December 6, 2021

News

News Network

Justice Department announces court-authorized effort to disrupt exploitation of Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities

19 min read
Authorities have executed a court-authorized operation to copy and remove malicious web shells from hundreds of vulnerable computers in the United States

Read full article at: https://www.justice.gov April 13, 2021

News Network

  • Statement by Department of Justice Spokesperson Kerri Kupec on the Execution of Christopher Andre Vialva
    In Crime News
    Department of Justice [Read More…]
  • New York Donut Shop Operators Convicted of Tax Evasion
    In Crime News
    A federal jury in Utica, New York, convicted a New York couple and their son today for conspiring to defraud the United States and for tax evasion.
    [Read More…]
  • Release of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy-Republic of Korea New Southern Policy Joint Fact Sheet
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Military Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Improve the Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve Forces
    In U.S GAO News
    On September 14, 2001, President Bush proclaimed that a national emergency existed by reason of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Under section 12302 of title 10, United States Code, the President is allowed to call up to 1 million National Guard and Reserve members to active duty for up to 2 years. GAO was asked to review issues related to the call-up of reservists following September 11, 2001. GAO examined (1) whether the Department of Defense (DOD) followed existing operation plans when mobilizing forces, (2) the extent to which responsible officials had visibility over the mobilization process, and (3) approaches the services have taken to provide predictability to reservists. GAO also determined the extent to which the Ready Reserve forces, which make up over 98 percent of nonretired reservists, were available.About 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and Reserve personnel have been called to active duty since September 11, 2001. They fought on the front lines in Iraq; tracked terrorists throughout Asia and Africa; maintained the peace in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and now Iraq; and participated in a wide range of domestic missions. However, DOD's process to mobilize reservists after September 11 had to be modified and contained numerous inefficiencies. Existing operation plans did not fully address the mobilization requirements needed to deal with the terrorist attacks or uncertain overseas requirements. For example, no previous requirements called for the extended use of National Guard and Reserve members to fly combat air patrols over the nation's capital and major cities. Because DOD could not rely on existing operation plans to guide its mobilizations, it used a modified process that relied on additional management oversight and multiple layers of coordination, which resulted in a process that was slower and less efficient than the traditional process. Under the modified process, the Secretary of Defense signed 246 deployment orders to mobilize over 280,000 reservists compared to the less than 10 deployment orders needed to mobilize over 220,000 reservists during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. DOD did not have visibility over the entire mobilization process primarily because it lacked adequate systems for tracking personnel and other resources. DOD's primary automated readiness reporting system could not adequately track the personnel and other resources within the small units that were frequently needed. Also, visibility was lost because some services' active and reserve systems for tracking personnel were incompatible, resulting in ad hoc coordination between active and reserve officials. Both groups often resorted to tracking mobilizations with computer spreadsheets. In addition, some reservists were deployed beyond dates specified in their orders or stayed on alert for more than a year and never mobilized because officials lost visibility. The services have used two primary approaches--predictable operating cycles and advance notification--to provide time for units and personnel to prepare for mobilizations. All the services provide predictability to portions of their forces through some type of standard operating cycle, but only the Air Force has a standard operating cycle that brings predictability to both its active and reserve forces. The Army prioritizes its units, and lower-priority units generally need extra training and preparation time before deploying. Yet, since September 11, a number of lower-priority units have been mobilized with relatively little advance notice. Despite the large number of lower-priority units within the Army Guard and Reserve, the Army does not have a standard operating cycle to provide predictability to its reserves. Without such a concept, the Army's opportunities to provide extra training and preparation time to its reserve forces are limited. Mobilizations were hampered because one-quarter of the Ready Reserve was not readily available for mobilization. Over 70,000 reservists could not be mobilized because they had not completed their training requirements, and the services lacked information needed to fully use the 300,000 pretrained IRR members.
    [Read More…]
  • Flower Mound Hospital to Pay $18.2 Million to Settle Federal and State False Claims Act Allegations Arising from Improper Inducements to Referring Physicians
    In Crime News
    Flower Mound Hospital Partners LLC (Flower Mound Hospital), a partially physician-owned hospital in Flower Mound, Texas, has agreed to pay $18.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting claims to the Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs that resulted from violations of the Physician Self-Referral Law and the Anti‑Kickback Statute.
    [Read More…]
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection: TSA Is Taking Steps to Address Some Pipeline Security Program Weaknesses
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Protecting the nation's pipeline systems from security threats is a responsibility shared by both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and private industry stakeholders. Prior to issuing a cybersecurity directive in May 2021, TSA's efforts included issuing voluntary security guidelines and security reviews of privately owned and operated pipelines. GAO reports in 2018 and 2019 identified some weaknesses in the agency's oversight and guidance, and made 15 recommendations to address these weaknesses. TSA concurred with GAO's recommendations and has addressed most of them, such as clarifying portions of its Pipeline Security Guidelines improving its monitoring of security review performance, and assessing staffing needs. As of June 2021, TSA had not fully addressed two pipeline cybersecurity-related weaknesses that GAO previously identified. These weaknesses correspond to three of the 15 recommendations from GAO's 2018 and 2019 reports. Incomplete information for pipeline risk assessments. GAO identified factors that likely limit the usefulness of TSA's risk assessment methodology for prioritizing pipeline security reviews. For example, TSA's risk assessment did not include information consistent with critical infrastructure risk mitigation, such as information on natural hazards and cybersecurity risks. GAO recommended that TSA develop data sources relevant to pipeline threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences of disruptions. As of June 2021, TSA had not fully addressed this recommendation. Aged protocols for responding to pipeline security incidents. GAO reported in June 2019 that TSA had not revised its 2010 Pipeline Security and Incident Recovery Protocol Plan to reflect changes in pipeline security threats, including those related to cybersecurity. GAO recommended that TSA periodically review, and update its 2010 plan. TSA has begun taking action in response to this recommendation, but has not fully addressed it, as of June 2021. TSA's May 2021 cybersecurity directive requires that certain pipeline owner/operators assess whether their current operations are consistent with TSA's Guidelines on cybersecurity, identify any gaps and remediation measures, and report the results to TSA and others. TSA's July 2021 cybersecurity directive mandates that certain pipeline owner/operators implement cybersecurity mitigation measures; develop a Cybersecurity Contingency Response Plan in the event of an incident; and undergo an annual cybersecurity architecture design review, among other things. These recent security directives are important requirements for pipeline owner/operators because TSA's Guidelines do not include key mitigation strategies for owner/operators to reference when reviewing their cyber assets. TSA officials told GAO that a timely update to address current cyber threats is appropriate and that they anticipate updating the Guidelines over the next year. Why GAO Did This Study The nation's pipelines are vulnerable to cyber-based attacks due to increased reliance on computerized systems. In May 2021 malicious cyber actors deployed ransomware against Colonial Pipeline's business systems. The company subsequently disconnected certain systems that monitor and control physical pipeline functions so that they would not be compromised. This statement discusses TSA's actions to address previous GAO findings related to weaknesses in its pipeline security program and TSA's guidance to pipeline owner/operators. It is based on prior GAO products issued in December 2018, June 2019, and March 2021, along with updates on actions TSA has taken to address GAO's recommendations as of June 2021. To conduct the prior work, GAO analyzed TSA documents; interviewed TSA officials, industry association representatives, and a sample of pipeline operators selected based on type of commodity transported and other factors; and observed TSA security reviews. GAO also reviewed TSA's May and July 2021 Pipeline Security Directives, TSA's Pipeline Security Guidelines, and three federal security alerts issued in July 2020, May 2021, and June 2021.
    [Read More…]
  • United States, European Union, and Partners Formally Launch Global Methane Pledge to Keep 1.5C Within Reach
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Malaysia Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Chronic Health Conditions: Federal Strategy Needed to Coordinate Diet-Related Efforts
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found According to the latest federal data available, selected chronic health conditions linked to diet are prevalent, deadly, and costly. These diet-related conditions include cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke), cancer, diabetes, and obesity. For example, 2018 federal data show: Prevalence. Forty-two percent of adults had obesity—or approximately 100 million U.S. adults. Mortality. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes accounted for half of all annual deaths in the U.S. (about 1.5 million deaths). People living in southern states, men, and Black Americans had disproportionately higher mortality rates than those living in other regions, women, and other races. Cost. Government spending, including Medicare and Medicaid, to treat cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes accounted for 54 percent of the $383.6 billion in health care spending to treat these conditions. The increase in certain diet-related conditions over time indicates further potential threats to Americans' health. For example, the prevalence of obesity among adults was 19 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009. GAO identified 200 federal efforts related to diet—fragmented across 21 agencies—for reducing Americans' risk of chronic health conditions. The efforts fall into four categories (see table). Federal Agencies' Efforts to Address Diet as a Factor of Chronic Health Conditions Categories Number of efforts Examples of activities Total efforts 200   Research 119 Collect and monitor data, conduct or fund studies, review research to develop guidelines on healthy eating Education and clinical services 72 Inform program beneficiaries, counsel health care patients, inform the public with mass communication Food assistance and access 27 Provide food or assistance in purchasing food, improve community access to healthy food Regulatory action 6 Issue requirements or recommendations for food producers, manufacturers, and retailers Source: GAO analysis of agency information. | GAO-21-593 Note: Effort numbers do not add up to 200 because some efforts fall into multiple categories. Agencies have taken some actions to coordinate, such as by establishing interagency groups. However, they have not effectively managed fragmentation of diet-related efforts or the potential for overlap and duplication. Such fragmentation has impacted the agencies' ability to achieve certain outcomes. For example, according to agency officials and nonfederal stakeholders, agencies have not fully addressed important gaps in scientific knowledge where research is sparse, including on healthy diets for infants and young children. A federal strategy for diet-related efforts could provide sustained leadership and result in improved, cost-effective outcomes for reducing Americans' risk of diet-related chronic health conditions. Why GAO Did This Study Many chronic health conditions are preventable, yet they are leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In addition, people with certain chronic health conditions are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than people without them. Poor diet is one prominent risk factor for chronic health conditions, alongside tobacco use, physical inactivity, and others. Numerous federal agencies have a role in addressing diet and its link to chronic health conditions. GAO was asked to review diet-related chronic health conditions and federal efforts to address them. This report examines (1) federal data on prevalence, mortality, and costs of selected diet-related chronic health conditions; (2) federal diet-related efforts to reduce Americans' risk of chronic health conditions; and (3) the extent to which federal agencies have coordinated their efforts. GAO selected conditions with established scientific links to diet. GAO then analyzed federal data on prevalence, mortality, and health care spending; reviewed agency documents; interviewed officials from 21 federal agencies with a role in diet, as well as nonfederal stakeholders; and compared agency actions with selected leading practices for collaboration, which GAO has identified in prior work.
    [Read More…]
  • The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Announces Award for Worldwide Architectural and Engineering Support Services
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Jury convicts valley resident on meth charges
    In Justice News
    A federal jury has [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Myanmar Independence Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • U.S.-EU-Canada: Joint Statement on Venezuela
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Announces $29 Million To Support Justice And Mental Health Programs
    In Crime News
    The Department of [Read More…]
  • Update to Secretary Pompeo’s Travel to Asia
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Morgan Ortagus, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Mexican Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement Calling for a Ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with UN Special Coordinator Wennesland
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • South Africa Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.