Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

RUSSIAN HACKERS REACH U.S. UTILITY CONTROL ROOMS, HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS SAY

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

 

Well, this is comforting to know !   Nancy

Russian Hackers Reach U.S. Utility Control Rooms, Homeland Security Officials Say

Blackouts could have been caused after the networks of trusted vendors were easily penetrated

Officials of the Department of Homeland Security said hackers have reached the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities. PHOTO: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

 

Hackers working for Russia claimed “hundreds of victims” last year in a giant and long-running campaign that put them inside the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities where they could have caused blackouts, federal officials said. They said the campaign likely is continuing.

The Russian hackers, who worked for a shadowy state-sponsored group previously identified as Dragonfly or Energetic Bear, broke into supposedly secure, “air-gapped” or isolated networks owned by utilities with relative ease by first penetrating the networks of key vendors who had trusted relationships with the power companies, said officials at the Department of Homeland Security.

“They got to the point where they could have thrown switches” and disrupted power flows, said Jonathan Homer, chief of industrial-control-system analysis for DHS.

DHS has been warning utility executives with security clearances about the Russian group’s threat to critical infrastructure since 2014. But the briefing on Monday was the first time that DHS has given out information in an unclassified setting with as much detail. It continues to withhold the names of victims but now says there were hundreds of victims, not a few dozen as had been said previously.

It also said some companies still may not know they have been compromised, because the attacks used credentials of actual employees to get inside utility networks, potentially making the intrusions more difficult to detect.

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FACEBOOK TO BANKS: GIVE US YOUR DATA, WE’LL GIVE YOU OUR USERS !!!!!

Monday, August 6th, 2018

 

I, for one, object !  How about you ?  Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users

Facebook has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about customers as it seeks to boost user engagement

August 6, 2018
Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com, Deepa Seetharaman at Deepa.Seetharaman@wsj.com and AnnaMaria Andriotis at annamaria.andriotis@wsj.com

The social media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.

Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.31% & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. -0.14% and U.S. Bancorp USB +0.08% to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.

Facebook has talked about a feature that would show its users their checking-account balances, the people said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the people said.

Data privacy is a sticking point in the banks’ conversations with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are taking place as Facebook faces several investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

One large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns, some of the people said.

Facebook has told banks that the additional customer information could be used to offer services that might entice users to spend more time on Messenger, a person familiar with the discussions said. The company is trying to deepen user engagement: Investors shaved more than $120 billion from its market value in one day last month after it said its growth is starting to slow.

Facebook said it wouldn’t use the bank data for ad-targeting purposes or share it with third parties.

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UNIONS IN THE WORKPLACE

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

 

Both articles are about unions in the workplace.  The first article will make you feel hopeful; the second, not so much !!!   Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Fresh Air in the Swamp

Trump’s civil-service orders address all too common abuses.

By the Editorial Board
June 1, 2018

You wouldn’t know it from the media coverage, but only a few thousand government workers are political appointees. The rest are civil servants with nearly lifetime job security, which invites abuse that President Trump began to address last week with three new executive orders.

Their common theme is accountability for a federal civilian workforce of nearly 2.1 million. Most are honest professionals, but the civil-service system hasn’t been updated in 40 years and in many ways has been hijacked by unions. The result is often an entrenched federal elite that is judged by tenure more than performance.

The first Trump order goes directly at competence, streamlining procedures to remove poor workers. Under current law, employees flagged for removal have 30 days to shape up. Yet unions have forced additional regulatory hoops, and the average “Performance Improvement Plan” now stretches for months. The Government Accountability Office finds it can take an average of six months to a year to remove a poor performer, and another eight to resolve appeals.

The Trump order directs agencies to meet the law’s 30-day deadline, which is more than enough time to make a decision. The order also reaffirms the authority of agencies to make disciplinary decisions based on individual cases—rather than by one-size-fits-all union protections. Managers will be able to penalize misconduct based on the gravity of a specific infraction, rather than follow a proscribed course of “progressive discipline.”

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VIDEO – THREE WAYS CHINESE ACCESS U.S. TECHNOLOGY

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

 

VIDEO – 

Three Ways China Gets Its Hands on U.S. Tech

4/3/2018 3:05PM     

President Trump says China is forcing U.S. companies to transfer their technology secrets to China. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday tells you how. Illustration: Adele Morgan

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AMERICA’S SELF-IMPOSED URANIUM SHORTAGE

Friday, February 9th, 2018

 

In the midst of all the information swirling around about the  Uranium One Scandal where the Obama Administration allowed 20% of our uranium deposits to fall under the ownership of a Russian company, this article by Senator John Barraso gives us the very disturbing facts about our uranium production here in the U.S.
After reading this article, you might well be outraged that control over 20% of our uranium was given away.   Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

America’s Self-Imposed Uranium Shortage

The U.S. and its allies have plenty, but we still buy from despots.

Uranium plays a vital role in maintaining America’s national security. The element powers nearly a quarter of the U.S. Navy’s fleet and keeps the lights on in around 20% of American homes and businesses. So why is the U.S. relying on adversaries to supply it with uranium?

The American West—including my home state of Wyoming—is rich in uranium. In 2016, commercial nuclear power plants purchased 50.6 million pounds of uranium, according to the Energy Information Administration. The U.S. could produce tens of millions of pounds a year, relying on friendly countries like Canada or Australia for the remainder. Yet the element often comes from nations like Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Together, the three supply around 40% of America’s commercial nuclear fuel.

America’s Self-Imposed Uranium Shortage
PHOTO: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

Making matters worse, America’s only plant capable of preparing natural uranium for enrichment was idled last year. All uranium mined in the U.S. must now leave the country for processing in places like France and Canada. Then it is reimported for use in domestic nuclear power plants.

The federal government has made the situation worse. Since the 1990s, the Energy Department has maintained a stockpile of uranium from decommissioned nuclear weapons. For the past decade, the agency has actually bartered uranium away in exchange for services from contractors. The contractors then sell the uranium.

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DON’T TRUST THE CHINESE TO MAKE MICROCHIPS FOR THE MILITARY

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

 

 

Plain old common sense tells us that the U.S. should not depend on our adversaries to supply our military with essential military  components needed to protect this country.     Just because the Chinese can make these components cheaper than they are made in the U.S., does not mean we should be so short sighted as to make the functioning of  our military weapons dependent  on Chinese made components.  Nancy

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Don’t Trust the Chinese to Make Microchips for the Military

Congress should require defense manufacturers to buy vital electronics from American producers.

Friday, October 27, 2017
by Dan Nidess   Mr. Nidess, a former Marine, is a writer in San Francisco
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  

In 2011 microchips headed for U.S. Navy helicopters were found to carry defects that would have prevented them from firing missiles. Given that the chips came from China, there was a strong suspicion that the defect was the result of deliberate tampering. Sabotaging an adversary’s military equipment has a long and colorful history, and it would fit squarely in China’s strategy of asymmetrically undermining America’s conventional military superiority.

 

After an investigation the Navy concluded the defect was an unintentional flaw. This only raised additional concerns about the quality of critical electronics produced in China. Counterfeit Chinese chips have become a rampant problem affecting America’s military, the intelligence community and the Missile Defense Agency. Long and obscure supply chains make it almost impossible to verify the reliability and source for weapons-grade microchips.

The Defense Department is experimenting with different ways to detect fakes entering the supply chain and has pursued legal actionagainst traffickers. Such efforts, while welcome, are insufficient. Even if the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency succeeds at reducing counterfeits, the U.S. will still be vulnerable to defects deliberately embedded by legitimate Chinese suppliers. The possibility that China will simply cut off access to the integrated circuits on which the military relies remains a risk as well.

 

The recent disclosure that Moscow co-opted the popular Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to aid its espionage efforts has highlighted the danger of relying on companies from adversary countries for the security of sensitive government systems. While the federal bureaucracy and Congress now are acting decisively to end American dependence on Russian-made software products, America’s national-security infrastructure has an even deeper vulnerability to address.

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VIDEO – MIDDLE EAST AIRLINES THREATEN U.S. AIRLINE INDUSTRY

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

 

 

This is an ABSOLUTELY – MUST WATCH if you are or have been involved in the Airline Industry – or – care about Business in The USA.

Subj: SOS – Rise of Gulf Carriers – Bad News for US Air Carriers

After you go to Vimeo, put in the password and you’ll see a finely made presentation by Delta.

In light of Qatar’s plan to take a 10% stake in American, this is an important issue to American as well as ALL US airlines and our country.

 

 

The password is: OFOF17  The ‘O’ is a letter not a number.

(all caps)

vimeo.com/222024567

 

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NATIONAL SECURITY CRISIS – U.S. DEPENDENT ON CHINA FOR RARE EARTH MINERALS

Friday, February 10th, 2017

 

We have a national security crisis  – U.S. Dependent on China For Rare Earth Minerals

By John Moody      February 9, 2017

John Moody is Executive Vice President, Executive Editor for Fox News. A former Vatican correspondent and Rome bureau chief for Time magazine, he is the author of four books, including “Pope John Paul II : Biography.

Can the United States do anything to reverse a dangerous dependence on crucial mineral supplies that put our future military security in the hands of China? We may be about to find out.

The challenge to our future security was outlined in a grim, largely overlookedreport from the U.S. Geological Survey. In stark terms, it demonstrated that the U.S. is 100 percent reliant on foreign producers for at least 20 elements and minerals, some of them of strategic importance to our military. The most common source: China.

As Bellwether noted last week, a group of 17 materials, known collectively as rare earths, are produced almost exclusively by China. That’s the country President Trump has labelled a currency manipulator and trade cheat and which he has vowed to bring to heel in future bilateral negotiations.

The USGS report, points out other metal deficiencies, and raises serious questions about how much leverage the U.S. will have over China. Almost all the minerals in question are essential components needed for advanced fighter bombers, satellite guided missiles and catapults that launch planes from the decks of aircraft carriers.

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REVEALING ARTICLE ON EXXON CEO REX TILLERSON

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

 

DALLAS NEWS.COM

What I learned about Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson after spending a week on jury duty with him

What I learned about Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson after spending a week on jury duty with him

Nine years ago, I showed up to the Denton County Courthouse for jury duty and got myself picked for the job. A young girl had accused her mom’s boyfriend of sexual assault, and the case was being brought to trial.
If you’ve ever served on a jury trial before, you understand the almost immediate yet very temporary bond that ties 12 strangers together who are randomly chosen from each of their private lives to fulfill a solemn public purpose.
One of our first tasks was to choose our jury foreman. Perhaps it was his business suit, his impressive stature, or his charisma, but almost everyone in that jury room suggested that this middle-aged man with graying hair was likely the most fit for the task.
Thanks, but I decline. I’m not interested in the spotlight, he told us. I didn’t think anything of it.
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COAL IN TRUMP’S STOCKING

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Coal in Trump’s Stocking

A last-minute Obama regulation sets Donald up for a big win.

December 21, 2016

The Obama Administration has given Donald Trump an early Christmas gift, in the form of a punitive 11th-hour regulation on coal. Issued by the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), the rule takes effect Jan. 19 as a classic example of the job-killing rules that Mr. Trump has vowed to overturn.

Though issued Monday, the Obama Administration has been working on the Stream Protection Rule for six years. Ostensibly it’s about keeping American waterways clean. In reality it’s a power grab aimed at giving federal regulators more authority to make coal too expensive for anyone to mine or use.

No one should be surprised. In 2008 candidate Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that while people would still be free to build a coal-powered electricity plant under his energy policies, it would “bankrupt them” because of the costs his regulations would impose.

This is what Hillary Clinton meant in March when she said “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of work.” It’s also what Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthymeant last month when she said that a Trump Administration would fail in its promise to revive the coal industry because her agency had helped destroy the market for coal.

Under the Stream Protection Rule, federal regulators will have expanded power to draw up new standards that make it harder to get a coal-mining permit. OSM’s federal water standards would suddenly take precedence over the state standards that have long governed the industry under the Clean Water Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service would also gain the power to veto coal permits.

The aim is to take permitting power from states and impose a one-size-fits all standard. When this process started, 10 states signed onto Interior’s rule-making process as state cooperating agencies. But eight of the 10 later withdrew because Interior wasn’t interested in what they had to say.

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