Biden signs cybersecurity executive order following Colonial Pipeline hack

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Colonial Pipeline fully restores service following cyberattack

Colonial Pipeline has fully restored service following a cyberattack — but gas in parts of the southeast is still hard to find. CBS News national correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports from North Carolina, then CBSN technology reporter Dan Patterson joined CBSN’s Lana Zak to discuss.

Associated Press

US jobless claims fall to 473K as more GOP governors bar aid

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen. The decline — the fourth in the past five weeks — coincides with a rash of states led by Republican governors that have blamed expanded jobless benefits for a slowdown in hiring and are acting to cut off the additional aid. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier.


UK targets Gupta’s GFG Alliance in fraud probe linked to Greensill

LONDON (Reuters) -Tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s commodities empire is being investigated by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office in a probe that encompasses the conglomerate’s links to collapsed lender Greensill Capital, the SFO said on Friday. The probe piles pressure on Gupta, who has been scrambling to refinance his international web of businesses in steel, aluminium and energy after supply chain finance firm Greensill filed for insolvency in March. In a statement, the anti-graft agency said it was “investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd.”


Biden Signs Order to Boost Cybersecurity After Pipeline Hack

(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order intended to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity by improving information sharing about attacks with the private sector and adopting better safety practices throughout the government.It also seeks to improve the government’s response to major cyber-attacks.The order has been in the works for months but was released less than a week after a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline Co. forced the company to cut off the flow of fuel to much of the U.S. East Coast, leading to gasoline shortages and filling stations running out. Colonial said Wednesday evening that the pipeline was returning to service.In a statement outlining the order, the White House stated that much of the U.S.’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and it urged those companies to bolster their own cyber defenses.“The Colonial Pipeline incident is a reminder that federal action alone is not enough,” according to White House statement. “We encourage private-sector companies to follow the federal government’s lead and take ambitious measures to augment and align cybersecurity investments with the goal of minimizing future incidents.”The executive order was crafted amid a heightened sense of angst over the U.S.’s apparent inability to deter criminal and nation-state hackers, after a series of devastating breaches that have claimed federal agencies, technology companies, hospitals and even a major police department as victims.The order requires IT service providers with government contracts to share information about cyber-incidents with the U.S., an idea that has previously ran aground because of a reluctance to disclose hacks and contractual barriers, which the White House vowed to remove. The service providers will be required to share the information within specific time lines, a sliding scale based on the severity of the incident, according to a senior administration official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the order.It also seeks to move the federal government toward more modern and safer computer networks, embracing secure cloud services, encryption and multifactor authentication within six months. The order pledges to improve the government’s ability to detect hackers in its networks and to keep logs of computer activity to ward off hacks and speed up detection after a breach.The president’s order calls for new standards for the security of the software supply chain, which was compromised as part of the so-called SolarWinds attack last year. In that instance, Russian hackers installed a backdoor in software for Texas-based SolarWinds Corp. software, which some customers installed during updates.The hackers ultimately infiltrated nine federal agencies and about 100 companies using the SolarWinds’s backdoor, in addition to other methods.The senior administration official said the order only makes a down payment toward modernizing cyber defenses, and stressed that the White House wants to focus on building more secure software products for Americans. As such, software purchased by the federal government must meet the new standards within nine months, the official said. Other improvements in the federal government will be rolled out within six months.“Recent cybersecurity incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the Colonial Pipeline incident are a sobering reminder that U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity,” according to the White House statement. “These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents.”Earlier this year, China-linked hackers used a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s software for email to infiltrate tens of thousands of organizations.But officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that if all the provisions in the order had been in place, it might not have prevented the attack on SolarWinds or the Colonial Pipeline.“This executive order is a good first step, but executive orders can only go so far. Congress is going to have to step up and do more to address our cyber vulnerabilities,” according to Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.Hackers stole almost 100 gigabytes of data from company networks in just two hours, before locking its computers with ransomware and demanding payment, according to two people familiar with the investigation. A ransomware group called DarkSide is suspected to be behind the attack.(Updates with additional details, starting in the fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Associated Press

Biden to meet DACA recipients in immigration overhaul push

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Friday with six immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who benefited from an Obama-era policy that protected them from deportation. The Oval Office meeting comes as Biden looks to press Congress to pass legislation codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that then-President Barack Obama instituted by executive action in 2012, providing limited protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. As a candidate, Biden promised to protect those often described as “dreamers” and their families by reinstating DACA.


Biden says East Coast fuel shortages to end in days as pipeline reopens

(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday reassured U.S. motorists that fuel supplies should start returning to normal this weekend, even as more filling stations ran out of gasoline across the Southeast nearly a week after a cyber attack on the nation’s top fuel pipeline. Colonial Pipeline said late Thursday it had restarted its entire pipeline system and had begun deliveries in all of its markets. Some markets “may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement, echoing Biden who said earlier there could be “hiccups.”


Drivers Brave Long Gas Station Lines Amid Fuel Shortage in Woodstock, Georgia

Drivers braved long lines for gas at a Costco in Woodstock, Georgia, on May 12, amid panic-buying of fuel following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline due to a cyberattack.Footage captured by Twitter user @StevePetyerak shows several rows of cars waiting for gas.The Colonial Pipeline network ships more than 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, accounting for about 45 percent of fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to Gas Buddy. As of the evening of May 12, Gas Buddy reported 46% of Georgia gas stations were out of fuel. Credit: @StevePetyerak via Storyful

Colonial Pipeline has fully restored service following a cyberattack — but gas in parts of the southeast is still hard to find. CBS News national correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports from North Carolina, then CBSN technology reporter Dan Patterson joined CBSN’s Lana Zak to discuss.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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