GovCon & Cyber Weekly Debrief (5/11–15)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers several interesting topics, including a satellite maker's bankruptcy filing, Space Command's new home, legislation to expand CISA's powers, IRS wants to automate its grants management system, GSA's tool to track spending, and DOJ's recent PPP fraud charge.
"The self-congratulatory tone in Intelsat’s Wednesday press release — a restructuring “for long-term success” and “No change in our momentum, just enhanced resources to grow” — evaporated in paragraph four, which announced a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It was the second major satellite company to declare bankruptcy amid the pandemic, a trend that worries the U.S. Air Force’s chief acquisitions executive."
"The U.S. Air Force has officially reopened the competition for cities that want to become the home for the new U.S. Space Command, with a self-nomination process that could allow dozens of localities to throw their hat in the ring."
"The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is moving closer to developing legislative proposals for a number of Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendations, and Chair Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) signaled in a May 13 hearing that they could start with a proposal to create a new White House Cybersecurity Directorate."
"The Internal Revenue Service released a request for information May 12aimed at modernizing the tax agency’s grants managements system. The RFI is part of the agency’s Pilot IRS program, an IRS initiative aiming to improve the agency’s acquisition speed."
"Vendors have a new data source to find out where agencies are spending contract dollars. The General Services Administration makes its governmentwide category management awards exploration tool publicly available. This database lets users find information at the award level such as by contract name and spend under management tier."
"An engineer has been charged in the Eastern District of Texas with allegedly filing bank loan applications fraudulently seeking more than $10 million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act."
This week's Weekly Debrief covers hackers endangering COVID-19 vaccine research, pandemic scams, what business data hackers want, FTC complaint that TikTok violates children's privacy law, and an update on Federal data privacy legislation.
"IT'S NO SECRET that the Covid-19 pandemic has created prime conditions for nation-state hacking. Working from home often means less-strict security, which in turn invites digital espionage. But on Wednesday, the United States called out China-backed hackers specifically, accusing them of not just spying but endangering Covid-19 vaccine research."
"Never have we been so attractive as targets for fraudsters and scammers as we are right now.That’s because the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic has created more opportunities for robocallers, hackers and other thieves."
"These days, pretty much every company uses computers to manage at least some part of their business operations. Even “old school” small businesses will use digital tools to track inventory, income, payroll and more."
"Who’s responsible for protecting the 2020 presidential elections against cyber attacks?Nobody really knows, either inside or outside the U.S. government. To be sure, many agencies are hard at work combating cyber threats, but when it comes to fighting increasingly urgent threats in cyberspace . . . ."
"A coalition of advocacy groups, including Consumer Reports, has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), urging it to investigate the video service TikTok for retaining data about young children without parental consent, in violation of federal law."
"Over the past few years, individual states throughout the U.S. have attempted to formulate legislation to address consumer data privacy and security, but these efforts created a fragmented approach to consumer rights."
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