Tech News for May 19

3 Ways Cognitive Computing Can Be Good for Government

When IBM’s Watson supercomputer won Jeopardy in 2011, cognitive computing exploded onto the public scene as a very possible — if not slightly unnerving — reality. The industry has been interested in the prospect of computers that think since science fiction comics of the 1950s first tantalized readers; Watson, however, let the general public see firsthand just what was possible. Today, technologists are looking past simply winning trivia game shows toward a future where machines are more than just computational — a future where they are able to put together seemingly unrelated data to make decisions (under some level of human supervision, of course).

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SEC: Cyber security is the biggest risk to the global financial system

Cyber security is the biggest risk facing the financial system, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Tuesday, in one of the frankest assessments yet of the threat to Wall Street from digital attacks. Banks around the world have been rattled by a $81 million cyber theft from the Bangladesh central bank that was funneled through SWIFT, a member-owned industry cooperative that handles the bulk of cross-border payment instructions between banks.

[] 5/18

Then there were 117 million. LinkedIn password breach much bigger than thought

Login credentials for as many as 117 million LinkedIn accounts have been put up for sale online by someone who is seeking more than $2,200 for the haul, a security researcher said. The credentials—which include e-mail addresses and passwords hashed using the woefully weak SHA1 function—appear to come from a 2012 breach of the career networking site, researcher Troy Hunt said in a series of tweets. LinkedIn officials have since verified that the 2012 hack was the source and said they are working to invalidate any passwords that may still be actively used on compromised accounts. According to LeakedSource, a site that maintains a database of more than 1.25 billion compromised accounts, the new batch contains data for 167 million accounts. 117 million of the records in the batch include a password field.

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Assembly Hearing Examines Telecom Cutover in California

Frontier Communications expects to move through and resolve its April complaint backlog over the next 10 days, according to a company executive who answered questions during a hearing Wednesday of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce. Melinda White, Frontier’s west-region president, fielded questions from committee members related not only to service and outages, but also to public safety and the company’s inability to effectively address customer-service issues. She called Frontier’s takeover of Verizon’s voice, video, data and FiOS network the “largest flash cutover in the history of telecom.” On April 1, Frontier acquired 3.3 million landlines, 2.1 million broadband connections and 1.2 million fiber-optic customers in the three states, according to a previous Daily Press report.

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California Highway Patrol CIO Appointed to State 911 Advisory Board

Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Wednesday the appointment of California Highway Patrol CIO Scott Howland to the State 9-1-1 Advisory Board. Howland has served as CIO and chief of the CHP Information Management Division since 2014. In that role, he provides oversight and support for the law enforcement agency’s IT and telecommunications applications and infrastructure. He has worked at CHP since 1990. Howland also oversees the CHP’s computer crimes investigations unit.

[] 5/19

Next cyberattack front could be your car

For the many folks concerned about cyberthieves hacking emails and stealing personal information from online accounts, here comes another worry: A cyberattack on your car – while you’re driving. That’s one of the threats outlined in a report on “Vehicle Cybersecurity” by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The computerized gadgets that make late-model cars safer and more fun to drive also provide an entry for thieves, terrorists and thrill seeking geeks. GAO knows of no cyberattacks resulting in injury yet, but the report warns that remote “attacks could involve multiple vehicles and cause widespread impacts including passenger injuries or fatalities…cyber attackers could theoretically achieve massive attacks of multiple vehicles simultaneously.”

[] 5/18

California seeks $10M for quake alert system by ‘18

California Gov. Jerry Brown will seek state funds to help establish a system that issues alerts that an earthquake is occurring — with an eye on rolling out a limited system by 2018, a newspaper reported Monday. The governor will ask the Legislature to allocate $10 million toward the system being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and university researchers, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision to include the plan in his revised state budget is a reversal for Brown. He has supported creation of the system but previously argued that the money should come from private and federal sources. Seismic early warning systems are designed to detect the first shock waves from a large jolt, calculate the strength and alert people before the slower but damaging waves spread. Ultimately, scientists plan to develop apps for mobile phones and computers that would give the public the early alerts.

[] 5/17


Heading for the Breaches: California Recommends Data Security Measures

The California Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recently released a report detailing a comprehensive analysis of the data breaches reported to the OAG between 2012 and 2015. Fifty million records of Californians were reportedly breached during those four years. The report acknowledges that security is a challenging endeavor for organizations, but points out that many of the breaches reported could have been prevented by taking reasonable security measures. The report provides the following key recommendations for businesses…

[] 5/16

18F denies data breach reported by agency watchdog

18F, the General Services Administration’s tech squad, says “What data breach?” The agency has responded to a recent GSA Office of Inspector General report saying it exposed employees sensitive information on the messaging application Slack. 18F said its own investigation found no information was inappropriately shared, and that it actually fixed the problem back in March.

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FirstNet Makes Progress, But Cost and Quality Concerns Remain

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is moving fast toward its goal of a dedicated nationwide public safety communications network. On May 13, the federal agency published an updated map that gives an overview of the states’ progress in preparing for the network, which is expected to launch within the next couple of years. Every state but Mississippi has met with FirstNet for an initial consultation, and all but New Jersey and Mississippi are included in FirstNet’s data collection process. FirstNet’s current phase is to consult with the states’ governance bodies, and 12 states have completed this phase. These meetings are centered around FirstNet’s goal of awarding and approving a 25-year vendor contract for the network by this November, after having only issued the RFP in January.

[] 5/18

What Is California’s Digital Innovation and Technology Engagement Office?

The California Department of Technology‘s new innovation office will be a place where government can try unconventional or radical ideas that could fail, its director says. “That may scare some folks — ‘radical’ and ‘unconventional’ in government. Those two don’t often reside in the same sentence or conversation. But we aim to do that,” Scott Gregory said during a May 12 technology conference in Sacramento. A lab is being launched within the Office of Digital Innovation and Technology Engagement where users can experiment with open source code via Redhat OpenStack. The space will be housed in the state’s private cloud.

[] 5/19


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