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NATO wants to get faster in cyberspace. A Canadian NetWalker affiliate is making a deal with authorities. And Congress wants to force the Navy's hand on cyber. This is CyberScoop for June 29.

NATO announces cyber rapid response force

NATO announced Wednesday that it will focus on increasing collaboration between industry, civil society and allied countries' militaries in an effort to bolster their collective cyberdefenses. The alliance also will create a rapid response operation to more nimbly address increasing cyber threats, NATO announced. More aid will be given to Ukraine to support its cyber defense against Russia, the NATO statement said. The news follows the gathering in Madrid this week of leaders of all 30 allied countries. The NATO declaration also calls China out by name, saying the alliance is "confronted by cyber, space, and hybrid and other asymmetric threats, and by the malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies." Suzanne Smalley has the story.

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Canadian NetWalker affiliate agrees to plead guilty

A Canadian man arrested in January 2021 in Canada for his role in the NetWalker ransomware gang agreed Tuesday to plead guilty in a Florida federal court to conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins — who had already been sentenced to seven years by Canadian authorities — faces a maximum of 40 years and $1 million in fines for his role in the prolific ransomware crew believed to have extorted nearly $46 million from victims between August 2019 and January 2021. AJ Vicens reports.

House Armed Services Committee concerned with state of Navy cyber readiness

The House Armed Services Committee is pushing the Navy to create a singular and special work role dedicated to cyberspace matters and is willing to play hardball with the service to get it to do so, according to a provision in its version of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The provision in the annual policy bill directs the secretary of the Navy to establish and use a cyber warfare operations designator for officers and warrant officers — which will be distinct from the cryptologic warfare officer designator — and a cyber warfare rating for enlisted personnel separate from the cryptologic technician enlisted rating. As a means of forcing the Navy’s hand, the provision prevents the service from assigning a member of the Navy to a billet within the core work roles at teams or components of the Cyber Mission Force – the teams each service is responsible to provide to U.S. Cyber Command to conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations — if a member has a cryptologic warfare, intelligence or information professional designator in the officer corps or a cryptologic technician, intelligence specialist or information systems technician rating among the enlisted ranks after June 1, 2024. Read the story from FedScoop's Mark Pomerleau.

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