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Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
WASHINGTON — Defense Department employees have procured thousands of printers, cameras and computers that carry known cybersecurity risks, and the practice may be continuing, according to an audit released Tuesday by the Pentagon's inspector general.
More than 9,000 commercially available information technology products bought in fiscal 2018 could be used to spy on or hack U.S. military personnel and facilities, the report said. Without fixing oversight of such purchases, more risks lie ahead, potentially including perils for top-dollar weapons that use such "commercial-off-the-shelf" or COTS devices.
The Japanese minister tasked with maintaining the government's cybersecurity capabilities has reportedly never used a computer before in his adult life, the Associated Press reports with a straight face.
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that his department would be standing up a new task force to make recommendations about securing the defense industrial base from cyber attack. This comes after a Chinese company was charged with attempting to steal trade secrets from a leading U.S. chip manufacturer.
When seeking jobs outside the military, many veterans look for ways to translate their military training into civilian terms. Lt. Col. Timothy Stoner of the Army Reserve is an Advisory principal at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in the cybersecurity and privacy practice. According to him, cybersecurity is one area where veterans may underestimate their own skills and training. Cybersecurity is a field that seems technical and intimidating but is well-suited for almost anyone who has spent time in the military. Hirepurpose sat down with Lt. Col. Stoner to talk about why more veterans should consider cybersecurity in their job search.
A porn-watching employee at the U.S. Geological Survey got government networks infected with Russian malware, according to an Inspector General report, which begs the question of whether this unnamed individual was hard at work or hardly working, among others.