Point-of-sale crisis: Anatomy of a cyberattack

What’s behind the alarming increase in cyberattacks on point-of-sale systems? The Secret Service and the FBI say it’s pretty simple: POS systems are easy to hack and they hold all the money.

Audit: IRS won’t hit HSPD-12 ID card benchmark until 2018

New Treasury Department CIO Sonny Bhagowalia has only been on the job for a few hours, but he already has a major department headache to deal with.

Presidential Management Fellows program gets high marks in survey, though agencies lag

Presidential Management Fellows reported a high rate of satisfaction with the overall program — but they were less happy with their agency, according to a new survey released today by the Partnership for Public Service.

NSF grants merge computing and environmental sustainability

The environment and the world of computers may be at opposite ends of the physical spectrum, but a new set of National Science Foundation grants seeks to leverage advances in computing to promote the science of sustainability.

Commentary: 8 reasons why government contractors should embrace open source software

Government contractors have been slow to embrace open source software. There’s a handful of reasons why that’s the case, but it doesn’t have to be that way, says GitHub’s Government Evangelist Ben Balter.

Ready to cast your vote online? Don’t hold your breath

We do almost everything online, from banking to buying a house and managing our most private health care issues. So why will it take another 30 to 40 years before the Internet is secure enough to support online voting?

CMS extends Healthcare.gov Terremark IT contract, further delaying HP transition

Healthcare.gov’s second open enrollment period was supposed to be hosted by HP Enterprises Services, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has yet again extended a contract with the site’s original Web host, Terremark, further delaying the transition to HP’s cloud services.

The CIOs of 2020 will lead with ‘soft skills’

Come 2020, a hard-nosed technical expertise is not going to cut it for federal IT leaders. Tomorrow’s IT leaders and the people who fill their vacancies are going to require business acumen and soft skills, like the ability to communicate, a group current federal chief information officers said Tuesday.

CDC tries to disrupt public health education with video games

Video games and public health education don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but a disruptive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention event is merging the two worlds this weekend to continue fighting what it calls a winnable battle against HIV and AIDS.

Agencies shine in new Twitter handbook for government and elections

Citing examples from several departments and agencies, Twitter released a guide for government and elections usage last week, covering the basics from what the social media network is and how to compose a tweet to more complex topics like live-tweeting events, constituent engagement and Twitter question and answer sessions.

Reinventing the FBI: The Comey vision

James B. Comey is only the seventh director in FBI history. And with only a year on the job, he is spearheading a quiet revolution in how the 106 year-old institution recruits, trains, organizes and develops its leadership.

3 innovative ways agencies are leveraging mobile apps

From geo-coded big data to finding HIV care and leveraging Google Glass to inspect GSA’s buildings, mobile apps are changing the face of government forever.

IG for Afghan reconstruction investigating botched telecom deal

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wants to know why the State Department spent millions of dollars on telecommunications towers that were either never used or transferred to the Pentagon as “excess” property.

GAO questions Healthcare.gov security on eve of major hearing

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has not done enough to secure Healthcare.gov and the personal information belonging to millions of Americans stored on the system remains at unnecessary risk, a new government audit revealed.

Will funding issues force FAA’s NextGen into a holding pattern?

The FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, called NextGen, is a monumental effort to modernize air travel in the United States. But after a decade of development work and a fair amount of progress at 1,600 airports around the country, funding issues could delay the full promise of NextGen.

Does the Internet of Things hold the key to post-9/11 emergency comms?

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there’s been little progress made to improve communications for first responders during disasters. But a new project led by the Department of Homeland Security aims to leverage the Internet of Things to provide the life-saving communications capabilities our nation’s heroes need.

Women tech leaders call for changes in STEM education, perceptions

With the nation facing an unprecedented shortage of workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, some women technology leaders would like to see changes in the education system so that children — especially girls — are taught at a younger age that STEM subjects are both cool and important to society.

NASA review panel to Mars Curiosity team: Show us the science

The Mars Curiosity Rover cost taxpayers $2.5 billion. But a NASA review panel has concerns about what it recently called a “poor science return for a such a large investment in a flagship mission.”

Issa demands answers after Healthcare.gov hack

News of a security breach at Healthcare.gov has reinvigorated the Republican-led effort to convince Americans the law and the website are broken. And now the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding answers from the Obama administration’s point person at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Light particles may hold the keys to a revolution in encryption

The largest information technology licensing deal ever signed by the Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory may one day produce uncrackable encryption for use use in personal communications, e-commerce, banking and critical infrastructure data transfer.

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