IT/Web: April 2020 Archives

Jeff Seaton Named Acting NASA Chief Information Officer

"NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has named Jeff Seaton as the agency's acting Chief Information Officer, following the retirement of Renée Wynn on April 30. Previous to this appointment, Seaton served as the Deputy Chief Information Officer where he supported the leadership and integration of NASA corporate and mission critical IT functions and capabilities, as well as oversaw NASA's annual IT spending of more than $2 billion. He collaboratively provided oversight for agencywide, mission-enabling functions related to IT investments, IT modernization efforts, cybersecurity, and the delivery of enterprisewide IT and information solutions."

Keith's note: Well Jeff, you were the Deputy CIO so you should know how royally screwed up and borderline useless your organization is. Best of luck.

- Earlier posts on the NASA CIO

NASA Bans Use Of Zoom

NASA Internal Memo: NASA's Authorized Internal and External Collaboration Tools, NASA CIO

"The NASA CIO has worked for the past several years to establish a consistent and modern set of tools to support both internal and external collaboration. While there is still work to do to support some of the more complex use-cases, such as sharing sensitive data with foreign partners, many others are met through Agency approved collaboration tools. A site has been established, with current approved collaboration resources."

"Zoom is not licensed nor authorized for use by NASA employees and contractors, and is not allowed on NASA IT devices. This includes all Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) or contractor-provided equipment, or any device that connects to the NASA network or VPN. This includes desktops, laptops and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets)."

- Beware Of Using Zoom, earlier post
- Cyber Threats At NASA Significantly Increasing, earlier post

Foreign Spies Are Targeting Americans on Zoom and Other Video Chat Platforms, U.S. Intel Officials Say, Time

"The U.S. intelligence officials stress there is no evidence that Zoom is cooperating with China or has been compromised by it, only that Zoom's security measures leave gaps, some of which may make the application less secure than others. All three intelligence officials, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss ongoing operations with the media, said spies are using multiple applications to search government, corporate, and academic conversations for financial, personal, product development, research, and intellectual property information and leads. Federal experts have warned both government and private officials not to use video conference applications to discuss or exchange sensitive information. In a memo on Thursday, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms told Senators not to use Zoom, according to one person who received the memo."

NASA CIO Agencywide Memo: Alert: Cyber Threats Significantly Increasing During Coronavirus Pandemic, NASA CIO

"A new wave of cyber-attacks is targeting Federal Agency Personnel, required to telework from home, during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. During the past few weeks, NASA's Security Operations Center (SOC) mitigation tools have prevented success of these attempts. Here are some examples of what's been observed in the past few days:

- Doubling of email phishing attempts
- Exponential increase in malware attacks on NASA systems
- Double the number of mitigation-blocking of NASA systems trying to access malicious sites (often unknowingly) due to users accessing the Internet

Experts believe these malicious cyber-attacks will continue and likely increase during the pandemic. NASA's SOC continues to monitor and protect Agency systems, data, and intellectual property 24x7.

Please continue your vigilance, as you use NASA systems, and extend this to your home-computer usage as well."

Beware Of Using Zoom

Thousands of Zoom video calls left exposed on open Web, MSN

"Thousands of personal Zoom videos have been left viewable on the open Web, highlighting the privacy risks to millions of Americans as they shift many of their personal interactions to video calls in an age of social distancing. Videos viewed by The Washington Post included one-on-one therapy sessions; a training orientation for workers doing telehealth calls that included people's names and phone numbers; small-business meetings that included private company financial statements; and elementary-school classes, in which children's faces, voices and personal details were exposed. Many of the videos include personally identifiable information and deeply intimate conversations, recorded in people's homes."

Zoom: We're freezing all new features to sort out security and privacy, ZDNet

"US space agency NASA has also banned employees from using Zoom. Yesterday, researchers detailed two new security bugs found in the Zoom app. The Zoom Windows client was leaking network credentials due to the app rendering UNC file paths as a clickable link in group chat windows."

NASA CIO Renee Wynn Set to Retire

"NASA Chief Information Officer Renee Wynn is retiring on April 30, 2020, after 30 years in Federal service. She is one of the longest-serving departmental CIOs at NASA and in the Federal Government. Before coming to NASA, Wynn spent 25 years at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she served in several executive roles, including as acting CIO and deputy CIO. During her NASA tenure, Wynn said she had her work cut out for her. She was instrumental in improving the Agency's external reputation regarding cybersecurity and how information technology was managed at NASA."

Keith's note: To be brutally honest the NASA CIO organization has been totally ineffective for more than a decade. Hopefully Jim Bridenstine will hire someone who can fix the organization.

NASA Needs A New Chief Information Officer (2019), earlier post

"(sigh) more IT babble from the NASA CIO. AS far as NASA's blatantly obvious byzantine website mess the CIO could have addressed at any time - but they did not. Have a look at these stories about NASA's creaky, mismanaged, and needlessly redundant cyber infrastructure - from just the past year or so. NASA's CIO has been asleep at the wheel for years. Its time for a reboot."

NASA's CIO Is Officially Angry About Her Commuter Bus Website (Update)

"As it happens this commuter bus tweet was not even made by Renee Wynn but rather by someone else who has access to the @NASACIO Twitter account (even though the face on the Twitter page is Renee Wynn's). This error went unnoticed for more than 5 hours hours until NASAWatch pointed it out. And it took another 5 hours before an indirect message was sent to me explaining what had happened. ... You can hardly blame people at NASA for ignoring the CIO organization when they do things like this."

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.spaceref.com/news/2019/CIO.Tweet.jpg

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