Homeland Security

Facing Drought, Western States Seek to Deny Groundwater to Foreigners

BY: - March 15, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage of how communities across the West are grappling with drought that’s worsening because of climate change. Just off an arid stretch of highway in western Arizona, a Saudi dairy company pumps unrestricted amounts of groundwater from underneath its fields, uses it to grow thousands of acres of alfalfa and ships the bales of […]

China Owns Little US Farmland, But Many Lawmakers Are Worried

BY: - March 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly a third of states have laws prohibiting certain foreign businesses and governments from buying agricultural lands within their borders, and more states are looking to join them. The efforts in at least 11 states are pitched primarily by Republicans as another security front in the nation’s ongoing propaganda battles, primarily with China […]

Feds Push Local Election Officials to Boost Security Ahead of 2024

BY: - February 23, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some of the nation’s top cybersecurity leaders are warning state and local election officials of ongoing foreign and domestic national security threats to election systems, urging them to upgrade their defenses ahead of next year’s presidential election. At separate conferences this month, federal officials warned gatherings of the National Association of Secretaries […]

Governors’ TikTok Bans Make Sense, Cybersecurity Experts Say

BY: - December 21, 2022

At least 18 states, all led by Republican governors, have banned staffers’ use on government devices of the social media app TikTok over concerns about the possible security risks posed by the Chinese-owned company. They say the app can be used to collect data from users’ devices, which the Chinese government could then access. Some […]

Ransomware Attacks on Hospitals Put Patients at Risk

BY: - May 18, 2022

A University of Vermont Medical Center employee accidentally opened an emailed file from her homeowners association, which had been hacked, in October 2020. That one mistake eventually led to the University of Vermont Health Network, which includes the state’s largest hospital in Burlington, having to cancel surgeries, put off mammogram appointments and delay some cancer […]

Top State Stories 4/27

BY: - April 27, 2022

TX: US Supreme Court weighs Texas bid to block end to ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy dallasnews.com Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department sparred at the U.S. Supreme Court over the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy that keeps asylum-seeking migrants outside the United States. Texas and Missouri have twice stymied President Joe Biden’s attempts to […]

Russian Cyberattack Could Capitalize on Election Doubts

BY: - April 22, 2022

As the war in Ukraine continues, the United States is warning that Russia and aligned criminal groups may launch cyberattacks against critical American infrastructure, potentially including election systems ahead of November’s midterms. Election officials and cybersecurity experts worry that a disruption from Russia or other foreign actors may capitalize on plummeting confidence in election integrity […]

US Schools Prepare for Potential Cyberthreat from Russia

BY: - April 5, 2022

Alert to the heightened threat of Russian cyberattacks on U.S. targets after the invasion of Ukraine, Seattle Public Schools in the past several weeks has blocked web traffic from Russia, upgraded safety firewall services and hired an additional antivirus company. “The biggest problem is that schools are an easy target,” said April Mardock, the district’s […]

Ukraine War Puts US Cities, States on Cyber Alert

BY: - March 24, 2022

President Joe Biden this week urged U.S. companies to be on high alert because of “evolving intelligence” that Russia is exploring options for potential cyberattacks against critical infrastructure targets. Even before Biden’s warning, state and local governments were busy shoring up their cybersecurity in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the elevated threat […]

Small Cities Worry Cybersecurity Money Won’t Reach Them

BY: - January 20, 2022

The ransomware attack that struck Salem, New Hampshire, a little over a year ago forced the town to shut down its entire computer network—with chaotic consequences. Officials couldn’t process car registrations, and residents couldn’t pay taxes or water and sewer bills online. Workers couldn’t fully plan for the next year’s budget. Police and fire department […]

Top State Stories 1/5

BY: - January 5, 2022

CA: California lawmakers announce plan to hold gun makers liable for shootings latimes.com California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to target the gun industry through private lawsuits is coming together in California legislation that would allow gun violence survivors and other residents to sue firearm manufacturers and dealers. CO: Eviction cases in Colorado hit a pandemic high […]

Natural Disasters Can Set the Stage for Cyberattacks

BY: - October 25, 2021

An earthquake strikes a city in Indiana, causing chaos and destruction, sending emergency managers and first responders scrambling. Then the water system goes down, and everyone figures it’s because of the natural disaster. But it isn’t. It’s a ransomware attack by cybercriminals, who are taking advantage of the disruption to infiltrate the water system’s network. […]