Articles about government

Spectre graphic

Virus screener goes down, Intel patches more chips, Pegasus government spying code spreads across globe

Roundup When we weren't dealing with malware bricked-breweries, poorly-wiped servers or litigious vendors, we had a number of other security headaches to keep busy with. Here's a few of them. Gov pay sites pilfered Government pay portals were in the crosshairs of cybercriminals this week. First, there was GovPayNow, who got the …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Sep 2018
People voting with good old paper

Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

A US judge has OK'd the use of paperless electronic voting machines in Georgia – despite being "gravely concerned" about the state's ability to defend them from hackers. District Judge Amy Totenberg said in a ruling (PDF) issued Tuesday that the state would be allowed to use the machines to collect and tabulate votes in this …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Sep 2018

US State Department confirms: Unclassified staff email boxes hacked

The US State Department has confirmed one of its email systems was attacked, potentially exposing the personal information of some of its employees. Uncle Sam's officials said in a statement to The Register on Tuesday that "suspicious activity" in its email system led it to send out warnings to a number of employees whose …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Sep 2018

Former Detroit IT boss sent down 20 months for bathroom bung bonanza

The former head of IT for the US city of Detroit will spend the next 20 months behind bars for taking bribes while he was in office. Charles Dodd had served as director of the city's Departmental Technology Services (DTS) from 2014 to 2016, during which time he bagged nearly $30,000 in bungs from tech companies. He pleaded …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2018

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

The upcoming 2020 US presidential election should be conducted on paper, since there is no way currently to make electronic and internet voting secure. That's according to a dossier from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which probed the fallout of alleged Russian meddling with America's 2016 …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Sep 2018

Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17

Updated California’s net neutrality bill SB822 has cleared another hurdle on its way to becoming a state law. The bill received a 58-17 majority vote from the state assembly following a heated debate and amendment process. Because some provisions of the bill were changed by the Assembly, it will have to once again be voted on by the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2018

Won’t patch systems? Never run malware scans? Welcome to the US State Department!

A branch of the US State Department charged with detecting visa fraud was found to be ignoring basic information security practices. As pointed out by NextGov, a recent audit conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the State Department found that its Bureau of Consular Affairs Office of Fraud Prevention was …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Aug 2018

Voting machine maker claims vote machine hack-fests a 'green light' for foreign hackers

Voting machine maker ES&S says it did not cooperate with the Voting Village at hacking conference DEF CON because it worried the event posed a national security risk. This is according to a letter the biz sent to four US senators in response to inquiries about why the manufacturer was dismissive of the show's village and its …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2018
3D printed gun

Judge bars distribution of 3D gun files... er, five years after they were slapped onto the web

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring the online distribution of CAD files for 3D printed guns, upholding a temporary injunction issued in late July. "We just won a preliminary injunction in federal court, continuing to block the Trump admin from allowing the distribution of 3D-printed gun files," said …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Aug 2018
A child unhappy with her cash stash

Salesforce boss Marc Benioff objects to US immigration policy so much, he makes millions from, er, US immigration

Almost five dozen CEOs at US tech giants and other big businesses this week denounced the White House's immigration policies in an open letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The corporate leaders, members of a chief executive club called the Business Roundtable, did not voice concern over the Trump …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Aug 2018

Beam me up, PM: Digital secretary expected to give Tory conference speech as hologram

Putting the digital into "digital secretary", Jeremy Wright has been slated to appear at the UK Tory party's annual gabfest as a hologram. According to The Sunday Times, inside sources said the idea of having the secretary of state appear as a flickering light display was a part of efforts to make the conference "less boring …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Aug 2018
China cybersecurity

Juno this ain't right! Chinese hackers target Alaska

An attack on US government facilities in Alaska has been traced back to China's Tsinghua University and a larger hacking effort. Researchers with security house Recorded Future say [PDF] that the attack, initially focused on seperatist activity in Tibet, grew to to target US government operations in the Pacific including bases …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2018
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft gets edge on AWS with Azure Stack for government

Microsoft has kicked out a build of its Azure Stack on-premise cloud for US government use. The release extends Microsoft's Azure program for the government into the on-prem market, and gives Redmond one more selling point in its battle with AWS to land the lucrative IT service contracts Uncle Sam regularly hands out. By …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2018
Delete me

Congresscritters want answers on Tillerson's rm -rf /opt/gov/infosec

US House Democrats are asking Republicans to subpoena the State Department over its decision to shut down a key government cybersecurity office. Reps Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Robin Kelly (D-IL) penned an open letter [PDF] to Oversight and Government Reform committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) this week asking that he issue a …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Aug 2018
Hand pulls on a latex rubber glove (disposable). Photo by shutterstock

Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe's digital prowess and tech savvy

The UK government's efforts to improve digital services, boost staff's tech skills and prepare for cyber attacks and the extra burden of Brexit are to be probed by MPs. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry on digital government, which should have tech Whitehall-watchers grabbing for the …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Jul 2018
Vote button

US voting systems (in Oregon) potentially could be hacked (11 years ago) by anybody (in tech support)

Updated A US voting machine manufacturer has admitted some of its systems sold in the early 2000s had a remote access tool installed. In a letter (PDF) sent to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April, and revealed today, voting systems vender ES&S said that, from 2000-2006, a handful of machines it sold to local governments in Wyden's home …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2018
People wearing biohazard suits after nuclear explosion

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

Analysis While staying at a Marriott hotel in San Antonio, Texas, US government staffers left nuclear material, recovered from a non-profit research lab, in a rented SUV overnight. The following morning, these individuals – described as "security experts" at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory – found their Ford …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Jul 2018

Former wig-wearing Twitterphobe replaces Hancock as's Secretary of Fun

Today's reshuffle of UK politicos sees Jeremy Wright – a man whose parody account has seen more activity in 12 hours than his real one has in the past three years – appointed Secretary of Fun. Wright, a lawyer by training, takes the reins at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from Matt Hancock, who has been …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jul 2018

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