A national laboratory supercomputer used to model neutron star collisions now is peering into inner space to explore potential vulnerabilities in COVID-19. The Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), described by officials there as the world’s most powerful and smartest, is matching small-molecule drug compounds against the coronavirus in the hope of blunting the virus’s activities on two fronts.
A movement is underway to inspire 3D printing or other additive manufacturing experts and hobbyists to produce N95-style masks, visors and other critical medical supplies across the United States and the globe.
The so-called Maker’s Mask is a mask created by Rory Larsen at the request of Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. Larsen created the mask from commercially available hobbyist-grade 3D printers and other common household materials. He intends to share his design freely and widely.
As people around the world practice self-isolation in an effort to reduce exposure and spreading of the COVID-19 virus, the need to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture arguably has never been higher. Millions of people have shifted their daily lives to an environment relying on telework, distance learning, Internet-enabled social engagement, streaming news and entertainment and other activities.
This “new normal” is facilitated by the robust capabilities of the Internet. Yet it presents a significant cyber risk. During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen bad actors stepping up their game with increased incidents of phishing, disinformation, watering hole attacks and other criminal activity.
Small business contractors working with the federal government are facing unique challenges as they try to fulfill their contractual obligations amid COVID-19 site shutdowns. Their problems range from workers compensation details to meeting contractual specifications when not allowed to work on government sites. These problems may just be the tip of the iceberg as the government moves forward in the post-COVID-19 era, experts say.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has sickened tens of thousands of Americans and killed hundreds, is testing the viability of the FirstNet network in ways never seen before. The exponential increase in the number of cases in the country is pulling in more and more emergency medical services personnel, police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials, often in more remote areas, who all need real-time data exchange, network connectivity and communication tools.
During a town hall on the response to COVID-19, leaders at the Pentagon stressed the importance of cybersecurity as more employees shift to telework. Along with personal hygiene, Daniel Walsh, acting director, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, asked Pentagon personnel to practice good cyber hygiene.
Essye Miller, principal deputy, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, echoed similar sentiments. “With the increased telework capability comes an increased attack surface for our adversaries. They are already taking advantage,” she said.
In response to the current outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and recent guidance by the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Army has modified exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 in size and scope. As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased, according to an Army announcement.