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They'll be coming back for more

Three federal cybersecurity officials told a roomful of county IT personnel Thursday that many of the threats to election security that manifested last year are likely to repeat themselves in future cycles. “Expect in 2022, 2024, your networks are going to be attacked again and again and again, and it’s important to expect those so we can put the proper security in place,” Cynthia Kaiser, a section chief in the FBI’s cyber division, told the National Association of Counties' annual conference. Attendees also heard from the top election security officials at CISA and the NSA. Benjamin Freed reports.

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First-in-the-nation robots?

The Virginia Information Technology Agency on Thursday launched a statewide robotic process automation service, aiming to save employees in all 65 state agencies hundreds of hours of manual work. The service, which VITA is calling a first-of-its-kind for the public sector is designed to conduct repeatable processes and tasks with customized code. Lindsay LeGrand, VITA’s communications director, told StateScoop via email that the new service is expected to save the state government thousands of dollars in just its first year of deployment and speed up the process of distributing funds, analyzing procurement reviews and processes to assist with identity verification, audits and internal controls. Ryan Johnston has details.

The roots of REvil

State and local officials are painfully familiar with the REvil ransomware operation, which has crippled dozens of communities and school systems over the past several years. And it's also gone after bigger targets, like meat distributor JBS and, this month, the software firm Kaseya in an attack that quickly traveled downstream to managed service providers and those companies' clients all over the world. Even by hacker standards, REvil is loud, ambitious and particularly nasty, as CyberScoop's Tim Starks tracks this crew's evolution into an outfit that made $123 million last year and controls as much as 42% of the global ransomware market. Read more on CyberScoop.

Colorado Gov. Polis signs data privacy act

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday signed a data-privacy bill into law, making the state the third, after Colorado and Virginia, to enact a comprehensive policy aimed at protecting its residents’ personal information used in online business. Still, in signing the act, Polis said it should be tweaked before it takes effect in 2023. “As our economy continues to evolve and innovate in response to the demands of technology and the internet, new protections are needed to prevent fraud, abuse, and misuse," he wrote in a signing statement. "My chief concern is ensuring Colorado’s competitiveness with other states as an incubator of new technologies and innovations." Ben has more.

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