Bigger IRS breach, institutionalizing PIF, and FAA drones and glitches

Shutterstock image: password security.

IRS: 390,000 more taxpayers exposed in breach

Following the news in May that more than 100,000 tax returns had been exposed in a breach of the IRS website's "Get Transcript" application, the beleaguered agency conducted an extensive review of the 2015 filing season and announced on Aug. 17 that an additional 390,000 people had been affected.

The original breach exposed 114,000 prior-year tax returns as hackers cracked knowledge-based security questions, and it included 111,000 failed attempts, the IRS said.

After the review, officials said another 220,000 taxpayers had had their prior-year tax returns exposed, while 170,000 more had been the targets of unsuccessful attempts to access their information.

That brings the total number of people affected to more than 600,000.

The IRS promised to notify taxpayers whose returns had been exposed and those who were unsuccessfully targeted.

"The IRS will begin mailing [notification] letters in the next few days," the agency said in a statement, adding that credit monitoring and Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers would be available for those affected. "The IRS takes the security of taxpayer data extremely seriously, and we are working to continue to strengthen security for 'Get Transcript,' including by enhancing taxpayer-identity authentication protocols."

Obama seeks to institutionalize Presidential Innovation Fellows program

President Barack Obama wants his program for tech-savvy professionals who are enthusiastic about public service to continue after he leaves the Oval Office.

Obama signed an executive order on Aug. 17 to institutionalize the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which was launched as a pilot in August 2012.

The executive order houses PIF program within the General Services Administration, where it will serve departments and agencies through the Executive Branch. The program will have a director and a newly established advisory board to guide it.

The program has been administered as a partnership among the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management and Budget, and GSA.

The program has recruited 96 tech developers and entrepreneurs from the private sector to team up with government workers on a wide array of federal programs. The White House said 35 fellows have stayed on in federal positions past their 12-month PIF appointments.

Fellows have worked on MyUSA, open-data initiatives, the launch of 18F and the U.S. Digital Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs' modernization team.

The announcement came as the White House accepted six new fellows to the program: Adam Bonnifield, co-founder of Spinnakr; Ross Darkin, who has worked at Upstart Network and BrightPoint Security; Luke Keller, a product designer and strategist; Kate McCall-Kiley, who has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One and Design for America; Josh Patterson, a data scientist and economist at Accenture Technology Labs; and Alexandria Pelletier, a product manager who served as the digital lead for the Innovation Acceleration Program at Boston Children's Hospital.

GAO: U.S. drone rules progressing, although not as fast as some countries

The Federal Aviation Administration's plans to integrate unmanned aerial system flights into the national airspace are progressing well, according to a new review by the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO study cited the FAA's increasing case-by-case approvals for UAS operations as a good sign the agency is moving ahead. The number of such approvals has steadily increased every year since 2010, and in the past year, those approvals have included commercial UAS for the first time. GAO auditors also said the FAA has proposed rules for vehicles that weigh less than 55 pounds, which have emerging applications in many commercial markets.

Even with the progress, however, GAO said other countries -- including Australia, Canada, France and the United Kingdom -- already have well-established UAS regulations. Canada and France allow more commercial operations than the U.S., even though regulations are similar in all three countries.

The fact that the FAA will not issue a final rule for the vehicles' use until late 2016 or early 2017 could put the United States at a competitive disadvantage because in the meantime, "rules in some of these countries continue to evolve," the GAO report states.

FAA blames software upgrade for service disruption

Federal Aviation Administration officials said a software upgrade at a radar facility in Leesburg, Va., is the most likely culprit behind the delays of thousands of flights from East Coast airports on Aug. 15.

Officials said in a statement that air traffic operations had returned to normal a day after thousands of airline passengers were stranded at airports from New York to Florida because an air traffic control system at the facility that processes flight plans stopped working. They said the system was functioning after they disabled new features implemented with the software upgrade.

The FAA said there was no indication the glitch was related to previous problems with its new En Route Automation Modernization system, which was put into service in March to replace the 40-year-old En Route Host computer and backup system at 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers nationwide.

NEXT STORY: NGA opens its doors to industry

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.