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U.S. penalties aren't enough to kick a Russian agent off Facebook. Google gets proactive with authentication. And DHS is going on a hiring sprint in cyber. This is CyberScoop for May 7, 2021.

Facebook finds a big influence operation in Ukraine

A man the U.S. intelligence community has assessed is an active Russian agent who interfered in U.S. elections is back stirring the pot on Facebook, the company announced Thursday. But this time, Andriy Derkach and associates appear to have been running influence operations targeted at Ukraine, not the U.S., Facebook said. The Treasury Department previously sanctioned Derkach, whom Treasury identified as being an “active Russian agent for over a decade,” for his alleged interference in U.S. elections. His removal is one of 1656 accounts, 141 Instagram accounts, 724 pages and 63 groups scrubbed in April. Shannon Vavra digs in.

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Let me multi-factor authentication that for you

Google says it plans to automatically enroll users in multi-factor authentication by default. By requiring a second step to verify sign-ins, the company hopes to make passwords safer, it wrote in a blog post on Thursday. It could be a big step forward for security, even if the technique isn't foolproof. “If they succeed this will probably be one of the most important cybersecurity improvements this decade,” tweeted Matt Tait, a former analyst at British spy agency GCHQ and now chief operating officer at the security research firm Corellium. Tim Starks has it covered.

DHS is looking for 200 cyber pros

In the face of humbling hacks against the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security is going on a hiring spree. DHS wants to bring in 200 more cyber specialists by July, half within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, half with other DHS agencies. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called it “the most significant hiring initiative” that DHS has undertaken in its 18-year history. Sean Lyngaas has more.

US to review tech to try to spot weak points

The U.S. government continues to learn things from the epic hacking campaign that involved software from SolarWinds, a federal contractor. Intelligence agencies are now reviewing any supply chain risks that might stem from U.S. software providers’ business dealings in Russia, a top Justice Department official said Thursday. The review could lead to Commerce Department action to exclude certain vendors from the U.S. supply chain, as happened with Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication giant. Sean breaks it down.

Opening statements in a Brooklyn cyber trial

Nearly three years after he was arrested in a Belgium apartment, Aleksander Zhukov was seated in a Brooklyn courtroom this week to face charges of running a complex fraud scheme that netted millions of dollars. Zhukov is accused of stealing millions as the head of the Methbot advertising fraud scheme, which relied on bots and subverting cyber tools to make some $7 million. The case is also connected to 3ve, a similar effort that relied on a notorious strain of malware. Jeff Stone has more.

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