May 30, 2020

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20 Top Hackers- the Good & the Bad

top hackers

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These 20 “hackers” helped shape the cybersecurity landscape forever, Forbes names them, the good and the bad.

Amazon Web Services has asked the Court of Federal Claims to depose President Donald Trump in Amazon’s protest against the DoD awarding the JEDI cloud infrastructure contract to Microsoft, reports Washington Technology. Among sources AWS wants to depose are DefSec Mark Esper and former DefSec James Mattis.

The global aerospace and defense dealing was strong in 2019, according to PwC’s year-end review, but heavily reliant upon the UTC/Raytheon transaction announced in the second quarter. More telling of the state of the aerospace and defense industries in 2019, was in its transaction volumes, which fell just short of 2018, but exceeded the industry’s 10-year average.

The White House’s $4.8 trillion FY21 budget plan sent to Congress holds the defense budget flat but increases Homeland Security spending and ups the NASA budget by 12% with the goal of putting astronauts back on the Moon. The administration’s budget cuts from Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Community Block Grants, and housing programs, provide a stark contrast with Trump’s rivals vying in the Democratic primaries, reports The Washington Post.

The Pentagon budget also includes $69 billion in overseas wartime funds and another 3% pay hike for service members. If passed, reports Military Times, the budget would increase average annual compensation for enlisted personnel to more than $63,000 and to nearly $116,000 for officers, factoring stipends and allowances. On Jan. 1, 2020, military members saw their pay increase by 3.1%, the largest hike since 2010.

The Pentagon, in the second year of a two-year budget deal, is capped at a $740.5 billion FY21 budget, a 3 percent decrease from FY20, when adjusted for inflation, reports Defense News. To address “important priorities,” Esper moves $5.7 billion from non-military services in building the FY21 defense budget. The new Space Force requests $15.4 billion for FY21, reports Defense News, seeking $2.5 billion for operations and maintenance, $10.3 billion for research and development, and $2.4 billion for procurement.

Next year’s order of two dozen F/A-18E/F Super Hornets will be the Navy’s last, based upon its FY21 budget plan to accelerate development of a future carrier-based fighter program, reports USNI News. In March 2019, Boeing won a $4 billion, multi-year contract for 78 Super Hornets through FY2021.

The DoD budget continues to reduce the size of the military health system which includes moving roughly 8 million non-uniformed beneficiaries’ health care from civilian federal employees to contract care or in the community health services via Tricare, reports Military Times.



The newspaper Stars and Stripes is among the cuts in the DoD FY21 budget proposal. The $7 million from the Pentagon is about 35% of the editorially independent news organization’s budget and covers the sometimes dangerous task of overseas reporting and distribution, Stars and Stripes explains. Sales, subscriptions and advertising cover the rest of the budget. Stars and Stripes first appeared during the Civil War, and has published a newspaper for American troops continuously since World War II. Congress has mandated the organization provide objective, free-press news coverage to troops, especially service members deployed overseas and in war zones. Previous attempts to cut the Stars and Stripes subsidy have been met with opposition in Congress.

The Navy is pouring money into its manpower budget as the number of unfilled billets on ships has swollen to 9,000 — up 2,750 from last year, reports Defense News. In total, the Navy wants to add 7,300 sailors to the service’s total authorized active duty end strength to fill empty racks and ease staffing troubles that have bedeviled officials trying to implement the Navy’s force generation plan.

The Army added 5,000 to its end-strength goal for FY2020, reaching 485,000 active duty troops, reports Army Times. The updated goal  comes on the heels of a good recruiting and retention year, ending with an end-strength of almost 484,000 active duty soldiers, 5,000 more than the service originally planned. The end-strength goal for FY21 is 486,000, minus about 100 soldiers transferring to the new Space Force.

Army scientists are testing ways to heat soldiers’ arms to keep their hands warm without gloves and their fingers dexterous, reports Army Times. There are some steps forward, but soldiers are advised not to toss out their mittens yet.

Maryland will immediately begin enforcement of a new federal ban on flavored e-cigarette cartridges, other than regular or menthol, reports Maryland Matters.  Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot called the move a first-in-the-nation step toward blunting a growing tide of tobacco use by young people.

Marianne Williamson, the author and former presidential candidate, endorses the longshot candidate challenging Congressman Steny H. Hoyer in the April 28 Democratic primary, reports Maryland Matters.


Tekla Research Inc., Fredericksburg, Virginia, is awarded an $82,999,168 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides test and evaluation engineering, prototyping, and integration of warfare systems into Navy aircraft and aviation systems. In addition, this contract provides developmental test and evaluation of lab, ground, and flight-testing of newly installed or developmental systems and/or modifications to fleet-deployed systems as well as data gathering to support potentially new systems, improve existing systems, and experimentation and testing of prototypes. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (96.5%); China Lake, California (1%); Point Mugu, California (1%); Norfolk, Virginia (1%); and Lakehurst, New Jersey (0.5%), and is expected to be completed in March 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was a small business set-aside, competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; two offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-20-D-0024).

Great Lakes Dredge & Deck Co. LLC, Old Brook, Illinois, was awarded a $17,573,575 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging of Baltimore Harbor and York Spit Channel, Chesapeake. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Chesapeake, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 9, 2020. Fiscal 2020 cost-share and civil operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $17,573,575 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-20-C-0006).

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