News Roundup

Wednesday Roundup: Technology visas, finding fraud in big data

USCIS Form I-140

All hands on deck for cyberattacks. Despite all the talk, the government appears unprepared for detecting and correcting such an attack, Technology Review reports. According to the International Society of Automation's Joe Weiss, "We don't have technology to secure these systems [and] don't even have technology to do cyber forensics or logging at the control layer."

SEC and IRS find fraud with big data. "The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service are embracing new data mining tools and social media to prevent or recover improper payments while also streamlining internal management," Government Executive reports.

One area where Obama, Romney agree. The president and his GOP challenger did not talk about government tech or even government workers to any significant degree in their Oct. 16 debate, but The Hill reports that both candidates expressed support for "boosting high-skilled visas” in order to attract foreign workers with technology skills.

Zero-day attacks frequent, serious. "Computer attacks that target undisclosed vulnerabilities are more common and last longer than many security researchers previously thought," Ars Technica reports. Antivirus provider Symantec conducted a survey that tracked the number and duration of these "zero-day" attacks over the course of three years.

Get used to the cloud. Salesforce.com Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami spoke on the long-term significance of cloud technology at an Oct. 17 conference in Europe, and argued that "we recognize the cloud today more by its absence," Gigaom reports.

PDF lovers lament. U.S. agencies, take heed:  The government across the pond is taking aim at PDF document dumps. The Guardian reports that the British government, which has established aggressive open-data standards, has warned "departments who continue to publish the data in their annual reports in PDF format would be 'dealt with'."

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