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Latvian woman charged in US with role in cybercrime group

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Latvian woman has been charged with developing malicious software used by a cybercrime organization that infected computers worldwide and looted bank accounts of millions of dollars, the Justice Department said Friday.

Alla Witte is charged as part of a 47-count indictment with participating in an organization known as the Trickbot Group, which authorities say operated in Russia and several other countries. The group is accused of infecting millions of . . .

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US says agencies largely fended off latest Russian hack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it believes U.S. government agencies largely fended off the latest cyberespionage onslaught blamed on Russian intelligence operatives, saying the spear-phishing campaign should not further damage relations with Moscow ahead of next month’s planned presidential summit.

Officials downplayed the cyber assault as “basic phishing” in which hackers used malware-laden emails to target the computer systems of U.S. and foreign government agencies, think tanks and humanitarian groups. Microsoft, which disclosed the . . .

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US pipelines ordered to increase cyber defenses after hack

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. pipeline operators will be required for the first time to conduct a cybersecurity assessment under a Biden administration directive in response to the ransomware hack that disrupted gas supplies in several states this month.

The Transportation Security Administration directive being issued Thursday will also mandate that the owners and operators of the nation’s pipelines report any cyber incidents to the federal government and have a cybersecurity coordinator available at all times to work with authorities in the event of an attack like the one that shut down Colonial Pipeline.

Pipeline companies, which until now operated under voluntary guidelines, could face financial penalties that start at . . .

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House GOP falsely blames Biden for gas prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heading into the Memorial Day travel weekend, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his party are falsely blaming President Joe Biden for higher gasoline and lumber costs.

Gas prices have risen in recent weeks because a key pipeline was forced to close after a cyberattack. And lumber shortages — which existed during former President Donald Trump’s administration — were worsened by an unexpected housing boom.

Shortages have bedeviled the economy this spring, but most economists attribute the bulk of them to the . . .

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Ransomware gangs get more aggressive against law enforcement

RICHMOND, Va., (AP) — Police Chief Will Cunningham came to work four years ago to find that his six-officer department was the victim of a crime.

Hackers had taken advantage of a weak password to break in and encrypt the files of the department in Roxana, a small town in Illinois near St. Louis, and were demanding $6,000 of bitcoin.

“I was shocked, I was surprised, frustrated,” Cunningham said.

Police departments big and small have been plagued for years by foreign hackers breaking into networks and causing . . .

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