Daily Digest (9/11)

Russian Hackers Targeting Both US Political Parties, Microsoft Warns; Beijing’s New Regulations Hinder TikTok Sale as US Deadline Nears; Twitter to Ban Misleading Election Claims; Ransomware Attacks Affect New School Semester. Click “Continue reading” below.

Russian Hackers Targeting Both US Political Parties, Microsoft Warns

In a new series of stealthier hacks, the Russian military intelligence agency that attacked the Democratic National Committee four years ago is back — ready to threaten both Democrats and Republicans in the upcoming election.

Microsoft issued the warning Thursday, citing a detailed assessment that had not yet been made public, The New York Times reports.

The warning came a day after a government whistleblower claimed White House officials had suppressed intelligence concerning Russia.

The whistleblower was instructed to focus on China and Iran communications because the continuing interference with Russia “made the president look bad,” according to the Times.

“We are aware that Microsoft detected attempts to compromise email accounts of people and organizations associated with the upcoming election,” said Christopher Krebs, Homeland Security director of cybersecurity.

Microsoft said it did not find any evidence of successful hacks this year, but corporate officials said they have a limited view into Russia’s operations.

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Beijing’s New Regulations Hinder TikTok Sale as US Deadline Nears

ByteDance, the China-based owner of TikTok, will likely miss the sale of its U.S. operations as the Trump administration’s 90-day deadline approaches this month.

New Chinese regulations are complicating negotiations with companies like Microsoft and Oracle, experts told Bloomberg News.

In talks with Chinese officials, ByteDance now must submit a proposal for approval before any U.S. deal can be confirmed.

However, officials are unwilling to give specifics on what kind of deal would work, Bloomberg reports.

Microsoft and Oracle submitted their proposals before the Chinese regulations hit — and while both companies still are interested in TikTok, ByteDance is stuck, and the White House’s executive order to ban the video-sharing app is not helping the deal, experts said.

All parties are racing to present a preliminary deal to the administration before the deadline comes at the end of the month, though no deal can be made final until Beijing signs off on it, Bloomberg reports.

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Twitter to Ban Misleading Election Claims

Twitter said Thursday that starting this week it would remove misleading claims about the upcoming presidential election.

The policy will apply to tweets, national and international, that undermine faith in the election process, including false claims and ballot-tampering, The Associated Press reports.

The policy officially takes effect Sept. 17. Election Day is Nov. 3.

“We will not permit our service to be abused around civic processes, most importantly elections,” Twitter said in a blog post.

“Any attempt to do so, both foreign and domestic, will be met with strict enforcement of our rules,” the company said.

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Ransomware Attacks Affect New School Semester

Ransomware attacks and other cyberthreats have affected in-person and online classes this school year.

In the first week, cyberattacks in Hartford, Conn., and Clark County, Nev., forced public schools to postpone the first day of school, Threatpost reports.

Cyber experts suspect more attacks will come as the school year progresses.

Hartford officials said Tuesday that its ransomware attack caused an outage of critical systems, including the district’s software system.

Both in-person and online classes were affected, Threatpost reports, though schools were under attack even before the pandemic.

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 By DPN Staff