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U.S. prosecutors unseal a sweeping set of charges against two Iranian men for allegedly trying to influence voters in 2020. Banks will have 36 hours to report a major security incident under a new rule. And NSA has thoughts on cryptography. This is CyberScoop for November 19, 2021.

DOJ accuses two Iranians with hacking, voter intimidation

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday unsealed charges against the alleged Iranian hackers behind emails meant to intimidate voters in the 2020 U.S. elections. The two — Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian, 27 — may not ever see the inside of a U.S. courtroom, but if they do it will be to answer for alleged computer fraud, voter intimidation and transmission of interstate threats for activities between August 2020 and November 2020. Attackers sent a barrage of emails that appeared to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right group, trying to intimidate voters into casting a ballot for former President Donald Trump. AJ Vicens digs in.

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How the election interference scheme worked...

The fake Proud Boys emails were almost immediately unmasked as a crude Iranian interference operation. The unsealed charges, though, add detail to the overall picture: The pair were part of a group that sought access to election systems in 11 states, successfully breaching one of them. They also gained access to a company that provides content management systems for dozens of media outlets. That access would have allowed intruders to modify content on news sites to perpetuate their disinformation. Instead, security personnel detected the scheme, stopping it before the messaging could go viral. Read more.

Banking regulators finalize reporting rule

U.S. banking regulators approved a final rule requiring banks to report major cyber incidents to the feds within 36 hours. That requirement, finalized Thursday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, kicks in next May. The regulation comes during congressional debate over broader incident reporting rules for critical infrastructure owners and operators, and as TSA imposes reporting rules for pipeline, rail and air transport companies. Tim Starks has the news.

NSA calls on 5G cloud operators to increase cryptography

The National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency have called on operators of 5G cloud networks to cryptographically isolate critical containers. In guidance published Thursday, the security agencies said operators should focus on protecting data, including through the use of hardware techniques like Trusted Execution Environments. Containers and virtual machines are key elements of 5G networks because they allow traditional network structures to be further broken down into customizable segments. John Hewitt Jones looks closer at FedScoop.

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