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The feds have made a handful of notifications under a new protocol covering election-related hacking. An accused Russian scammer wants to be free. And Carnival cruise lines was hacked. This is CyberScoop for Tuesday, August 18.

Inside an election-minded phishing attack

The aftermath of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election was messy. It would be years before officials in Florida before found out which of their counties had reportedly been breached. In response to intense criticism, in early 2020, federal officials changed the way they notify states of successful hacking incidents that could affect election infrastructure. One incident in March, at the height of primary season, highlights how much has changed. Sean Lyngaas has the scoop.

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Alleged Russian scammer wants freedom (for real, this time)

Months after a judge denied a similar request, Aleksandr Zhukov is asking again to be released from Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center over coronavirus concerns. Zhukov is unable to socially distance from other inmates and is in contact with a rotating cast of correctional officers, his attorney says. Instead he'd like to be put up in a New York City hotel at the government's expense. Zhukov is the accused ringleader of the Methbot advertising fraud scheme, which scammed U.S. companies out of $29 million. Here's the letter.

Another reason to avoid cruises right now

With COVID-19 already making life hell for the cruise industry, ransomware crooks are piling on. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator, revealed that it suffered a ransomware attack, and said attackers had downloaded some of the company’s data. It’s unclear who was responsible. Carnival raised the possibility of claims from “guests, employees, shareholders or regulatory agencies” because of the incident. Sean has more details.

You Fancy, huh?

Security firm Akamai says a group of hackers posing as Fancy Bear, the infamous Russian intelligence outfit, have used distributed denial-of-service attacks to try extorting companies in multiple industries over the last week. The attacks tend to start with an email threatening the company with an impending DDoS attack that can only be prevented by paying a ransom of more than $240,000. If the victims doesn’t pay, scammers threatened to increase the demand to $365,000. Akamai doesn't recommend paying the fee. Read it here.

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