Open government requires usefulness not just data, NYT hacked again and more

January 31, 2013
Cyber Security
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USPSHere are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • Open government requires usefulness not just data – A whitepaper from SUNY-Albany “says there exists a growing interest at all levels of government to open up government data. However, says the study, agencies too often focus on expanding the amount of government data provided instead of undertaking efforts to determine what data is relevant to both agency performance and public interest.” This is an important distinction, because we don’t want quality information to get lost in a deluge of data. Via FierceGovernmentIT, more here.
  • Balancing IT security at the Postal Service – The USPS is not subject to NIST regulations or even FISMA, a fact which puts them in an unique position among federal agencies. They did take part in issuing HSPD-12 and PIV cards, but only to employees who interacted with other federal buildings. They take a hard look at research done by other agencies, to see if that research can save them money. Postal Service Chief Information Security Officer Chuck McGann says that they will take a look into BYOD and other mobile-oriented technologies. Via FedScoop, more here.
  • New York Times Hacked Again, This Time Allegedly by Chinese – “In a dramatic announcement late Wednesday, the New York Times reported that hackers from China had been routing through the paper’s network for at least four months, stealing the passwords of reporters in an apparent attempt to identify sources and gather other intelligence about stories related to the family of China’s prime minister.”  These hackers apparently stole the password of every employee, oops! Via Wired, more here.
  • Bringing big data to bear on big security – This GigaOM article by Barb Darrow outlines how many security firms are pulling big data information into informing their security offerings. This is an exploding market, and both traditional firms and startups are moving to take advantage of the capabilities offered by big data. Via GigaOM, more here.
  • Data encryption adds twist to ransomware – A “police” ransomware program has added encryption to their barrel of tricks. The program makes the user believe that they are being investigated by the FBI. The best offered solution is copying your files off the machine ASAP and re-installing the operating system. Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • Mobile Malware Dubbed ‘Bill Shocker’ Targets Chinese Android Users – At least 600k users have been hit with the “Bill Shocker” malware, which sends spam messages via their devices. “Thus far the Trojan has infected popular mobile apps like Tencent QQ Messenger and Sohu News sold in third-party online stores.” This just underscores how integral it is that you purchase your apps from official appstores. Via ThreatPost, more here.
  • TSA to network boarding pass scanners to terrorist watch list – “The fraudulent document technology scanners the Transportation Security Administration plans on rolling out to airports will now be networked with the no-fly list, the Homeland Security Department says.” This connection will increase the capabilities of the document scanner and provide additional security to our nation. Via FierceGovernmentIT, more here.
  • Mobile government yields more dynamic public service – This article advocates for public-facing government created apps, especially for services such as transportation, festivals, and tourism. It argues for inward-facing government apps for transportation and critical services. I think that both of these will provide a great deal of additional capabilities for government.

Via CTO Vision