News Briefs

September 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The National Capital Region joins two cities already part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) program to detect and deter nuclear and radiological threats with the award of a $30 million federal grant, which it will receive over the next five years.

August 27, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Service members can get expedited travel screening at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck airports using their Defense Department identification number when booking flight reservations. The security approach is available to all members of the U.S. armed forces, including the reserves, the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.

August 26, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The release of new high-quality positional information on space debris of unknown origin will help satellite owner-operators better protect their space assets. The U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) now can run a program that shows where space objects are and where they will be, as well as the potential for these objects colliding. This information has been added to Space-Track.org.

August 22, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is preparing recommendations to help organizations leverage the benefits of mobile apps while managing their risks. The publication’s authors are seeking public comments about the draft of "Technical Considerations for Vetting 3rd Party Mobile Applications." The deadline for comments is Sept. 18.

While apps can improve productivity, they also can introduce vulnerabilities that put sensitive data and network resources at risk. The draft publication describes tests that software security analysts can employ to find and understand these security gaps before the app is approved for use.

August 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The number of application centers offering screenings for admittance into the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program has grown, and travelers can enroll for the PreCheck program at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Denver International Airport (DEN) and the off-airport IdentoGO Center by MorphoTrust, in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are now 302 enrollment centers in the nation and more than 486,000 registered passengers.

August 21, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated two $10 million projects to create separate cloud computing testbeds called Chameleon and CloudLab. Through the efforts, the academic research community will develop and experiment with novel architectures and architecturally enabled applications of cloud computing.

August 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Some of the hackers who have persistently attacked Lockheed Martin’s networks have “gone quiet” in recent months, officials told reporters yesterday at an Arlington, Virginia, media summit hosted by the company’s recently restructured Defense and Intelligence Solutions division. “We’ve seen a number of the adversaries—I wouldn’t say they’ve disappeared—but they’ve gone quiet,” said Darrell Durst, Lockheed Martin’s vice president, cyber solutions. “I think we have been able to counter a number of the adversaries relative to our networks.”

August 13, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) now offers an app for Apple devices that expedites the entry process for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors into the United States. The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app enables travelers with a smartphone or tablet to submit their passport information and customs declaration form as well as upload a self-photo prior to CBP inspection.

August 12, 2014
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army is introducing new cyber features into its semiannual Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) to better identify, understand and defend against threats. Cyber considerations will be introduced earlier in the process at the laboratory in Aberdeen Proving Ground before technologies hit the ground at the event itself. For the first time, the federated labs on the campus of Aberdeen’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or C4ISR, campus will take a coordinate system-of-systems approach to lab-based risk reduction.

August 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Defense Department officials are turning to science and engineering to reduce drastically the time it takes to develop military platforms—from ships to aircraft and ground vehicles.

July 31, 2014
By George I. Seffers

A recently announced study by Juniper Networks found that 51 percent of government information technology decision makers plan to adopt software-defined networking (SDN) within the next two years. Twenty-five percent of government respondents to the Software-Defined Networking Progress Report said improved performance and more efficient networks will be the primary benefit, while 18 percent cited simplified network operations.

July 23, 2014
By Cyndy Hogan
A Wave Glider SV2 moments before deployment.

The Wave Glider ocean drone collected and transmitted weather data during one of Asia’s biggest typhoons this month. This information will allow scientists to better predict intensities of typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes with the goal of saving lives and minimizing property damage. The drone, from Liquid Robotics, was piloted remotely through the path of category 5 Typhoon Rammasun, navigating sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 175 mph with waves more than 45 feet. It gathered real-time wave, temperature, conductivity and current data from the surface of the ocean, even as seaports and transportation systems in multiple countries were closed due to the storm.

July 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Information and Technology awarded its fourth and final contract for its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract to help veterans navigate technical access to health care services.

July 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Information and Technology awarded a contract for technical management support services for its Health Products Support (HPS), an effort to provide seamless benefits and services to U.S. veterans.

Under the contract, Creative Computing Solutions Incorporated (CCSi) will provide the VA with two teams of subject matter experts to improve processes and manage the system workload and increased operational tempo.

The contract is part of the VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract vehicle. CCSi won the contract with a one-year base period of performance and the option of extending for two more years.

July 17, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. representatives from both parties have introduced the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, a companion bill to the Senate’s America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973). The bills would bring the U.S. national lab system into the 21st century and promote the easy transfer of federal research into the hands of the private sector, improving the public-private partnerships considered essential to bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) primary external advisory board today announced a report calling for the agency to increase its staff of cryptography experts and to implement more explicit processes for ensuring openness and transparency to strengthen its cryptography efforts. In making its recommendations, the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) specifically addressed NIST’s interactions with the National Security Agency (NSA).

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel BNI are joining forces to a new class of cyberdefense professionals to protect the nation’s critical digital infrastructure. The Bechtel-Lawrence Livermore-Los Alamos Cyber Career Development Program is designed to allow the national labs to recruit and rapidly develop cybersecurity specialists who can guide research at their respective institutions and create solutions that meet the cyberdefense needs of private industry, which owns about 80 percent of the nation’s critical digital infrastructure and assets.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army’s Project Manager of Robotic Systems Joint Project Office, Warren, Michigan, is conducting market research to see what companies can provide a lightweight common robotic system (CRS) for dismounted soldiers.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Security Agency (NSA) has selected five more schools for the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations Program, which is designed to cultivate more U.S. cyber professionals. These schools are now designated as Cyber Operations CAEs for the 2014-2019 academic years:

July 10, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

Research on the state of cybersecurity of the U.S. critical infrastructure companies reveals that 67 percent have experienced at least one security compromise that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption to operations during the past year. In addition, 24 percent of a survey’s respondents said the compromises involved insider attacks or negligent privileged information technology users. Only 6 percent provide cybersecurity training for all employees.

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