News Feature | September 3, 2014

Government IT News For VARs — September 3, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs

In the news this week, federal IT spending is expected to decline — with most cutbacks in the Defense Department. Also, Russian hackers allegedly steal bank data, and a TSA body scanner is found to have a potential vulnerability to cyberattack.  

Federal IT Spending Expected To Decline

This article from the e-Commerce Times states that in the short term, overall federal IT spending will decline, with, most, if not all of the reductions falling within the Department of Defense, according to a recent forecast from Deltek. Predictions state that spending within the civilian sector will remain flat, although there are significant differences among cabinet level departments and major agencies.

Russian Hackers Sack US Banks

Russian hackers may have helped themselves to some bank data that could be used to profit from insider trading on Wall Street, according to the e-Commerce Times. Hackers appear to have stolen data from JPMorgan Chase and at least one other U.S. bank in retaliation for economic sanctions against Russia. The Russian government turns a blind eye to cybercrime because it's often aligned with the country's interests. The FBI is conducting an investigation into reports of cyber-attacks on U.S. banks.

Security Researchers Lay Bare TSA Body Scanner Security Vulnerabilities

The e-Commerce Times reported that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration found at least one model of full-body scanner in use for four years — the Rapiscan Secure 1000 full-body scanner — easily could have been foiled by a savvy bad actor. It has software flaws that made it vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to nine researchers who presented their findings recently at the USENIX security conference in San Diego.

Government IT Talking Points

The New York Post reported that China is developing a homegrown operating system that could be ready as soon as October as part of an effort to wean itself from Western-made software, according to a Sunday report from the Xinhua government news agency. Following hard on the heels of China's announcement last month that it had launched an investigation of Microsoft under the country's antimonopoly laws, the latest news suggests the new operating system first will appear on desktop devices and then be extended to smartphones and other mobile devices in three to five years.

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