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Boston to study pandemic broadband gap

The City of Boston will spend the next six months performing a “catch-all” study of its digital inclusion and broadband expansion efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced on Wednesday. Janey’s office, along with the city’s Department of Innovation & Technology and a consulting firm called CTC Technology and Energy, will compile a “State of Broadband Equity in Boston” report that locates where the lack of connectivity and access to internet-capable devices is most severe, said Mike Lynch, the city’s director of broadband and cable. Ryan Johnston reports.

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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.

New school year, new cyber guidance

Worried that the new academic year will bring with it another wave of crippling ransomware attacks, the cybersecurity industry group K12 Six recently issued a new set of guidelines aimed at improving the IT security postures of school districts that may not be mature enough to implement top-of-the-line practices, but still need to improve their defenses.  The recommendations are meant as a “short list of actionable cybersecurity controls" that small, under-resourced organizations like K-12 schools can do, even if they can't follow the full scope of something like the NIST framework. Benjamin Freed has more.

Jail time for pandemic unemployment fraudsters

A federal judge sentenced two men to prison for a coordinated scheme to hack into tax preparation firms, steal personal information, file fraudulent unemployment claims and income tax returns and then launder the money. The fraudulent unemployment claims aimed to exploit a COVID-19 relief program that netted $280,000 in improper benefits from the state of Washington, the Justice Department announced Thursday. They also included attempts to seek $2.6 million in tax refunds. Tim Starks has the story on CyberScoop.

Backup before you head to the beach

It's a three-day weekend; maybe three-and-a-half if your boss lets you out early. But you know what's a great way to ruin the holiday? Ransomware. CISA and the FBI this week put out an advisory reminding public- and private-sector organizations — especially those involved in critical infrastructure — that malicious actors do take advantage of off-days, like the REvil gang's attack on Kaseya over the July 4 holiday. Here's the full memo.

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