News Feature | August 12, 2014

Government IT News For VARs — August 12, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs

In news this week, USIS was the victim of a major cyber-attack, and news that Russian hackers have stockpiled 1.2 usernames and passwords has government agencies concerned about cyber safety as well. The FCC has also opened the net neutrality comments to the public, while the FTC is fighting mobile cramming. And, the U.S. Army is migrating its educational content to the cloud.

Federal Contractor USIS Falls Victim To A Major Cyberattack

According to The Wall Street Journal , the federal government’s main security background-check contractor discovered what it says was a state-sponsored attack against its corporate network. The attack against U.S. Investigations Services may have compromised information of employees at the Department of Homeland Security. DHS alerted employees to look out for abnormal activities with their financial accounts.

Should Agencies Be Concerned About the Massive Russian Hack?

News that Russian hackers stockpiled 1.2 billion usernames and passwords in what has been dubbed the “largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials,” according to The New York Times. But according to Fed Tech Magazine, the Milwaukee-based firm that discovered the 1.2 billion stolen usernames and passwords has not yet disclosed which websites hackers targeted or whether government websites were affected.  Hold Security advised companies to check if their websites are susceptible to a SQL injection, which could enable malicious manipulation of a website and unintended commands to be sent to the underlying database.

The FCC Releases 1.4 GB of Net Neutrality Comments

The Washington Post reported that the FCC has release almost 1.1 million net neutrality comments, and has vowed to review every single comment. To allow others to help, the agency is releasing all the comments in a series of XML files so that data jockeys can go through the materials themselves. The files add up to a whopping 1.4 GB of information.

The FTC’s Fight Against Mobile Cramming

The FTC has released a report in which it lists several steps that “mobile carriers and other companies should take to prevent consumers from being stuck with unauthorized charges on their mobile phone bills, an unlawful practice known as mobile cramming,” according to the agency. The FTC suggests that a clear process be established for people to dispute unauthorized charges, similar to the process for disputing bogus charges on a credit card statement, reports The New York Times.

Government IT Talking Points

This article from Fed Tech Magazine examines how cloud computing is key to granting more soldiers access to education content on their personal mobile devices. The Army News Service reports that after completing a 12-month proof of concept in December, TRADOC migrated non-sensitive, distributed learning content for the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to the commercial cloud. The project’s success has prompted the Army to migrate learning content from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., to the cloud. Other Army schools are also considering migrating learning content to a commercial cloud. The move will also make content accessible to students after graduation.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Government IT Resource Center.