News

DHS to foster NIST cybersecurity framework adoption among small and medium businesses

A Homeland Security Department official said the department sees small and medium businesses as a key community for adoption of the cybersecurity framework released earlier this month. DHS released a request for information seeking feedback on the cybersecurity industry's capability to provide "broadly scalable cyber security solutions at an affordable cost" to small and medium businesses. 

Calif. bill would protect student data from advertisers

A bill in the California State Senate would ban online services for K-12 schools from compiling or sharing students' personal information for commercial purposes, including advertising. Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), the Senate leader, introduced the bill Feb. 20. "Kids are in the classroom to learn and we value the security of their personal information above private profit," Steinberg said in a statement.

Air Force to launch 'neighborhood watch' space surveillance satellites

An Air Force general announced Feb. 21 the launch later this year of a previously classified satellite "neighborhood watch" constellation that will surveil space for covert satellites and debris.

IARPA seeks algorithm to measure trustworthiness

In its first ever challenge contest, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is seeking to use data to measure the trustworthiness of individuals.

ICE cancels license plate database solicitation

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement not to go forward with a solicitation for a commercially-run nationwide license plate tracking database following public outcry against it.

ONC considers Stage 3 Meaningful Use release date, culls objectives

Stage 3 Meaningful Use would become a final rule in the first half of 2015 and would become effective in 2017, should a workplan be approved by the health information technology policy committee.

NIST proposes encryption standard development process internal guidance

Making good on a November promise to review its cryptographic standards development process and subject it to public comment, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released Wednesday proposed internal guidance that would bind it to being transparent, open and impartial.

Obama sets 2016 deadline for agencies to use trade-data system

Before businesses can clear their goods for import or export, they have to submit documents, often on paper, to an assortment of federal agencies. The ITDS would let them submit all the required data electronically and all in one place. The system would then distribute the data to the agencies that need it.

Gallagher: NIST framework could improve federal agency cybersecurity programs

The cybersecurity framework released earlier this month by the National Institute of Standards and Technology has the potential to change federal agencies' approach to cybersecurity as well as that of the original intended audience of private sector critical infrastructure companies, said a NIST official. The framework outlines a maturity model of four tiers against which adoptees can benchmark the sophistication of their cybersecurity program.

ICE seeks database to track license plates nationwide

A component of the Homeland Security Department wants the private sector to build a nationwide database of license plates and zoomed-out photos of their cars, shows a Feb. 12 solicitation notice.

FICAM trust framework update opens door to federal credentials from financial institutions

Agency and department websites could one day soon leverage the same log-on information citizens use for online banking for government services, following a Feb. 7 GSA update to the Trust Framework Solution. Although it's often referred to as "guidance," the TFS (.pdf) isn't a mere suggestion, said Anil John, program manager for the trust framework solution.

FCC tries anew to establish net neutrality rules

The Federal Communications Commission says it may be able to re-establish net-neutrality requirements on broadband providers through existing authority in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Windows XP's stubborn hold over DHS

Windows XP remained the most prevalent desktop operating system within the Homeland Security Department as of March 2013, according to an internal assessment of component compliance with the federal security configuration baseline.

DARPA seeks revolutionary search engine technology

Today's Internet search technology is a "one-size-fits-all" approach lacking in some key desired features, says the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Senate bill targets data brokers

Consumers would have access to the private information that data brokers collect about them under a bill that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) introduced Feb. 12. Data brokers, which assemble information about individuals and sell it to marketers, would have to maintain a public website that explains to consumers how to review their information and how they can prevent brokers from selling it.

NIST to mine special publications for additional cybersecurity framework guidance

Now that the cybersecurity framework is out, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says a next step will be to map the alignment of its remaining library of cybersecurity guidance documents to practices called for in the voluntary guidance document.

European backlash against NSA surveillance grows

Backlash in Europe against revelations of bulk surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies intensified this month, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsing the idea of a communications network that would keep Europeans' data from passing through the United States.

Possible state-sponsored cyber attack deemed elite, unusual

An advanced persistent threat called Careto, aka the Mask, may be state sponsored, says Kaspersky Lab, the security company that discovered the malware. In a new report (.pdf), the company says the malware is "extremely sophisticated." It works on Windows, Mac and Linux systems, and possibly Android and iOS as well. It can intercept keystrokes, encryption keys, Wi-Fi traffic, Skype conversations and more.

New poll: Half of federal employees consider looking for jobs outside of government

The caustic political environment of recent years and its results – involuntary furloughs and a half-month government shutdown – have taken a toll on a federal workforce, shows a new FierceGovIT-Market Connections PulsePoll™. An online poll of 370 federal civilian and defense workers shows a picture of a struggling workforce. Half of respondents say they're considering looking for a job outside government. 

NTIA wary of gTLD explosion

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is concerned that generic Top-Level Domains being made available by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers may not be considering consumer protections.