April 18, 2019
Microsoft is building data centers and expanding security capabilities to compete with Amazon to host sensitive government data.
Microsoft unveiled two data centers Wednesday designed exclusively to host the government’s secret classified data.
Microsoft’s announcement is part of the company’s plan to compete with Amazon—the only company cleared to host the CIA and Defense Department’s secret and top secret classified data—and comes as both companies compete for a $10 billion military cloud contract called JEDI.
While Microsoft’s new data centers are operational, the company awaits security accreditation from the Defense Department before military branches or intelligence agencies can begin moving secret classified data to the facilities. But Microsoft is offering a “private preview” for its existing customers in which they can move unclassified workloads to the data centers.
Microsoft did not disclose the location of their data centers, though the company said they are 500 miles apart from each other. In addition, the company announced that each of its Azure Government regions—data centers that specifically support government customers—were granted what is called Impact Level 5, or IL5, provisional authorization from the Defense Department, meaning they can host, process and run analytics on the Pentagon’s sensitive unclassified data.
The Government’s Cloud Wars Continue
Microsoft’s latest moves come as the demand for cloud computing services is at an all-time high, with the Pentagon alone expected to spend $2 billion on cloud in the coming year.
Microsoft will compete head-to-head with Amazon Web Services for the JEDI contract, which will essentially become the Pentagon’s war cloud, processing, storing and analyzing swaths of classified military data around the world. The Defense Department will assess the capabilities of Microsoft and AWS in the coming weeks, with an award expected by mid-July.
The government’s increasing reliance on cloud computing has attracted a bevy of suppliers, pitting longstanding defense contractors like IBM, Oracle and General Dynamics against newcomers like Google and AWS. Microsoft is both a longtime government contractor and a growing commercial cloud provider, and its ubiquitous Office 365 platform has it all but guaranteed to receive a chunk of the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract, another multibillion-dollar cloud deal.
May 1, 2019
In recent years, we have seen how hackers prey on those too lazy or ignorant to install security patches, which, if applied on time, would have prevented some devastating cyber attacks and data breaches that happened in major organisations.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered government agencies to more swiftly plug the critical security vulnerabilities found on their networks within 15 calendar days since the initial detection, a reduction from 30 days.
DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) this week issued a new Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 19-02 instructing federal agencies and departments to address “critical” rated vulnerabilities within 15 days and “high” severity flaws within 30 days of initial detection.
The countdown to patch a security vulnerability will start when it was initially detected during CISA’s weekly Cyber Hygiene vulnerability scanning, rather than it was the first report to the affected agencies.
“As federal agencies continue to expand their Internet presence through increased deployment of Internet-accessible systems, and operate interconnected and complex systems, it is more critical than ever for federal agencies to rapidly remediate vulnerabilities that otherwise could allow malicious actors to compromise federal networks through exploitable, externally-facing systems,” reads the memo from CISA Director Chris Krebs.
“Recent reports from government and industry partners indicate that the average time between discovery and exploitation of a vulnerability is decreasing as today’s adversaries are more skilled, persistent, and able to exploit known vulnerabilities.”
Therefore, to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to any federal information internal system and reduce the overall attack surface, the CISA wants government agencies to review and remediate critical vulnerabilities on Internet-facing systems before hackers and cybercriminals exploit them.
The recently created CISA agency provides regular reports to the federal agencies on Cyber Hygiene scanning results and current status, informing them of the detected vulnerabilities, classified based on their CVSSv2 score.
Agencies who do not complete their remediation within the allotted time period, CISA will send an additional reminder to agencies, asking them to submit the complete remediation plan within three working days to CISA.
BOD 19-02 replaces BOD 15-01—Critical Vulnerability Mitigation Requirement for Federal Civilian Executive Branch Departments and Agencies’ Internet-Accessible Systems (May 21, 2015)—which gave federal agencies 30 days to patch critical vulnerabilities.
This is the second BOD that CISA has released this year. Following a series of DNS hijacking incidents, the agency issued an “emergency directive” earlier this year, ordering federal agencies to audit DNS records for their respective website domains and other agency-managed domains within 10 days.
Israel Has The Pentagon Hacked Soon They Will Own It
Lekem, BIRD, BARD & BSF: Covert and Legal Ways Soviet Israel Transfers United States’ Technology
The agency which planted, protected, and paid Pollard is the Israeli-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, an intergovernment organization which acts as a channel between the U.S. Treasury and State Department and the Israeli Defense Ministry and Mossad. The organization is a product of Henry Kissinger’s tenure at the State Department, and one of dozens which have been used to run joint U.S.-Israeli covert operations, of the sort typified by the Iran-Contra sales. Key BIRD activists include: Meir Amit, the former director of both the Mossad and Israeli military intelligence.
Please note: The CIA/Mossad/KGB/GRU are working in concert for the One World Communist “New World Order” The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship: Money, Mossad/KGB, and the CIA