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More than an "informational Zoom"

State attorneys general last week met virtually with Anne Neuberger, the White House's deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging tech, who briefed them on the Biden administration’s cyber priorities, including the stepped-up fight against ransomware. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong told StateScoop it was more than a "nice informational Zoom." "When you’ve got a burgeoning crisis of ransomware attacks, on top of increasing volume of data breaches and backdrop of cybersecurity breaches writ large, it’s so important the feds and state law enforcement are constantly talking," he said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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Waiting on that ARP money

While it’s hard to find anyone who’ll deny the importance of broadband in 2021, states still have significant work left to provide their residents with universal access to the internet, particularly in regions with large rural populations. State broadband officials say on a new episode of StateScoop's Priorities podcast that they'll be leaning on funds included in the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed in March. “While so many things help to support economic development, it’s truly my opinion that broadband actually can drive economic development,” says Wyoming broadband director Ryan Kudera. Colin Wood hosts.

New job in Utah

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said last Friday that Rich Saunders, currently the head of the state Department of Health, will become the state’s first chief innovation officer later this month. In a press release, Cox, who took office in January, credited Saunders’ work through the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons for the new appointment. Saunders took over the Utah Department of Health last August. Before he first joined the agency in 2015, his private-sector career spanned everything from construction to selling stuff on QVC. Ben has more.

One less thing to worry about?

A burgeoning ransomware gang has apparently disappeared just as its fortunes were rising, CyberScoop's Tim Starks reports. Ransomware experts said Avaddon shut down as of Friday. The operators left no explanation for why they might have done so, and they’re letting their remaining victims off the hook. While not the highest-profile ransomware syndicate around, Avaddon did have a reputation of posting its victims' data on its extortion site. Read more on CyberScoop.

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