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An industrial facility near the Houston Ship Channel, part of the Port of Houston. Photo: LOREN ELLIOTT/AFP via Getty Images

The Port of Houston, a critical port on the Gulf Coast, "successfully defended itself" against an attempted cyberattack last month, it said in a news release Thursday.

State of play: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly first told a Senate panel about the attack Thursday morning, adding that she believed a “nation-state actor” was behind it.

  • “We are working very closely with our interagency partners and the intelligence community to better understand this threat actor so that we can ensure that we are not only able to protect systems, but ultimately to be able to hold these actors accountable,” Easterly said.

The port said “no operational data or systems were impacted” in the attack.

Details: The hack involved the password management program ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus, according to AP. CISA along with the FBI and Coast Guard last week warned about a vulnerability in that system that cyber actors were likely to exploit.

Why it matters: Defending the U.S. against cyberattacks and cybercrime has been a key priority for the Biden administration.

Go deeper

Dec 16, 2021 - Health

Scoop: Prospect Medical seeks multiple buyers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Prospect Medical Holdings, after buying back Leonard Green & Partners' stake this summer, is seeking suitors for its West and East Coast assets, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: These assets come to market when buyers are eager to invest behind the health-care industry's transition to value- or risk-based care and some of these assets could provide an opportunity to do just that.

Scoop: Qatar emir to visit White House on Monday

The emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, leaves the White House after meeting President Trump in 2019. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The emir of Qatar will meet with President Biden at the White House on Monday to discuss Afghanistan as well as contingency plans to provide natural gas to Europe in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Europe's reliance on Russia for 40% of its natural gas is undermining Biden's attempts to coordinate "massive" sanctions to be imposed from both sides of the Atlantic if Russia invades. The White House wants Qatar to help ensure European countries can enforce tough sanctions without risking an energy crisis.

Biden: There won't be "American forces moving into Ukraine"

President Joe Biden told reporters Tuesday that he does not foresee U.S. troops moving into Ukraine.

Why it matters: Biden's comments come as tensions between Russia and Ukraine persist, and a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears increasingly likely.