Monday federal headlines – February 1, 2016

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive.

  • Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is pushing back against a critical report on his agency’s cybersecurity efforts. Johnson said version 3 of the Einstein intrusion detection and protection system is not a silver bullet against cyber attacks, but it is making a difference in protecting 50 percent of the government. GAO released a report last week saying the National Cybersecurity Protection System wasn’t fully meeting its objectives. Additionally, DHS’ metrics don’t measure the quality, effectiveness or accuracy of the cyber capabilities. (DHS)
  • A new Senate report found the Department of Health and Human Services placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after failing to conduct adequate background checks on caregivers. The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened an investigation after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio last year, where at least six children who had been in federal custody were given to traffickers and forced to work on egg farms. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • Boeing is awarded a $2.5 billion contract add-on to provide 20 P-8A Poseidon spy panes, four of which will go to the Royal Australian Air Force. Work is expected to be completed in December 2018 and is set to be performed in Washington state, Maryland, New York and other states, as well as in the United Kingdom. (Defense Department)
  • The Navy’s director of unmanned weapon systems said unmanned systems will not replace manpower. Rear Adm. Robert Girrier said he sees the growing use of unmanned systems as a complement to existing operations. reports in a speech Friday that Girrier also expressed a desire for faster technology delivery and utilizing commercially available technology. (
  • A federal judge sentenced a Navy officer to 40 months in prison for providing confidential ship routes to a Malaysian contractor. Lt. Commander Todd Malaki gave up the info in exchange for cash, prostitutes, and vacations. He is among nine defendants who have pleaded guilty to bribery charges tied to the company Glenn Defense Marine Asia. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Defense Department said it’s not sure just how big of a project designing, building and securing a new federal security clearance IT system will be. DoD’s Office of the Chief Information Officer told Federal News Radio it’s still in the first stages of reviewing the Federal Investigation Services and its IT systems. DoD said it will have to redesign major parts of the current FIS system, but it’s not sure if any of those current systems could be re-purposed. (Federal News Radio)
  • Defense experts are ambivalent about the National Commission on the Future of the Army’s recommendations. Analysts said the commission did not go far enough in its recommendations to improve the Army under an environment of limited resources. Analysts said the commission’s acceptance of a lower active duty force size could stretch the Army too thin. Other concerns revolve around stationing an extra Army brigade in Europe and Korea. Experts are split on whether the Army or Defense Department will adopt the recommendations. (Federal News Radio)
  • NASA has the latest evidence that cybersecurity has to be a top management issue. A stunning report at detailed a two-year intrusion into NASA’s networks. It cited a self-published account hackers from AnonSec called OpNasaDrones. They claimed to have found a server with the default password and were eventually able to take over operation of a NASA Global Hawk drone. Hackers said NASA discovered the breach only after they tried to crash the drone into the Pacific Ocean. (InfoWars)
  • Eventual replacement of presidential aircraft is underway with a new Air Force contract. The Air Force awarded Boeing a $25 million contract for what it calls Phase 1 Pre-Milestone activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization Program. The contract calls for Boeing to take steps to reduce program risks and keep costs under control. Boeing will help the Air Force define requirements for new 747s to be built to replace the current pair of Air Force Ones.

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