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MS-ISAC issues Iran cyber advisory

The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center is cautioning its members about the possibility for increased malicious cyber-activity by Iran, following the death of one of that country's top generals in a U.S. airstrike last week, according to a cyber intel advisory obtained by StateScoop. The memo, issued last Friday, instructs state and local governments to “maintain heightened log monitoring and awareness” of activity on their networks, particularly as they pertain to critical infrastructure. The Iranian government is known to be home to several advanced persistent threat groups — or APTs — that specialize in distributed-denial-of-service attacks, as well as "wiper" attacks, in which files on targeted computers or networks are destroyed beyond the point of recovery. Benjamin Freed has the story.

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Texas government website defaced with pro-Iran message

Texans woke up Tuesday morning to find that the website of the state's Department of Agriculture had been defaced with in image of Soleimani, with a hacking group calling itself "Shield Iran" claiming credit. While the site has since been restored, the incident comes amid a flurry of other website defacements, which are often politically motivated and target websites with numerous "entry points" like contact forms or unprotected source code, according to website-protection company SiteLock. Ben has more.

California's new online dashboard shows who's getting stopped by cops

A new dashboard visualizes data collected by California's eight largest police agencies during pedestrian and traffic stops. The dashboard, which includes information about the demographics of people stopped and what actions police took during these interactions, is part of the state's ongoing "Open Justice" initiative. Ryan Johnston reports.

There's a new CIO in the D.C. suburbs

Gail Roper, a former CIO of Raleigh, North Carolina, was hired last month as the new chief information officer for Montgomery County, Maryland. Roper, who has also worked for the Knight Foundation's smart cities initiative and Google Fiber, will succeed Sonny Segal, county's CIO since 2012, who is retiring Jan. 31 at the end of a 40-year career in IT. Ben reports.


Government exec on how cloud platforms improve employee engagement

Michelle Sparrow-Walker shares how her agency used PaaS to consolidate systems and drastically improve employee engagement. Her insights come from the perspective of the the department director of systems and integration. Listen to the interview.

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