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04/14/2021
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WorkScoop

How much fraud?

Fraudulent unemployment insurance claims paid out by the State of Washington last year was likely far higher than the $647 million identified by state officials, and possibly as great as $1.1 billion, according to reports published Tuesday by the state auditor’s office on the state Employment Security Division. In part, auditors found, fraud-detection software the agency purchased in 2014 was overwhelmed the volume of phony claims made in 2020 by scammers exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The ESD disputes the $1.1 billion figure, though, as it includes "questionable payments" that have not been officially confirmed to be fraudulent. Benjamin Freed has details.


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Colorado Springs gets a new CIO

Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mayor John Suthers last week announced the appointment of Mary Weeks as the city’s new chief information officer. Weeks, who’s spent the past eight years with the city, most recently as its IT business and operations manager, previously spent 12 years with the technology firm EDS. As CIO, she’ll be “invaluable" for her understanding of the city’s IT infrastructure and cybersecurity needs, Suthers said. Colin Wood reports.


Feds went in on Exchange Server

The FBI has used a court order to remove malicious code from hundreds of U.S. computers running the Microsoft Exchange Server email program, Justice Department officials announced Tuesday. The court-ordered removal of the web shells, or scripts used by hackers for persistent access, is one of the most aggressive actions taken yet to combat the Exchange Server vulnerabilities since Microsoft announced on March 2 that suspected Chinese spies were exploiting them. It was unclear from which U.S. organizations the web shells were removed, but the FBI said it is attempting to notify all organizations affected. Sean Lyngaas has more on CyberScoop.


More than 20 states still restrict municipal broadband

Despite the White House’s recent declaration of support for publicly operated ISPs, 22 states still have roadblocks in place that prohibit municipalities from operating their own broadband networks, according to research from BroadbandNow. Eighteen of those states have “explicit” barriers in place, the group found, while the others are still quite restrictive in their own right. But the Biden administration's broadband plan aims to focus on municipal and cooperative networks, which the White House says have "less pressure to turn profits" than commercial ISPs. Ryan Johnston has the story.


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