E&E News cybersecurity update

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'Spamouflage'

It may sound like a Monty Python costume, but "spamouflage" refers to a real network of political spam messages that appears to be gaining steam ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to a report by media analysts at the research firm Graphika.

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China's fingerprints

The Department of Energy is a favorite target for hackers: Not only does the agency house the nation's nuclear stockpile, but it also oversees the U.S. network of national labs with their caches of cutting-edge research and intellectual property.

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Advocates at risk

George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has set off nationwide protests and a severe response from law enforcement. This is only the latest example of the U.S. painfully grappling with its legacy of racial injustice.

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Going berserk again

Berserk Bear is at it again. The Russia-linked hacking group with the ursine nickname has been rummaging through German critical infrastructure and causing trouble, according to a confidential warning first reported by CyberScoop on Tuesday.

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'Tit for tat'

A Chinese anti-virus company is accusing American hackers of attacking Chinese industry, turning the tables on U.S. security firms that have built small fortunes by exposing the latest "advanced persistent threat" from China.

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GridEx: Never say never

Picture this: a coordinated cyber and physical attack strikes New York, cutting out the lights to Wall Street, crippling natural gas pipelines in the Northeast and prompting federal authorities at the Department of Energy to invoke emergency powers — never previously used — to direct the way utilities restore electricity.

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Not yet over CrashOverride

In December 2016, suspected Russian hackers brought down a transmission substation outside Kiev in an unprecedented cyberattack. The digital marauders used a sophisticated malware framework — later dubbed "CrashOverride" — that could communicate with, and compromise, an array of specialized power grid components at Ukrainian utility NPC Ukrenergo.

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