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FCW Insider: Jan 15

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency sent out an alert Jan. 14 about a serious Windows vulnerability that could trick users into installing "updates" from trusted parties that are actually malware. The National Security Agency first alerted Microsoft to the flaw. Derek B. Johnson has more.

Ellen Lord, the top acquisition official at the Defense Department, said that training of third-party accreditors for the agency's unified cybersecurity standard is underway. Lauren C. Williams reports.

Lawmakers from both parties sitting on key committees urged CIOs at the Treasury and Agriculture Departments to get moving on modernizing their telecom capabilities via the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract vehicle. Mark Rockwell takes a look.

The top Office of the Director of National Intelligence official charged with election security said agencies have evolved to more quickly declassify and share information, but the threat landscape is more muddled this time around. Derek explains.

Quick Hits

*** President Donald Trump has weighed in on the latest government-industry encryption feud. The president doubled down on a call from Attorney General William Barr to Apple to unlock two iPhones belonging to deceased Saudi military officer responsible for the Pensacola shooting that killed three and wounded eight American service members.

"We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues, and yet they refuse to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements," Trump tweeted Tuesday evening. "They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!"

*** Amazon Web Services plans to ask a federal court to halt work on the Defense Department's $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract while their bid protest lawsuit proceeds. Microsoft was the surprise winner of the contract last year. Work on JEDI is slated to get underway in February. Read more on this story in Washington Technology.

*** The House of Representatives passed a bill Jan 13 to would compel the U.S. Federal Reserve System to report on cybersecurity issues over the next seven years. The bill, introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), requires the Board of Governors to provide Congress with “a detailed explanation” of ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity for regulators, financial institutions and third-party providers, including evidence of past hacks, current and emerging risks, personnel practices and information sharing efforts with other federal agencies.

*** Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) are among the lead sponsors of a Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, a bill to spend more than $1 billion on research and development of alternative 5G technologies that support new entrants into the 5G supply chain that don't have ties to the Chinese government.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:14 AM


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