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Archive for April 20th, 2020

Fourth TSA Agent Dies from Coronavirus. Nearly 450 Others Have Tested Positive.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A customs agent at Miami International Airport has become the fourth TSA employee to die from the coronavirus.

Victor Chung, who had worked at the TSA for 17 years, died Sunday.

Nearly 450 TSA employees, including screeners and nonscreeners, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency. So far, 79 of them have recovered.

The screeners worked at more than two dozens airports across the country. At John F. Kennedy International, where 185 TSA employees have tested positive, has been hit the hardest. At Newark Liberty International, 88 TSA workers have confirmed infections. More than 50 TSA workers from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International have tested positive.

TSA workers, especially screeners, are especially vulnerable because they have a lot of contact with the public.

FBI Warns that Foreign Hackers Are Targeting COVID-19 Research Institutions

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A top FBI official said Thursday that foreign state-sponsored hackers have broken into COVID-19 research institutions.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Tonya Ugoretz revealed the news during an online panel discussion hosted by the international think tank Aspen Institute, Reuters reports.

“We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity, and some intrusions, into some of those institutions, especially those that have publicly identified themselves as working on COVID-related research,” Ugoretz said.

Organizations that have publicly unveil their research efforts “make them a mark for other nation-states that are interested in gleaning details about what exactly they’re doing and maybe even stealing proprietary information that those institutions have,” Ugortez said.

While it’s not unusual for foreign state-backed hackers to target the biopharmaceutical industry, the cyber invasions are “certainly heightened during the crisis.”