FBI Issues PSA on Cyber Threats due to COVID-19

According to a Public Service Announcement (PSA) by the FBI, cyber threat actors are attempting to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by exploiting virtual environments.

“As of March 30, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received and reviewed more than 1,200 complaints related to COVID-19 scams,” the PSA said.

The FBI states that cyber actors have been engaging in phishing campaigns, launching distributed denial of service attacks, deploying ransomware, and creating fake COVID-19 websites that download malware onto devices.

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The law enforcement agency provided tips to avoid being victims of these threat actors including using trusted and reputable telework software, monitoring children’s use of devices and online services, and verifying the email address used to send emails, among other safety tactics.

Fed CTO Gives Update on COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium

Federal Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios gave an update today on the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. The consortium, a public-private partnership between tech companies, universities, and Federal agencies, is intended to “rapidly advance coronavirus vaccine and therapeutic research by harnessing the power of supercomputers.”

Kratsios noted that since President Trump announced the consortium late last month, 15 research proposals have been matched with computer power and resources. With seven of those projects being added on April 2. The consortium has launched a website that provides continuous updates on active research projects.

The consortium has also added three new members – AMD, NVIDIA, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) – who will contribute computing resources. In a tweet, Krastios said that consortium had more than 402 petaflops, 105,000+ knodes, 3.5 million CPU cores, and more than 41,000 GPUs.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.