Today’s Pickup: Russians cybersecurity threat

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

In a major escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Russia, the Trump administration accused Russian-backed hackers of carrying out systematic operations to penetrate and sabotage power plants at will.

“We’re going to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behavior,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. At the same time, she left open the possibility of better U.S.-Russia cooperation, arguing that “if we can work together to combat world threats on things like North Korea, then we should.”

U.S. national security officials said the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies determined Russian intelligence and others were behind a broad range of related attacks starting at least a year ago. The targets of the attacks are facilities that hundreds of millions of Americans rely on every day.

The officials said the hackers chose their targets methodically, obtained access to computer systems, conducted “network reconnaissance” and then attempted to cover their tracks by deleting evidence of the intrusions.

“I’m as worried about cybersecurity as I am nuclear,” Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said following Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s comments that the he is “not confident” the federal government is doing enough. “I think we’re attacking it department-wide, but I’m not sure we’re attacking it government-wide,” said Simpson.

Did you know?

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on blockchain solutions is forecast to reach $2.1 billion in 2018, more than double the $945 million spent in 2017. In 2021 annual spending is expected to reach $9.7 billion, according to IDC Worldwide Semiannual Blockchain Spending Guide, 2017H1.


 “It you are not in the routing guide, you are not going to be offered spot.”

Doug Waggoner, CEO of Echo

In other news:

Chinese hackers hit U.S. firms linked to South China Sea dispute

Chinese hackers have launched a wave of attacks on mainly U.S. engineering and defense companies linked to the disputed South China Sea, the cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. said. (Bloomberg)

DHL steps back into U.S. package delivery in challenge to UPS, FedEx

DHL said Thursday it is launching a new same-day and next-day delivery service for online retailers in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. (WSJ)

Canadian national railway struggles to make on-time deliveries

Previous cost-cutting has left railroad short of capacity to serve customers shipping grain, oil and more. (WSJ)

Sierra Leone just ran the first blockchain-based election

The citizens of Sierra Leone went to the polls on March 7 but this time something was different: the country recorded votes at 70% of the polling to the blockchain, a first of its kind in actual practice. (TechCrunch)

Ex-president of Pilot Flying J objects to being labeled most guilty of $56.5M fraud scheme

Defense attorneys are crying foul over the pecking order in federal prosecutors’ court-ordered ranking of 17 former employees of the nation’s largest diesel fuel retailer by level of responsibility for a $56.5 million scheme to defraud truckers. (Knox News)

Final Thoughts

As ELD compliance in small fleets has steadily grown, capacity has left the tweener market: there are fewer and fewer trucks running illegally to cover the tweener lanes. An analyst at DAT confirmed to FreightWaves that tweener lanes are “seeing rapid inflation.” For dry van, Chicago to Atlanta (716 mi) is at $2.85 per mile; Chicago to New York City (807 mi) is at $3.23 per mile; Atlanta to Miami (664 mi) is at $2.66 per mile. The Houston to Midland, Texas lane, while not technically a tweener at 565 miles, is experiencing exceptionally dense flatbed traffic because of fracking activity in the Permian Basin and is running at $2.83 per mile. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.