8:17 AM, Jul 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The threat to the U.S. government and U.S. businesses from foreign hackers, especially from China, has been increasingly in the news in recent months. In a little noticed WTOP interview last week, recently installed National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina expressed the threat in terms that almost seem hyperbolic:
"The average computer, fresh out of its packaging, can become infected within minutes of being plugged in. It can take longer to download software that protects a computer system than for a hacker to gain entry," the National Security Agency says.
Millions of times a day, hackers linked to the Chinese and Russian governments and cyber criminals infiltrate U.S. government and business networks. And the new National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) says it's getting worse with each passing day.
"With the exponential increase in cyber capabilities, electronics and tradecraft, they're getting faster and smarter about how they seek to steal our information, and we need to be faster and smarter about how we defend it," William Evanina said in an exclusive interview...
Chinese hackers, he said, "are more active than they've ever been and they're after whatever they can get." Recent evidence shows they've targeted everything from blueprints for jet fighters to formulas for making windows.
"They want to be an economic world power, so anything that has to do with their economy, they will steal -- from factory information, to bio-products, to manufacturing products to thermal engineering. Recently there was a case from Pittsburgh Corning Glass where they tried to steal (information on) thermal insulation in the windows," said Evanina.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence posted a link to the article on its website as well.
11:28 AM, Jul 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson struggled this morning on NBC to say whether the Obama administration will deport most of the recent influx of illegal immigrants:
11:10 AM, Jul 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explained that the immigration crisis is about the children. "We have to do right by the children," he said this morning on NBC:
6:16 PM, Jun 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview that will air tonight, Hillary Clinton will tell Diane Sawyer that the Benghazi terrorist attack that left four Americans dead is "more of a reason to run" for president of the United States.
7:06 AM, Apr 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement.
7:05 AM, Apr 3, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Millions of individuals who recently entrusted personal, medical, and financial information to the federal government while enrolling in Obamacare via Healthcare.gov may find a recent trend reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) rather unsettling. The number of security breaches involving Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at federal agencies more than doubled in recent years, increasing from 10,481 in 2009 to 25,566 in 2013.
8:11 AM, Apr 1, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The office of the inspector general (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has uncovered seventy-nine "high-risk security vulnerabilities" in the information processing systems of ten state Medicaid agencies that "raise concerns about the integrity of the systems used to process Medicaid claims." While the ten states are not identified by name, the OIG said that the investigation "suggests that other State Medicaid information systems may be similarl
7:01 AM, Mar 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Less than a month after the exposure of a widespread vulnerability on government "open data" websites, another perhaps even more insidious opening for abuse of government websites has come to light.
11:35 AM, Mar 5, 2014 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
"Bitcoin" is the most widespread, cryptographically-secure Internet currency. It was created in 2009 by someone (or someones) who referred to themselves as "Satoshi Nakamoto." Once it was released into the wild, the bitcoin currency ecosystem operated on a public, inalterable schedule.
8:07 AM, Feb 20, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At first glance, a page on the Health and Human Services (HHS) website seems to be giving that agency's official advice on the "The Health Benefits of Nootropics," a classification of purportedly memory-enhancing drugs. The page is found on the website's subdomain of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) as part of the Health System Measurement Project.
6:08 PM, Feb 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House press secretary says in a statement that President Obama met with his national security team today in the Situation Room to discuss security at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
8:11 AM, Jan 24, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
A security expert who has testified before Congress and spoken to the media about vulnerabilities of the Healthcare.gov website has weighed in on the website's latest security issue, which was first reported Thursday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. David Kennedy, the CEO of TrustedSec, an information security firm, said that the unintended opening at Healthcare.gov detailed in the story would allow malicious scammers to fool users with a "website that’s legitimate to make them believe its something else." He said the existence of this potential pitfall on the site is "absolutely amazing," and added that "an attacker can basically create a functioning website and host any content they want there and under the umbrella of healthcare.gov."
7:04 AM, Jan 23, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At least three marketers of health-related or insurance products and services have taken advantage of the "data-set" feature at Healthcare.gov to give themselves a virtual presence on the federal government's Obamacare site. The ability to use a web address containing "healthcare.gov" may lend credibility and even imply endorsement by the government.