Connect with us

News

Delay in creating new U.S. cybersecurity board prompts concern

Published

on

Delay in creating new U.S. cybersecurity board prompts concern

RICHMOND, Va. — It’s a key part of President Joe Biden’s plans to fight major ransomware attacks and digital espionage campaigns: creating a board of experts that would investigate major incidents to see what went wrong and try to prevent the problems from happening again — much like a transportation safety board does with plane crashes.

But eight months after Biden signed an executive order creating the Cyber Safety Review Board it still hasn’t been set up. That means critical tasks haven’t been completed, including an investigation of the massive SolarWinds espionage campaign first discovered more than a year ago. Russian hackers stole data from several federal agencies and private companies.

Some supporters of the new board say the delay could hurt national security and comes amid growing concerns of a potential conflict with Russia over Ukraine that could involve nation-state cyberattacks. The FBI and other federal agencies recently released an advisory — aimed particularly at critical infrastructure like utilities — on Russian state hackers’ methods and techniques.

“We will never get ahead of these threats if it takes us nearly a year to simply organize a group to investigate major breaches like SolarWinds,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who leads the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Such a delay is detrimental to our national security and I urge the administration to expedite its process.”

Biden’s order, signed in May, gives the board 90 days to investigate the SolarWinds hack once it’s established. But there’s no timeline for creating the board itself, a job designated to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

In response to questions from The Associated Press, DHS said in a statement it was far along in setting it up and anticipated a “near-term announcement,” but did not address why the process has taken so long.

Scott Shackelford, the cybersecurity program chair at Indiana University and an advocate for creating a cyber review board, said having a rigorous study about what happened in a past hack like SolarWinds is a way of helping prevent similar attacks.

“It sure is taking, my goodness, quite a while to get it going,” Shackelford said. ”It’s certainly past time where we could see some positive benefits from having it stood up.”

The Biden administration has made improving cybersecurity a top priority and taken steps to bolster defenses, but this is not the first time lawmakers have been unhappy with the pace of progress. Last year several lawmakers complained it took the administration too long to name a national cyber director, a new position created by Congress.

The SolarWinds hack exploited vulnerabilities in the software supply-chain system and went undetected for most of 2020 despite compromises at a broad swath of federal agencies and dozens of companies, primarily telecommunications and information technology providers. The hacking campaign is named SolarWinds after the U.S. software company whose product was exploited in the first-stage infection of that effort.

The hack highlighted the Russians’ skill at getting to high-level targets. The AP previously reported that SolarWinds hackers had gained access to emails belonging to the then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

The Biden administration has kept many of the details about the cyberespionage campaign hidden.

The Justice Department, for instance, said in July that 27 U.S. attorney offices around the country had at least one employee’s email account compromised during the hacking campaign. It did not provide details about what kind of information was taken and what impact such a hack may have had on ongoing cases.

News

Pedro Martinez joining Mets’ Old Timers’ Day

Published

on

Pedro Martinez joining Mets’ Old Timers’ Day

Mets Old Timers’ Day is quickly becoming the hottest ticket in town.

On Monday, the team announced that Pedro Martinez would join the festivities on Aug. 27 at Citi Field.

Martinez, a first ballot Hall of Famer, spent four seasons with the Mets, racking up a 3.88 ERA in 79 starts. He was an All-Star for the team in 2005, a year in which he led the major leagues with a 0.949 WHIP, and again represented the Mets at the Midsummer Classic in 2006.

Martinez joins other big names including Mike Piazza, Mookie Wilson, Robin Ventura, John Matlack, Cliff Floyd and Ron Swoboda as participants in the game, which is being held for the first time since 1994.

Martinez has been a staple of MLB Network for years now, and this summer he will make his first appearance in a Mets uniform since 2008.

The Mets take on the Rockies on Aug. 27, with the Old Timers’ Day shenanigans beginning earlier in the day.

()

Continue Reading

News

Abbott says agreement reached to reopen baby formula plant

Published

on

Abbott says agreement reached to reopen baby formula plant

By ZEKE MILLER and MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) — Infant formula maker Abbott says it’s reached an agreement with U.S. health officials to restart production at its largest domestic factory, a key step toward easing a nationwide shortage tied to the plant’s shutdown earlier this year.

Abbott did not immediately detail the terms of the agreement reached with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety problems at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility. The consent decree is a binding legal agreement between the company and the federal government.

After production resumes, Abbott has said it will take at least eight weeks to begin shipping new product to stores.

The Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the last week to do more to ease the shortage of formula that has forced parents of infants to go to significant lengths to feed their children.

Abbott’s plant came under scrutiny earlier this year after four infants became sick with bacterial infections after consuming powdered formula from the Michigan factory. Two of the babies died.

In February, the company halted production and recalled several brands of formula. Those steps squeezed supplies that were already strained by supply chain disruptions and parents stockpiling during COVID-19.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire from parents and politicians, President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday is expected to announce an agreement to reopen the largest domestic manufacturing plant of infant formula and to ease import rules to allow supplies in from overseas, amid a nationwide shortage spurred by the Michigan plant’s shutdown earlier this year over safety issues.

A consent decree between the producer, Abbott, and the Food and Drug Administration that would pave the way for reopening the plant is “forthcoming,” said Brian Deese, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council. He added the agency would also take steps Monday to allow more foreign imports into the U.S. to address the urgent supply constraints.

It comes as the Biden administration has come under intense pressure over the last week to do more to ease the shortage of formula that has forced parents of infants to go to significant lengths to feed their children.

Over the weekend, the White House offered formula manufacturers and retailers transportation and logistics support, and working with all major formula producers to boost production, including reaching out to their suppliers to encourage them to prioritize production and delivery of formula ingredients.

Deese said the administration “made clear to all of them that federal resources, including transportation and logistics resources, are available and on call and we are prepared to move assets in coordination with them as and when we identify need.”

The shortage stems from a February recall by Abbott, the nation’s largest formula maker, that shuttered the company’s Michigan plant and exacerbated ongoing supply chain disruptions among formula makers, leaving fewer options on stores shelves across much of the country. The shortage has led retailers like CVS and Target to limit how many containers customers can purchase per visit and forced some parents to swap and sell formula online.

On Monday, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that the federal agency is “working really closely with Abbott” to reopen the closed Michigan factory and he expects that “in a very short period of time we’re going to have an announcement about the path forward.”

Califf said an announcement is forthcoming about importing baby formula from abroad, noting that the key is making sure the instructions for the formula are in languages that mothers and caregivers can understand.

The FDA warned families against making their own baby formula because it has 30 distinct constituents that have to be in the right amount, otherwise the formula can possibly be dangerous to consume.

Abbott’s voluntary recall was triggered by four illnesses reported in babies who had consumed powdered formula from the Michigan plant. All four infants were hospitalized with a rare type of bacterial infection and two died.

Abbott is one of just four companies that produce roughly 90% of U.S. formula, so its shutdown squeezed already tight supplies.

After a six-week inspection, FDA investigators published a list of problems in March, including lax safety and sanitary standards and a history of bacterial contamination in several parts of the plant.

But Chicago-based Abbott has emphasized that its products have not been directly linked to the bacterial infections in children. Samples of the bacteria found at its plant did not match the strains collected from the babies by federal investigators. The company has repeatedly stated it is ready to resume manufacturing, pending an FDA decision.

The terms of the consent decree were not immediately clear, including what steps Abbott was taking to remediate issues raised by the FDA or how quickly production at the plant would be restarted.

Former FDA officials say fixing the type of problems uncovered at Abbott’s plant takes time, and infant formula facilities receive more scrutiny than other food facilities. Companies need to exhaustively clean the facility and equipment, retrain staff, repeatedly test and document there is no contamination.

Even if the facility reopens soon, the FDA will still face scrutiny for its handling of the issues at the plant.

FDA inspectors visited the factory in September for a routine inspection, around the time that the first bacterial infection was reported in an infant. Although inspectors uncovered several violations— including standing water and unsanitary conditions— the FDA did not shut down the plant or issue any formal warning.

Only after several more illnesses were reported did the FDA return to the plant in January, this time finding a history of bacterial contamination in several parts of the plant. Abbott then shut down the facility and recalled several powdered formulas in mid-February.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro reported last month that a whistleblower had contacted the FDA in October about unsafe conditions and practices at the plant, including falsifying plant records and failing to properly test formula for contamination.

She and other lawmakers are set to question FDA Commissioner Califf about that issue and others at a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Continue Reading

News

Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker

Published

on

Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker

When you start playing micro stakes poker, you may be wondering how to play this style of poker. Due to the increasing popularity of micro stakes poker, many of real money online casinos Canada are offering gamblers to play micro poker. However, without decent preparation there is nothing to do by the poker table. Luckily, in this article, we will discuss the best books which will help you learn the basics of micro stakes poker and thus, improve your micro stakes poker strategy.

Below are top 3 poker-related manuals which will help you to learn many things about micro stakes poker. Interested? Keep reading!

Crushing Low Stakes Poker: The Essential Guide to Dominating Low Stakes Sit ‘n Gos, Volume 1: Strategy

Books from the Crushing Low Stakes Poker series will help you to dive into the low stakes poker world, because they are mainly devoted to micro stakes poker, while Volume:1 Strategy part will cover the most essential points for any nowise gambler who desires to learn micro stakes poker strategy.

In this book you will find:

  • Essential information about bankroll management, tips on right table selection, odds guide;
  • Chapters dedicated to pre-flop and post-flop elements;
  • Explanation of various stages of micro stakes poker (push, bubble, different kinds of blinds, etc.);
  • Examples of the most helpful poker tools and websites.

As an addition, this book has various helpful push-fold charts, which are helpful for making your endgame more mathematically successful, and a series of poker-related videos and presentations.

Crushing Low Stakes Poker: The Essential Guide to Dominating Low Stakes Sit ‘n Gos, Volume 1: Strategy paperback version can be easily found on Amazon for a price starting from $8,00 and up.

Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master 6-Max No Limit Hold’em Micro Stakes Cash Games

Worth to say that this book is written by a poker-guru and a micro stakes poker enthusiast Alton Hardin, who is an ex-college professor and a practicing instructor at Alton Teaches LLC and MicroGrinder Poker School. Many of his manuals were well-praised by poker players and this one is not an exception!

The Master 6-Max No Limit Hold’em Micro Stakes Cash Games book was designed primarily for beginners or players who struggle with micro stakes cash games. It promises to teach anyone testified poker strategies through “tight-aggressive approach” and aims to pass the author’s year-long experience to newbie poker players.

The book can be downloaded or purchased as a paperback on Amazon for $14,49.

No Limit Hold’em – Beating the Micro Stakes: Crushing Micro Stakes & Small Stakes Poker

Dedicated to micro stakes No Lomit Hold’em, the No Limit Hold’em – Beating the Micro Stakes book guides the strategies for beating low micro stakes games. Moreover, it teaches essential practices for both online No Limit Hold’em or live low stakes games. This awesome manual contains numerous quizzes and answers with explanations on myriads of questions, which is helpful for memorization and repetition of information to better master the small stakes game.

Main topics covered in the book are:

  • Micro stakes-focused betting schemes;
  • Both player types and playing styles discussion;
  • Starting hands guide, which are particular to micro stakes games.

Paperback version of this book costs $23,27 on Amazon, or $9,95 for a Kindle version.

To Conclude

There are a lot of great books, videos and podcasts across the internet about the best poker online games to play and its varieties. Any beginner who desires to be successful in poker games must read, learn and listen to all guides as much as possible. The books in this article aren’t an exception, quite the contrary – read them and become a micro stakes poker professional!

The post Top 3 Books Under $30 To Master Micro Stakes Poker appeared first on AlphaNewsCall.

Continue Reading

Trending