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Twitter whistleblower gets summoned to Congress. Ransomware attacks are on the rise again. And the cyber talent wars grip federal agencies. This is CyberScoop Aug. 25.

Twitter whistleblower summoned by Senate

The Senate Judiciary Committee called Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko to testify Sept. 13 about his allegations of widespread security failures at the social media company. Zatko served as Twitter’s chief of security until being fired in January. He alleged in a July whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Twitter employees had poorly controlled access to the company’s systems, a situation that led to high-profile hacks, and that the company ran vulnerable outdated software on its systems. “Mr. Zatko’s allegations of widespread security failures and foreign state actor interference at Twitter raise serious concerns,” wrote Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Senate Judiciary’s chair and top Republican respectively. “If these claims are accurate, they may show dangerous data privacy and security risks for Twitter users around the world.” Tonya Riley has it.

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Observable ransomware activity jumps

Ransomware cases jumped 47 percent amid a rise in attacks involving newer strains of malicious software infecting targets, according to the cybersecurity firm NCC Group. Reported incidents increased to 198 in July from 135 in June, according to the firm that issues semi-regular reports on ransomware activity by tracking websites that post victims’ details. The new report also checks in on a flurry of North Korean-related cryptocurrency hacks and thefts totaling nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in value in the last couple of months alone. AJ Vicens has more

Talent wars hit federal agencies

Federal agencies are poaching each other's cyber talent due to a skills shortage across the government, Commerce Department CIO André Mendes told FedScoop at the FedTalks conference. Mendes also shared the agency has struggled with keeping vendors accountable for cybersecurity flaws. “All federal agencies have to hold their vendors accountable in terms of susceptibilities. So that when you sell a product to the federal government, you have to give some assurances that the product performs as indicated, and does not unduly expose you to cybersecurity attacks because of flaws that are inherent in its scope,” Mendes said. FedScoop reports

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