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FCW : May 30, 2016
IN THE IT PIPELINE WHAT: A broad agency announcement from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeking tech- nologies to improve the gov- ernment’s ability to attribute a cyberattack to a source. WHY: The U.S. government con- siders attribution a key element of its strategy to deter hacking by other countries. However, despite claims of progress in that area, there is still room for improvement. For exam- ple, National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers has expressed concerns about nation-states’ ability to hide their digital tracks behind surrogate groups. DARPA is looking for technol- ogies that create “operationally and tactically relevant informa- tion” about multiple concurrent cyber campaigns, the announce- ment states. The program also seeks a way to share informa- tion gleaned from attribution tools with any number of parties without exposing sources and methods. Current means of tracking malicious cyber campaigns, such as using file hashes, aren’t good enough because they allow hackers to evade defenders by “superficially changing their tools,” according to DARPA. “Malicious actors in cyber- space currently operate with little fear of being caught due to the fact that it is extremely difficult, in some cases perhaps even impossible, to reliably and confidently attribute actions in cyberspace to individuals,” the announcement states. FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: IS.GD/FCW_DARPA Trending redundant or obsolete reports would be eliminated by a new bill introduced in the Senate 223 10 May 30, 2016 FCW.COM The Senate’s proposed energy and water development appropriations bill for fiscal 2017 would eliminate a Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act exemption that keeps IT procurement in the hands of the Energy Depart- ment’s national laboratories, without the oversight of the DOE CIO. Some lab officials and vendors object to eliminating the FITARA exemption. “Personally, I think the exemptions should hold so the super- computers and these high-end scientif- ic instruments are not compromised,” said Steven Hammond, director of the Computational Science Center at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Supercomputers at the labs are fundamentally different from general IT, he added. “HPC systems have different life cycles, [and] the mechanisms are not something you can buy off the shelf,” Hammond said. “This is not about procurement where you flip through a catalog,” said Robert Sorensen, a research vice presi- dent in IDC’s High Performance Com- puting Group. “So you really have to look at it more, in some sense, almost as an R&D program/procurement.” The Obama administration remains opposed to a FITARA exemption for the labs but has proposed funding to maximize the impact of high-perfor- mance computing systems. Officials are seeking $285 million to support DOE’s research and development of exascale computing, as part of the National Stra- tegic Computing Initiative (NSCI). That effort seeks to reclaim U.S. lead- ership in the supercomputing speed race from China. A new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation argues that U.S. leadership in supercomputing is a key strategic and economic imperative. NSCI’s purpose goes beyond build- ing a technically impressive computer, Sorensen said. It is about “building a technology basis [and] keeping the United States as a leading supplier” that improves the quality of the products and workforce in an increasingly competi- tive, global field, he added. The DOE appropriations bill hit a snag on April 28 when Senate Demo- crats blocked cloture in opposition to a policy rider from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that targets a provision of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. If the bill doesn’t pass, or if the entire government is funded under a continuing resolution, the labs’ exemp- tion would likely be extended. — Chase Gunter HPC boosters back FITARA exemption for national labs Join the conversation FCW uses Twitter to break news, field questions and ask our own. Learn more at Twitter.com/FCWnow. 1:01 PM - 20 Apr 2016 Harvard Ash Center @HarvardAsh Reply Retweet Favorite #HKS Prof @KelmanSteve on creating performance metrics to improve government via @FCWnow: http://bit.ly/1NBraE3 0530fcw_003-010.indd 10 5/4/16 12:31 PM
May 15, 2016
June 15, 2016