Articles about Federal

Obama

Obama issues HTTPS-only order to US Federal sysadmins

Black Hat Barack has issued a Memorandum – an executive order in all but name, and an instrument the president has used more than any of his predecessors – to all Federal website sysadmins, informing them to deprecate HTTP and roll on with HTTPS. The HTTPS-Only Standard was proposed by the US' Chief Information Officer Tony …
White Hat for Hackers by Zeevveez, Flickr under CC2.0

Australia needs MOAR L33T WHITE HATZ, says Federal Police

Australia needs a bunch more experts in disciplines you're barely allowed to discuss here, according to the Australian Federal Police. AFP cyber crime commander David McLean told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's TV program 730 that “this April alone there was over 3,500 reports from people around Australia in relation …
Cookie Monster

Four senators call for federal probes into Verizon 'supercookies'

Verizon's sweet tooth for cookies has dunked it in more hot water after four Democratic senators urged the US Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to examine the firm's practice of tracking customers' web habits. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Edward Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT), and …
Iain Thomson, 06 Feb 2015
medical_doctor_health_channel

Oregon hit with federal subpoena over failed healthcare website launch

The state of Oregon is facing a subpoena and grand jury probe from the US government over a failed IT project which cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. A Federal Court has issued a subpoena asking the state's Cover Oregon agency to hand over documents, records and correspondence related to the agency's disastrous …
Shaun Nichols, 21 May 2014
FBI badge and gun

UK man Lauri Love accused of hacking US Federal Reserve

The US government have laid more hacking charges against a Brit alleged to have hacked into the US Federal Reserve. Lauri Love, 28, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is charged with one count of computer hacking and a further charge of aggravated identify theft over an alleged attack on Federal Reserve computer systems between October …
John Leyden, 28 Feb 2014
anonymous logo

'Anons' cuffed by Australian Federal Police

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claim to have arrested two chaps who conducted defacement and denial of service attacks on Indonesian and Australian government websites while using the name and iconography of Anonymous. The AFP says a 40-year-old from Scarborough in Western Australia has been charged with aiding “the …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2014
Isilon 3-node S200

Federal squeeze hits EMC as revenues and profits nose downwards

The US federal spending shutdown has hit EMC's results, causing declines in both revenues and profits compared to the previous quarter. In comparison, rivals VMware saw accelerated double-digit year-over-year revenue growth; no federal shutdown effect visible there. Third quarter revenues of $5.5bn were $100m less than the …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2013
Europa Clipper

NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

President Obama has proposed raising the NASA budget to $18.5bn in 2016 - and the space agency says it would use the funds to plan missions to the water-moon Europa and to capture asteroids and bring them back to Earth's orbit for study. The budget proposal would raise NASA's funding by $519m. NASA's administrator Charles Bolden …
Iain Thomson, 03 Feb 2015

Australian Federal Police admit to slurping politicians' metadata

It seems that merely being a recipient of a leak is sufficient, in Australia, for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to search members of parliaments' phone records. The admission that the AFP had accessed “non-content data” of MPs came as independent Senator Nick Xenophon grilled the AFP over the issue. In a Senate Estimates …
Supreme Court Building

Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

A US federal judge has ruled that the NSA is within its rights to harvest millions of innocent Americans' telephone call records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act – and that the dragnet is fine under the Fourth Amendment since the data was collected by a third-party telco, not the government. The decision kicks the debate …
Iain Thomson, 27 Dec 2013

US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

A US federal judge has ruled that Bitcoin meets the criteria for "a form of money" under US law, paving the way for what could become a defining lawsuit for the virtual currency. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Texas resident Trendon Shavers with operating a Ponzi scheme under the name Bitcoin Savings and …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2013
The Sun, hacked to redirect to LulzSec Twitter page

Australian Federal Police claim arrest of 'LulzSec leader'

Updated The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a man described "a self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘Lulz Security’ (Lulzsec), a computer hacking group that has existed since 2011." The as-yet-unnamed 24-year-old man was apprehended in the coastal town of Point Clare was arrested after using a known exploit to last month …
The Register breaking news

AWS cloud gains critical federal security certification

The more people you have to go through to get approval for an IT project, the less likely it is to happen, so when Amazon announces another security certification it's not just about compliance, it's about releasing pent-up cloud demand. With the company's announcement on Tuesday that both its US West and East data center hubs, …
Jack Clark, 21 May 2013

Patch-crazy Aust Govt fought off EVERY hacker since 2013

Australian Signals Directorate deputy director Steve Day says hackers have failed to extract any sensitive information from Federal Government agencies for the last two years despite successfully breaching several networks. Day chalks it up to agencies following the lauded "Top 4 security controls" developed by ASD bod Steve …
Darren Pauli, 02 Jun 2015
Spy hides in dustbin, lifts lid to take photograph

'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

The CIO of the United States has floated a plan to make HTTPS the standard for all .gov websites. “The majority of Federal websites use HTTP as the primary protocol to communicate over the public internet,” says the plan, which also states that HTTP “create a privacy vulnerability and expose potentially sensitive information …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015
The Register breaking news

Press exposure of Federal data security hole leads to legal threats

An investigation into a security slip that left the identity information for over 170,000 users of a US federal government program publicly available online has led to accusations of hacking and legal threats. The Scripps News investigative team spent the last month studying companies running Lifeline, a federal program to …
Iain Thomson, 22 May 2013

AFP officer abused data access to stalk ex

A former officer of the Australian Federal Police's counter-terrorism unit has entered guilty pleas to two charges of stalking using restricted databases. The officer, Roman Eiginson, stood trial for stalking an ex who had left him when he married a Russian woman. As the Canberra Times reports, 53-year-old Eiginson is a former …
The Register breaking news

US federal transport crash investigators ditch BlackBerry for iPhones

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has followed other federal agencies in ditching Blackberry for iPhone. But it's not just because they love the retina screen, the public sector agency has blamed their Blackberry devices for being unreliable in a document on the FedBizOpps site explaining why they are switching …
Anna Leach, 21 Nov 2012
Marconi and transmission equipment

Austrian court rules online radio streaming is not broadcasting

An Austrian court has ruled that online radio streaming does not actually constitute “broadcasting”, and therefore listeners do not need to pay a licence fee. The Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Federal Administrative Court) ruled on Monday that computers with an internet connection, but without radio reception modules such as a TV …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Jul 2015

National Archives finds OPM-style intrusion: No data theft found, though

The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has discovered illicit activity on three of its desktop computers, which may have been compromised in much the same manner as those of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM intrusion lead to an as-yet unidentified group getting hold of millions of federal …
SWAT

Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

One of the individuals who swatted the home of investigative journalist Brian Krebs has pleaded guilty to a felony criminal charge. Swatting, for the uninitiated, involves calling 911 to falsely claim that someone is about to be shot and killed, and giving the police the address of an enemy or rival. What happens next is an …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2015
A Chinese laundry on the back streets of Shanghai

4 new twists that push the hacker attack on millions of US govt workers into WTF land

The data breach that recently hit the US government's Office of Personnel Management, in which personnel records for millions of federal workers were swiped, is worse than first feared, sources claim. According to new reports that emerged on Thursday, the attack was active for more than a year and the pilfered information …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jun 2015

Pwned Hacking Team tells cops, govts to shut down software

Flayed surveillance outfit Hacking Team is telling customers to suspend running instances of its software after 400GB of its source code and internal data was stolen and posted online. The Milan company sells spy software to law enforcement agencies, and has been accused by activist groups of happily signing up oppressive …
Darren Pauli, 07 Jul 2015

Dossiers on US spies, military snatched in 'SECOND govt data leak'

A second data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management has compromised even more sensitive information about government employees than the first breach that was revealed earlier this week, sources claim. It's possible at least 14 million Americans have chapter and verse on their lives leaked, we're told. The Associated …
Neil McAllister, 12 Jun 2015

Australian Govt to launch cyber sec sharing strategy

Australia's Federal Government will this year deliver its first Cyber Security Strategy to generate 'practical' means to improve security including public-private partnerships. It is the second paper-based initiative designed to help address the unruly state of information security across public and private sectors. The …
Darren Pauli, 28 May 2015
FTC building

Yes, AT&T, you do have to go to court with the FTC

AT&T will be forced to go to court with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its handling of unlimited data plans. Judge Edward Chen has struck down (PDF) AT&T's motion to have the FTC complaint dismissed, an order that will force the US telco giant to face charges of violating the Federal Trade Commission Act. Last …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2015
Angela Merkel's eyes

German spooks target officials who leaked govt docs to bloggers

Germany’s domestic secret service is backing a criminal case against government officials who passed documents to the press. Activists claim the investigation is an effort to clamp down on the freedom of the press, while others see it as a cynical move by interior spooks the Federal Office for the Protection of the …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jul 2015
management regulation2

As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

Heads are set to roll at the Office of Personnel Management as director Katherine Archuleta continues to receive a grilling from Senate committees, who are beginning to realise that the country's entire intelligence workforce has been utterly pwned, probably by a hostile nation. Archuleta, alongside OPM's Chief Information …
The US White House. Pic: Roman Boed

White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest

Update The Obama administration is backing Oracle in its long-running legal battle against Google over the Chocolate Factory's alleged infringement of Java copyrights. Oracle brought the case against Google in 2012, claiming it had breached copyright in its Java software when creating its Android mobile operating system. Google …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015

'Come on, everyone – block US govt staff ogling web smut at work'

A US congressman wants to take hard action against government staff viewing grumble flicks at work. House Rep Mark Meadows (R-NC) said that his proposed Eliminating Pornography for Agencies Act would task the White House's Office of Management and Budget to "issue guidelines that prohibit the access of a pornographic or other …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2015
Obama

Obama administration ENDORSES Apple Pay during Tim Cook's White House LOVE-IN

U.S. President Barack Obama has backed Apple Pay – Cupertino's new payment system – after iThing chief Tim Cook was given a 15-minute-long ad spot at the White House on Friday. That endorsement means that the government will accept Apple Pay transactions for citzens who have federal-payment cards and are, for example, claiming …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Feb 2015

US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

In response to this week's data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management, the White House has ordered federal agencies to immediately deploy state-of-the-art anti-hacker defenses – things like installing security patches, and not giving everyone the admin password. This groundbreaking cyber-edict comes after dossiers …
Chris Williams, 13 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

Privacy campaigner blasts FTC's federal limpness

The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is making a mistake by leaving web and data companies to regulate themselves, privacy campaigner the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) said today. Responding to the FTC's report Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change (PDF) published yesterday, EPIC said the …
Anna Leach, 27 Mar 2012
Jeb Johnson

US Homeland Security boss wants nationwide law for reporting network break-ins

Politicians need to educate themselves about technology and enact new legislation to strengthen America's computer networks against attack, according to the director of US Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Speaking at a conference organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Johnson said that top of his wish …
Iain Thomson, 09 Jul 2015

Hacking Team havoc shows even 'security experts' suck at security

Analysis Over the weekend, 400GB of highly sensitive files belonging to Italian malware spyware software house Hacking Team were spread over the internet for everyone to see. The leaked source code and documents look legit, and match what is already known about the secretive firm, which specializes in selling software for monitoring …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2015

Feds ponder jamming journo comms in Australian Parliament

Canberra's appetite for security theatre could soon see comms blackouts in Parliament House as a response to terrorist threats. The proposal emerged by way of a briefing with the president of the press gallery, David Speers, who told Fairfax Media it's part of a plan to ramp up parliamentary security. As well as armed …

Bank-heist malware's servers phone home to Russian spookhaus

Trend Micro researcher Maxim Goncharov says one of the world's most sophisticated and dangerous bank-robbing trojans is now pointing to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). Goncharov says the Carbanak trojan's command and control servers now point to the FSB in what could be a joke or gaffe by malware authors. Carbanak in …
Darren Pauli, 25 May 2015

Cash-strapped Chicago slaps CLOUD TAX on Netflix, Spotify etc users

New changes to tax law in the city of Chicago have effectively raised the prices of online streaming and cloud services in the Windy City, beginning on Wednesday. The Chicago Tribune reports that an update to the city's "amusement tax" adds a 9 per cent tax to Chicagoans' subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and …
Neil McAllister, 02 Jul 2015
The Register breaking news

Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

Viviane Reding, VP of the European Commission, has published an open letter calling for a Federal Europe, modelled on the USA, claiming the only way out of the financial crisis is consolidation of all the participating countries into a single administration. The letter, published on the same day that European leaders are meeting …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2012

Report links alleged US, Israeli cybercrims with JPMorgan MEGAHACK

Federal authorities in America have charged five men who are being indirectly connected with the attack and data breach at JPMorgan Chase last summer, after the global bank, with total assets of $2.6tn, lost the contact data for millions of customers. The attack now appears to have been sourcing targets for a fraudulent …
The Register breaking news

Scores of US federal agencies still open to 2008 cache attack

US federal agencies are still struggling to roll out mandated technology that would make it much harder for attackers to spoof their websites. The Federal Information Security Management Act set a December 2010 deadline to deploy DNSSEC, or DNS Security Extensions, on federal domains. However a survey by Domain Name System …
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2012
management regulation2

THOUSANDS of alleged pirates' addresses to be handed to Dallas Buyers Club

A few thousand Australians will get a cease-and-desist of some kind from the owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club after local internet service provider (ISP) iiNet and its co-defendants lost a Federal Court case. As a result of the loss, Dallas Buyers Club LLC will be able to get the names and addresses of subscribers it …
eyeofSauron

Lack of secure protocol puts US whistleblowers at risk, says ACLU

Responding to the recent proposal for a "HTTPS-Only Standard", the American Civil Liberties Union has stressed the value of a more thorough and timely implementation of functional transport encryption. The non-profit organization noted that at least 29 US federal websites do not currently use HTTPS to protect sensitive …
The Register breaking news

US federal court fast-forwards case on Google privacy policy

A lawsuit brought against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its inaction regarding Google's imminent changes to its terms of service was expedited yesterday. The US federal court of the District of Columbia agreed to a request put forward by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - the plaintiffs in the case …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Feb 2012
1984 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/thepen/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Your metadata and the cost of collecting it belong on your phone and internet bill

When Australia's federal government legislated a carbon tax, some electricity companies tweaked their bills so that customers could see it as a line item. The motivation was purely political: companies that did so were owned by States of Australia whose governments were of a different political hue to the Federal government of …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2015
International Space Station

Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024

Russia has decided that if Europe ends its involvement in the International Space Station (ISS), it will undock and keep its half alive. A meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council has recommended that the Russian space agency continue to support the ISS until 2024. After that, the Federal Space Agency statement …
The Register breaking news

Federal advisors urge Congress to look into China's cyber attacks

A federal advisory group has told the US Congress that it should be doing an in-depth investigation of Chinese cyber spying and that it should create tougher penalties for companies that benefit from corporate espionage. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report to the government that China …
Selection of Australian banknotes

Oz gummint to empty another money-truck into e-health records

Having failed to attract Australians to e-health records in any significant numbers, the cash-strapped federal government is going to pour nearly half a billion into “rebooting” the strategy. Health minister Sussan Ley announced over the weekend that under this week's federal budget, Australia's Personally-Controlled Electronic …
American Airlines Plane

iPad no flight risk says Federal Aviation Authority

Being asked to switch off your electronic devices during the takeoff and landing phases of a flight now looks even more anachronistic, after American Airlines announced it has been given permission to let its pilots use iPads in the cockpit “in all phases of flight”. The airline is chuffed that the Federal Aviation …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2012
US Digital Service Logo

Obama pinches VMware's CIO for same gig at White House

VMware's senior veep and CIO Tony Scott has been made an offer he couldn't refuse: to take the latter job in the US Government. The White House announced the appointment Thursday, with the canned statement saying he's the right person to meet the gig's goals of "driving value in Federal IT investments ... delivering world-class …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Feb 2015