Government and Defense News and analysis l SC Media

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Locky Ransomware

Ransomware attacks vs Kimchuk, Visser reveal supply chain threat to DOD

The operators behind DoppelPaymer ransomware reportedly attacked electronics manufacturer Kimchuk earlier this month, disrupting the company’s operations and stealing sensitive data that they have been publishing online as part of an extortion plot. Meanwhile, the cybercriminal outfit has continued to also publish information stolen earlier this year from Visser Precision, a parts maker and manufacturing solutions…

Every presidential campaign website executes suspicious third-party code

An analysis of 11 presidential campaign websites performed last September and again in December found multiple instances of potentially risky third-party code, unwanted code execution and unauthorized data tracking. According to a new report from The Media Trust, 81 percent of executing code on these websites was not internally developed, but rather from external third-party…

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Justice to drop charges against two companies indicted by Mueller

In an effort to protect government sources and investigative methods, Justice Department prosecutors will drop charges against two Russian companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, indicted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller for financing operations behind interference in the 2016 presidential election. The two companies, along with Internet Research Agency and a cadre of 13…

HHS CISO talks new threat briefings, alerts for health industry

HHS attack amid coronavirus scare slows systems

As the U.S. ramped up its response to the coronavirus pandemic, a cyberattack on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Sunday night aimed to slow down the agency’s computer systems. The initiative didn’t make much of an impact. “Luckily it slowed, but didn’t break or compromise anything,” said Marty Puranik, CEO of Atlantic.Net. The attack…

Fed report castigates U.S. ability to fend off a cyberattack, suggests major reforms

Fed report castigates U.S. ability to fend off a cyberattack, suggests major reforms The Cyberspace Solarium Commission issued a 182-page report stating the United States in dangerously insecure when it comes to defending itself from a cyberattack and offered a litany of recommendations to shore up the nation’s defenses. The Commission, headed by Sens. Angus…

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Bipartisan bill re-ups USA Freedom reauthorizations, aims at surveillance reform

The House Tuesday introduced bipartisan legislation that lawmakers touted as reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court (FISC) based on recent recommendations from the Justice Department inspector general (IG) and ends the government’s controversial domestic surveillance program, but which detractors say doesn’t represent reform at all. The bill, USA Freedom Reauthorization Act, bumps up congressional oversight…

Former federal CIO: Efforts to ban Huawei ‘don’t make any sense to me’

Recent U.S. efforts to ban the federal use of telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies and other Chinese companies are “malaligned” and “don’t make any sense to me,” said former Federal CIO Tony Scott in a podcast interview with SC Media. Scott, who served under former President Barack Obama and now operates as chairman of his own…

Coronavirus sparks phishing, disinformation, tabletop exercises and handwashing

It’s hard to tell who’s benefitting most from the coronavirus – Russia, hackers or hand sanitizer vendors, the latter of whom are at least trying to help stop the spread of the dangerous disease. A State Department official told Congress Thursday that Russian operatives are behind coronavirus conspiracy theories popping up on social media while…

Senate building

Telecom firms urge FCC flexibility as carriers replace Chinese equipment

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Wednesday held a hearing where officials from leading tech and telecom firms posed key recommendations to lawmakers who seek to replace and further prohibit telecommunications equipment that may pose a security risk, including products from China-based Huawei and ZTE. Among the key suggestions was that…

L.A. voting machines struggle to link to voter registration database, lines stretch long on Super Tuesday

Even after a $280 million investment in modernizing its elections, including new high-tech voting machines as part of the Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) initiative, Los Angeles on Super Tuesday still saw long lines of voters after some voting systems had difficulty connecting to the California voter database and other technical glitches arose. House…

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