Entries with tag us senate.

US Senate: Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Military Contractors’ Networks

Chinese government hackers repeatedly accessed websites belonging to US airlines and military contractors in a single year, according to a new report from the US Senate. At least 20 of the 50 successful attacks on military contractors were advanced persistent threats by hackers with Chinese government ties. The allegations were made and the findings recently released, although the investigation wrapped up in March. Those organizations responsible for moving troops and equipment were targeted; however, none of these transportation contractors was named. It was unclear whether any information was stolen. One incident involved a breach of a system on a commercial ship while, in another, malicious software was loaded on an airline’s computers. The US government report states officials were notified about only two of these incidents and additionally discovered there had been no sharing of information about them between agencies. Chinese government officials denied the allegations. Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, stated “Judging from past experience, those kinds of reports and allegations are usually based on fabricated facts and groundless.” China has previously accused the US of accessing its computer networks. The US report calls for new procedures for contractors in which they would report both suspicious activity and cyberattacks. As it stands, contractors must only report network-level intrusions. Lawmakers said it is unclear if hackers still have access to these networks. (BBC)(Bloomberg)


US Senate Passes Internet Tax Bill

By a vote of 69 to 27, the US Senate passed a bill that would enable sales taxes to be collected from Internet transactions, regardless of where in the United States the seller is based. The Marketplace Fairness Act, which received support from most Democrats and some Republicans, was opposed by hard-line conservatives, states without sales taxes, and antitax activists. The House of Representatives and President Barack Obama will have to approve the measure before it becomes law. Businesses with less than $1 million in online sales would be exempt. Currently, a state can require retailers to collect sales taxes only if it has a store or other physical presence in the state. This exempts Internet-only firms such as eBay and Amazon, which collect taxes only in states where they have offices or distribution centers. (SlashDot)(The Washington Post)(The Wall Street Journal) 

US Senate Blocks Cybersecurity Legislation

The US Senate failed to pass a bill designed to protect the United States from cyberattacks Thursday amid concerns from opponents. They said they were worried that bill could threaten personal privacy and create an additional layer of government bureaucracy. Of the 100 senators, only 52 of the 60 needed for passage voted for the bill. The bill was backed by President Barack Obama and national-defense officials, saying the legislation was needed to protect critical infrastructure. In a statement, the White House said this “comprehensive piece of cybersecurity legislation” failed as the result of “the politics of obstructionism, driven by special interest groups seeking to avoid accountability.” Observers expect the Senate to revisit the issue after its summer recess. (PhysOrg)(AFP)(Reuters)

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