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APT41's been snooping around states

A hacking group linked to the Chinese government has compromised at least six state government networks since last May using multiple vulnerabilities, including one discovered late last year in the popular Log4j logging tool, according to research published today by Mandiant. The campaign by APT41 also exploited a zero-day vulnerability in USAHerds, a piece of software used by state agriculture agencies to track livestock. The group's efforts have also been particularly aggressive. “They employed really evasive techniques in their malware. Once they would get evicted, they would come back," said Mandiant researcher Rufus Brown. 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.

A special report on data and analytics

Data has played a central role in how states and local governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems unlikely that interest in data will fade anytime soon. In a new series of articles, StateScoop and EdScoop take a look at the rise of chief data officers in government and education, and the many different ways these officials measure the success and failure of their programs. Read the full report.

Another entry in the digital divide toolkit

Civis Analytics, a data science firm that helps state and local governments refine their public engagement, has a new technology suite to help agencies better understand the digital divide. The tools are designed to combine agencies’ broadband data with data from organizations like the Federal Communications Commission and the Census Bureau, said Crystal Son, Civis' managing director of government analytics. Ryan Johnston has more.

Conti's bounce back

A Twitter account known as ContiLeaks debuted to much fanfare in late February, with people around the globe watching as tens of thousands of leaked chats between members of the Russia-based ransomware gang Conti hit the web. But what was once thought to be a crippling blow to a ransomware gang that's tormented victims worldwide — including many local governments — the gang appears to be thriving again, CyberScoop's Suzanne Smalley reports. Read more on CyberScoop.

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