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FBI fingers North Korea in Sony hack, Obama calls it 'cyber vandalism'

The FBI issued a statement Dec. 19 attributing the widely-publicized and costly cyber intrusion at Sony Pictures to North Korean-backed hackers. The agency's four-week investigation definitively found "the North Korean government is responsible for these actions," said an agency press release.

OSTP launches website to collect data on natural disasters, calls on tech community to help leverage data

The White House launched a website last week that is designed to collect open data on disasters, says a Dec. 15 Office of Science and Technology Policy blog post. Disasters.Data.Gov acts as a "public resource to foster collaboration and the continual improvement of disaster-related open data, free tools and new ways to empower first responders, officials and survivors in the wake of a disaster," says the office.

NIST finalizes revision to security configuration guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently finalized an update to one of two publications that provides a cybersecurity foundation for all of the federal government's information technology systems. 

Independent audit: GSA largely complying with FISMA, but must still addresss several shortfalls

Maryland-based Brown & Company CPAs conducted the audit on behalf of the agency's inspector general to determine GSA's compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA, which provides baseline security standards that all federal departments and agencies must follow.

What's online privacy going to be like in 10 years? Pew canvasses Internet experts

Pew polled more than 2,500 respondents described as technology builders, analysts, researchers, policymakers, managers and marketers regarding the development of a "trusted privacy-rights infrastructure" that fosters innovation and monetization, while still allowing people to protect personal information through easy-to-use formats.

 
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Internal Revenue Service budget cuts for fiscal 2015 will hamper enforcement, reduce taxpayer services and delay tax refunds, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a press conference Friday. At the press conference, Koskinen echoed a call he's made several times since taking over the IRS almost a year ago.

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Only a director from outside the Secret Service will act independently of the agency's traditions and personal relationships, and "be able to do the honest top-to-bottom reassessment this will require," an independent panel said.