Tag: federal

14
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

HCA Healthcare Returning $6 Billion In Federal Coronavirus Aid

It’s rare when a company returns federal money. It’s rarer still when that money amounts to billions of dollars. Yet that’s the situation with top U.S. hospital operator HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA), which aims to return gobs of government largesse from whence it came.

All told, HCA announced that it’s planning to return roughly $6 billion, $1.6 billion of which consists of federal COVID-19 grants and $4.4 billion in Medicare loans. Both were provided as part of the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed in the early stages of the current pandemic.

HCA benefited from the loans and grants bestowed upon operators of healthcare facilities to help keep them afloat.

The company will pay those funds back because it continues to thrive, even though many elective surgeries have been postponed or canceled in the face of the coronavirus.

Last week HCA published a “preview” of its Q3 of fiscal 2020 results, indicating year-over-year revenue growth approaching 5%, to an estimated $13.3 billion. It is also projecting only a relatively modest drop in profitability, with non-GAAP (adjusted) EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — sliding to around $2.03 billion from the year-ago result of almost $2.29 billion.

“During the early days of the pandemic, the Company took a conservative approach which included a number of actions to meet the operational and financial challenges this global health crisis was expected to present,” HCA explained in the press release heralding the preliminary Q3 figures.

The company did not provide a timetable as to when it would repay the federal grants and loans.

Tuesday was a good day for HCA stock; it rose by almost 2.1%, against the 0.6% drop of the S&P 500 index.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Eric Volkman has no position

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Russian state hackers appear to have breached a federal agency



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 01: In this photo illustration artwork found on the Internet showing Fancy Bear is seen on the computer of the photographer during a session in the plenary hall of the Bundestag, the German parliament, on March 1, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. German authorities announced yesterday that administrative computers of the German government, including those of government ministries and parliament, had been infiltrated with malware. Authorities said they suspect the Russian hacker group APT28, also known as Fancy Bear. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


BERLIN, GERMANY – MARCH 01: In this photo illustration artwork found on the Internet showing Fancy Bear is seen on the computer of the photographer during a session in the plenary hall of the Bundestag, the German parliament, on March 1, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. German authorities announced yesterday that administrative computers of the German government, including those of government ministries and parliament, had been infiltrated with malware. Authorities said they suspect the Russian hacker group APT28, also known as Fancy Bear. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Russia’s 2020 hacking campaigns might have included a successful data breach at the US government. In the wake of a CISA notice warning of a cyberattack on an unnamed federal agency’s network, Wired and security company Dragos have obtained evidence suggesting Russia’s state-backed APT28 group, better known as Fancy Bear, was behind the hack.

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The FBI reportedly sent alerts to some hacking victims in May warning that Fancy Bear was widely targeting US networks, including an IP address mentioned in the recent cyberattack notice. There was also “infrastructure overlap” and behavior patterns pointing to the Russian group, Dragos’ Joe Slowik said. Some of the IP addresses match criminal operations, but Slowik believed Fancy Bear might be reusing criminal tech to help cover its trail.

Security expert Costin Raiu added that an apparent copy of the malware uploaded to a research reposityory also appeared to be a unique combination of existing hacking tools that had no obvious connections to known hacking teams. While that doesn’t definitively link the malware to Fancy Bear, it suggests the attack was relatively sophisticated.

The intruders used compromised logins to plant malware and get “persistent” access to systems on the agency’s network, using that to steal files.

US officials haven’t responded to requests for comment.

While it