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Assistant Director of the Cyber Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Bryan Vorndran speaks at a hearing with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington on Nov. 16, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) Lawmakers say they have received scant information from the FBI about a recent ransomware investigation, with top bureau officials offering few answers about decisions that cost U.S. businesses millions of dollars and produced questionable results.
During a Nov. 16 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on ransomware, the FBI was questioned about its handling of the July attack against U.S. IT company Kaseya—in which hackers from the ransomware group REvil exploited a vulnerability in Kaseya software to exfiltrate the data of some 1,500 U.S. businesses, schools, hospitals, and other entities.
In September, it was revealed that the FBI had obtained a decryption key in July that would have allowed the hundreds of victim entities to retrieve their data, but agents withheld the key because they didn’t want to tip off REvil about a major law enforcement operation they were planning.
The FBI never had a chance to execute its planned operation against REvil, as the group went offline in late July.
The FBI has come under scrutiny from Congress over its handling of the failed operation, which is said to have cost businesses millions of dollars because of the costs associated with retrieving their data. Some entities rebuilt their systems or retrieved backup copies of their data, while others temporarily closed during the incident.
However, the FBI has apparently been tight-lipped about the matter with Congress.
At the Nov. 16 House Oversight and Reform Committee meeting on ransomware, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), the panel’s ranking Republican, criticized the bureau for its lack of transparency about the issue.
“In September, the chairwoman and I asked [FBI] Director [Christopher] Wray for a briefing on the FBI’s decisions. We never received that briefing,” Comer said, directing his ire toward Bryan Vorndran, the assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division. “Please relay to Director Wray that when the Oversight Committee requests a briefing, we expect a briefing.”
Comer questioned Vorndran […]
One Sick Day Proves We Need More Voices in Truthful Media
On October 19, I was sick. It crossed my mind that I had finally gotten the ‘rona, but my wife’s cream of chicken soup and a few extra hours of sleep into mid-afternoon had be back up and running after a sleepless night before.
When I finally stumbled over to my computer in the evening, I was met with a deluge of concern from readers. They asked what had happened as only one article had been posted that day. Generally, we post between 10-20 daily between all of the sites, not included curated and aggregated content. Seeing that we’d only posted my super-early morning article before taking the rest of the day off had readers assuming the worst.
We have a wonderful and talented group of writers who volunteer their time for the sites and their readers. Sharing their amazing perspectives has always been a blessing to us because we cannot afford to hire anyone at this time. But having great writers is meaningless if we don’t have great editors, or at least one additional. My wife helps me read and edit stories from time to time, but I’m a one-man show when it comes to getting the stories posted.
Whenever I highlight our desperate need for donations, I note that we do not receive money from Google ads even though most in conservative media are beholden. I often ambiguously note that the money donated will help us grow. Today, I’m highlighting a specific need. We must get an editor to help take some of the load and to expand on our mission of spreading the truth to the world. One sick day proved that.
The great news is that there is no shortage of people who CAN help. I am emailed variations of resumes every week by people who are much smarter than I am. As much as I’d love to hire some of them, we simply cannot. That takes money and as blessed as we’ve been to receive donations and collect ad money (though not from Google or Facebook), we have still fallen short.
Those who have the means, PLEASE consider donating. We have the standard Giving Fuel option and people can donate through PayPal. We are also diving into what we believe is extremely disruptive technology at LetsGo.finance, the world’s first major donation portal for crypto. I’ll be talking a lot more about them in the near future. Those who prefer Bitcoin can send to my address here: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
We can get the voices out there and we’re willing to shine a spotlight on new talent. We just need the resources to make it happen. If you can help, we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you and God bless!