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Joshua Schulte receives court approval to represent himself in his next Vault 7 trial. Apple fixes a previously undisclosed flaw. And Kaseya clears the air (a little) on that decryptor. This is CyberScoop for July 27, 2021.

Alleged CIA leaker will represent himself at next trial

Joshua Schulte, a former CIA employee, will be allowed to discharge his current legal representation, and waive his right to counsel when his next trial gets underway, a judge ruled. Schulte faces charges of allegedly stealing details about U.S. hacking tools from the CIA, then transmitting that data to WikiLeaks. The result, prosecutors say, was the 2017 publication of the so-called Vault 7 files, a cache of data revealing the agency’s ability to compromise consumer technology like smart TVs and web browsers for espionage purposes. The first trial, which ended in a hung jury, exposed an array of dysfunctional workplace behavior in the secretive agency. Jeff Stone explains.

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Apple patches zero-day

Apple on Monday released a patch for a zero-day flaw, and said that it was aware of reports that attackers might be actively exploiting the vulnerability. The company didn't immediately answer if it was related to the Amnesty International report about the NSO Group's Pegasus spyware remotely compromising iPhones. A Microsoft researcher published a few more details about how an exploit would work. Tim Starks takes a closer look.

Speaking of the NSO Group: lawmakers wants government action

Four Democratic House members said on Monday that Congress and the Commerce Department need to consider sanctioning, blacklisting and enacting other penalties related to the NSO Group's Pegasus spyware. "Enough is enough," they said, using the company's own words about unflattering media coverage of how its surveillance equipment has been used. "The recent revelations regarding misuse of the NSO Group’s software reinforce our conviction that the hacking for hire industry must be brought under control," wrote Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Katie Porter of California, Joaquin Castro of Texas and Anna Eshoo of California. "The NSO Group’s denials are not credible, and show an arrogant disregard for concerns that elected officials, human rights activists, journalists, and cyber-security experts have repeatedly raised." Here's their full statement.

Kaseya says it didn't buy decryptor from ransomware gang

Software firm Kaseya has been vague about how it obtained a decryptor for ransomware attacks that hit its customers and sprawled out from there, but it clarified one thing on Monday: It didn't pay the attackers. The company didn't elaborate, however, on an earlier statement that it obtained it from a "trusted third party." Kaseya estimates that the ransomware attacks claimed up to 1,500 victims, but some suggest the figure might be higher. Tim also has this one.

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