Monday, December 11, 2023

Short Takes – 12-11-23

Threat actors launched a cyberattack on an Irish water utility causing the interruption of the power supply for two days. article. Pull quote: ““Irish Water would probably have far greater resources for firewalls to withstand this but they knocked ours off and we could not circumvent it. It took all day Friday to circumvent it so we could let the water flow manually,” he [Mr Walsh, water system employee] added.”

Congress stares down hefty to-do list in its final week of 2023. article. Pull quote: “Toward the top of that list for the Senate is striking a deal on border security and sending more aid to Ukraine, which the White House and lawmakers in both parties have underscored as a pressing need as the year closes out. That goal will come under acute focus this week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visiting Capitol Hill, giving him an opportunity to ask lawmakers for more support directly as Kyiv battles against Russia.”

Former Mideast commander calls on Biden to respond to Houthi attacks. article. Pull quote: ““We’re not in an armed conflict with the Houthis,” [Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina] Singh said, noting that Austin sent two carrier strike groups and other weapons to the region after Oct. 7 to deter further violence after the Hamas attack in Israel. “We do not want to see this war or a war widen into a regional conflict, and we will continue to respond, should our commanders of our ships feel the need to in self-defense.””

Commerce Needs Cash to Curb China’s Chips. article. Pull quote: “Republican lawmakers have an answer: Reform first, and then they’ll talk money. “Resources alone will not address the shortcomings in our export control regime,” three top Republican lawmakers, Reps. Michael McCaul, Elise Stefanik, and Mike Gallagher, said in a statement. “Any conversation about additional resources must be matched with actions that demonstrate BIS [Bureau of Industry and Security] is being reformed into a true national security agency that will do what needs to be done to counter China and other adversaries.””

The Vaginal Microbiome May Affect Health More than We Thought. article. Pull quote: “Although the new study was able to identify different strains of bacteria in the vagina more precisely, Cohen says that researchers now need to unpack whether these strain combinations matter to health. “It’s going to take a lot more work to understand the interactions of the microbial and the human metagenome and its effect on health and well-being.””

The Long Goodbye: Why Laid-Off Employees Are Still on the Job. article. Pull quote: “While longer notice periods involve risks, including security issues or unmotivated people who don’t want to work during that time, Bender said the company let employees know that performance issues could still result in corrective action, including termination for cause. That meant, she added, that it wasn’t much of an issue.”

Bob Good elected Freedom Caucus chair amid internal drama. article. Pull quote: ““I think the real opportunity for us is to be more persuasive with our colleagues, to understand why we have the positions we have,” Davidson said. “They’ll inherently agree with us on some positions. But I think sometimes, you know, we should do more to make sure people understand that there’s merit behind the positions that the group has taken.””

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