Skimm'd while celebrating eight years and getting our voting tools ready

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Skimm'd while celebrating eight years and getting our voting tools ready

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Quote of the Day

"Grand staircases are hotter than gym StairMasters" – Paris Hilton on working out at home during quarantine. Ah, The Not-So-Simple Life.


The Story

Russia's been accused of trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research.

By who?

The US, UK, and Canada. Yesterday, intel agencies from the three countries said Russian hackers targeted multiple orgs involved in coronavirus vaccine research and development. The culprits: a Russian hacking group called APT29 – also known as Cozy Bear – that's believed to have connections to Russian intelligence. Their goal: to steal info and intel property tied to the development and testing of coronavirus vaccines, according to authorities.

That's phishy.

Indeed. And intel officials apparently believe the group's attacks have been "persistent, highly targeted, and ongoing." How the hacking went down: A variety of techniques like custom-built malware – which allows a hacker to control a system, upload, and download files. And spear phishing – which can trick people into handing over security credentials and passwords. UK officials said the group's managed to get some "initial footholds."

What does that mean?

It's unclear. Officials said it doesn't seem like the alleged attacks disrupted vaccine-related work...that they know of. But the UK's National Cyber Security Centre condemned the "despicable attacks" against those working to combat the pandemic. Currently, there are more than 150 vaccines in development around the world – and they could take years of research and testing before they're produced and rolled out to the public. Which is why some officials believe this research has become a key target for these Russian hackers.

Ok but what's Russia saying?

This bytes. The Kremlin denied the allegations and said it "has nothing to do with these attempts." But this isn't the first time we've heard of Cozy Bear. Back in 2016, the US blamed the group for hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails (remember those?). Now, the NSA said they want "everyone to take this threat seriously." Especially since this isn't the only hacking episode the US has seen lately.

Tell me more.

Yesterday, the FBI opened an investigation into the hacking of several high-profile Twitter users earlier this week, including former President Barack Obama, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Which raised concerns about the platform's security risks. But it's not the only one. Recently, the Trump admin has looked at banning the popular yet controversial app TikTok over data privacy issues.


In a digital world, hackings are inevitable. But as the world scrambles to develop a vaccine for a virus that's killed nearly 600,000 people, governments are grappling with a second battle.

And Also...This

What's facing accusations…

Washington's NFL team. Yesterday, The Washington Post uncovered allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse from 15 former female employees. This is a team that's not new to controversy – days ago, it agreed to drop its "Redskins" name, a racial slur against Native Americans. Now, it's facing allegations from 2006 to 2019. These include claims that women received unwelcome sexual overtures, were told to wear revealing clothes, and were asked to flirt with clients to close deals. One woman was allegedly told to wear a tight dress in meetings "so the men in the room have something to look at." Last week, two of the men accused of harassment – Alex Santos and Richard Mann II – were fired. Another – longtime announcer Larry Michael – retired. None have commented. Neither has team owner Daniel Snyder, who is not implicated. But the team hired a law firm to review the claims.

Where masks are launching court fights…

Georgia. Yesterday, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) sued Atlanta's mayor for requiring people to wear masks in public places. The reason: the governor said the city's rule violates an executive order he signed earlier this week that bans local governments from issuing mask mandates. He said he's encouraging masks but requiring them is "a bridge too far" and hurts businesses. Atlanta's mayor said the rule would "save lives" and she'd defend it in court. Georgia was the first state to reopen its economy back in April, despite health experts' concerns. Since the pandemic began, it's had nearly 128,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths. Now, it's issuing a law against masks while about half the country requires them.

...Oh and speaking of COVID-19, yesterday the US reported over 70,000 daily coronavirus cases, a new record high since the pandemic began.

Who's got some election updates...

Florida. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled a law there that restricts felons' voting rights can stay in place. In 2018, the state voted to give some felons the right to vote after they served their time and finished probation. The following year, the Republican-led legislature passed a law saying it only applied once those people had also paid all their court fines and fees – which can be tens of thousands of dollars. Civil rights groups sued, saying the law amounted to a "poll tax" (which are unconstitutional). Now, the Supremes say the law can go into effect while the fight continues in lower courts. It's seen as a win for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who signed the law.

  • Battleground state impact: This law could stop more than 1 million people with felony convictions from voting. And since Florida's had a presidential election come down to hundreds of votes (see: 2000), it could have a major impact in November.

What's saying 'stay within the 3-point line'...

The NBA's "snitch hotline."

Who's a real-life superhero…

This little boy.

Cheers to Eight Years

Eight years ago, we started Skimm'ng the news. Along the way, you have inspired us to go beyond your inbox, and to create the content and build the tools you need to live your smartest life. We're grateful to our community of Skimm'rs (yup, looking at you) for listening, reading, watching, taking action, and voting along with us every step of the way. Today, we eat birthday cake. Tomorrow, we keep building new ways to Skimm the world with you.

Cheers and Happy Skimm'ng.

Skimm Reads

"Big Friendship" by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman

The "Call Your Girlfriend" hosts are here with their first book. This memoir goes deep on their long-term chosen family relationship, and the ups and downs of their female friendship. They mix in interviews with their friends and therapists too. Perfect for when you're missing "your person" and you want some Big Friendship Energy in your life.


Summer is here. Check out our fave picks for the season…

1. Healthy-ish summer desserts. You know what they say: a frozen Greek yogurt blackout pie a day keeps the doctor away.

2. The 25th anniversary of "Clueless." Here's how Cher Horowitz, a speech about the Statue of Liberty, and a yellow plaid outfit defined a generation. Shoutout to Paul Rudd who hasn't aged a single day.

3. Three totally random things that made us happy this week: a "Mean Girls" magnet set, a succulent pop-up book, and a mini sparkler set.

PS: Sign up to get more ideas for ways to spend your summer in your inbox every Monday. Like recipe ideas, movies and book recs, and more.


For when your case of the Mondays lasts through Friday...

Gimme a break. When you're ready to safely travel again, head to the new Miraval Berkshires. They have cooking classes, golf, and meditation. So you can rediscover that Friday feeling. lucky Skimm'r is getting a free three-night trip for two. Enter today.*

For when you could use a little excitement…

Announcing: Klarna's 48 Hr. Smoooth Room. It's a virtual pop-up store where you can win things from brands like Sephora, adidas, and Fender. can get exclusive deals and price drops with the Klarna app already. But it's even better when it's free. Enter now to win. Hurry hurry.*

For when you're looking to update your closet…

Go green. As in, sustainable. This brand has high-quality clothing made from 100% eco-friendly fibers. Oh, and they have over 5,000 five-star reviews. NBD. Psst...everything is up to 60% off through July 19th. Shop 'til you drop.*

*PS This is a sponsored post.

Skimm More

1. As summer vacation continues to fly by, parents, teachers, and officials are trying to figure out how to reopen schools. This week's episode of "Skimm This" explains why it's so difficult to come up with a plan forward (hint: lack of resources).

2. Between Zoom calls, constant meal prep, and the never-empty sink of dishes, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself. We're sharing ways to protect your mental health. Because it's important to take a deep breath.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Making a difference...Tiffany Y (CA). She's part of #Masks4Disability, an initiative that distributes cotton face masks to people with disabilities (and their care teams). Know someone who needs a mask? Submit their info here.

Giving hope...Cindy S (IA). She's the cofounder of a nonprofit called Gems of Hope, whose mission is to bring hope to cancer patients and their families. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, they've distributed over 1,200 hand-sewn masks to cancer patients. Learn more here.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm, theSkimm's Michelle Bahamonde Santeli (NY), John Simpson (IL), Sam Palumbo (IL), Paul Berger, Alex Burstein (RI), Cassidy Butera (NY), Suzi Falk, Allie Diamond (FL), Allyce Karrasch (IL), Christina Persad (CAN), Alison Torres (TX), Kristine Reynolds (IL), Kristine Reynolds (IL), Brenna Murphey (TX), Alexandra Heller (CT)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.