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Search Tags: Scott Carr
The General Services Administration and Homeland Security Department have approved the first government-wide provider of cybersecurity services under the Networx telecommunications contract. AT&T has received authority to operate its Managed Trusted IP Services (or MTIPS) program, a move that took almost a year to approve. Qwest, Sprint and Verizon also received awards to be MTIPS providers, but have not received the authority to operate on a governmentwide basis.
The Department of Homeland Security is putting together a report on the global response to Conficker Worm attacks, while analysts warn, the Worm is still alive and well, though probably well hidden. Atlantic Monthly columnist Mark Bowden says, botnets like the Conficker Worm are evidence that worms and viruses are now being developed by those who have intricate knowledge of cryptography, a prospect that makes defending against attacks increasingly difficult.
A new online platform from the General Services Administration is helping federal agencies generate creative ideas for improving government while also improving openness and transparency, a White House directive. GSA officials say the Innovation Challenges Platform provides agencies with a way to lower the barriers for government's use of prizes and challenges by providing a platform at no cost that simplifies the public engagement process for both agencies and the public. It allows the public to suggest and discuss solutions to government problems. The platform is currently being used for AppsforHealthyKids.com. Director of new media and citizen engagement at the agency Bev Godwin says, there are a lot of different benefits that agencies can derive from such challenges, one of the most important being that they only pay for the solution.
Researchers with the National Science Foundation have developed a new tool for efficiently removing blood clots in the brain, the leading cause of strokes. The tool overcomes limitations in current emergency stroke treatments, potentially extending the time for a victim to get help. Engineered with support from the Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research program, Insera Therapeutics of California, developed the Stroke Help using an Transcatheter Retrieval device. It contains two primary components; an outer sheath for containing captured clots and an inner filament that houses the collapsible, five-millimeter-diameter, nickel-titanium mesh that grabs and filters the clots. The technology can be custom-fit for patients. Researchers say, such strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S.
The U.S. Cyber Command - or CYBERCOM - officially became operational in late May. But observers inside the military and out still aren't sure what the command is supposed to do: protect the Pentagon's networks, strike out at enemies, seal up civilian vulnerabilities, or some combination of all three. CYBERCOM officials insist they have no interest in taking over the security of the Internet, but Pentagon officials have floated the idea the Defense Department might start a protective program for civilian networks.
Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team (or CERT) has released a new fuzzing framework that will help identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities from different kinds of software. The fuzz testers are used by security researchers to find vulnerabilities by sending random input to an application. Fuzz testing has been popular among hackers, but with the release of this framework, CERT can push businesses to subject all software to fuzz testing.
Department of Homeland Security officials say 100 percent of passengers traveling in the U.S. and its territories are now being checked against terrorist watchlists through the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight program - a major step in fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation. Secure Flight enables TSA to screen passengers directly against government watchlists using passenger's names, their date of birth, and gender before a boarding pass is issued. In addition to facilitating secure travel for all passengers, the program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watchlists. Officials say 99 percent of passengers will be cleared by Secure Flight to print boarding passes at home by providing their date of birth, gender and name as it appears on the government ID they plan to use when traveling.
A new initiative promises to monitor the impact of federal science investments on employment, the generation of knowledge, and health outcomes, to a degree not previously possible. The Science and Technology for America's Reinvestment: Measuring the Effect of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science, or STAR METRICS, is a multi-agency venture that will be lead by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Together, NSF and NIH have committed $1 million for the program's first year. The first phase of the two-phase program will use university administrative records to calculate the employment impact of federal science spending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and agencies' existing budgets.
The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to soon provide an updated set of guidelines to the health care community, and to federal agencies, regarding the effort to put in place a uniform system of electronic medical health records nationwide. The Department of Veterans Affairs - which oversees one of the largest health care systems in the world - has been working to take the Department's VISTA health records management system into a new realm of upgraded open source software and hardware systems -- while meeting the mandate to become part of a nationwide electronic health records network. Similarly, Navy officials say they've been helping the Defense Department sync up with Veterans Affairs, and eventually with the electronic records in the civilian world, with the promise of better patient care through shared medical data.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the deployment of a satellite that heralds the beginning of a new era of space-based nuclear explosion monitoring. On May 27th, the U.S. Air Force successfully launched the first I-I-F series of satellites, carrying improved nuclear detonation detection instruments built by Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Laboratory for the N-N-S-A. Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Ken Baker says the deployment of the new instruments will significantly improve the agency's ability to detect atmospheric, or space-based, nuclear explosions and verify compliance with nuclear test ban treaties. The sensors are being integrated on to Air Force GPS satellites, thus the entire planet is monitored continuously for tell-tale signs of treaty violation.