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09/16/2021
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WorkScoop
The top human rights official at the United Nations is calling for a global ban on specific artificial intelligence systems. Fraudsters used the Transportation Department's website to boost their own credibility. And cyber firm VariQ will be a focus for federal security personnel. This is CyberScoop for September 16, 2021.

UN calls for safeguards on AI technology

The United Nations’ top human rights official Wednesday called for a global moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence systems that pose human rights concerns until safeguards are put in place. The U.N. did not list specific AI tools that governments should ban. Instead, the report points to a number of ways the technology is used in decision-making that can have life-altering consequences, including the rise in the use of facial recognition technology in policing and subsequent cases of false arrests. U.S. lawmakers have also raised concerns about the civil and human rights implications of AI-driven technologies. However, lawmakers have yet to reach any sort of agreement on how to handle even federal use of such technologies. Tonya Riley has the story.


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Email scammers posed as DOT officials in phishing messages

Shortly after Congress took action on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, hackers posing as U.S. Transportation Department officials offered fake project bid opportunities to seduce companies into handing over Microsoft credentials, researchers say. The ploy included layers of attempts to disguise the malicious appeals as authentic government solicitations, and even eventually led the would-be victims back to the actual Department of Transportation website, according to a Wednesday blog post from INKY, an email security company. Tim Starks looks closer.


Capgemini Government Solutions to acquire cybersecurity firm VariQ

Capgemini Government Solutions on Wednesday announced that it has struck a deal to acquire cybersecurity and software contractor VariQ for an undisclosed sum. According to Capgemini, the transaction is expected to strengthen the company’s position in the federal market and to build momentum for continued growth. Both companies are on General Services Administration contract vehicles to undertake IT and software work with various agencies across the government. Jackson Barnett has more at FedScoop.


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