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Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The United Nation's disarmament chief warned the U.N. Security Council on Friday of a rise in cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with a 600% jump in malicious emails, AP reports.

Why it matters: Izumi Nakamitsu told the council that the uptick in attacks and vulnerability follows increased global digital dependency. She noted, "There have also been worrying reports of [cyber] attacks against health care organizations and medical research facilities worldwide" and other infrastructure since the virus outbreak.

Details: Nakamitsu said that one attack is estimated every 39 seconds. Roughly 90 countries around the world are still only in early stages of addressing cybersecurity issues, she noted, citing the International Telecommunications Union.

The state of play: Russia did not attend the informal virtual meeting, however, the 14 other council nations were present.

  • Russia said it did not attend because Estonia, the U.K. and U.S. violated "the established practice" that all council members attend formal meetings after the three countries opted out of attending a Russian-sponsored meeting on Crimea Thursday.
  • In March, the three nations accused Russia’s military intelligence of cyberattacks against government and media websites in Georgia.
  • Moscow then accused an unnamed “'elite’ minority,” of actively pursuing “the militarization of cyberspace by pushing forward the concept of 'preventive military cyber strikes,’ including against critical infrastructure,” per AP.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 19, 2020 - World

U.S. expected to invoke Iran deal "snapback" on Thursday

Pompeo at the UN. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

President Trump confirmed on Wednesday that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to notify the UN Security Council that the U.S. intends to initiate "snapback" sanctions on Iran. The formal request is expected on Thursday, Israeli officials told Axios.

The backdrop: This move could create a diplomatic and legal crisis unlike any seen before at the Security Council. It comes days after the U.S. failed to mobilize support at the council to extend an international arms embargo on Iran.

Senate report finds Manafort passed campaign data to Russian intelligence officer

Paul Manafort. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the fifth and final volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which details "counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities."

Why it matters: The bipartisan, 966-page report goes further than the Mueller report in showing the extent of Russia's connections to members of the Trump campaign, and how the Kremlin was able to take advantage of the transition team's inexperience to gain access to sensitive information.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.