U.S. and Britain jointly accuse Kremlin of massive cyberattack on millions of routers, internet providers
On Monday, the U.S. and British governments accused the Kremlin of conducting a huge cyberattack on routers and other internet hardware around the world, with the presumed aim being economic and political espionage and possibly sabotage. In a first-ever joint U.S.-British cybersecurity alert, the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the years-long campaign targeted millions of devices, primarily used by "government and private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure providers, and the internet service providers (ISPs) supporting these sectors."
"We have high confidence that Russia has carried out a coordinated campaign to compromise ... routers, residential and business — the things you and I have in our home," said Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator. Jeanette Manfra, the Homeland Security Department's chief cybersecurity official, added that the U.S. and Britain "condemn the actions and hold the Kremlin responsible for the malicious activities." The aim of the attack, which dates back at least to 2015, seems to be to "seize control" of internet infrastructure to intercept traffic moving through the routers of people and organizations, NCSC chief Ciaran Martin said. Australia also blamed the Kremlin on Monday for a cyberattack on hundreds of Australian companies in 2017.
The U.S. has become more aggressive in calling out Russia and other countries publicly for cyber-malfeasance, including a March 15 warning from the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) that Russian government "cyber actors" have tried to infiltrate U.S. agencies and companies that deal with power, water, aviation, and other critical sectors. But it isn't clear why the U.S. and Britain are issuing this new alert now, U.S. cybersecurity researcher Jake Williams tells The Associated Press. "Calling the Russians out on this hardly makes much sense unless there's some other agenda (most likely political)." Peter Weber
The Apprentice premiered on Jan. 8, 2004. On July 19, 2018, President Trump realized what the title of his show meant.
The realization hit Trump while at a White House jobs event Thursday, with Ivanka Trump in attendance. Trump told the audience that "23 companies and associations are pledging to expand apprenticeships," then paused for a beat. "That's an interesting word for me to be saying, right, The Apprentice?"
Okay, that's fine, Trump made a reference to a reality program he once hosted, not a big deal. But now that everything about the show and the board room and Omarosa and telling people "You're fired!" suddenly made sense, he kept going. "I never actually put that together until just now," Trump said. "That was a good experience, I will tell you that." Turning to his former co-star/daughter/senior adviser, he continued, "Isn't that strange, Ivanka? I never associated, but here we are, can't get away from that word. It's a great word." Watch the president connect the dots in the video below. Catherine Garcia
Trump goes on a tangent about his old TV show, 'The Apprentice' pic.twitter.com/ICsfHczZtw
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 19, 2018
President Trump started his Thursday off by tweeting his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday "was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media," a statement that CNN's Chris Cuomo called "ugly" and "unoriginal," but "most importantly...an admission that you hate your country."
The phrase "real enemy of the people" was used as an "operative threat to murder the opposition during the French Revolution," Cuomo said. Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong both used it, too, he said, adding, "America, the country you lead, was formed in defiance of strongmen, bullies, and the idea that might makes right. A free press is a metaphor for what makes America great, so you have now admitted that you are against what we are all about."
Cuomo isn't concerned over Trump's tweet, because he knows the media is not the enemy, and is "perhaps the best check against the abuse of power that can lead to a Stalin or a Mao." The person who should be worried is Trump, Cuomo said, because "do you really think the people will keep a president who hates what their country is all about?" Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
In an op-ed for The New York Times published Thursday night, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA officer, said he has seen Russian intelligence agents "manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."
When President Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday in Helsinki as he "spouted lies," it "confused many but should concern all Americans. By playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad."
It's up to lawmakers to "fulfill our oversight duty as well as keep the American people informed of the current danger," Hurd said, and he's been asked by constituents what Congress can do to protect Americans from Russian interference. Hurd said "if necessary," the U.S. should "send lethal weaponry to assist Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists," continue to enact sanctions, and fund intelligence agencies so they can have "the tools they need to confront Moscow and prevent this from happening in the future." Read Hurd's entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia
At least 11 people were killed Thursday near Branson, Missouri, when the duck boat they were on capsized, fire officials said.
There were 31 people on the tourist boat, which investigators said ended up sinking in the lake. "We did have a severe thunderstorm, not sure if that is the contributing factor," Southern Stone County Fire Protection spokesman Eric Nielsen said. "There is a lot of storm debris." Divers are in Table Rock Lake now searching for other possible victims. The boat was operated by Ride the Ducks Branson, and had recently been acquired by the company, CNN reports. Catherine Garcia
On Thursday, the Trump administration said it has reunited 364 of more than 2,500 migrant children ages five and older with their families, after they were separated from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The government has a court-ordered deadline of July 26 to reunite the children with their parents, and in a court filing, the Trump administration said of the 1,607 parents eligible for reunification, 719 have final orders of deportation. "That's a pretty horrifying statistic," Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center, told NBC News. "We have had such limited communication with parents it was difficult to know where they were in their case."
The parents will need to decide if they will take their children back with them to their native countries, or leave them in the care of the government or relatives in the United States so they can seek asylum. Catherine Garcia
When Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats laughed during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, staffers back at the White House groaned.
Coats was onstage with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, when she broke the news to him that the White House had announced the Trump administration invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington this fall. He chuckled, and revealed he knew nothing about this, adding, "That's going to be special." He also told Mitchell he would have advised President Trump not to meet with Putin in Helsinki on Monday, especially with only two interpreters in the room with them.
Trump advisers were "in an uproar," staffers told The Washington Post, with one senior official saying, "Coats has gone rogue." They are concerned that Trump will view the incident as Coats laughing at him in a public arena, and he'll feel betrayed, since he flattered Coats during an interview Wednesday with CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor.
One White House staffer told the Post Coats' comments could bother Trump more than the scandals that swirled around former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, but a senior intelligence official said Coats gets along fine with Trump, and they are in regular communication. "For someone in the White House to criticize Dan Coats for speaking truth to power is unfair," the official said. Catherine Garcia
Starbucks announced on Thursday it is opening its first cafe in the U.S. with employees who are partially or fully deaf and can communicate using American Sign Language.
The company is converting an existing Starbucks in Washington, D.C., into a Signing Store, set to open in October. Employees will wear aprons embroidered by deaf suppliers, and pins that say "I sign," USA Today reports. "The store will create a distinctive retail experience for all customers, while offering a unique store format that promotes accessibility and offers employment and career advancement opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people," Starbucks said in a statement.
Starbucks will hire 20 to 25 people who know ASL to staff the Signing Store. The company's first Signing Store opened in Malaysia in 2016. Catherine Garcia