I’ve known Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas since he was a federal prosecutor in the 90s and learned even his most important edicts are often understated. After he spent an hour answering questions from @USATODAY, I pored over the transcript for clues. And I found a good one.
@DHSgov Secy. Mayorkas said a lot of threats and issues keep him up at night, including ransomware. But he singled out a largely publicized cyberattack on a Florida water treatment plant in February as something “that should have gripped our entire country.”
The reason: the cyber intrusion wasn’t for profit like the Colonial Pipeline hack, but to tamper with the city water supply and potentially harm or even kill unwitting Americans.
Mayorkas said he has been talking up the Fla. incident as a “galvanizing force” for @DHSgov. I found that officials are terrified of a coming wave of cyberattacks that could go beyond shutting down elements of U.S. infrastructure – like water supplies and hospitals - for profit.
While the Oldsmar intrusion was NOT successful in harming or even killing Americans, the next cyberattack on the operational systems running practically everything in America these days COULD be.
I even found an overseas cybersecurity analyst who had a name for this emerging threat: Killware. Here’s a link to my story for @USATODAYDC about it: The next big cyberthreat isn't ransomware. It's killware. And it's just as bad as it sounds. usatoday.com/story/news/pol… via @usatoday

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More from @JoshMeyerDC

21 Jun
Epic story:
They joined the Wisconsin Proud Boys looking for brotherhood. They found racism, bullying and antisemitism. usatoday.com/story/news/nat… via @usatoday @willcarless @jaspercolt
Daniel Berry, along with a member of the Wisconsin Proud Boys and another former recruit, told USA TODAY the group is a den of racism and antisemitism.
Moving up within the group, they said, is dependent on sadistically bullying potential members and promoting white supremacist talking points.
Read 5 tweets
4 Jun
U.S. spymasters have warned for years, mostly in private, that one of the most critical components of their information-gathering effort – known in spy parlance as human intelligence or "humint" – has been decimated by Beijing’s aggressive efforts to shut down these networks.
The CIA also hasn’t devoted enough resources to rebuilding the networks by recruiting Chinese turncoats who can pry secrets from Communist Party officials, scientists and others, acc to intvws with current/former U.S. natsec officials, congressional testimony and other sources.
The result is that the nation’s premiere spy agency is all but flying blind when it comes to cracking one of the most confounding and urgent global security mysteries of our time – whether Covid-19 originated in the wild or from a Wuhan laboratory studying similar coronaviruses.
Read 6 tweets
11 Feb
Wow, @SethAbramson. No surprise you hate this @CJR/@lyzl profile of you but it’s bizarre that you’re dragging me (and my former employer Politico) into your Twitter beef over it when we have literally nothing to do with anything in it. But I’ll correct your many falsehoods here.1
2/As that four-year-old email you tweeted today indicates, I did appreciate your discussing with me some information you’d gathered – mostly from other peoples’ reporting, as you volunteered at the time – on various threads of the Trump-Russia investigation.
3/As our emails show, I shared even more info w/ you based on my own often exclusive actual reporting. But neither I nor Politico ever asked you to “exclusively” provide your research to us so we could use it “secretly” and w/out your name on the articles “even as a researcher.”
Read 9 tweets
7 Nov 19
Why were the nine Americans killed in an ambush south of the border this week, including three mothers and their children, casualties of the opioid crisis in America too? wapo.st/2JVsZTh
No one's sure why they were killed by Mexican organized crime gangsters, but authorities -- and @realDonaldTrump -- say they were caught in the crossfire of two warring drug cartels, one linked to the biggest, the Sinaloa cartel.
What Mexico's increasingly powerful transnational criminal organizations are battling over — and why gang warfare has reached record heights — is the opportunity to make huge amounts of money trafficking fentanyl and other synthetic opioids into the U.S.
Read 13 tweets
29 Aug 18
For more than seven years, @SenJohnMcCain and Vladimir Kara-Murz aka @vkaramurza had each other’s backs as each criticized Putin and what they saw as his autocratic tendencies in Russia. /1
Last April, a mutual friend brought Kara-Murza a personal message from McCain. The senator had been diagnosed nine months earlier with an aggressive form of brain tumor known as a glioblastoma and wanted the young Russian to be a pallbearer at his funeral. Would he agree? /2
“I was speechless and heartbroken, close to tears at that moment,” Kara-Murza told POLITICO today. “I said yes, of course, and that it would be the most heartbreaking honor that anyone could think of.” /3
Read 15 tweets
28 Jul 18
“She had tickets for stuff there,” the source added. “Movie nights, things like that.” Accused Russian agent met with suspected Kremlin spy who headed Russian "cultural center" in DC that's been a suspected Kremlin spy hub for many years. @POLITICO politi.co/2veJzFw
The state-run Russian Cultural Center in DC and parent org Rossotrudnichestvo also have come up in two separate ways in the Trump-Russia probes by Congress & Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including re: Michael Cohen's alleged mtg with Kremlin spooks in Prague (which he denies)
Mueller also has probed the Russian Cultural Center (aka Centre) as part of a reportedly broad inquiry into millions of dollars in payments involving the Russian embassy, former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak & several Moscow businessmen linked to Putin politi.co/2veJzFw
Read 9 tweets

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