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SolarWinds Attack Is the First Major Test for CISA Under Biden Administration (Opinion)

One of many.



Christopher Krebs was the first ever Director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the sub-division within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a result of his comments regarding the Security of the 2020 Election, he was fired in November.

The firing occurred just as President Trump’s legal team’s attempt to overturn the 2020 Election was just getting started. Despite Team Trump’s early efforts in collecting affidavits claiming fraud and playing the public relations game on political talk shows, a mid-November Joint statement from the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, contradicted the Rudy Giuliani led legal “Dream Team” in saying, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”

The statement also denied many of the fraud claims that had already begun to sprout up in the days following the election and declared in bold lettering that, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

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Krebs ousting also created speculation there more high-profile dismissals in the administration that were related to the election may be on the horizon. Among the others that were speculated to be in hot water were Trump’s 2nd and final Attorney General, Bill Barr, who would wind up resigning last month.

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Barr drew the ire of Trump supporters when the DOJ echoed the response coming from CISA, that there wasn’t evidence to back up the President’s claims of voter fraud. In an interview with the Associated Press, Barr claimed that Justice Department attorneys that assisted in the FBI investigation of the election had failed to see “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Since election day, the incoming Biden administration has dealt with roadblocks related to the transfer of power and the job of several agencies, including CISA, has been complicated by the confusion and disorder associated with the already contentious transition.

Krebs was replaced, at least on an interim basis by Brandon Wales. President Trump appointed Wales as Acting Director for CISA on November 17th, 2020. Wales was formally CISA’s first Executive Director, and previously served DHS from August 2017 to December 2019 as Senior Counselor to the Secretary for Cyber and Resilience and Director of the DHS Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA).

Perhaps the biggest issue facing CISA today is the fallout from the SolarWinds hacking attack that struck at least 2000 networks belonging to as many as 100 governmental and non-governmental agencies globally. The attack was discovered in the weeks following the firing of Krebs.

Thus far, government officials and other experts have pinned the attack on APT29 (Advanced Persistent Threat) which originated from Russia. The group is also known as Cozy Bear, Cozy Duke, and the Office Monkeys. The hackers used a new malware strain known as SUNBURST malware in the attack.

In an interview last week with website cyberscoop, CISA’s Wales said, “The number [of federal victims] is likely to grow with further investigation.”

So far, we know that the departments of Commerce, Energy, and Justice were affected by the attack which is though to have began in March of 2020. The attack, and the response to it will likely help to shape the early foreign policy of the Biden administration.  

CISA will be playing an important role in helping civilian agencies better secure their networks in the aftermath of the SolarWinds attack. The National Defense Authorization Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, gives CISA new and increased authority to proactively hunt for vulnerabilities and breaches on other government agencies’ networks.

Wales has also said that CISA has identified “where we think that the fundamental structure” of data protection on civilian and federal networks needs to “evolve.” That includes adaptation in how CISA draws on IT security services to defend networks.

Whether or not Wales will be allowed to continue his early and valuable work remains to be seen. He may stay in what would be a early showing of goodwill towards a solid employee of DHS that has a respectable track record, or he may wind up being one of many casualties of a new administration whose political party has shown a propensity to attack anyone appointed or associated with the Trump administration. Time will tell.

Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by websites including The Hill, Newsmax, The Washington Times, Real Clear Politics, Townhall, American Thinker and many others.


Hunter Biden’s Art Dealer Had Grand Chinese Ambitions in 2015

This certainly raises a few new questions…



Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has been heavily criticized in recent weeks, as he begins to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of art to anonymous buyers around the world. As one can imagine, the idea that such vast amounts of money are pouring into the First Family without any transparency has led to concerns about foreign interests gaining a foothold in the White House via untraceable transactions. New reporting regarding Hunter Biden’s art dealer is now exacerbating those worries. The art dealer representing the president’s son has longstanding ties to China and said in 2015 that he wanted to be the art world’s “lead guy in China.” Georges Berges, who is representing Hunter Biden as he ventures into the art world, has talked about his business dealings in China in the past, but his reported ties could pose an ethics issue as he sells Biden’s art to anonymous buyers. Here is where it gets wild: Berges said in a 2015 interview with Resident that he wanted to be the art world’s leader in China. “My plan is to be the lead guy in China; the lead collector and art dealer discovering and nurturing talent from that region,” Berges said. “I plan to find and discover and bring to the rest of the world those I consider China’s next generation of modern artists.” He also said that that he believes “China’s economy is transforming the global economy and everything is changing because of a rising China,” and that he was fascinated by “cultural impact” China is “having on the world.” “Cultural power is real power. That is the reason America continues to be the capital of the world, because of its influence on culture for generations and on an unrivaled global level,” Berges also said. “And I…

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US Pop Star Offers to Pay Fines For Olympic Team Protesting Skimpy Outfits

The IOC wants the women to remain scantily clad, and this is undoubtedly on account of their incessant greed.



The Olympics may have built themselves as some sort of prestigious and untouchable global event in years past, but the last few decades have revealed just what a shady cash-grab the games have become. It all began in the 90’s when the financially-struggling Winter Olympics added snowboarding to the games, in a move that was blatantly meant to generate ad revenue from the emerging sport and its fans.  In this quest to cash in, the International Olympic Committee refused to allow any actual snowboarding organizations participate in the operations, which drove several of the world’s best to boycott.  This, in turn, completely ruined the concept that the gold medalists were truly the best in the world, and exposed the IOC as nothing more than a marketing firm. Now, in 2021, a number of female athletes are complaining that they are being forced to wear skimpier clothes than their male counterparts, (often in the same discipline), to which the IOC responded with a “be quiet and play” sort of attitude. Again, the skimpier outfits equate to more ratings, so Olympic organizers are refusing to make accommodations. This has led US pop star Pink to step up.  US pop star Pink has offered to pay the fines handed out to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team, after they wore shorts like their male counterparts instead of bikini bottoms. The team was fined 1,500 euros (£1,295) for “improper clothing” at the European Beach Handball Championships last week. “I’m very proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team for protesting sexist rules about their uniform,” tweeted the singer on Sunday. “Good on ya, ladies,” she added. “I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.” In doing so, the Olympics will get their coveted cash and these female athletes will be able to perform…

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