Tag Archives: Russia

CIA Nominee William Burns Appears Before Senate Intelligence Committee for Confirmation Hearing

William Burns

William Burns, President Biden’s nominee to lead the CIA, said in his opening statement during his Senate confirmation hearing that politics should not interfere with intelligence work. Burns told lawmakers how he would deal with China if confirmed as CIA director. He cited the importance of “firmness and consistency” in responding to Russian aggression.

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Biden Vows Commitment to NATO Alliance, Collaboration to Address Security Threats

White House

President Biden said the U.S. remains committed to the transatlantic alliance and will work closely with partners in the European Union to address the shared security threats and other challenges. "The transatlantic alliance is back. And we are not looking backward; we are looking forward, together,” Biden said Friday in a speech during the virtual Munich Security Conference.

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Gen. Paul Funk on Army TRADOC’s Efforts to Modernize Training Activities

Gen. Paul Funk

Gen. Paul Funk, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said the command is updating its training organization framework to cover threats from China and Russia. TRADOC is also working to prototype an Army Training Information System which will handle training management functions by the end of fiscal year 2023.

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Report: Suspected Chinese Hackers Targeted U.S. Payroll Agency Via Separate Bug in SolarWinds Orion Code

Cyber Attack

A group of suspected Chinese hackers used a vulnerability in SolarWinds software to breach U.S. government networks and a payroll agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - National Finance Center (NFC) - was one of the government organizations affected by the cyber attack. The NFC oversees the payroll of several federal agencies, including the FBI and the departments of the Treasury, State and Homeland Security, according to former officials. 

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Investigators Say 30% of Victims of Alleged Russian Hack Do Not Run SolarWinds Software; Acting CISA Director Brandon Wales Quoted

Cryptocurrency Malware

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and corporate investigators said they believe the operation of cyber attackers allegedly linked to Russia extended far beyond compromising SolarWinds’ Orion software and found that about 30 percent of victims in the private and government sectors were not using the software, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

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Senate Confirms Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

Antony Blinken

The Senate has confirmed Antony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state during the Obama administration, to lead the State Department in a 78-22 vote on Tuesday, The New York Times reported. During his confirmation hearing, Blinken said he plans to review U.S. policy toward North Korea and take a tougher approach to Russia and China. 

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Gen. John Hyten: DOD Must Accelerate Joint Efforts, Public Awareness on Space-Based Threats

Gen. John Hyten

Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and two-time Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense (DOD) must “go fast” in determining joint requirements to counter emerging threats. The U.S. Space Force, along with the U.S. Space Command, is gaining bipartisan support and is envisioned to continue driving efforts with the incoming Biden administration, according to Hyten.

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DOD’s John Kirby: Biden Seeks Five-Year Extension of U.S.-Russia Nuclear Treaty

John Kirby

John Kirby, press secretary at the Department of Defense (DOD), has issued a statement saying President Biden is seeking to extend for another five years the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia. Kirby said extending New START advances U.S. defense, but would create a loss of inspection and notification tools by failing to extend the treaty would undermine U.S. understanding of Russia’s nuclear forces.

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Katie Arrington: CMMC Seeks to Protect Companies Against Negligence

Katie Arrington

Katie Arrington, chief information security officer at the office of the assistant secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework does not aim to punish companies for failing to anticipate cyber breaches like the SolarWinds hack but to protect them from negligence. 

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Commerce Department Imposes New Controls to Prevent US Citizens From Backing WMD, Foreign Military Intell Activities

Commerce Department

The Department of Commerce’s (DOC) bureau of industry and security has announced new controls to prevent U.S. individuals from supporting weapons of mass destruction programs and foreign military intelligence activities in Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and other terrorist-backing countries. The bureau is broadening the license requirements for exports to military intelligence end users in those countries. 

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