News in Brief

IED-toting drones, NSA on GitHub, a new OASIS dashboard and more

Shutterstock image: hover drone.

The Army has come up with a way to defend against IEDs carried on small drones.

Army concerned about IED-carrying drones

The Army has "creatively adapted a program designed to counter rockets, artillery and mortars" (counter-RAM) for defense against small unmanned aerial systems that could carry improvised explosive devices, Defense Systems reports.

"This is a huge threat [that] has been coming up on everybody," said Manfredi Luciano, project officer for the Army's Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integrated Demonstration. "It has kind of almost sneaked up on people, and it's almost more important than the counter-RAM threat."

An open call for the next open-gov action plan

The government plans to publish its third Open Government National Action Plan later this year and is seeking the public's input. Suggestions may be submitted by tweeting to @OpenGov or emailing opengov@ostp.gov.

The General Services Administration is also gathering feedback via a publicly available Hackpad site where collaborative content can be viewed and amended.

The Open Government Partnership -- a group of 65 countries that has included the U.S. since 2011 -- pushes for increased transparency and public participation in government. The U.S. effort reflects the organization's guidelines for national action plans and seeks comments and suggestions that would ambitiously advance accountability and public participation in ways that are specific and measurable. 

NSA posts cyber tool to GitHub

The National Security Agency has posted a cybersecurity compliance tool to GitHub, the popular platform for sharing and collaborating on source code.

The tool, known as the Systems Integrity Management Platform, helps IT systems maintain compliance with security guidelines. NSA officials said that by sharing the tool, they hope to reduce duplicative efforts across government and industry.

"The open-source software method of transferring technology from the federal laboratory to the marketplace is extremely efficient," said Linda Burger, director of NSA's Technology Transfer Program, in a statement. "The open-source community can leverage the work that NSA has produced, and the government can benefit from that community's expertise and perspective."

New site debuts for older Americans

The Obama administration launched the Aging.gov website on July 13 to give older Americans, their families, friends and caregivers a one-stop resource for government information on helping older adults live independent and fulfilling lives.

The site links to a broad spectrum of federal information, including how to find local services and community resources ranging from healthy aging, elder justice and long-term care and how to find information on vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Report: Zero-day attack targets NATO member, U.S. defense org

A zero-day attack has targeted a NATO member and a U.S. defense organization, according to a report from IT security firm Trend Micro.

The attack is part of an ongoing cyber-espionage campaign known as Pawn Storm, the report states, adding that the campaign has targeted opponents of the Russian government, as well as the United States and its allies.

It is "notable because it is being carried out using a new, unpatched vulnerability against Oracle's Java, making this the first known zero-day attack against Java since 2013," the report states.

The company did not specify the NATO member or the U.S. organization. An Oracle spokesperson did not respond to FCW's request for comment.

GSA launches new dashboard for OASIS

The General Services Administration has a new dashboard for its governmentwide One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services contract. The tool allows federal procurement professionals to customize OASIS and OASIS Small Business data by federal agency and industry partner, and use it to build individualized, downloadable reports.

Jim Ghiloni, director of GSA's OASIS Program Management Office, said in a July 13 blog post that the dashboard provides interactive, near-real-time information on the status of both OASIS and OASIS Small Business task orders, including obligation values and the receiving agency and industry partner for individual orders.

He added that users can filter the data in multiple ways, drill down from the agency to the bureau level, and look at both the number and dollar value of task orders awarded to a particular industry partner.

Users can export the data from custom queries into a spreadsheet-ready format for additional analysis.

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