Government and Defense News and analysis l SC Media

Government/Defense News and Analysis

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…

election hacking

Super Tuesday prompts election security vigilance, government warning

The biggest story on Super Tuesday might not be whether former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; or Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pick up the most delegates, but rather if polling stations or election-related entities have to fend off any hinky cybersecurity activity, tech problems or disinformation campaigns. Recent contentions that Russia has continued…

Election integrity preserved in fictitious city of Adversaria during Operation Blackout tabletop exercise

On a sunny day last week during RSA 2020, a group of journalists huddled in a vault in the San Francisco Mint, plotting to wreak havoc and sow doubt on Election Day in the fictitious city of Adversaria. Despite taking over traffic cameras, the governor’s Facebook account, the mayor’s Twitter account, plotting cyberattacks, developing deepfakes…

Following cyber order from Obama, CISPA is back

Trump again nominates Ratcliffe for DNI post

In a curious deja vu, President Trump is nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as director of National intelligence (DNI), although Ratcliffe was widely panned as unqualified when Trump floated him as a replacement for Dan Coats last summer, prompting the president to withdraw his name. Ratcliffe, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, had prompted bipartisan…

DISA breach likely exposed personal data on at least 200K

The breach at one of the networks of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which secures communications for President Trump and military intelligence and other government officials, affected as many as 200,000 people, exposing their personal information, including Social Security numbers. In a Feb. 11 letter to potential victims, DISA offered few details of the…

Russia-hack-US-election

Trump berated Maguire after lawmakers were briefed on Russia’s active interference in 2020 election

In an echo of 2016, the intelligence community reportedly has warned lawmakers that Russia is trying to influence the 2020 election in a briefing that drew the ire of President Trump and may have prompted the ouster of acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire. Trump, still peeved by IC reports that Russia hacked…

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