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Details on how the TSA is trying to clean up that pipeline mess. Researchers nab suspected Chinese hackers targeting the Uyghur population again. And a Russian man arrested at the airport heads to prison. This is CyberScoop for May 27, 2021.

Fines coming for pipeline operators with weak security

The Transportation Security Administration will for the first time require pipeline operators to meet mandatory cybersecurity requirements in the wake of a ransomware attack that caused a days-long shutdown of the main artery for delivery fuel to the East Coast. The directive requires certain pipeline operators to report hacking incidents to the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency within 12 hours, and would levy fines starting at approximately $7,000 on operators for failing to comply with security guidelines, department officials told reporters in a call. Sean Lyngaas has the story.

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Uyghurs targeted by UN poseurs, fake human rights org

Possible Chinese hackers are targeting Uyghurs in China, Pakistan and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for eavesdropping, according to research from Check Point and Kaspersky. They are pretending to be from the United Nations Human Rights Council and a fake human rights group, the Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation. The companies couldn't identify a specific hacking gang responsible, but signs pointed to a Chinese-speaking group. Tim Starks has this one.

Belgians say hackers in ministry since 2019

Belgium's Federal Public Service Interior said it has evicted hackers who were in its systems for two years. The ministry didn't name the culprits behind the cyber-espionage campaign, but signs pointed to China. The FPS Interior said it began investigating after Microsoft revealed in March that state-sponsored hackers had used zero-days to attack its Exchange Server tech. Tim delves deeper.

30 months for a Russian scammer

A Russian man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for running a website that sold stolen credit card data and other personal information to cybercriminals, according to a Department of Justice announcement. The Russian man, Kirill Victorovich Firsov, was first arrested last year, and pleaded guilty to hacking-related charges in January. Deer.io raked in $17 million worth of sales and sold at least $1.2 million in U.S.-based stolen information, according to the DOJ. Dive in with Shannon Vavra.

When ransomware isn’t about extortion

There is growing evidence that Iran-linked groups have deployed ransomware as a smokescreen for disruptive hacking operations in the Middle East. The latest example comes from SentinelOne researchers, who document a series of hacks against Israeli organizations in which the culprit demands a ransom but doesn’t appear to collect it. It wouldn’t be the first time that a state allegedly used a wiper that posed as ransomware. Sean has the lowdown.

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