Daily Bread for 12.18.20

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of thirty-three  Sunrise is 7:21 AM and sunset 4:23 PM, for 9h 01m 48s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 17.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is both the one thousand five hundred first day and the forty-second day. 

On this day in 1958, Project SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay), the world’s first communications satellite, is launched.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Natasha Bertrand and Eric Wolff report Nuclear weapons agency breached amid massive cyber onslaught:

The Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, have evidence that hackers accessed their networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies, officials directly familiar with the matter said.

On Thursday, DOE and NNSA officials began coordinating notifications about the breach to their congressional oversight bodies after being briefed by Rocky Campione, the chief information officer at DOE.

They found suspicious activity in networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington, the Office of Secure Transportation at NNSA, and the Richland Field Office of the DOE.

The hackers have been able to do more damage at FERC than the other agencies, and officials there have evidence of highly malicious activity, the officials said, but did not elaborate.

The officials said that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which has been helping to manage the federal response to the broad hacking campaign, indicated to FERC this week that CISA was overwhelmed and might not be able to allocate the necessary resources to respond. DOE will therefore be allocating extra resources to FERC to help investigate the hack, even though FERC is a semi-autonomous agency, the officials said.

Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima report Federal investigators find evidence of previously unknown tactics used to penetrate government networks:

Federal investigators reported Thursday on evidence of previously unknown tactics for penetrating government computer networks, a development that underscores the disastrous reach of Russia’s recent intrusions and the logistical nightmare facing federal officials trying to purge intruders from key systems.

For days, it has been clear that compromised software patches distributed by a Texas-based company, SolarWinds, were central to Russian efforts to gain access to U.S. government computer systems. But Thursday’s alert from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security said evidence suggested there was other malware used to initiate what the alert described as “a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.”

While many details remained unclear, the revelation about new modes of attack raises fresh questions about the access that Russian hackers were able to gain in government and corporate systems worldwide.

[The U.S. government spent billions on a system for detecting hacks. The Russians outsmarted it.]

“This adversary has demonstrated an ability to exploit software supply chains and shown significant knowledge of Windows networks,” the alert said. “It is likely that the adversary has additional initial access vectors and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that have not yet been discovered.”

How Scientists Knew Hawaii’s Kilauea Was About to Erupt:

Comments are closed.