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NextGov: THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE WAS ENTRY POINT FOR BACKGROUND-CHECK SYSTEM HACK

Hackers broke into third-party software in 2013 to open personal records on federal employees and contractors with access to classified intelligence, according to the government’s largest private employee investigation provider.

That software apparently was an SAP enterprise resource planning application. It’s unclear if there was a fix available for the program flaw at the time of the attack. It’s also not clear whether SAP—which was responsible for maintaining the application—or USIS would have been responsible for patching the flaw.

>>> Full story

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CYBERCOM TO OUTSOURCE $475 MILLION WORTH OF OFFENSE AND DEFENSE WORK – NextGov

The emerging Pentagon division that coordinates military cybersecurity and cyberattacks is asking private contractors to help finish standing up the Cyber Command. Among the tasks to be assigned under a request for proposals issued Thursday are support for eavesdropping to detect threats and assistance with repelling hacks equivalent to an armed attack against the nation.

via CYBERCOM to Outsource $475 Million Worth of Offense and Defense Work – Nextgov.com.

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PENTAGON: US CYBER RESERVE IS IN THE WORKS

“The Pentagon is prepared to draft thousands of private sector and National Guard cyber pros in the event of a network emergency affecting American lives, a top U.S. military official said Tuesday.

The “surge forces” will be trained by the Defense Department and help defend the energy sector, telecommunications and other so-called critical infrastructure, Defense Principal Cyber Adviser Eric Rosenbach said in remarks prepared for a Senate Armed Forces subcommittee hearing.

“Up to 2,000 Reserve and National Guard personnel will also support the Cyber Mission Force,” which is part of the department’s offensive and defensive Cyber Command, he added.”

 

Full Story: US Cyber Reserve

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Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers

 

“Sleep disturbances are a common reaction to stress and are linked to a host of physical and mental health problems. Given the unprecedented demands placed on U.S. military forces since 2001, there has been growing concern about the prevalence and consequences of sleep problems for servicemembers. Sleep problems often follow a chronic course, persisting long after servicemembers return home from combat deployments, with consequences for their reintegration and the readiness and resiliency of the force. Therefore, it is critical to understand the role of sleep problems in servicemembers’ health and functioning and the policies and programs available to promote healthy sleep. This report provides the first comprehensive review of sleep-related policies and programs across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), along with a set of actionable recommendations for DoD, commanders, researchers, and medical professionals who treat U.S. servicemembers. The two-year multimethod study also examined the rates and correlates of sleep problems among post-deployed servicemembers, finding negative effects on mental health, daytime impairment, and perceived operational readiness. The research reviewed evidence-based interventions to treat sleep disturbances among servicemembers and veterans and exposed several individual- and system-level barriers to achieving healthy sleep. Implementing evidence-based treatments is just one step toward improving sleep across the force; as the research recommendations highlight, it is equally important that policies and programs also focus on preventing sleep problems and their consequences.”

Full Report: Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers
Source: RAND Corporation

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CRS — Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief (March 27, 2015)

Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Recent incidents have highlighted the lack of consensus internationally on what defines a cyberattack, an act of war in cyberspace, or cyberterrorism. Cyberwar is typically conceptualized as state-on-state action equivalent to an armed attack or use of force in cyberspace that may trigger a military response with a proportional kinetic use of force. Cyberterrorism can be considered “the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.” Cybercrime includes unauthorized network breaches and theft of intellectual property and other data; it can be financially motivated, and response is typically the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies. Within each of these categories, different motivations as well as overlapping intent and methods of various actors can complicate response options.

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From NEXTGOV – WATCHDOG: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LACKS A DIGITAL BLUEPRINT — AND DOESN’T KNOW HOW MUCH IT SPENDS ON TECHNOLOGY

Alongside more than 36 million books and 13.7 million photographs and untold other documents, maps and manuscripts, the Library of Congress has ambitious plans to collect nearly every public tweet since 2006 to be used as a truly 21st-century research archive.

But a new watchdog report calls into question the library’s ability to keep up with the demands of the digital age.

The world’s largest library lacks “a clear direction for its use of IT,” and has been cycling through short-term IT leadership since the permanent chief information officer left the agency in 2012.

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