- Blog (12)
Comprehensive Cybersecurity Legislation Expected Before Year End
The key Senate committee is consolidating cybersecurity legislation and working with the other committees of jurisdiction. Secret Service testifies that no new laws are needed…
Federal CIO on Federal CIOs
Vivek Kundra, “For too long, Federal CIOs have been focused on network and architecture almost as technology for technology sake, and not for the sake of real outcomes.”
DHS to Review Report On Vulnerability In West Coast Power Grid
A report by research scientists in China shows how a well-placed attack against a small power subnetwork could trigger a cascading failure of the entire West Coast power grid.
Jian-Wei Wang, a network analyst at China’s Dalian University of Technology, used publicly available information to model how the U.S. West Coast power grid and its component sub networks are connected. Wang’s report, which was completed last November and has been available online since March, has been largely overlooked until it was published in the New-Scientist in the last two weeks.
A new security paradigm is needed to protect critical U.S. energy infrastructure from Cyber Warfare in absence of improvements – the threat of a devastating attack looms. It might be useful to look back at other grim prophecies that, had they been heeded, could have prevented catastrophes.
The Award That Puts the Winner on Wall of Shame
Albert Einstein once defined “insanity” as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The Cyber Secure Institute is launching the institute’s Albert Einstein Award. The award will be given to the company or entity that best personifies Einstein’s definition in its approach to cybersecurity.
Hathaway: Fed Starting to Get Cybersecurity
“The threat is outpacing our defenses. It is growing at the volume and velocity never imagined before.”
Something About U.S. Presidents
Abraham Lincoln was the only President ever granted a patent. He invented a hydraulic device for lifting ships over shoals.
Gerald Ford was the only President not to have been elected to either the Presidency or the Vice Presidency.
James Buchanan was the only President never to be married.
Grover Cleveland was the only President to win non-consecutive terms to the White House.
Thomas Jefferson was the first losing candidate in a U.S. presidential election. He lost to John Adams.
Bill Clinton will be the last President to receive lifelong protection from Secret Service.
New York Times Was Tricked Into Serving Scareware Ad.
Scammers tricked The New York Time’s Digital Advertising Department into placing a malicious ad for fake antivirus software on the NYTimes.com Web site over the weekend. The point of the scam was to sell worried computer users a product called “Personal Anti Virus,” a fake “scareware” product that bombards victims with pop ups.
The Name You Can’t Pronounce
If you live in Webster, Massachusetts, you will be living close to this lake:
Don’t try to pronounce it, just call it Webster Lake.
Yahoo CEO, “Do You Think I’m Stupid?”
Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz, was asked on CNBC whether she would have accepted Microsoft’s more than $40 billion offer to buy Yahoo last year. She replied, “Sure, do you think I’m stupid?” Former Yahoo CEO, Jerry Yang, who rejected the offer, is still a Yahoo board member. The next board meeting should be an interesting one.
Some Kind of Record
A single UPS delivery truck driver is a champion of Denver parking violations, racking up 196 tickets worth $5,700 last year. A UPS spokesperson says it is a cost of doing business in some cities.
Federal agencies on September 8 began requiring contractors to use an electronic system to verify whether their employees are eligible to work in the U.S. About 169,000 Federal contractors and subcontractors, who employ 3.8 million workers, have 30 days to enroll in the E-Verify system.
Trade Secret Theft
DuPont is working on a thin-computer display technology called “Organic Light Emitting Diode” (OLED). A senior research scientist at the company is accused of stealing data to share with his alma mater, Peking University, in Beijing. DuPont has filed a lawsuit in Delaware.
DISA to Rely On Existing Contracts
The agency procurement team is building a strategy based on avoiding creation of new awards.
Using Cyber Citizens to Hunt Down Hackers
Symantec will ask customers to opt into a program that will collect data about attempted computer intrusions and then forward the information to authorities. Symantec will also begin posting the FBI’s top 10 hackers and their schemes on its Web site.
Tracking the Performance of Federal Contractors
The government is developing a comprehensive database that will track the performance of Federal contractors. The Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information Systems, will be maintained by GSA and it will integrate a number of existing databases with new information provided by contracting officers and other officials.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (September 17)
This is to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
Government is Hiring
The new report by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization, estimates that the Federal government will hire 11,549 information technology workers over the next three years for positions that agencies have labeled as mission critical. Hiring starts on October 1, 2009 and will continue through September 30, 2012.
Department of Defense (excluding the individual services): 1,408 new hires, Army: 1,874, Navy: 1,820, DHS: 1,025, Treasury: 987, Air Force: 716 , HHS: 680, DOT: 611 and DOJ: 428. These numbers do not include data from intelligence agencies.
FCC’s Social Networking
Federal Communication Commission announced that it is creating its social networking site. The site is to be called “reboot.fcc.gov.”
DoD Launches Weekly New Podcast
Department of Defense officials have launched “AFPS News,” a weekly audio podcast of stories from American Forces Press Service.
Neurosystems for National Security is a new research and development program at the Mind Research Network (MRN). The goal of this program is to combine neuroscience and systems engineering (Neurosystems Engineering) to provide people-dependent solutions for critical national security problems.
Twin NASA Commanders
Mark and Scott Kelly are twins. Mark is the commander of Space Shuttle mission STS-134, set to launch in late 2010. Scott is the commander of Station Expedition 26, also set to fly in late 2010. If schedule holds, the two may meet in space during their respective commands. The brothers are native of West Orange, N.J. and both are Navy Captains.
To follow Kelly twins, visit their Twitter accounts. For Mark – Twitter.com/shuttlecdrkelly, and for Scott – Twitter.com/stationcdrkelly.
VISA Credit Card for $2
In the black market of the cyber-world, credit cards are cheap. The highest prices belonged to German credit cards at $6 a piece and U.S. VISA at just $2.
Pfizer to Pay $2.3 Billion for Fraudulent Marketing
American pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc., and its subsidiary, Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc., have agreed to pay $2.3 billion – the highest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the Justice Department to resolve criminal and civil liabilities arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products (off-label drug marketing).
The suit springs from a series of whistleblower suits filed under The False Claim Act. The six whistleblowers will receive payments totaling $201 million from the Federal share of the civil recovery.
Don’t Worry Be Happy, No Don’t Be Too Happy (Someone Is Going To Drug You)
If you are too happy all the time and you don’t like it, the FDA has just approved a new drug called “Despondex,” which is expected to take care of annoying happiness.
Debate Time is Fun Time in Connecticut House of Representatives
AP-photographer caught two members of the Connecticut House of Representatives playing Solitaire side by side on their computers while another member was delivering a speech on the House floor.
Mobile Cloud to Mushroom
According to researchers in the UK, the number of mobile cloud computing subscribers worldwide will grow rapidly over the next five years, from 42.8 million subscribers in 2008 (1.1% of all mobile subscribers) to over 998 million in 2014 (19%).
Mobile cloud applications move the computing power and data storage away from mobile phone and mobile computing to not just Smartphone users but a much broader range of mobile subscribers.
Are You Old Enough To Remember These Malwares?
Friday13 (Jerusalem) 1988, Barrotes 1993, Cascade (falling letters) 1997, CIH (Chernobyl) 1998, Melissa 1999, I Love You (love letters) 2000, KLEZ 2001, Nimda 2001, SQL Slammer 2003, Blaster 2003, Sobig 2003, Bagle 2004, and this one you know – Conficker 2008.
Cyber Crime is Easy Compared to Physical Crime
For years, Mexican criminals have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from Mexican National Oil Company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The thieves steal fuel from tanker trucks, underground tanks, and even by stealing trucks themselves.
A recent investigation has revealed that several people and companies in the U.S. are linked to the smuggling of these products into the U.S. The U.S. government has started cracking down on refineries, and the people involved, that knowingly purchase stolen petroleum products.
Oranges and Apples Are Getting Tattoos
Those small and sometimes inconvenient sticky labels on produce may eventually be replaced by laser “tattoos.” Technology is now being tested by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Florida scientists. The technology is called “laser etching.”
Tags: Data Center Management, Desktops, Laptops, Printers, Enterprise Applications, Green IT, Networking, Security, Web 2.0
A Logic Named Joe – The Internet at 63
However, some 23 years earlier, in March of 1946, a writer by the name of Murray Leinster (the pseudo name of Will F. Jenkins) published a science fiction short story, “A Logic Named Joe.” In this story, a “Logic” repairman foreshadows the idea of a personal computer, the internet, and information sharing. Take the exact same story and change the words “Logic” to computer, “Central Tank” to Google and “Vision Screen” to monitor, and it stops being fiction. Happy 63rd.
Here is the Central Tank link.
From NIST August 2009 Report “Effectively and Securely Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm”
- There are 11.8 million servers in data centers
- Yearly, $800 billion is spent on purchasing and maintaining enterprise software
- Eighty percent of enterprise software expenditure is on installation and maintenance of software
- Data Centers typically consume up to 100 times more energy per square foot than a typical office building
- Data Centers consume 1.5 percent of our nation’s electricity
- IT produces 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions
- Green technologies can reduce energy cost by 50 percent
The Marine Corps banned accessing social networks from its network. Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, goes on to tweet:
“Obviously we need to find the right balance between security and transparency.
We are working on that. But am I still going to tweet? You bet.”
Why Campaign When You Can Just Hack an Election?
University researchers recently bought a Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine from a government auction site and then used a new hacking technique called “Return-Oriented Programming Attack” to circumvent its security.
Do As We Say
The Energy Department, telling us how to save energy, failed its own energy audit earlier this year.
River On Fire
One of the more visibly memorable events of the early environmental movement was the 13th and final CUYAHOGA river fire in 1969. Some cite the fire as the event that prompted President Nixon to sign the Clean Water Act into law and create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Freemium (Free To Premium)
Most, if not all, print publications are looking at platforms that charge readers for the content. There are different models considered and some already in place.
Charging readers on an article-by-article, subscription, and “frequency model” was introduced by the Financial Times of London, in which they give access to a limited number of articles on the Web before asking users to pay a premium.
Put this on your calendar: Before the end of 2010, every major newspaper will be charging readers on the Web.
Yard Sale – Police Are Buying
A burglar in Florida, who made off with a man’s valuables, returned to the home later and snatched a 100-pound plasma screen television.
Police had left the TV in the backyard so they could dust for fingerprints.
Police paid the man for his TV.
Biological Cells as Cloud Computing Networks
Researchers identify parallels between biological cells and computer networks. Gene regulatory networks in cell nuclei are similar to Cloud Computing networks, such as Google and Yahoo.
Conversation You Don’t Want To Be A Part Of…
How would you like to be in a party and someone starts using these words, zenzizenzizenzic, eccedentesiast, or gambrionous?
These words, in order listed, mean a number to the 8th power, one who fakes a smile -- as on television, and being full of beer. Warning: If you use these at a cocktail party be sure to spit them out before the second drink.
Cyber Security Oversight
The Senate Select Intelligence Committee has approved a bill that would require the president to notify Congress about existing and new Cyber Security programs that involve Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
No more P2P for Government and Government Contractors, House Chairman Says
Details of presidential motorcade routes and the safe house for the first family, along with sensitive
but unclassified documents listing details on every nuclear facility in the country were leaked via a LimeWire file-sharing network recently.
As a result, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called for a ban on the use of Peer-To-Peer (P2P) software on all government and contractor computers as well as networks.
E-Gov Back on the Agenda?
The House and Senate Appropriation Committee allocated more funding for the e-government
fund in fiscal 2010 ($33 million and $35 million) than in the previous seven years.
Cost of Airport Makeover, $100,000 Per Resident
Quzinkie, Alaska, a village of 150 people, has no traffic lights, stores, or gas stations, but received $15 million in Federal stimulus funds for an airport makeover.
Go Ahead and Google “Massive Loss”
If you have lost money on your investment, then you are in good company. On July 27, Time Warner announced it bought back Google’s 5 percent stake in AOL for $283 million. In 2005, Google paid $1 billion for that 5 percent stake in AOL. Looks like no G.I Joe with the Kung Fu grip this Christmas.
GSA to Manage $5 Billion in Satellite Services
GSA will manage the purchase of $5 billion worth of commercial satellite services during the next 10 years for all Federal agencies, including Department of Defense.
Heath, Ohio – population 8,527 – has issued 10,000 traffic tickets in a four-week period. This makes Heath the most expensive place in America for drivers.
Virus called CLAMPI
The virus called “CLAMPI” infected 500,000 computers since March 2009 and it’s spreading fast. CLAMPI is a Trojan horse that connects to a remote computer and downloads other malware.
DHS is Cutting Coupons
The Department of Homeland Security says it will save $89 million in software licensing fees by renegotiating contracts with Microsoft and Oracle. Other government agencies will most likely follow its lead.
The Village Full of Twins
Kodinji village in India is home to 230 sets of twins, and currently, five women are pregnant with twins. The local doctor suspects it might be due to the water.
NASA an IT Service Provider
NASA and the Obama administration’s top technology officer are considering a NASA Cloud Computing prototype to test the president’s plan for agencies to outsource information technology services and shared platform. Officials from NASA and the OMB have “broached the idea of NASA becoming an IT service provider,” said Mike Hecker, NASA’s associate chief information officer for architecture and infrastructure. But, “NASA as an IT service provider takes into a new realm. We’re still debating if that’s a good idea or not.”
NASA is developing a cloud computing model, called NEBULA, to support some of its projects.
Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, is examining many alternatives for innovation in the cloud – including using NEBULA as a centralized platform to service multiple agencies.
The government of Nepal has come up with a great solution to stop airport officials from lining their pockets with bribes – remove them. Not the guys taking bribe, their pants pockets. The Nepalese high officials will issue pocketless pants to personnel working at the Kathmandu airport.
GSA’s RFQ for Cloud Computing
GSA’s RFQ for cloud storage, Web hosting, and virtual machine services is a step toward an online “storefront” to be used by Federal agencies. The RFQ sets rules for being a cloud service provider to the U.S. government, among them the ownership of data and applications hosted online.
Cyber Crime More Lucrative Than Drugs
“Last year the FBI announced that revenues from cyber crime, for the first time ever, exceeded drug trafficking as the most lucrative illegal business, estimated at reaping more than $1 trillion annually in illicit profits.”
She Wants Her Money Back
A New York City woman filed a lawsuit against the college from which she graduated. The reason? She can’t find a job. She wants her $70,000 tuition back.