Tag Archives: Russia

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

NSA-CISA-FBI-UK NCSC

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 Entity List

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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Cyber Unified Coordination Group Provides Update on SolarWinds Orion Compromise

Cyber Attack

The FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) issued a joint statement on Tuesday through the newly created cyber unified coordination group (UCG) to provide updates on an advanced persistent threat actor allegedly linked to Russia. 

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DOJ’s John Demers on Cyber Hack Linked to Russia, Threats Posed by China

John Demers

John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice (DOJ), said the federal government is still in the process of analyzing the damage brought by a massive cyber breach linked to Russia. DOJ launched a program called China Initiative in an attempt to counter the Asian country’s efforts to steal U.S. government secrets and intellectual property.

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President-Elect Joe Biden Stresses Need to Innovate U.S. Cyber Defenses

Cyber Defense

President-elect Joe Biden said the U.S. must rethink and innovate national defense against cybersecurity threats following the SolarWinds network monitoring software hack that hit multiple federal agencies. Biden said at a recent press conference the Russian-linked breach poses a national security risk and highlights the need for the U.S. government to update approaches in the cyber domain.

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