Happy Mothers’ Day

Happy Mothers’ Day to the FEHBlog’s readers.

Congress returns to work on Capitol Hill this week.

FEHBP carriers have until May 31 to submit their 2018 benefit and rate proposals.

Last week, according to a Federal News Radio report, as the Postal Service reported its first quarter of 2017 financial results and the Postmaster General, among others, asked Congress to move forward with the Postal reform bill (H.R. 756), which would create a separate Postal Service Health Benefits Program within the FEHBP.

Also last week, the President issued a cybersecurity-related executive order.  Tech Crunch explains why the order was a good first step.

On Friday, following the TGIF posts, news broke on a ransomware worm called WannaCry which was engaged in a world wide attack on Microsoft Windows XP systems which had not been patched since mid-March 2017.  The worm has struck at least 3,330 times in the U.S. and over 24,000 times in Russia, which are among the 153 countries that were hit.  Federal Express was hit in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reports

The outbreak was slowed over the weekend by the actions of a private security researcher who found a “kill switch”inside the worm, halting its spread from one infected computer to a network. But experts warned Sunday that the hackers could release another version of the worm with no kill switch, and that more computers could become infected as people returning to work turned on devices Monday morning. 

The outbreak illustrates the importance of routine vulnerability testing on IT systems, among other testing processes.  A Washington Post blog discusses the political difficulties in preventing these problems.  Here is a link to the U.S. CERT alert on the worm.

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