US taxman wants AI to do the security checks it seemingly can't do itself

That would be all of the security checks, then


The US tax authority – the Internal Revenue Service – is looking at how AI can secure and protect taxpayers’ data held on its servers.

It recently filed a request for information aimed at experts that can help guide the IRS into possibly developing a platform that uses machine learning to sniff out and react to threats. The cybersecurity division working for the Cybersecurity Cloud Solution Program is hoping that the information will help them identify potential solutions based on current capabilities.

“The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Cybersecurity Division has a business need for an Artificial Intelligent (AI) machined-based analytical platform to proactively detect and respond to cyber- and insider-related threats,” it said in the request.

"The IRS intends to use the results of this RFI to assist in the assessment of on-going industry efforts within the identified focus areas. The finding will also help to shape the path forward for potential acquisitions to include determination of contractual mechanisms to potentially pursue capabilities."

Ideally, the platform should:

  • Support local settings for specific needs and have global settings where attack sequences can be shared between environments.
  • Automatically and continuously learn the environment(s) improving accuracy.
  • Triage alerts to reduce false positives to parts-per-billion events.
  • Provide context for alerts/cases used for investigation.
  • Identify previously unknown threats and tracks entities over time.
  • Analyze data and provides context for alerts/cases used for investigation.
Acting IRS Commissioner David J. Kautter

It's US Tax Day, so of course the IRS's servers have taken a swan dive

READ MORE

The platform should employ a range of machine learning algorithms that have been trained via unsupervised, semi-supervised, and supervised learning to dig through several sources of data to flag up any unusual activities. Banks already use machine learning to detect fraud from user behavior in real time, and now the IRS wants some of that action.

To guide experts thinking of submitting a report, the IRS has also published a list of questions it hopes to answer. Some of these range from asking for specific datasets to train and test algorithms, or how a system can realistically measure its false positive rate and confidence score in its decisions, to what possible backup procedures exist for catastrophic events.

It’ll be difficult task to build a platform like this considering how outdated most government infrastructure is. Still, the IRS are hopeful and responses need to be filed before July 26. ®


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022