrox, a company that Citizen Lab identified in a separate report as being behind the hacking of two Egyptians, including exiled politician Ayman Nour and an unidentified news journalist. Tonya Riley has more.

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N.Y.'s CISO on cyber pros being 'partners, not impediments'

New York state's CISO is stepping down soon, and she says she's definitely seen an accelerating culture shift in government over the past few years. “[Agencies are] starting to get the importance of cyber,” Karen Sorady told StateScoop. “Ensuring the professionals are seen as partners, not impediments or something extra. Cyber has the reputation as the ones who say no to everything, and we have to change that.” Benjamin Freed interviews Sorday.

FTC takes aim at impersonation fraud

The Federal Trade Commission wants to create new rules to fight impersonation fraud, which reportedly has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Impersonators use various methods to trick people into thinking they are from a government agency or an established business "and then trade on this trust to steal their identity or money," the FTC says. Some of the tactics involve familiar scamming tools, such as spoofed URLs and misleading Web domain names. "These scammers are fishing for information they can use to commit identity theft or seek monetary payment, often requesting funds via wire transfer, gift cards, or increasingly cryptocurrency," the commission says. Read the announcement.

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