News in Brief

VPN hacks, GFEBS' newest customer, a Blackberry-Samsung partnership and more

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Report: VPN could have been vector for Postal Service hack

Hackers who penetrated the systems of the U.S. Postal Service computer systems could have entered via a virtual private network, according to a report in GovInfoSecurity.

The records of more than 800,000 USPS employees were affected and possibly as many as 2.9 million customers. The indications, according to the report, are that investigators "have not publicly ruled out the VPN as a suspected pathway for the hacker to access Postal Service IT system."

The VPN is used mainly for telework by staffers based in the Washington, D.C., headquarters of USPS. The VPN was taken offline in the wake of the breach for an upgrade, according to a Postal Service spokesman.

Defense Health Agency joins Army ERP system

The National Capitol Region Medical Directorate, a part of the Defense Health Agency, is the first organization outside of the Army to fully integrate into the General Fund Enterprise Business System, GCN reports.

GFEBS is one of the largest enterprise resource planning systems in the world, processing 1 million transactions a day for some 79,000 end users at more than 200 sites worldwide.

Blackberry, Samsung team up on mobile security

Blackberry's once-dominant hold on the federal mobile market has slipped in recent years, as more agencies have allowed Android and Apple devices into the mix. Now the company is looking to work with those devices -- and reinforce its reputation for mobile security.

On Nov. 13, the company announced that its new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12) will work with both Android and iOS devices, using Samsung's Knox mobile security software. The firms announced that Samsung will resell BES12 to joint customers, while BlackBerry will offer KNOX support as part certain BES12 subscriptions. Earlier this year, the Defense Department approved the Knox Hypervisor virtualization technology for use on sensitive DOD networks.

Law enforcement's use of social media widespread but ad hoc

A new survey shows that law enforcement agencies are increasingly using social media to both investigate and communicate, but often doing so without formal policies or guidance.

The study, commissioned by LexisNexis, polled local, state and federal law enforcement personnel, found that one in four used social media daily in their investigations. More than 85 percent said social media was part of their investigative efforts at least 2-3 times per month. Fewer said they used social media to monitor special events (40 percent), or to notify the public of crimes (34 percent) or disasters and other emergencies (34 percent).

More than half of the agencies surveyed, however, did "not have a formal process in place regarding the use of social media for investigations."

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