News in Brief

DHS vets apps, GSA turns on the lights and DOE invests more in supercomputers

DHS covers vetting for all major mobile apps

The Department of Homeland Security's technology division has expanded its mobile app vetting and archiving capability to cover all major app markets.

DHS' Science and Technology Directorate said in a statement that its technology can now archive apps from iTunes, Windows Phone Store, Google Play, Amazon, and 83 global third-party mobile app markets such as Baidu and Cydia.

S&T said the expansion is part of its Cyber Security Division's app archiving program, which was launched in 2013 with George Mason University and commercial provider KryptoWire to help the government quickly vet and inventory mobile apps. In December 2014, S&T said KryptoWire and the university rolled out the first phase, which archived Android smartphone apps and integrated existing app-vetting capabilities to help analysts understand changes over an app's lifespan.

The technology's second phase, S&T said, has now been commercialized by KryptoWire and archives more than 2.4 million unique free apps, including the top 200 paid apps across four major app stores. The technology has the capability to archive additional mobile apps on demand.

S&T plans to showcase the mobile app archiving technology at the April 21-24 RSA conference in San Francisco, along with other S&T-funded technologies that are ready for transition into the marketplace. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson is slated to give a keynote address at the event about evolving cybersecurity threats and his agency's strategy to address them.

Revamped acquisition.gov goes live

The General Services Administration announced it "turned the lights on at acquisition.gov" on April 13.

The agency said it has been working since September to develop the acquisition.gov site into "a more comprehensive, user-friendly hub that allows contracting officers to electronically search past and present versions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and GSA Acquisition Manual, and stay-up-to-date on the latest developments in federal acquisition.

GSA also said the new site organizes other acquisition resources such as supplemental regulations and comprehensive categories, providing easier access to the resources that contracting officers use most.

Final contract signed in DOE supercomputing program

The Department of Energy extended its exascale supercomputer development program at its Argonne Leadership Computing Facility near Chicago with a third and final contract under its Collaboration of Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore (CORAL) initiative.

The new $200 million High Performance Computing awards to develop the exascale capabilities are part of a $525 million project announced by DOE in 2014. CORAL was established to leverage supercomputers that will be five to seven times more powerful than today's top supercomputers. The department had earlier announced a $325 million project to build state-of-the-art supercomputers at its Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore laboratories.

When commissioned in 2018, the supercomputer at Argonne will be open to all scientific users, it said.

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