Moore: The Baltimore ransomware attack could be coming to your city — or hospital

It is tempting to view cybercriminals as extremely clever, capable of breaking through the strongest defenses put in front of them. The reality is that they often aren’t, if for no other reason than they don’t need to be. The May 7 ransomware attack that has paralyzed Baltimore’s city government for much of this month is a case in point. It is true, as the New York Times reported May 25, that the attack used a hacking tool developed by the National Security Agency that is now being exploited by criminals and state actors. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan was wrong to veto the Handgun Permit Review Board repeal

Last year, Gov. Larry Hogan’s ranking with the National Rifle Association was lowered from an “A” to a “C,” a product of his support for some sensible gun control bills in recent years including “red flag” legislation that gives police and family members the ability to petition a court to remove firearms from someone who presents a danger to himself or others. With his veto last week of legislation to abolish Maryland’s Handgun Permit Review Board, it appears he’s due for an upgrade. What was more surprising than his veto — Republican support for gun control nationwide is not exactly in abundance these days — was the labored reasoning behind it. In his veto letter, Governor Hogan described the bill as a “another in a long series of politically motivated and ill-conceived power grabs” by the Democratically-controlled legislature. (Balt. Sun)

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Feds owe Baltimore more than an explanation if NSA weapons were trained on the city's computers

If the hackers who crippled Baltimore city government computers used a cyberweapon developed by the National Security Agency, as the New York Times reported Saturday, the federal government bears some responsibility in helping to clean up the mess. Yes, the city should have updated its Windows systems with a security patch Microsoft released two years ago after a hacking group called Shadow Brokers leaked the tool. But that doesn’t absolve the NSA from blame. In seeking to keep a powerful offensive cyberweapon for itself, it risked national security rather than protecting it. (Balt. Sun)

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Thor Hogan: The best sales pitch for the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal has faced a bevy of criticism since its introduction, most of it from climate-denying Republicans. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (Mass.) have led the charge for the proposal with an emphasis on its potential economic benefits as the pathway to victory. But an equally good argument, and one that may even bring skeptics and Republicans into the fold, involves the national security benefits of fighting the climate crisis. Put bluntly, the Green New Deal is the biggest step we can take toward a more secure America. (Wash. Post)

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Frank DeFilippo: Law and Order on the Campaign Trail

Here’s a scary possibility. Next year’s elections in Baltimore City are pregnant for a reprise of the 1974 campaign for state’s attorney. All of the elements are present – crime, unemployment, dilapidated housing and a government corrupt to the core. Richard M. Nixon was president then. Donald J. Trump is in the White House now. That was the year a machine politician and young attorney from Highlandtown defeated the incumbent black state’s attorney in what was considered an overtly racist campaign filled with code words and symbols. (Md. Matters)

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Boating safety doesn't happen by accident

Memorial Day marked the unofficial beginning of boating season in Maryland and elsewhere. Every weekend for the next few months, thousands of people will be out on the water across the state whether it’s Deep Creek Lake, the Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean off Ocean City and Assateague Island. But the summer boating season is also certain to suffer its customary share of accidents and fatalities — most if not all of which are preventable. (Balt. Sun)

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Honor fallen heroes by caring for survivors

Although Memorial Day appears to be about picnics, ballgames and the launch of summer, this holiday is the one day of the year that provides us with the opportunity to pay homage to our fallen warriors. As a nation, it is our opportunity to honor their service, sacrifice and courage, while recalling the selflessness that embodies military service. It is the one day where we can take a moment to reexamine what we are doing as individuals to recognize the legacy of these men and women who died wearing the cloth of the nation. (Balt. Sun) 

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All criminal justice should be modeled on drug courts

Appearing in a packed Rockville courtroom this month were six defendants, each with a grim past involving addiction. One defendant used heroin every day for six or seven years. Another racked up 13 prior convictions, had no job for 17 years and no driver’s license for over 30. Past being prologue, these bleak backgrounds inspired no hope that the six would be anything other than social failures and career criminals. In unflattering mugshots posted on courtroom monitors, the defendants appeared as if they too had no hope in themselves or their futures. (Balt. Sun)

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