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@fendifille via AP

The global ransomware attack showed that 1) U.S. defenses are relatively strong, and corporate investments in cybersecurity are worthwhile; and 2) a wide range of industries are still scarily vulnerable:

  • "Global alert to prepare for fresh cyber attacks," per the Financial Times (paywall): "Businesses must brace for further cyber attacks this week on a potentially 'significant scale,' British intelligence officials have warned, less than 48 hours after the debilitating WannaCry infection swept across the world."
  • "More than 200,000 computers in at least 150 countries have so far been infected. ... There is a high probability that Russian-language cybercriminals were behind the attack." (Bloomberg)
  • "Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith, in a blog post Sunday, said the attack is a 'wake-up call' for governments in the U.S. and elsewhere to stop stockpiling tools to exploit digital vulnerabilities."
  • "Tom Bossert, ... Trump's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, held emergency meetings with cabinet members Friday night and Saturday morning at the White House." (WSJ)

Go deeper

13 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.