Tech News for June 10

Passwords for 32M Twitter accounts may have been hacked and leaked

There is yet another hack for users of popular social media sites to worry about. Hackers may have used malware to collect more than 32 million Twitter login credentials that are now being sold on the dark web. Twitter says that its systems have not been breached. “We are confident that these usernames and credentials were not obtained by a Twitter data breach – our systems have not been breached. In fact, we’ve been working to help keep accounts protected by checking our data against what’s been shared from recent other password leaks,” a Twitter spokesperson said. LeakedSource, a site with a search engine of leaked login credentials, said in a blog post that it received a copy of the user information from “,” the same alias used by the person who gave it hacked data from Russian social network VK last week.

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VMware CIO commands IoT effort

The Internet of Things is in a peculiar phase of its lifecycle. Unless you count that patchwork mess known as home automation, there isn’t much of an established market. Yet the broad applicability of connecting “things,” which can include assigning IP addresses to anything from refrigerators to manufacturing equipment, has companies contemplating sensible sensor-filled scenarios. To enable developers to build applications that capitalize on IoT, VMware has released to open source a software development kit. It’s the company’s first foray into the IoT phenomenon. Liota, which stands for Little IoT Agent, enables applications that captures and relays device data to servers and networking gear, and can also receive control signals from those data center components, says CIO Bask Iyer.

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IRS failed to alert 100,000+ taxpayers damaged by massive data breach – inspector general

The Internal Revenue Service missed over 100,000 people whose information was stolen as a result of a data breach, failing to properly assist the affected taxpayers, the federal agency’s inspector general says. A report released Wednesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says that more than 350,000 people had their information compromised in an early 2015 hack, while the IRS only initially counted about 220,000. The hack targeted the agency’s Get Transcript system, which allows taxpayers to view their records over the internet. By impersonating the actual owners of these accounts, identity thieves managed to get their hands on the sensitive information of countless Americans.

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Will a Cyberattack Cause the Next Big Bank Failure?

As the threat of cyberattacks against financial institutions has grown, the response by industry and government has matured. Banking agencies, trade groups, law enforcement authorities and others have developed protocols for identifying, limiting, reporting and otherwise responding to attacks. But a newer type of threat is growing that has so far received scant focus from the industry and government. The attention on cyberattacks has so far focused mainly on data breaches and so-called “denial-of-service” attacks, in which an institution’s computers or servers are rendered temporarily or indefinitely unavailable to its customers. Less attention has been paid to what might be termed “denial-of-system” attacks, which can make enterprisewide information systems completely inoperable. Such attacks have occurred, and the possibility of a catastrophic failure at a “systemically important financial institution” resulting from such an attack poses a serious risk to the stability of the U.S. financial system.

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States scramble to protect student data and privacy

What if a child’s performance in a fifth-grade gym class could be used to set the rate for a life insurance policy when they’re 50? What if a computer program advertised interactive tutoring when your child struggled with long division? Privacy advocates worry these scenarios could become reality as schools increasingly rely on outside companies to collect, manage and analyze the massive amount of data gleaned from standardized tests, transcripts, individual education programs and even cafeteria purchases. This subcontracting is not new or uncommon, but it has often left school districts without explicit control over students’ personal information. And it has left some parents, administrators and privacy advocates worried that those companies might one day sell or mine the data for a profit.

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How Your Organization Can Make The Most Of Their Data

The rise of open data has seen many agencies hopping on the bandwagon and working towards open data policies. However, there is still frequently confusion over how an agency can best utilize their data to meet both internal and public needs. In order to explore the most innovative and efficient ways your organization can open up their data and get the most out of it, Christopher Thomas, Director of Government Markets at Esri joined GovLoop for a recent online training, “Creating an Open Data Strategy that Just Works: Building Smart Communities Through Next Generation Open Data Opportunities.” Thomas emphasized that the shift to open data has been a long and slow time coming. According to a survey taken during the online training, almost 42% of the participants in the training work at agencies that do not have a plan to launch an open data effort.

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Major data center planned at McClellan Park

Plans for a major data center at McClellan Park were confirmed Wednesday. Frank Myers, senior vice president and chief financial officer of McClellan Park, said initial plans call for a 66,000-square-foot center in an existing building. That building, Myers said, sits on a 9-acre site purchased in last year’s fourth quarter by Sacramento Venture One, a joint undertaking between McClellan Park and California-based Xtream Data Centers. Myers said plans call for construction of a second data center building of 75,000 to 100,000 square feet on the same parcel. He noted that SVO owns land for development adjacent to the parcel, “so there is room to expand.”

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DOT Continues to Lead the Way in Smart Technology Development

“Smart technology,” “integrated data systems,” and “intelligent systems” are today’s buzz words for what is unique and innovative. They are used to describe what is futuristic and high-tech – a way to make the world better. But, did you know, DOT has been on the forefront of creating a real and workable “smart” system for over 25 years? In 1991, before people even began talking about smart technology, DOT established its Intelligent Transportation System Joint Office within the Federal Highway Administration to oversee multimodal intelligent transportation research systems initiatives. The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program is not just a marketing or publicity ploy within DOT – ITS is a reality.

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State Budget Deal Finds Middle Ground on Big Tech Projects

The $122.2 billion budget deal the Brown administration and legislative leaders have agreed to puts funding toward several technology systems while seemingly putting other potential IT projects on hold. The framework of a deal hammered out in the Budget Conference Committee and closed-door negotiations was revealed on Thursday evening, well ahead of a state constitutional deadline to pass a budget. Here are some points of note, according to committee documents: The compromise puts $10 million in the General Fund toward the Brown administration’s Precision Medicine initiative, and stipulates the program must maximize matching funds and non-state funds.

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IT Analysis: City of Stockton 2016-17 Budget

The city of Stockton’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016-17 lists major technology initiatives for the coming 12 months. The city Information Technology Department is led by CIO and director Nabil Fares and is authorized for about $16 million of expenditures annually. “The City Council identified improved technology as one of its strategic priorities which includes participation from all departments including significant efforts by IT,” the proposed budget says.

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Foreman: 5 Reasons Why Public Sector Should Develop a Native Mobile App

In a previous post, I discussed why public-sector organizations and nonprofits should adopt a mobile strategy and briefly mentioned that in adopting a mobile strategy, they should consider developing a native mobile app. Here are five reasons why. (Click the title to read).

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Gov. Brown, lawmakers agree on California spending plan

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders reached an agreement Thursday on a state budget that expands funding for subsidized child care and eliminates a controversial welfare policy that restricts cash assistance for nearly 130,000 children. The deal also includes $400 million for housing construction to help people with low income struggling with rapidly rising rent. But it’s contingent on lawmakers approving a contentious proposal by Brown to speed up development in some neighborhoods, and most of the details remain unresolved. A legislative budget panel met Thursday evening to approve the spending plan, setting up votes in the full Assembly and Senate next week. A spokesman for Brown, Evan Westrup, confirmed the budget committee was acting on an agreement between the Democratic governor, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, both Democrats from Los Angeles.

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