January 14, 2022

White House will meet execs from Apple, Amazon and Meta to discuss software security

categories : technology

Several major cyber attacks last year exposed thousands of records held by companies and government agencies to hackers

The White House will meet executives from leading tech firms, including Alphabet-owned Google, Apple and Amazon, on Thursday to discuss software security after the US suffered several major cyber attacks last year.

In December, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan sent a letter to chief executives of tech firms after the discovery of a security vulnerability in open-source software called Log4j that organisations around the world use to log data in their applications.

In the letter, Mr Sullivan noted that such open source software is broadly used and maintained by volunteers and is a “key national security concern'.

Thursday's meeting, which will be hosted by the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, Anne Neuberger, will discuss concerns over the security of open-source software and how it can be improved, the White House said in a statement.

Other top tech companies in attendance at the meeting will include IBM, Microsoft, Meta — which owns Facebook — and Oracle. Government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defence and the Commerce Department, will also be in attendance.

Cybersecurity has been a top priority for the administration of US President Joe Biden after several major cyber attacks last year, which exposed thousands of records held by companies and government agencies to hackers.

One hack, which the US government has said was likely orchestrated by Russia, breached software made by SolarWinds and gave hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used its products. The hackers received access to emails at the US Treasury, Justice and Commerce departments, and other agencies.

The growing frequency and impact of such attacks prompted the administration to issue an executive order last year that created a review board and new software standards for government agencies.



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