Fraudster hacks federal auction website, buys truck for a dollar

A fraudster who duped the government out of tens of thousands dollars hacking into a federal auction website is facing potential jail time.

  • A fraudster who duped the government out of tens of thousands dollars hacking into a federal website is facing potential jail time. The Justice Department and the General Services Administration's inspector general successfully prosecuted Evan James Coker, 41, of Oklahoma, for defrauding the government. Coker pleaded guilty to winning 19 bids on a GSA auction site, when he broke into and falsified prices. Among the items Coker won was a Chevrolet Box Truck, on which he bid almost $23,000, but paid only a dollar.
  • The Navy's drive to financial auditability is facing a critical turning point. The Department of the Navy is in the home stretch to modernize its financial management systems, but fiscal 2024 budget uncertainty may derail that effort. Russ Rumbaugh, the assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller, said the service will not sacrifice readiness for investments should it have a full year continuing resolution or other budget reductions. "The National Defense Authorization Act just tasked us to be auditable by 2028. And yet, then you hang me up with no funding, and slow down my migrations and my ERP transformation. Yeah, it's gonna take us longer to do that," Rumbaugh said.
    ( - Federal News Network)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs sees artificial intelligence tools as a way to provide a higher level of care to veterans. The VA has identified over 100 AI use cases so far, and about 40 of them are being put into use across the department. That includes using an AI model called REACH-VET to predict which veterans are most at risk of suicide, and using that information to provide more follow-up care. VA Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington said AI is a game-changer for health care at the VA. “If used well, AI has the potential to empower VA employees to provide better health care, faster benefits decisions, and more secure systems," Worthington said.
  • The Navy has introduced a new robotics warfare specialist general rating, to oversee autonomous operations. The Robotics Warfare Specialist general rating, open to active-duty sailors, will accelerate the development of expertise in the advancing autonomous technologies. Selected reserve sailors will be integrated into the Robotics Warfare rating at a later date. This development signifies a major milestone for the Navy's efforts to move closer to a hybrid fleet.
  • When it comes to big acquisition programs, the Department of Homeland Security has made enough progress to get itself off the Government Accountability Office’s High Risk List. But that does not mean there is no room for improvement. Overall, GAO’s latest assessment found most of DHS’ big programs are meeting their cost and schedule goals, but that is partly because those goals have been updated in recent years. Meanwhile, the department’s two biggest programs – to buy new Coast Guard cutters – are a couple of years behind schedule, and will wind up costing several billion dollars more than the original estimates.
  • The Justice Department is bringing in new expertise to stay ahead of emerging technology. DoJ named Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton University professor, as its first chief science and technology adviser, and as its chief AI officer. Mayer will advise the attorney general and DoJ leaders on how AI and emerging tech can help the department meet its mission. He will also lead department efforts to recruit tech experts and lead the agency’s new Emerging Technology Board.
  • The Defense Innovation Unit is seeking commercial solutions that will allow forces to operate in distributed environments, as well as enable secure communications at various classification levels, up to Top Secret. It is also looking for technologies that can connect directly to radios, antennas, sensors or data sources. Additionally, DIU is searching for hardware that will allow networks to operate in disconnected and denied environments. Industry is encouraged to submit complete or partial solutions. Vendor responses are due by February 26.
  • Under the Biden administration, agencies have been busy setting new cybersecurity standards and regulations. But newly proposed rules for government technology contractors are creating a lot of industry heartburn. The rules would give agencies “full access” to a contractor’s IT systems in the event of a cyber incident. At least four major industry groups are pushing back against that provision, in new comments to the General Services Administration.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories