$45M for cyber contests vanish

Friday - 7/23/2010, 8:30am EDT

Cybersecurity Update - Tune in weekdays at 30 minutes past the hour for the latest cybersecurity news on The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris (6-10 a.m.) and The DorobekInsider with Chris Dorobek (3-7 p.m.). Listen live at FederalNewsRadio.com or on the radio at 1500 and 820 AM in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

  • Congress is putting the future of cybersecurity games in question. A Senate panel has removed a provision that would have provided 45 million dollars for cybersecurity competitions. GovInfoSecurity.com is reporting the original bill would have authorized the National Institute of Standards and Technology to organize the competitions. The reasoning was that the games would spur innovation that could help the federal government. The provision was part of the America Competes Reauthorization Act. The House has already passed its own version without money for the games.

  • They need money to train cyber-security professionals...and they need funds for a National Ecological Observatory Network. So, guess which one lawmakers approved for the National Science Foundation. The Commerce, Justice and Science subcommittee wants NSF to triple its investment in training the next generation of cyber pros. But ScienceMag.org reports, the panel cut in half NSF's budget request to build the Ecological Observatory Network, or NEON. The bill heads to the full Senate and has to be reconciled with the House version.

  • How much is a cyber security flaw worth? Two companies are leapfrogging one another in what they will pay bug-hunters for ferreting out flaws. ComputerWorld reports, Google has hiked bounty payments for finding bugs in its Chrome internet browser to 3,133 dollars. Just a week ago, Mozilla raised the pay for Firefox bugs to 3,000 dollars. A Chrome team member says Google will pay top dollar only to researchers who find the most dangerous vulnerabilities. Still, one company is staying out of cyber reward arms race. Microsoft's top security research, Mike Reavey, tells ComputerWorld, the folks in Redmond don't think bug bounties are the best way to compensate researchers.

Check out all of Federal News Radio's coverage of cybersecurity issues here.