Amid The Heartbleed, A Helpful App – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • It seems like every few months the pay debate comes up again – or more accurately, it comes up every election cycle. Pay is a constant source of tension, but if we’re really going to solve the debate once and for all, there needs to be serious reforms to the civil service -- not just compensation. Insights from the former president of NTEU, Bob Tobias.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: Amid the Heartbleed, a DorobekINSIDER app recommendation: Dashlane

If you haven’t heard of the Heartbleed bug, you probably should. Essentially the Heartbleed bug  it is a problem that they discovered in the security for passwords and it makes them vulnerable.

The Canadian tax authority was a Heartbleed victim, and Reuters reports that Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data.

Within your organization, I’m sure they are putting out recommendations about what to do.

Personally… The Department of Homeland Security has posted its recommendations for dealing with Heartbleed… and Mashable posted what they called the Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now.

One of my recommendations: Dashlane. Dashlane is a password manager that works across platforms. It will keep track of your passwords -- and it will automatically log you in to Web sites. Dashlane will also record your credit card number and fill in the numbers, if you want it to. And yes, they promise that it is secure with AES-256 encryption for your data, and your unique key is never recorded. But it will also analyze which passwords are weak or compromised.

I have to say that the application was recommended by my father-in-law, but then I did some research on my own and tech guru and columnist David Pogue recommended Dashlane when he was at The New York Times.

The good part -- it has made it easier to change my passwords… not easy, mind you, but easier.

There is a free version or a paid version.

Try out Dashlane here.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Washington Post: IRS Chief Committed to New Rules for Nonprofits Despite Conservative Resistance - “The Internal Revenue Service is forging ahead with plans to develop new rules limiting the political activities of tax-exempt groups, despite pressure from conservatives to abandon the effort, the agency’s director said Wednesday.”

  2. Federal Times: Air Force to Cut Civilian Workforce in 2015 - “The Air Force will reduce its civilian workforce from 186,026 employees to 183,328 through a combination of early retirements, buyouts and attrition, according to Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, the deputy chief of staff manpower in written testimony submitted to Congress April 9.”

  3. Federal News Radio: OMB: Plan for Implementing Security Clearance Fixes Coming Soon - “In the coming months, the federal government will release a detailed plan for implementing more than a dozen recommendations to improve the security clearance process, the Obama administration's management chief told an audience of government contractors Tuesday.”

  4. Texas Tribune: Texas Could Get Millions for “Active Shooter” Training - “A law enforcement training center based at Texas State University in San Marcos may receive millions of federal dollars to support programs that train officers how to handle situations like the recent Fort Hood shooting.”

  5. NextGov: GSA’s Dave McClure to Retire - “Long-time public servant and technology innovator David McClure, Associate Administrator for the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration, announced his retirement April 16 in an email to staff, according to multiple sources.”

  6. Federal Times: Navy Accelerates NGEN Completion - “The target deadline for transitioning from the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet to its follow-on, NGEN, hovers at the end of this calendar year, but officials are shooting for a September end date and could even finish up initial phases as early as June, according to some Navy officials.”

  7. GovExec: Want to Know How Much Top HUD Officials Make? It Will Be Posted Online - “HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan confirmed that the department will publish 2013 compensation information of the highest-paid PHA officials on its website by May 16.”

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder... yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too...

  • How Taking A Detour Can Actually Lead To Greater Innovation [FastCompany] The ‘father of microsurgery’ can teach us a few things about innovation. For one thing, the road to getting there is a journey full of detours, not a straight trajectory.

  • Let's Stop the Glorification of Busy [Guy Kawasaki via LinkedIn]: Reading Arianna Huffington's new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder made me think about how we glorify being busy and the toll that this path takes on our lives.  Our two main metrics for success are money and power, and they drive us to work longer hours, sleep with our phones and tablets, miss important moments with our families, and impacts our health. Arianna proposes a third metric for success: thriving. When you thrive, you take care of your health, get enough sleep, and do not live to work.

  • Hackonomics: Street prices for black market bugs [ZDNet]: A report on the hacker black market by Cold War go-to think-tank RAND Corp. finds stolen Twitter accounts more valuable than stolen credit card data. But American Express Black cards  and cards with chip and PIN capabilities are highly prized. The idea of the million dollar zero day may be a cherished Hollywood film fantasy, but doesn’t traffic well in the real world, ZDNet’s Violet Blue writes after reviewing the data. RAND saw more enthusiasm for botnets than zero-day exploits.  Most notable was how the cybercrime black market has changed from “ad hoc networks” to a “powerhouse of highly organized groups, often connected with traditional crime groups (e.g., drug cartels, mafias, terrorist cells) and nation-states.”

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