Trump taping White House meetings — Snowden blames NSA for cyber attacks– US Intel & Global climate — NHS ignored clear warnings of cyberattack
President’s tweet suggests he had been secretly taping White House meetings, after the New York Times reported that he demanded ‘loyalty’ from Comey.
The mention of tapes will only fuel further comparisons to Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. Nixon infamously taped meetings in the Oval Office and recordings of those meetings led to his resignation from office.
Michael Beschloss, a leading presidential historian, said on Twitter on Friday: “Presidents are supposed to have stopped routinely taping visitors without their knowledge when Nixon’s taping system was revealed in 1973.”
Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said on Twitter: “Mr President, if there are ‘tapes’ relevant to the Comey firing, it’s because you made them and they should be provided to Congress.”
Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who in 2013 leaked details of America’s surveillance programs, has blamed the intelligence agency for not preventing the global cyber attack on Friday.
Hacking tools believed to belong to the US National Security Agency that were leaked online last month appear to be the root cause of the hack that crippled the NHS and spread across the world.
He said Congress should be asking the NSA if it is aware of any other software vulnerabilities that could be exploited in such a way.
“If [the NSA] had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they found it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened,” he added.
U.S. national security is being threatened by improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) and genome editing, as well as the impacts of climate change, overfishing, and biodiversity loss, concludes the latest edition of an annual report released today by the U.S. intelligence community. But the report tries to avoid the increasingly politicized fight over climate science—without denying the existence of global warming.
Dropping off the threat list from last year’s report are worries about gains in analyzing big data by other nations, as well as improvements in virtual reality. But new this year are concerns about the slowing pace of advances in the U.S. semiconductor industry and China’s continued efforts to grow their own computer chip capabilities.
The 2017 Worldwide Threat Assessment, delivered to Congress today by Daniel Coats, U.S. director of national intelligence, is a 32-page rundown of global and regional threats that the nation’s spy agencies believe demand attention from policymakers. Along with familiar warnings about terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and cyberattacks, the report flags a number of science-related issues.
On climate change, the intelligence agencies go out of their way to state that “we assess national security Implications of climate change but do not adjudicate the science of climate change.”
That’s a big change from last year’s blunt assertion that “human activities, such as the generation of greenhouse gas emissions and land use, have contributed to extreme weather events including more frequent and severe tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall, droughts, and heat waves.”
Many of the N.H.S. computers still run Windows XP, an out-of-date software that no longer gets security updates from its maker, Microsoft. A government contract with Microsoft to update the software for the N.H.S. expired two years ago.
“Historically, we’ve known that N.H.S. uses computers running old versions of Windows that Microsoft itself no longer supports and says is a security risk,” said Graham Cluley, a cybersecurity expert in Oxford, England. “And even on the newest computers, they would have needed to apply the patch released in March. Clearly that did not happen, or the malware wouldn’t have spread this fast.”
Several news reports have addressed the outdated systems of the N.H.S. that potentially left confidential patient data vulnerable to attack. Last November, Sky News did an investigation showing that units of the N.H.S., serving more than two million people, spent nothing on cybersecurity in 2015. Jennifer Arcuri, of Hacker House, which worked with Sky on the report, said then: “I would have to say that the security across the board was weak for many factors.”
INTEL TODAY DIARY — May 14 2017