News Briefs

March 11, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced its first business accelerator program, EMERGE!, aimed at entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that address the unique needs of the homeland security community and whose wearable technologies could be adapted for first responder operations.

March 11, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, announced this week a major research initiative called HEAT (Homomorphic Encryption, Applications and Technology), which will pilot advanced cryptographic technologies that enable European citizens and businesses to process sensitive data in encrypted form.

Homomorphic encryption offers the ability to process sensitive information in encrypted form, without needing to decrypt it first, which can compromise privacy and security.

March 5, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Systems competing in the DARPA robotics challenge must demonstrate the ability to help humans in case of emergency.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released a list of 25 teams to perform in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge to be held June 5-6, 2015, at Fairplex in Pomona, California, outside of Los Angeles. Human-robot teams will be tested on capabilities that could enable them to provide assistance in future natural and man-made disasters.

Fourteen new teams from Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and the United States qualified to join 11 previously announced teams. The roboteams will vie for a chance to win one of three cash prizes totaling $3.5 million.

February 25, 2015
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department officials repeatedly tout the virtues of innovation and emphasize that the United States must retain technological superiority over potential adversaries, but a group of 144 universities today warned the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that pending legislation to address patent litigation abuses is so broadly drawn that it would weaken the nation’s patent system and hinder the flow of groundbreaking advances from universities to the private sector.

February 19, 2015
NIST researchers developed this directional 16-antenna array to support modeling of wireless communications channels at 83 gigahertz.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are developing measurement tools for new mobile communications channels that could offer more than 1,000 times the bandwidth of today’s cellphone systems. The research aims to resolve burgeoning bandwidth demands associated with the rapid expansion of wireless devices. Boosting bandwidth and capacity could speed downloads, improve service quality and enable new applications like the Internet of Things connecting a multitude of devices.

February 5, 2015

Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, USA, Army chief information officer/G-6, has unveiled the publication of the Army Network Campaign Plan (ANCP). The ANCP is described as the overarching game plan that will drive the Army’s focus and unify the service’s effort to optimize operational effectiveness and increase network and information security while achieving increased efficiencies.

December 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The 3-D printer recently installed on the International Space Station has printed a replacement part for itself, proving the process works in space and potentially paving the way for long-term space expeditions. 

January 13, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is reorganizing to focus on five Cs: cyber, cloud, collaboration, and command and control, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, announced Monday at a luncheon event hosted by AFCEA's Washington, D.C. Chapter.The transformed agency will include four centers—business and development, implementation and sustainment, resource management and operations—that will centralize many functions within the agency.In addition to the reorganization, DISA announced Monday that the Joint Force Headquarters DoD Information Network should achieve an initial operating capability Thursday and will provide an operational capability within the cyberdomain.

January 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) are back online after hackers, stated to be in support of the Islamic State militant group, broke into the accounts and posted menacing messages.

Military officials still are investigating the breach, which occurred Monday and prompted officials to suspend the accounts.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the hack was “a violation, it wasn’t a big deal,” but it illustrated that militant groups are technologically capable.

December 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is inviting comments on a draft project to secure medical devices known as networked infusion pumps, which convey fluids, drugs and nutrients into patients' bloodstreams. Hospitals are increasingly using the devices and connecting them to a central system, which makes them more vulnerable to cyberthreats.

A networked infusion pump can allow centralized control of the device’s programming as well as automated cross checks against pharmacy records and patient data to ensure the right dose of fluids or medication are delivered at the right time to the right patient.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

OPM issued a statement on the breach and began notifying employees that files might have been compromised.

“While there was no conclusive evidence to confirm sensitive information was removed from the system, it is possible that personally identifiable data may have been exposed,” reads an OPM statement.

KeyPoint Government Solutions conducts background checks for government agencies. One of its competitors, USIS, suffered a breach earlier this year.

December 19, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The Advantage Business Media Young Mind Awards challenges middle school, high school and college students to design, build and present an innovative solution that solves a problem utilizing a wireless technology. Applicants must identify and describe a problem or process that needs improvement, build the product solution and demonstrate how their solution helped resolve the problem or improve the process.

Students are required to submit their designs and a short video demonstrating their finished product. A panel of judges comprising industry-recognized professionals will review the submissions based on four principles: creativity, comprehensiveness, clarity of expression and demonstration. 

November 20, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., today announced the consolidated screening list (CSL), a streamlined collection of nine different screening lists from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and the Treasury that contains names of individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions or other restrictions. The CSL is designed to make it easier for U.S. companies to comply with export laws.

November 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Veterans seeking work in the field of cybersecurity can earn certifications through a new scholarship program.

Veterans transitioning to the civilian work force can apply for scholarships to earn one of the following certifications: Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFPSM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP), Certified Authorization Professional (CAP), HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPPSM), Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) or Associate of (ISC)².

November 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department’s research agency has simplified the process for researchers trying to break into the federal marketplace and earmarked up to $700,000 in seedling funds for cutting-edge biotech ideas.

The Biological Technologies Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created a simplified proposal process to lure new businesses and academic researchers who have not worked previously with the federal government.

Through the new EZ Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) process, applicants submit a two-page white paper describing their ideas to begin the consideration process.

October 27, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Replica grenades used as part of a Halloween costume discovered in a checked bag at Alaska airport.

You would think it would go without saying, but apparently not. So a U.S. Transportation Security Administration representative wrote a brief blog on a few Halloween travel tips if travelers are taking flight with costumes in tow.

It’s OK travel with some types of realistic replica items and props in checked luggage, but anything resembling a bomb or explosive is a no-no. Items that look like grenades, land mines, rocket launchers, shells or bombs cannot be taken on airplanes, even if they are toys or replicas.  

October 27, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Sonoma 2511XEngineers are packing more powerful sensors into smaller and smaller forms for use on lighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, giving the U.S. military unprecedented high-end multi-spectral capability from greater distances.

October 22, 2014

Reginald Brothers, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) undersecretary for science and technology, today announced the new visionary goals for the department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate.

October 22, 2014

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of the "U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Volumes I and II," which focuses on strategic and tactical objectives to support the federal government’s accelerated adoption of cloud computing.

The road map leverages the strengths and resources of government, industry, academia and standards development organizations to support technology innovation in cloud computing, according to a written announcement from NIST.

October 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Department's premier research agency put a call out for technology that can detect and identify from great distances dangerous biological and chemical substances. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a broad agency announcement for the development of the small devices for the new Spectral Combs from UV to THz (SCOUT) program, according to the agency.

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