Quick Hits

*** The SolarWinds supply chain hack is still underway, according to a new report from cybersecurity vendor Mandiant. The Russian threat group responsible for the hack continues to leverage credentials and access gleaned during the campaign to target systems and entities – including governments – downstream from the initial hack, according to the report, which was first reported on by the Associated Press.

*** Reps. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Tracey Mann (R-Kan.), the chair and ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, want to know why the Department of Veterans Affairs isn’t keeping pace with its obligations to publish financial spending information under the DATA Act. The VA’s inability to modernize its financial reporting systems to meet the requirements of the law were the subject of a recent agency inspector general report.

“We appreciate – and support – the department’s efforts to bring its 30-year-old financial management and general ledger system into the 21st Century,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter last Friday to VA’s chief financial officer, Jon Rychalski. “However, this subcommittee and, more importantly, the American taxpayer should not have to wait another six years for VA to comply with a law Congress enacted in 2014.”

*** Amazon Web Services announced the launch of a second top secret cloud region – an air-gapped commercial cloud accredited to process top-secret workloads for U.S. defense and intelligence community customers. The AWS Top Secret-West is located more than 1,000 miles from its eastern counterpart, according to a blog post announcing the new region. NextGov has a detailed look at the announcement and an analysis of the state of play in classified cloud.

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