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There's more info on the operators of Hades, but mysteries remain. Cybercriminals are exploiting Cobalt Strike more than before. And an election audit in Arizona is stirring fears that it's responsible for a compromise. This is CyberScoop for June 29, 2021.

'Hades' ransomware operators sic figurative Cerebus on new victims

The big-game hunters behind the Hades ransomware have since March targeted new victims in the industry sectors of consumer goods and services, insurance and manufacturing and distribution, according to Accenture Security. But the report that company released Tuesday sheds no additional light on who the Hades operators are, despite offering some more insights into their methods. Some think they're a whole new group. Others tie them to more well-known Russian and Chinese hacking groups. Tim Starks covers the developments.

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Hackers are corrupting the good guys' tools

Financially motivated cybercriminals are increasingly turning to Cobalt Strike, a legitimate tool that cybersecurity professionals use to test system security, researchers at Proofpoint found. Proofpoint’s data suggests that use by cybercriminals has overtaken that of state-linked groups often known as “advanced persistent threats,” showing just how mainstream it has gone. Cobalt Strike has been used by major cybercriminal groups including FIN7 and the Conti ransomware group, as well as Chinese and Russian state-sponsored attackers. The uptick speaks to a long-standing tension in the cybersecurity community: Nearly any tool will be exploited by the bad guys eventually. Tonya Riley has the story.

The latest election security news out of Arizona

Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, on Monday night confirmed that the county will replace election-related technology assets that were turned over to a third-party review demanded by supporters of former President Donald Trump. In a statement, the county’s Board of Supervisors said its equipment was “compromised” when it was turned over to Arizona Senate Republicans, who commissioned the ballot review, and cannot be used in future elections. Last month, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote that she would likely refuse to re-certify any of the county’s equipment that had fallen into the hands of Cyber Ninjas, the firm that was hired to conduct the ballot-inspection process and the founder of which has publicly espoused conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and other subjects. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed digs in.

DOD CISO Arrington placed on leave amid classified info leak probe

Katie Arrington has been placed on leave in connection with a suspected unauthorized disclosure of classified information from a military intelligence agency. According to a memo seen by Bloomberg News, she was informed on May 11 that her security clearance for access to classified information had been suspended. A legal representative for Arrington confirmed the contents of the memo. John Hewitt Jones and Jackson Barnett have more at FedScoop.

Lessons from Age of Identity, an Okta-sponsored event

Public sector organizations are responsible for solving some of the world’s most difficult problems. Learn more about the role identity and trust play in data protection from Okta's Federal Chief Security Officer Sean Frazier, Rob Forbes, Senior Cloud Architect, and Regional Sales Manager Wes Avett. Find more event details here.

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