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Kimsuky-affiliated hackers are proving prolific in 2021. RedCurl awakens. And DHS officials have predictions for two cyber initiatives. This is CyberScoop for November 18, 2021.

North Korean hackers staying busy

A North Korean cyber espionage group known primarily for targeting think tanks, advocacy groups, journalists and others related to Pyongyang’s adversaries around the world has been quite prolific in 2021, according to email security firm Proofpoint. The stepped-up action by TA406, believed to be working under well-known North Korean hacker group Kimsuky, includes launching near-weekly attacks, among them two previously unreported campaigns. One of the campaigns sought to deliver an unknown payload while the other deployed a downloader Proofpoint calls "FatBoy" that worked to collect "extensive information" about the target device. AJ Vicens has the latest.

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Corporate espionage outfit RedCurl makes its return

After a seven-month absence, a cyber corporate espionage group known as RedCurl has returned to claim new victims, among them one of Russia's largest wholesalers. Group-IB said the outfit is interested in stealing things like internal documents and staff records, and favors spearphishing emails. During its hibernation, RedCurl also upgraded all its tools, such as adding more effective data encryption to its malware. Tim Starks has the details.

CISA leader tells Congress cyber grants are 'game changer'

The $1 billion in cybersecurity grants for state and local governments authorized in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package President Joe Biden signed into law this week are expected to greatly improve the postures of the entities that receive them, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told members of Congress Wednesday. “We believe the cybersecurity grants for state and local communities is really going to be a game changer in dramatically enhancing the security of our communities throughout the country,” Brandon Wales, executive director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the United States’ abilities to combat ransomware. Benjamin Freed had the story at StateScoop.

Cyber Talent Management System expected to produce results ‘within months'

The Department of Homeland Security‘s Cyber Talent Management System that rolled out on Monday is expected to produce results “within months,” according to an agency leader. Undersecretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans Robert Silvers said at Wednesday's House hearing that he believes the new HR system will be an effective tool for fast-tracking new cyber talent into government. “I regard the shortfall of cyber talent as a national security issue,” Silvers said. “We do need to streamline other processes, but I do believe the Cyber Talent Management System will show tangible results over a matter of months.” Read more from FedScoop's John Hewitt Jones.

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