Tech News for May 16

State Treasurer’s Office Selects Contractor for Debt Management System

The State Treasurer’s Office announced Friday it has selected Sacramento-based Natoma Technologies to provide implementation services for the Debt Management System.The State Treasurer’s Office is using an alternative approach to procurement and project management for this system modernization. The contract is built around sequential work authorizations so that the state and its contractor can take advantage of contract “offramps” should the situation call for it.STO officials say it should be more flexible, not as costly and less risky compared to a a full waterfall-style system replacement.

[techwire.net] 5/16

FI$Cal Department Could Land Under GovOps Agency

In what increasingly looks like a formality, the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal) is well on its way to becoming a full-fledged department as it transforms from an IT project to a service organization.The project’s executive partner, Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, told a State Senate budget subcommittee on Thursday that FI$Cal is in a transition period right now, fulfilling departmental functions simultaneously alongside typical IT project functions, such as design and development.”The intent is that when the project is 100 percent complete and implemented, that it does go under GovOps,” Ingenito said, referring to California’s Government Operations Agency.

[techwire.net] 5/16

Jerry Brown sees budget trouble for California, wants to hold line

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised budget on Friday the 13th, which implies that he’s not superstitious.

However, amid signs of a cooling economy – and therefore flattening revenue – Brown’s run of fiscal luck may be ending, and he knows it.

“Things don’t last forever,” Brown told reporters – to whom he had given copies of Aesop’s fable about the thrifty ant and the profligate grasshopper. “The surging tide of revenue has begun to turn as it always does.”

Brown’s revision cuts projected 2016-17 revenue by $1.9 billion, reflecting a shortfall in current revenue, and he’s telling his fellow Democrats in the Legislature to cool hopes of raising health and welfare spending, saying it would “spend money you don’t have.”

[sacbee.com] 5/14

DWR Website Features Online Calculators for Water Footprint

The Department of Water Resources’ new Water Footprint webpage features two online calculators designed to help individuals and households determine how much water they use.According to Water Plan e-news, the GRACE Communications Foundation developed a calculator that individuals and households can use to calculate their water footprint. The Water Footprint Network also has acalculator that estimates an individual’s personal water footprint.The Department of Water explains on the new webpage that “water that comes from the faucet is only about one-tenth of the water that people use each day.”

[techwire.net] 5/16

Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Procurement Consultants to Register as Lobbyists

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday vetoed a bill intended to shed light on billions of dollars in state spending and consultants who help companies win lucrative government contracts.

AB 1200 by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, would have required individuals or entities to register as a lobbyist if they are paid more than $2000 per month to communicate with state agencies and influence state contract awards.

“Given that the laws regulating state procurement are voluminous and already contain ample opportunity for public scrutiny, I don’t believe this bill is necessary,” Brown wrote in his veto message.

The Legislature passed the bill on May 2 with a vote of 72-0 and no lawmakers speaking in opposition.

[techwire.net] 5/16

Researchers crack the latest version of CryptXXX ransomware

Researchers from Kaspersky Lab have developed a method of decrypting files affected with the latest version of CryptXXX, a malware program that combines ransomware and information-stealing capabilities.

CryptXXX was first discovered in April by security researchers from Proofpoint. In addition to encrypting user files on local drives and network shares, the malware also steals saved log-in credentials from browsers, instant messaging applications, FTP clients and email clients. It then asks for a US$500 ransom to be paid in bitcoins.

Researchers from Kaspersky Lab found a way to recover files affected by the original variant of CryptXXX and created a decryptor tool. However, on May 6, CryptXXX authors released a new version that rendered that tool ineffective.

The good news for users is that Kaspersky’s researchers were able to figure out a way to also decrypt files affected by CryptXXX 2.0. Their updated tool is called RannohDecryptor and can be downloaded from the company’s support website.

[computerworld.com] 5/16

Warren Buffett and Dan Gilbert Unite in Bid to Acquire Yahoo

Yahoo appears to be making progress in efforts to sell itself, despite some initial skepticism.

The latest piece of evidence: Among those vying for the company is the unusual combination of the investor Warren E. Buffett and Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That consortium is one of several suitors that have moved into the second round of bidding for Yahoo, according to people briefed on the matter.

[nytimes.com] 5/15

7 reasons to gamify your cybersecurity strategy

Data breaches continue to grow in number, size, severity and cost. With the increase in new security holes, vulnerabilities and attack vectors that need to be fixed, many businesses are turning to gamification to help employees adhere to cybersecurity best practices.

Gamification is the process of engaging people and changing behavior using game mechanics in a non-game context. Essentially, it’s taking what’s fun about games and applying it to situations that maybe aren’t so fun.

By using gamification, organizations are finding new ways to educate employees on the importance of cybersecurity, through gaming elements like one-on-one competitions, rewards programs and more.

[cio.com] 5/16

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