President Joe Biden says a worldwide ransomware attack conducted by Russian-linked hackers Friday has not threatened critical infrastructure in the U.S, but targeted a Florida based software company Kaseya for $70 million. The Pentagon canceled a $10 billion contract with Microsoft meant to modernize the military's cloud-computing systems.
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The death toll has now risen to 36 in the collapse of a condominium tower in Surfside, Florida. Search teams recovered eight more bodies at the rubble pile early today, 109 people still missing.
This was day 13 of the digging operation, but with no new signs of life, officials said relatives of the missing are bracing for the worst.
Daniella Levine Cava:
For the family members who are waiting and waiting, excruciatingly waiting for information, they know what is happening. They understand that the news of their loved ones may be tragic loss.
The search teams paused their work for two hours early today, due to lightning and high winds along the fringe of Tropical Storm Elsa.
We will return to this story later in the program.
That storm churned past South Florida today, heading for the state's western coast. Heavy rain and winds of 60 miles an hour lashed the Florida Keys during the day. Later, the storm regained some strength as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico. Elsa is on track to make landfall tomorrow between Tampa Bay and Florida's Big Bend area.
In Japan, rescue workers in the city of Atami found more victims of last Saturday's mudslide, bringing the death toll there to seven. At least two dozen people are still missing. Emergency crews and soldiers continued today to dig through the sludge and debris. But rain threatened to touch off new slides.
American officials from President Biden on down say that a worldwide ransomware attack has left the U.S. largely unscathed. On Friday, Russian-linked hackers targeted the software company Kaseya, based in Florida, and demanded $70 million.
The president addressed the attack today at a White House event.
Pres. Joe Biden:
I received an update from my national security team this morning. It appears to have caused minimal damage to U.S. businesses, but we're still gathering information to the full extent of the attack. And I'm going to have more to say about this in the next several days. We're getting more detailed information.
At a summit last month, President Biden pressed Russia's President Vladimir Putin to act against Russian cyber-gangs.
There's also word that hackers working with the Russian government breached computer systems at the Republican National Committee last week. Bloomberg News and The Washington Post report it's the same group accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016. The RNC denied that any data was stolen.
The Pentagon today canceled a $10 billion contract with Microsoft to modernize the military's cloud computing systems. Instead, it will solicit new bids. Amazon had alleged that President Trump intervened to deny it the contract in 2019. It cited his antagonism toward Jeff Bezos, who was then Amazon's CEO and also owns The Washington Post.
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the faculty of Howard University in Washington, D.C., after a highly publicized tenure fight at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She announced it today, and she said that conservative critics of her reporting on slavery's legacy pushed UNC trustees to halt her tenure approval initially. They then voted to grant it after weeks of protests.
Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her work.
And on Wall Street, oil prices fell back, pulling down most of the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 209 points to close at 34577. The Nasdaq rose 24 points. The S&P 500 slipped eight.