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Is ransomware actually down this year?

A report last from the Ransomware Task Force found that while organizations worldwide continue to suffer attacks, the clip of incidents affecting local government and health organizations in the United States looks to have slowed. The task force, citing data compiled by Recorded Future intelligence analyst Allan Liska, said there had been 64 documented attacks on local governments, schools and hospitals so far in 2022, compared with about 150 over the same period a year prior. But looks can be deceiving: “There may be fewer attacks,” Liska told StateScoop. “I have trouble believing that because every [incident response] person I know is still booked fully, mostly with ransomware.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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Now in 25th year, Seattle digital equity program promotes 'loan-to-own'

Seattle officials last month distributed about $590,000 in grants to 19 community organizations around the city as part of its longstanding digital equity grant program, which is designed to provide technology and internet access to residents most in need, including many recent immigrants to the United States. Among the recipients was the local chapter of the YWCA, which received $25,000 to distribute laptops to local residents — many of whom are immigrants from low-income countries — through a “loan-to-own” program in which recipients are encouraged to complete IT training milestones by the promise that they may keep devices for personal use as a reward. Lindsay McKenzie has details.

Russian charged in election influence scheme

A federal grand jury in Florida last week indicted a Russian national on charges of attempting to disrupt U.S. elections beginning as early as 2014, spreading disinformation to further Moscow’s political aims and infiltrating various American political organizations to carry out his plans. The Russian national named in the indictment, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, “allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” the Justice Department said Friday. Suzanne Smalley reports for CyberScoop.

Some ethnic groups waited longer for unemployment assistance in Oregon, audit says

Clunky business processes, antiquated computer systems and staffing shortages led some Oregon residents to wait more than a year before their unemployment insurance claims were resolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent audit published by Secretary of State Shemia Fagan's office. The report outlines a range of errors and anomalies created by the decades-old computers, with some claims taking more than a year to process. Read more from Colin Wood.

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