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Congress is moving on a plan to create a cyber-focused office in the State Department (doesn't that sound familiar?). Email scammers impersonate Bloomberg employees. And U.S. officials are trying to put out another fire. This is CyberScoop for April 21, 2021.

House clears the way for a cyber office at the State Department

The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would carve out a top cyber diplomacy office at the State Department to help the U.S. better influence global cyberspace norms. The so-called Cyber Diplomacy Act would require the State Department to develop a strategy for promoting norms around what behavior is acceptable in cyberspace. The proposal would also create an ambassador role for cyber diplomacy, as well as a centralized Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy to push democratic norms in cyberspace and advise the Secretary of State on cyber issues. Shannon Vavra looks closer.

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Those aren’t really Bloomberg invoices in your inbox

Hackers masquerading as Bloomberg employees have, over the last year, sent a steady drip of malware-laced emails to victims, Cisco's Talos research team said Wednesday. The campaign is more slick than the usually bumbling fraud efforts in broken English. CyberScoop called the “customer service” number listed in one of the emails, only to find a full voicemail inbox. It’s just the latest attempt by hackers to capitalize on brand names for illicit access to networks. Sean Lyngaas breaks it down.

Feds scramble to clean up another exploitation campaign

After the Exchange Server and SolarWinds fiascoes, U.S. officials are dealing with another hacking campaign that exploits popular software to target government networks. FireEye announced Tuesday that suspected Chinese hackers had leveraged software bugs in Pulse Secure's VPN software to target the defense and financial sectors. DHS later confirmed that U.S. government agencies were breached. Sean has more.

Bottleneck emerges in Pentagon cyber program

Companies in line to become certified assessors for the Department of Defense‘s supply chain cybersecurity program are facing a new roadblock: Getting and passing an assessment of their own. There’s a bottleneck in licensing assessors under the DOD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, according to multiple organizations waiting to go through the process. It not only frustrates these companies that are waiting to enter a potentially lucrative market but also threatens to complicate the timeline for implementing a critical DOD cybersecurity program. Jackson Barnett has the news at FedScoop.

Cyber goes to space

The unified combatant command overseeing the military’s joint operations in space is working to stand up a Joint Cyber Center, its commander told senators Tuesday. U.S. military branches are directing resources to the cyber center, which will look to ensure the cybersecurity of satellites and space-based communications, said Gen. James Dickinson, the Army general in charge of Space Command. Dickinson said the center will be a critical part of the command’s mission and act as a central unit that can help it integrate with other cyber-focused commands, like U.S. Cyber Command. Jackson has this one, too.

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