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The founder of Craigslist signs a check meant to help stop ransomware hackers. John McAfee, an alleged sexual predator and antivirus software creator, has died. And Capitol Hill prepares to debate a big idea. This is CyberScoop for June 24, 2021.

The battle against ransomware gets a boost

The Institute for Security and Technology received a $450,000 donation from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to continue its work combatting ransomware. The money will go towards continuing the work started by the Ransomware Task Force, a public-private collaboration launched earlier this year by the Institute. The group will focus on facilitating forums for discussion and action-oriented tasks recommended in the report, such as possibly standing up a ransomware incident response network for public and private organizations to share threats. IST will also use the funding to bring on more staff to work on ransomware issues. Tonya Riley has the exclusive.

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Get ready for a plan to label companies vulnerable to hacking

The notion of writing more cybersecurity regulations is gaining traction following the Colonial Pipeline and JBS ransomware incidents, after decades of a largely hands-off approach to private sector-owned critical infrastructure. Enter a proposal that some lawmakers and the Cyberspace Solarium Commission that they say strikes a middle ground between the new zeal for hard rules and the tradition of non-regulation in cyberspace: “systemically important critical infrastructure.” It’s an idea that involves labeling hacking targets that are most likely to cause economic, public health or national security disruptions if attacked, then offering the owners of that infrastructure a mixture of government boons in exchange for meeting baseline cybersecurity standards. Tim Starks explains.

John McAfee found dead

John McAfee, a cybersecurity industry pioneer who would go on to promote various cryptocurrencies and flee international law enforcement, has died in Spain. McAfee, 75, died in a jail cell in Barcelona while awaiting extradition to the U.S. on charges of tax evasion. McAfee faced up to 30 years in prison if found guilty in the U.S. He was also accused of involvement in two murders and multiple instances of sexual assault. Jeff Stone has more details.

Where the National Guard is deploying for cyber

Governors across the country have called up their states’ National Guard units to provide cybersecurity support in response ransomware attacks, elections and other events at least 41 times since 2018, according to research this week from the think tank Third Way. Since February 2018 — when the Colorado National Guard was deployed to aid the response to a ransomware incident affecting the state’s transportation agency — units in 26 other states have been activated dozens of times. Nearly all the deployments have been either in response to ransomware incidents or to help support election security. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed has more.


How security leaders can keep pace with changing hybrid IT environments

2021 is unfolding as a year when ‘hybrid’ has taken on multiple meanings — from the way employees work, to where they work, to the IT systems they rely on. In an exclusive CyberScoop interview, security leader Jim Richberg looks closer at how hybrid conditions will impact enterprise security strategies, as well as hybrid approaches threat actors are adopting to move more swiftly across the network. Hear more from Richberg.

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