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Government/Defense News and Analysis

Ransomware attack hits mostly small, local Texas government orgs

A wide-ranging ransomware attack has hit 23 government entities in Texas, most of them “smaller, local governments,” the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) confirmed Saturday. While the government won’t reveal the names of the organizations affected by the attack, which began Friday morning, the DIR said that state of Texas networks and systems weren’t…

Court orders Georgia to replace DRE voting machines with paper ballot systems by 2020 presidential primary

While a U.S. District Court judge has rebuffed attempts to move Georgia’s fall municipal elections to paper ballots, she did order the state to replace its direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines with paper ballot systems by its March 24 presidential primary. “The court prohibits any use of the GEMS/DRE system after 2019,” Judge Amy…

Def Con: Lieu, Langevin call on security community to help fed gov’t bolster cyber, harden election security

Despite having some policies in place, the U.S. government is largely unprepared for a large-scale cyberattack, though the white hat hacker community could help it identify weak points and harden security. “No,” said Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., when asked during the Def Con “Hacking Congress” panel whether the government was well-positioned to fend off attackers.…

Election systems by leading vendor connected to internet in some states, researchers find

Despite claims by voting machine makers and election officials that election systems are immune to hackers because they’re not connected to the internet, the Election Systems & Software voting systems in 10 states, some of them swing states, were found to be just that – connected, a team of security researchers found. Systems from the…

Senate building

Proposed MICROCHIPS Act would require protections for technology supply chain

U.S. Senators Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Mark Warner, D-Va., have introduced federal legislation designed to protect critical technologies from supply chain attacks by China and other foreign threat actors. The bill, known as S. 2316 or the The Manufacturing, Investment, and Controls Review for Computer Hardware, Intellectual Property and Supply (MICROCHIPS) Act, would require U.S.…

USA Freedom Act foiled by Senate Republicans

Report: Russian-sponsored hackers could have modified U.S. voter data, but didn’t

Russian state-sponsored cyber actors “conducted an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections,” the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concludes in the first volume of its report on Russia’s efforts to interference in America’s most recent presidential election. Released yesterday, volume one focuses specifically on…

Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s cellphones targeted in cyberattacks

The Brazilian Justice Ministry announced hackers targeted cell phones used by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. The announcement came in a statement made Thursday after a federal police briefing which referred to the incident “as a matter of national security,” according to Reuters.  The ministry claimed the cyberattack came from a group of four people arrested…

Mueller’s testimony clear: Russian election meddling ongoing

Despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s slow, halting cadence, and apparent difficulty hearing or understanding some questions put to him by members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the former FBI director delivered a clear message – Russia engaged in a sweeping campaign to me the 2016 U.S. election and those efforts will intensify in 2020…

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