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Critical Infrastructure News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously on Tuesday to finalize a $1.9 billion program to reimburse U.S. carriers for removing equipment from telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei and ZTE Corp.

Last year, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks - a declaration that barred U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. The FCC in December adopted rules requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei equipment to “rip and replace” that equipment.

Read more: Reuters

Thanks to our ever increasing reliance on the Internet, the amount of data online is skyrocketing. The global data volume is expected to grow sixfold from 2018 to 2025. It might seem like that information is swirling in the cloudy sky, but it’s stored in physical data centers.

Landon Marston, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech, recently noticed news articles addressing the growing energy requirements of the data center industry. As an expert in water resources engineering, he wondered how those energy requirements translated into water consumption. “We know data centers use a lot of energy, and energy uses a lot of water. So how much water is being used?” said Marston. “We suspected that there could be large impacts at a very local scale, but there hadn’t really been a spatially detailed analysis looking at the environmental impact of data centers.”

In a study recently published in Environmental Research Letters, Marston and colleagues attempted to map how and where data centers consume energy and water in the United States. The results showed that it takes a large amount of water to support the cloud and that the water often comes from water-stressed basins.

Read more: Eos

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A cyberespionage campaign blamed on China was more sweeping than previously known, with suspected state-backed hackers exploiting a device meant to boost internet security to penetrate the computers of critical U.S. entities.

The hack of Pulse Connect Secure networking devices came to light in April, but its scope is only now starting to become clear. The Associated Press has learned that the hackers targeted telecommunications giant Verizon and the country’s largest water agency. News broke earlier this month that the New York City subway system, the country’s largest, was also breached.

Security researchers say dozens of other high-value entities that have not yet been named were also targeted as part of the breach of Pulse Secure, which is used by many companies and governments for secure remote access to their networks.

Read more: AP News

Thousands of government, news and social media websites across the globe were coming back online Tuesday after getting hit by a widespread hour-long outage linked to U.S.-based cloud company Fastly Inc.

High traffic sites including Reddit, Amazon, CNN, Paypal, Spotify, Al Jazeera Media Network and the New York Times went down, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com. They came back up after outages that ranged from a few minutes to around an hour.

"Our global network is coming back online," Fastly said.

One of the world's most widely-used cloud-based content delivery network providers, the company earlier reported a disruption from a "service configuration" and did not explain.

"Incidents like this underline the fragility of the internet and its dependence on a patchwork of fragmented technology. Ironically, this also underlines its inherent strength and how quickly it can recover," Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight said.

"The fact that an outage like this can grab headlines around the world shows how rare it is."

Read more at Reuters

CISA, in coordination with the National Security Agency, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as part of the Enduring Security Framework (ESF)—a cross-sector, public-private working group—released a Potential Threat Vectors to 5G Infrastructure paper. This paper identifies and assesses risks and vulnerabilities introduced by 5G.

The ESF 5G Threat Model Working Panel, a subgroup within the ESF, examined three major threat vectors in 5G­—standards, the supply chain, and threats to systems architecture—to develop a summary and technical review of types of threats posed by 5G adoption in the United States and sample scenarios of 5G risks.

Read more: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency