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Two not great things that don't go great together

Some of the fraudulent unemployment payments that Washington state officials said they’ve paid out during the coronavirus pandemic are connected to a ransomware attack against a private health care organization, according to research published yesterday by the private investigation firm Kroll. In a report, Kroll’s investigators wrote that the unnamed health care company was infiltrated in early May by Russian-speaking hackers using a ransomware variant known as Mamba. But before detonating their malware and locking up the health provider's network, the attackers used to file multiple unemployment claims using the personal information of actual Washington residents. “This is the first time we’ve seen this overlap between ransomware and unemployment fraud,” said Nicole Sette, a senior vice president in Kroll’s cyber risk practice. Benjamin Freed reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

D.C. CTO proposes 'cluster-based' IT inspired by pandemic

The top technology official in the District of Columbia is proposing to reorganize the way city employees train, handle service requests and invest in new technology to adapt to a more digital, post-COVID-19 world. Rather than work directly  with individual agencies, D.C. Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker wants to take a "cluster-based" approach, in which her office works with groups of agencies that support similar missions — like those that support education, economic development or public safety. The cluster-based approach, Parker said, will encourage agencies to invest in enterprise contracts, rather than one-off procurements like they do now. Ryan Johnston has details.

North Dakota names Microsoft exec as chief customer success officer

The North Dakota Information Technology Department announced Wednesday it’s hired Microsoft executive Jeff Hensel to serve as the state’s first chief customer success officer, a role created earlier this year to ensure that its technological offerings are aligned with agencies’ business goals. Hensel, who’s been with Microsoft for 19 years, will be responsible for “ensuring appropriate integration of technology into business processes to ensure agencies perform at an optimal level,” state officials said. Colin Wood reports.

Six states join feds' election security pilot

Election officials and nonprofit security advocates on Wednesday announced a pilot program for testing and verifying voter registration databases, election night reporting and other systems meant to support voting, CyberScoop's Sean Lyngaas reports. The pilot program, which is being led by the Center for Internet Security, will focus on making the software that’s used in election systems more secure as it is developed, and before it is deployed. Officials from Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana have signed up to participate. Read more on CyberScoop.


A look at how state and local government took the workforce remote

The coronavirus pandemic presented government and universities with a challenge — move most of your employees to a telework environment in a matter of days. Now, as the pandemic continues, those same entities need to make decisions on what the future holds and whether their workforces can return to the office like normal. In this report, StateScoop and EdScoop reporters explore how government agencies have maintained resiliency, highlight CIO takeaways from the pandemic and look at how governments and universities will move forward. See the full report.

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