Is DHS’ acquisitions program becoming unaffordable? U.S. Energy Department spends $30M to bolster utility cybersecurity tools and more

September 20, 2013
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DHSHere are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • Is DHS’ acquisitions program becoming unaffordable? The DHS is under a lot of intense scrutiny lately to re-vamp their acquisition processes in the face of allegations and revelations of inefficiencies and waste. One specific example was from the $3B expenditure on radio upgrades, 8,000 of which are sitting in a warehouse collecting dust. DHS is responsible for covering cyber for the entire Federal Civilian world, and must be able to acquire top tools and capabilities efficiently and agilely. Via FedScoop, more here.
  • Cash bounty offered to hack Apple’s fingerprint sensor – Right now a crowd-sourced bounty to hack the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint sensor is floating around. As of yesterday, it was over $16,000, including a great deal of bonus items. To qualify for the bounty, the individual must meet a large set of requirements. Via WTSP, more here.
  • U.S. Energy Department spends $30M to bolster utility cybersecurity tools – “The Department of Energy today awarded $30 million to a 11 security vendors to develop technology the agency says will better protect nation’s electric grid, oil and gas infrastructure from cyber-attack.” These tools include communication capabilities and new, more secure architectures. Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • Air Force Research Lab puts money up for tools to stop future Snowdens – ‘The Cyber Awareness and Resilience Research program, a broad effort to develop new information security technologies, has modified a number of its new research priorities, including “Counter-Insider Modeling.” The goal of the newly budgeted research: to “research, design, and develop techniques to identify, characterize, categorize, and manage insider threats at the tactical and strategic levels (and to) assess and determine tools to conduct fingerprinting of data and the management of such data across a diverse network.”‘ Via Ars Technica, more here.
  • Clicking Through the Cloudy Relationship Between US Feds and Google – ‘On September 5, 2013, Google asked a federal judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Google Gmail, stating electronically scanning the content of emails has been “ordinary business practices” since Gmail’s inception.’ Via Security Today, more here
  • Barclays Cybercrime Suspects Arrested Over $2.1 Million Theft – ‘London police arrested eight men in connection to a 1.3 million pound ($2.1 million) computer-aided robbery from a Barclays Plc (BARC) branch in the capital. The money was taken from the Swiss Cottage branch via the bank’s computer system in April, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement today. Barclays has recovered a “significant amount” of the stolen funds, police said.’ Via Bloomberg, more here.
  • Telework could save government $11 billion yearly – “According to a Global Workplace Analytics white paper released Thursday, more telework would mean more engaged and effective employees, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 16 million planted trees.” Telework is often used as a carrot for federal employees – a benefit that may be earned. Telework saves the government on power and infrastructure costs, but adds security and technological concerns. Via FedScoop, more here.