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Election officials get 'high-level' risk assessment tool

Federal agencies yesterday unveiled a new tool designed to help state and local election officials gain a better understanding of their security risks. Designed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Election Assistance Commission, the Election Risk Profile Tool is meant to give election administrators a “high-level risk profile” of the infrastructure used in the voting process, including voter registration databases, pollbooks, ballots, voting machines, ballot-counting processes and election-night results websites. Developed with feedback from secretary of state offices around the country, the tool, said CISA Director Chris Krebs, is yet another officials can use to prepare for the presidential election in November. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Miami student admits to DDoS attacks against schools

Authorities in Miami this morning charged a 16-year-old high-school student with carrying out a series of distributed-denial-of-service attacks that disrupted the first week of classes for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The DDoS attacks, which began Monday, prevented hundreds of thousands of students and teachers from accessing their online learning platform as Miami-Dade begins its new school year virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The attacks also prompted acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to request a briefing from the Department of Homeland Security on K-12 cybersecurity. Ben has more on EdScoop.

Dallas libraries install outdoor Wi-Fi

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced Wednesday that four city libraries will begin providing free public Wi-Fi during the day to support families and students who lack access at home. The project, done in partnership with Cisco, will outfit four public libraries with outdoor routers for parking lot Wi-Fi access from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. “Even though their doors have been closed for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our libraries have continued to provide important resources to the people of Dallas,” Mayor Eric Johnson said. Ryan Johnston has more.

Seriously, eBay?

A federal judge this week sentenced a former IT security official of Horry County, South Carolina, to two years in prison for ordering networking equipment for the county government and selling it on eBay. Terry Shawn Petrill, 48, pleaded guilty last November to stealing 41 Cisco network switches. Horry County officials entered the missing switches into a federal database of stolen inventory, and an FBI investigation led back to Petrill. The theft of the equipment cost the county $345,266, which Petrill has agreed to repay. Ben has the details.

Delaware CIO James Collins to step down

Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins will step down later this month after nearly two decades with the state government, Gov. John Carney said Tuesday. After spending the last six years as the state’s top technology official leading the Delaware Department of Technology and Information, Collins will join Microsoft Consulting. As CIO, he advanced policy on cybersecurity, broadband, digital government and IT modernization initiatives that reached across the state. In his announcement, Carney cited Collins’ most recent work assisting a rapid statewide shift to a remote-work environment, noting that “his work and expertise has never been more important than over the last six months – as we have battled this COVID-19 pandemic.” Read the full story.

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