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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Department of Homeland Security workers in Washington, DC ran into a massive headache when they came to work on Tuesday. Reuters sources say that staff were locked out of multiple networks starting around 5AM Eastern, possibly due to an issue with the personal identity verification cards needed to access certain systems.


Friday, February 17, 2017

The U.S. Senate's leading proponent for increasing the H-1B visa cap is Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). His previous legislative efforts have infuriated critics of the visa program. Hatch's 2015 visa cap-increasing bill, I-Squared, was so awful, said the IEEE-USA, that it would "help destroy" the U.S. tech workforce. Hatch is updating his I-Squared bill with reforms he hopes buy leeway with his critics. That doesn't seem likely. Hatch heads the Republicans' High-Tech Task Force, which on Thursday released its "Innovation Agenda." In presenting it, Hatch remained adamant that the U.S. suffers from a shortage of STEM workers and needs high-skilled foreign workers. But he says some employers abuse the H-1B visa.


China intends to develop a prototype of an exascale supercomputer by the end of 2017, tweaking an exascale delivery date that's already well ahead of the U.S. The timing of the announcement, reported by an official government news service, raised the possibility it was a message to President-elect Donald Trump.

China's announcement comes the same week Trump takes office. The Trump administration is bringing a lot of uncertainty to supercomputing research, which is heavily dependent on government funding.

"The exascale race is also a publicity and mindshare race," said Steve Conway, a high-performance computing analyst at IDC. "The Chinese are putting a stake in the ground and saying we're going to have a prototype computer soon, maybe a year or so sooner than people expected," he said.

The Hill reported Thursday that the Trump administration is planning deep cuts at the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds the development of the America's largest supercomputers. read more


Thursday, February 09, 2017

In his 2007 address to the Annual Security Conference in Munich, Vladimir Putin threw down a gauntlet to the West. Attacking what he called "illegal" unilateral military action by the U.S., he hinted that Russia would build its capability in information warfare to counter American and NATO expansion. In the same year, a Russian policy doctrine noted that as the world became more digitally connected, the well-being of nation states would become dependent on data and and its rapid movement. Back then, information warfare was just a sideshow, and Putin's emphasis was on more traditional weapon systems. But things have changed. In the decade since, Russia has rapidly developed its information warfare capability and deployed it in conflicts in Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Several recent incidents involving President Donald Trump's administration can teach users something about IT security -- particularly about Twitter and what not to do with it. It turns out that several White House-related Twitter accounts -- including the president's official account, @POTUS -- until recently were revealing sensitive information that hackers might be able to exploit. The problem revolves around the service's password reset function. If the account holder doesn't take certain steps to secure it, Twitter exposes information that anyone with the right skills can use to uncover what email address -- in redacted form -- was used to secure a Twitter account. read more


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