News Feature | June 25, 2014

Government IT News For VARs — June 25, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs

In the news this week, U.S. Airports were targeted by a phishing scam last year, and the General Services Administration (GSA) goes green.

U.S. Airports Targeted By Phishing Scam

The Center For Internet Security (CIS) reports that, in 2013, an undisclosed nation-state made an effort to breach U.S. commercial aviation networks via a cyberattacks, according to InformationWeek. The CIS alerted four airports that they were targets of an advanced potential threat in 2013. A short time later, CIS was notified that eight more airports might have been compromised. The investigation identified emails that had been sent specifically to employees in the aviation industry. CIS also identified an online document that they believed was the source used by the attackers to select victims.

Neutral Net Bill May Be Introduced By Lawmakers

Lawmakers in Vermont and California introduced a piece of legislation that would support net neutrality if passed. The bill, named the Online Competition And Consumer Choice Act Of 2014, would prevent online content owners from receiving faster delivery speeds in exchange for payment to Internet service providers. The bill was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep. Doris Matsui of California. According to Government Technology, it is just the latest move in the battle between big businesses and Internet rights advocacy groups. 

Agriculture Department Adopts SDN

The USDA’s National Information Technology Center (NITC) has adopted software-defined networking (SDN) in an effort to improve its cloud services. According to InformationWeek, the USDA has recently been faced with increased demand for cloud computing. The NITC (an operational component of the USDA’s office of the CIO) is launching an Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering, which will be capable of furnishing virtual private datacenters within the cloud. The solution is expected to also deliver a higher level of security to cloud users.

GSA Plans To Save $3M In Energy Costs

The GSA has moved into green initiatives through an effort to boost sustainability across federal buildings. FedTech Magazine reports that the initiatives (which include a new, Energy Savings Performance Contract) stem from President Barack Obama’s goal of implementing $2 billion in energy efficiency upgrades at federal buildings over the next three years. The GSA is partnering with energy services from Ameresco in its work to install energy-reduction retrofits and on-site renewable energy. The public-private partnership was announced last week at the SmartAmerica Expo in Washington, D.C.

Government IT Talking Points

A new report, available from Government Technology, addresses whether state and local governments may be underestimating their exposure to cyber threats. The report is based on a survey by the Center For Digital Government and looks at government leaders’ perspectives on the threats they each face, as well as their strategies for addressing them and plans for moving forward.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Government IT Resource Center.

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