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The Biden Administration just revealed its plan to stop the next Colonial Pipeline hack

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.


On Wednesday, President Biden signed a National Security Memorandum that aims to improve national cybersecurity. 





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It directs the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to collaborate with other agencies to develop cybersecurity performance standards for companies across the US that provide essential services like power, water, and transportation. When systems that control these vital infrastructures malfunction or are interrupted because of an incident such as a ransomware attack, it can jeopardize national security, economic security, as well as public health and safety.

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The memorandum also formally establishes the President’s Industrial Control System Cybersecurity (ICS) Initiative, which is a voluntary, collaborative effort between the federal government and the critical infrastructure community to establish systems that can detect cyberthreats and send timely alerts. The ICS Initiative kicked off in mid-April with an Electricity Subsector pilot, in which the Department of Energy worked with over 150 electricity utilities to plan and deploy cybersecurity tech for their control systems. Officials also gathered a number of utility and pipeline CEOs to brief them on cybersecurity threats. 

The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled out a directive earlier this year requiring critical pipeline owners and operators to report cybersecurity incidents as well as have their current practices reviewed by a designated Cybersecurity Coordinator after a major petroleum pipeline was attacked by ransomware in May. 

[Related: How a ransomware attack shut down a major US fuel pipeline]

And last week, the TSA issued a second directive which requires owners and operators of pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to instate measures that can protect against ransomware and other cyber attacks. They also require the development of a recovery plan. Owners will also have to review their cybersecurity design every year.

“Recent…

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Meterpreter Certificate Validation – Metasploit Minute [Cyber Security Education]



Florida Heart Associates recovering from ransomware hack


CAPE CORAL, FLA — Cybersecurity experts, like Florida Gulf Coast University’s Eugene Hoyt, say hacking is on the rise.

“It’s a serious uptick right now,” he said, “So it’s not just the large government agencies being hacked, you’re having local government’s being hacked and all the way down to individuals.”

And one of the more popular types being used is ransomware.

“Basically trying to get you to click on links that look legit to gain access to your computer,” he said.

Once the hackers are in, they lock down your system and demand a ransom to release it.

So, should you pay the ransom?

“I highly say ‘no,'” said Hoyt.

However, Hoyt also adds that sometimes companies have to pay or risk losing everything.

It’s a sticky situation that the CEO of Florida Heart Associates, Todd Rauchenberger, tells FOX 4 the company found itself in, in May.

They ultimately chose not to pay and were able to get control back, but not before hackers took down their phone lines and essentially destroyed their entire system.

The family of an FHA patient says they’ve been trying to get their loved one seen by a doctor for months.

“You can’t get in to get an appointment,” said Brittany Wallace, “No one ever called and then we get a letter in the mail a couple of weeks after that stating that patients’ information was [exposed] or that their system was hacked.”

And Wallace says the hack came at scary time.

“One of his important medications that he didn’t have any refills on was about to run out,” he said.

FHA tells FOX 4 that they’ve lost staff as a result of the hack and only just got their phones back online.

In all, they estimate that they’re operating at about 50 percent right now.

And in order to accommodate families, like the Wallaces, FHA is now taking walk-in appointments.

That family says that’s something they’ll be taking advantage of, but they’re also encouraging other patients to share their concerns.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease you just have to keep calling and like you said, walk-in,” said Wallace.

Rauchenberger also tells FOX 4 that they’re hoping to be back up and fully running by late August or early September. In the meantime, if you have questions about the hack they have set up a call center. You…

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Biden’s response to China hack seen as tepid due to US economic ties with Beijing | Washington Examiner


When the White House announced President Joe Biden rallied American allies to condemn China’s state-sponsored hacking, many in Washington were perplexed as he bypassed more punitive measures.

China’s Ministry of State Security, which U.S. intelligence officials accused of cyber spying and hacking for profit, was behind multiple “zero-day” exploits that breached the Microsoft Exchange Server, prompting Biden’s response. The attacks take advantage of security holes in widely used software, such as the Microsoft Exchange email service, and can operate undetected until the hole is patched.

WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS BIDEN’S ‘COORDINATED’ RESPONSE TO CHINESE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED HACKERS

Asked this week why Biden seemed to hold off on a stronger condemnation of China, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “That was not the intention he was trying to project.”

The effort to coordinate multilateral partners from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and NATO “was under [Biden’s] direction,” Psaki said. “He continues to feel its important to lead from a position of strength in close coordination with our partners and allies around the world, and he takes the malicious cyber activity — whether it’s from Russia or China, whomever the actors may be — quite seriously.”

She said economic ties with China wouldn’t stop further U.S. retaliation if deemed necessary.

Dmitri Alperovitch, who leads the Silverado Policy Accelerator, a Washington, D.C.-based cybersecurity think tank, questioned Biden’s inconsistent response in a blog post in light of a forceful retaliation to the SolarWinds breach that U.S. intelligence linked to Russia earlier this year.

“Having drawn a red line in the case of the SolarWinds breach … the United States ought to calibrate its responses to subsequent attacks relative to that line,” he wrote. “By every conceivable technical standard, the Exchange hacks were the more damaging and more reckless of the two actions. For the sake of both strategic and normative consistency, the administration should be prepared to impose more serious consequences.”

It is hard to say why the Biden administration has refrained from using…

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