Connect with us

Artificial Intelligence

The Pentagon is requesting $14.5 billion for cybersecurity expenses, which includes implementing a zero trust approach

blank

Published

on

blank

The U.S. Department of Defense is requesting $14.5 billion for its efforts in cyberspace, which involve protecting information networks through zero-trust strategies, expanding its workforce, and exploring advanced computers.

The fiscal 2025 budget request revealed on March 11 exceeds the Biden administration’s prior request by almost $1 billion. In fiscal 2023, it requested $11.2 billion, which is now higher.

The department is focusing on cyber-related matters because of the escalating digital competition with Russia and China. All three major world powers are renowned for their extensive virtual weapons stockpiles and their inclination to investigate and test boundaries without inciting armed confrontation.

The senior defense official at the Pentagon informed reporters that the FY25 cyber activity budget prioritizes investments in three portfolios: cybersecurity, cyberspace operations, and cyber research and development. “Cyber capabilities will remain an essential element of our national defense and will be a top priority in our budget.”

According to the Government Accountability Office, the Defense Department has experienced over 12,000 cyber incidents since 2015, with the number decreasing annually since 2017. Foreign hackers who want to steal their intellectual property target defense contractors.

The department is implementing a zero-trust approach to enhance the security of its sensitive information. The zero-trust cybersecurity paradigm operates under the assumption that networks are constantly at risk or have already been infiltrated, necessitating continuous verification of devices, users, and their virtual access.

The fiscal plan for 2025 designates a little over $977 million for the zero-trust transition. The budget includes about $300 million for updated identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) to customize available information for individuals and monitor their activities.

The senior official stated that the cybersecurity budget request enhances the department’s cyber posture by allocating funds for the creation and upgrading of cybersecurity tools and capabilities. Additionally, it increases investment in zero-trust technology to assure the entire security and protection of the department’s assets.

By 2027, the department must establish a foundational level of zero trust. Further safeguards, known as advanced zero trust, are necessary in the future. Cybersecurity experts have previously stated that meeting the approaching deadlines will be difficult.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence

AT&T reports to regulatory authorities following a compromise of customer data

blank

Published

on

blank

AT&T has commenced the process of informing U.S. state authorities and regulators about a security breach. They have confirmed the authenticity of the millions of customer records that were recently exposed online.

As part of a mandatory submission to the attorney general’s office in Maine, the telecommunications behemoth of the United States disclosed that it dispatched letters to alert over 51 million people of the compromise of their personal data in a security breach. This includes over 90,000 people residing in Maine. AT&T has also informed the attorney general of California about the hack.

AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the United States, stated that the compromised data consisted of users’ complete name, email address, physical address, date of birth, phone number, and Social Security number.

The client information that was leaked dates back to mid-2019 and prior. AT&T has reported that the databases included accurate information about over 7.9 million of their existing customers.

AT&T responded around three years after a portion of the disclosed data initially surfaced on the internet, hindering any substantial examination of the data. Last month, the entire collection of 73 million leaked customer records was released online, enabling users to authenticate the authenticity of their data. Several of the records contained duplicate entries.

The disclosed data also contained encrypted account passcodes, which grant entry to consumer accounts.

Shortly after the complete information was made public, a security researcher informed us that the encrypted passcodes discovered in the leaked data were easily interpretable. AT&T changed the account passcodes after being informed on March 26 about the potential danger to users. It delayed publishing its article until AT&T finished resetting the passcodes of customers who were affected.

AT&T ultimately admitted that the compromised data pertains to their clientele, encompassing around 65 million individuals who were previously customers.

Under state data breach notification rules, companies are obligated to disclose incidents of data breaches that impact a significant number of individuals to U.S. attorneys general. AT&T has stated in its official notifications submitted in Maine and California that it is providing affected customers with identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.

AT&T has yet to determine the origin of the leak.

Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence

Multiverse, the unicorn specializing in apprenticeships, acquires Searchlight with the intention of prioritizing artificial intelligence (AI)

blank

Published

on

blank

Multiverse is a unicorn company in the UK that helps people learn technology skills while they’re working. To improve its own skills, it has bought another company. The company acquired Searchlight, a startup that creates AI-based hiring and testing tools. Searchlight’s technology will be used to make new AI products for Multiverse so that it can offer more training services for businesses.

“Searchlight’s AI, platform, and exceptional talent will allow us to better diagnose the skills companies need and deliver impactful solutions,” said Euan Blair, founder and CEO of Multiverse. “Searchlight’s technology and team, along with our size and world-class learning, will help even more businesses and people.”

Kerry and Anna Wang, twin sisters, helped start Searchlight. Kerry is CEO, and Anna is CTO. Udemy, Zapier, Talkdesk, and other tech companies are already its customers, and Kerry said that they will continue to be treated until the end of their contracts. After that, Multiverse will stop using Searchlight’s job-seeking services so that it can focus on its own business.

The deal shows that AI is becoming more important for startups that work in both the work and school worlds. Some people use AI to get things done faster, while others say AI is taking over whole jobs. This purchase is related to another use of AI: edtech companies that focus on working situations want to use AI to make their professional training services more efficient so they can hire more people when positions open up. Their customers expect them to do so.

AI and hiring people have sometimes gone together in strange ways. Amazon famously had to get rid of an AI recruitment tool because it was naturally biased against women for technical jobs. This was because it was trained on typical recruitment data from men.

Searchlight’s CEO said that technology has come a long way since then, and people are more aware of how models are built and taught.

Wang said, “Our AI model can find a good fit for a role four times faster than a traditional interview.” She said that Searchlight was one of the first companies in the world to have its own AI models checked by a third party to make sure that the talent suggestions they made were fair. “We’re all trying to solve the same problem, which is making sure that everyone has equal access to economic opportunities.” Multiverse had a great business, but they want to grow into a platform for developing the whole workforce. Anna will be in charge of AI at Multiverse, and Kerry will be in charge of products.

Another thing you could think about is what role AI should play in learning and whether some of its effects are worse than good. Some people worry that if students rely too much on generative AI, it will be harder to tell what they are really learning. For example, students might use it to write articles or take tests. But in supplemental training settings, it can help tailor learning to each person’s needs on a large scale, and for some students, it can be more fun and interesting than more standard learning.

Blair started and runs Multiverse. Blair is the son of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and famous barrister Cherie Booth Blair. The company has about 1,000 customers right now, including Cisco, government agencies, financial services companies, and oil and gas companies.

Multiverse first became known for apprenticeships as an option for people wanting to work in areas that change quickly, like technology. Since then, it has grown to include professional training for people who already have jobs.

Ujjwal Singh, the CTO and CPO of Multiverse, said that the company already has some AI-based services live. For example, it has a personalized AI assistant guide for users. Now it’s clear that it wants to keep adding more technology to the platform to make it better overall and build trust with customers who want to buy and use more modern services.

The deal’s terms are not being made public, but to give you an idea, the Wang sisters, who are both impressive and successful Stanford graduates, took their business through Y Combinator in 2018. But in times like these, those calling cards aren’t the only thing that determines which startups do well and which don’t.

Searchlight raised almost $20 million all together, mostly through a fundraiser from a few years ago and a $17 million Series A round in 2021. Accel, Founders Fund, Emerson Collective, and Shasta Ventures were just a few of the well-known backers on its long list. Pitchbook thought it was worth $64 million in 2021.

Multiverse, on the other hand, was last worth $1.7 billion in 2022. It has been raising money like crazy over the last few years, getting several hundred million dollars from backers like General Catalyst and Lightspeed. The first company the company bought was Eduflow, which was also a YC company. When I asked Singh how the startup would pay for this round and if it was in the process of raising more money, he said that it still had “plenty” of cash.

We think that buyers are “happy” with how things turned out. “From the beginning, Anna and Kerry have thought carefully about how to build Searchlight’s AI models to fit with their vision,” Keith Rabois, who led the Series A, told in a statement. Innovative businesses like Multiverse are drawn to Searchlight’s unique technology. What’s good about this deal for Searchlight and Multiverse? It makes me happy.

Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence

A government consultancy firm experienced a security breach in which hackers obtained unauthorized access and stole 340,000 Social Security numbers

blank

Published

on

blank

Greylock McKinnon Associates (GMA), a consulting business based in the United States, has revealed a data breach in which cybercriminals successfully obtained up to 341,650 Social Security numbers.

The disclosure of the data breach occurred on Friday through the official government website of Maine, which is used to publish alerts on data breaches.

GMA, in its notification of a data breach issued by mail to impacted individuals, disclosed that it had an unidentified cyberattack in May 2023 and swiftly implemented measures to address the situation.

GMA offers economic and litigation assistance to companies and U.S. government entities, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, in the pursuit of civil litigation. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) acquired the personal information of the individuals impacted by the data breach in connection with a civil action case that GMA supported.

The motives and objectives of the Department of Justice’s civil litigation are undisclosed. No response was received from a spokeswoman for the Justice Department in regards to a request for comment.

GMA clarified that the individuals who were informed of the data breach are not the focus of the investigation or the related legal matters. Additionally, the cyberattack does not have any effect on your existing Medicare benefits or coverage.

We sought guidance from external cybersecurity experts to aid us in addressing the situation, and we promptly informed law enforcement and the Department of Justice. The firm stated that on February 7, 2024, they received confirmation of the individuals whose information was impacted and acquired their contact addresses.

GMA informed the victims that their personal and Medicare information was probably compromised in this incident. This includes their names, dates of birth, home address, certain medical details, and health insurance information, as well as Medicare claim numbers, which also contained their Social Security numbers.

The reason for GMA taking nine months to ascertain the full scope of the breach and inform the affected individuals remains uncertain.

GMA, as well as the company’s external legal advisor, Linn Freedman from Robinson & Cole LLP, did not promptly reply to a comment request.

 

Continue Reading

Trending