Cyber Week in Review: October 23, 2020

Iran and Russia Target Upcoming U.S. Elections

On Wednesday, U.S. officials announced that Iran and Russia had obtained U.S. voter registration information and are using it to influence the upcoming presidential election. U.S. officials publicly blamed Iran [PDF] for sending thousands of emails meant to intimidate voters and cast doubt on the security of mail-in ballots, an accusation which Iran has denied. Officials also accused [PDF] Russia of targeting U.S. state and local government networks, reportedly breaching county systems in California and Indiana. Russia’s intentions are unclear. There is no evidence that the systems that tally votes or the votes themselves have been altered, but U.S. officials warned that Russia may use their position in the network to deface websites or steal and release documents to undermine confidence in the democratic process.

DOJ Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

On Tuesday, the DOJ filed a lawsuit [PDF] against Google alleging that the tech giant unlawfully maintained monopolies in search and search advertising through a series of exclusionary contracts and agreements. The primary agreement under scrutiny is a partnership with Apple, whose Safari browser automatically returns search results and ads from Google. The lawsuit brands Google as the “gatekeeper for the internet,” mirroring language in a recent House Judiciary Committee report [PDF] condemning big tech companies for monopolistic behavior. Google criticized the lawsuit, arguing that anti-trust actions will harm—not help—American consumers who benefit from Google’s free services and investments in innovation.

DOJ Indicts Six Russian GRU Officers for Involvement in Cyberattacks

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On Monday, the DOJ indicted six GRU…