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The U.S. and Russia continue their diplomatic circling over Russian ransomware hackers. "Ransomwhere" debuts. And Chinese hackers might be going after Chinese gambling companies. This is CyberScoop for July 12, 2021.

Biden, Putin talk ransomware again

President Joe Biden pushed Russian President Vladimir Putin to disrupt ransomware groups operating within Russian borders in a phone call Friday. The latest discussion between the two world leaders over cybercriminals residing in Russian borders follows an attack on American IT software company Kaseya by Russia-based hacking group REvil. “I made it very clear to him that the United States expects [that] when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect [Russia] to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is,” Biden told reporters after the call. The Kremlin denied receiving any requests from U.S. officials to take action against specific actors. Tonya Riley has the rundown.

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'Ransomwhere' more than just wordplay now

A new project aims to track ransomware payments at a time when attacks are frequent, but few organizations have reliable data about the crime spree. Jack Cable, the Stanford student/security researcher/government hacker/consultant, debuted "Ransomwhere," a website to crowdsource information about payments to bitcoin addresses associated with known ransomware gangs. Feedback has been positive, even as other researchers and Cable himself acknowledge the project won't be comprehensive and could hit some snags on inaccuracy. Tim Starks has more details.

Chinese hackers going after Chinese gambling companies?

The Winnti Group looks like it's behind watering hole attacks on Chinese gambling companies, according to Trend Micro research. While Winnti has been known to go after the gambling industry in Asia, it's rare to see Chinese hackers target domestic firms. “Quite interesting for a APT41 (Winnti)-linked group to target domestic users of gambling sites,” German researcher Timo Steffens observed on Twitter. “Online gambling is prohibited in mainland China, enforced by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). Last year, thousands of gamblers were arrested.” Tim has this one, too.

They'll be coming back for more

Three federal cybersecurity officials told a roomful of county IT personnel Thursday that many of the threats to election security that manifested last year are likely to repeat themselves in future cycles. “Expect in 2022, 2024, your networks are going to be attacked again and again and again, and it’s important to expect those so we can put the proper security in place,” Cynthia Kaiser, a section chief in the FBI’s cyber division, told the National Association of Counties' annual conference. Attendees also heard from the top election security officials at CISA and the NSA. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed reports.

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