GSA requiring two-step verification for all federal agency websites

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  • A new two-step verification process is coming to all federal agency websites. The General Services Administration announced that starting this month all federal domains ending in dot-gov or dot-fed will require the use of Google authenticator as another level of security. Users who log into federal websites will have to enter their password and then they will receive a passcode via text that they then will have to enter to finishing logging in. GSA said the new two-step process will make it harder for a bad actor to steal a citizen’s account or apply for benefits fraudulently. (DotGov.gov)
  • Federal first responders are preparing for Hurricane Michael to hit Florida. During a press briefing yesterday, FEMA said it is pre-positioning assets and materials to begin the recovery process as soon as possible. It’s coordinating responses with the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and numerous non-governmental organizations. (FEMA)
  • Agencies will be receiving some health and wellness best practices throughout the month of October. As part of the Office of Personnel Management’s celebration of National Work and Family Month, it’s releasing materials highlighting standout agency health and wellness programs, and a review of the current state of telework in government. This week, OPM launched a managers’ toolkit with employee engagement best practices and other resources. (Chief Human Capital Officers Council)
  • Another agency is facing an impostor scheme. The Social Security Administration is warning against impersonators posing as its acting inspector general “Gale Stone.” The caller states the person’s Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. SSA said citizens should avoid engaging, as the caller may attempt to acquire personal information. (Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General)
  • An Air Force major, an agent with the National Security Agency, along with a government contractor are indicted for procurement fraud involving a $1.5 million contract. According to the Justice Department, between 2013 and 2015, Maj. Kevin Kuciapinski and NSA veteran Randolph Stimac provided Kuciapinski’s wife Mykhael with unlawfully obtained source selection information to give her company an unfair advantage in bidding for a national defense contract. This allegedly occurred while the two men were both stationed at the Aerospace Data Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. (Department of Justice)
  • The Army is changing the way it recruits after missing its 2018 goal by 6,500. The service is updating its website for the first time in 10 years and also producing a new television commercial campaign for the first time in two years. The Army said it was moving toward social media platforms like Twitch and Instagram too. (Federal News Network)
  • The Energy Department is partnering with the Army to develop hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office signed a memorandum of understanding with the military service, agreeing to work alongside the Army’s Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Command, the service’s research and development facility for advanced technology in ground systems. The heads of both offices said the research will have military and civilian uses. (Department of Energy)
  • The Government Accountability Office said the Defense Department has only just begun to grapple with cybersecurity vulnerabilities in its weapons systems. In a new report, GAO said that while the Pentagon has been paying attention to the security of its networks for years, vulnerabilities on weapons platforms have gotten relatively little attention. Cyber concerns did not become a part of DoD’s formal requirements process until 2015. Because of that, GAO said the military likely has an entire generation of weapons systems that were built without considering cybersecurity at all. The office warned those vulnerabilities are putting even some of the military’s newer systems at risk of enemy attack. (Federal News Network)
  • House and Senate Republicans want the Government Accountability Office to examine the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s planning, budget and financial management activities. Leadership on the House and Senate Energy Committees wrote to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, saying that it’s unclear if NRC has improved its fee-setting process or made organizational changes. (House Energy Commerce Committee)