Louisiana Governor Proposes Tax Cuts, Elimination of Deductions

first_imgIn his opening remarks for the 2018 Second Special Session, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards proposed the following tax changes:– cutting the current sales tax rate;– reducing the number of sales tax exemptions, but keeping exemptions for groceries, pharmaceuticals and utilities;– eliminating the personal income tax deduction for state taxes paid; and– removing the expiration date for reduced tax credits, deductions, and rebates.2018 Second Special Session Remarks, Office of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, May 22, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img

Ways and Means Schedules Markup of Health Care-Related Tax Bills

first_imgHouse tax writers are preparing to discuss 11 health-care related tax bills. The House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a markup of the bills on July 11. The committee’s Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., announced the markup on the evening of July 9.Ways and Means MarkupBrady has reportedly said that the House intends to develop a health care-related tax package. The following tax bills are scheduled for the July 11 markup:HR 6199: The bill would amend the tax code to include certain over-the-counter medical products as qualified medical expenses. The bill would reverse the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) prohibition on using tax-favored health accounts to purchase OTC medical products;HR 6301: The bill would amend the tax code to expand access to health savings accounts (HSAs) by providing high deductible health plans with first dollar coverage flexibility;HR 6305: The bill would amend the tax code to expand access to and enhance the use of HSAs by clarifying that certain employment related services are not treated as disqualifying coverage for purposes of HSAs. Also, the bill would allow an eligible individual to make HSA contributions if a spouse has a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and it would allow FSA and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) terminations or conversions to fund HSAs;HR 6306: The bill would amend the tax code to expand access to and enhance the use of HSAs by increasing HSA contribution limits, permitting spousal catch-up contributions into the same account, and creating a grace period for medical expenses incurred before the establishment of an HSA;HR 6309: The bill would amend the tax code to allow individuals entitled to Medicare Part A by reason of being over age 65 to contribute to HSAs;HR 6311: The bill would amend the tax code and the ACA to modify the definition of qualified health plan for purposes of the health insurance premium tax credit and would allow individuals purchasing health insurance in the individual market to purchase a lower premium copper plan;HR 6312: The bill would amend the tax code to add certain qualifying sports and fitness expenses to the definition of qualified medical expenses;HR 6313: The bill would allow the carryforward each year of health flexible spending arrangement account balances;HR 6314: The bill would amend the tax code to allow plans categorized as catastrophic and bronze in the individual and small group markets to qualify for HSA contributions;HR (untitled): The bill would amend the tax code to allow HSA-eligible individuals that participate in a direct primary care (DPC) arrangement not to lose their HSA-eligibility because of DPC participation; andHR 4616: The bill would amend the ACA to provide for a temporary moratorium on the employer mandate and would provide an additional one-year delay of the excise “Cadillac” tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffDescription Of H.R. 6301, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Provide High Deductible Health Plans With First Dollar Coverage Flexibility, JCX-41-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6301, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Provide High Deductible Health Plans With First Dollar Coverage Flexibility, JCX-42-18Description Of H.R. 6317 , A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Provide That Direct Primary Care Service Arrangements Do Not Disqualify Deductible Health Savings Account Contributions, And For Other Purposes, JCX-43-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6317, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Provide That Direct Primary Care Service Arrangements Do Not Disqualify Deductible Health Savings Account Contributions, And For Other Purposes, JCX-44-18Description of H.R. 6305, The Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act of 2018, JCX-45-18Description Of The Chairman’s Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6305, The Bipartisan HAS Improvement Act Of 2018, JCX-46-18Description Of H.R. 6312, The Personal Health Investment Today Act Or The PHIT Act, JCX-47-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6312, The Personal Health Investment Today Act Or The PHIT Act, JCX-48-18Description Of H.R. 6309, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Allow Individuals Only Enrolled In Medicare Part A To Contribute To Health Savings Accounts, JCX-49-18Description Of The Chairman’s Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6309, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code of 1986 To Allow Individuals Only Enrolled In Medicare Part A To Contribute To Health Savings Accounts, JCX-50-18Description Of H.R. 6199, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Include Certain Over-The-Counter Medical Products As Qualified Medical Expenses, JCX-51-18Description Of The Chairman’s Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6199, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Include Certain Over-The-Counter Medical Products As Qualified Medical Expenses, JCX-52-18Description Of H.R. 6306, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Increase The Contribution Limitation For Health Savings Accounts, And For Other Purposes, JCX-53-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6306, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Increase The Contribution Limitation For Health Savings Accounts, And For Other Purposes, JCX-54-18Description Of H.R. 6314, The Health Savings Act Of 2018, JCX-55-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6314, The Health Savings Act Of 2018, JCX-56-18Description Of H.R. 6311, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 And The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act To Modify The Definition Of Qualified Health Plan For Purposes Of The Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit And To Allow Individuals Purchasing Health Insurance In The Individual Market To Purchase A Lower Premium Coper Plan, JCX-57-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6311, A Bill To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 And The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act To Modify The Definition Of Qualified Health Plan For Purposes Of The Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit And To Allow Individuals Purchasing Health Insurance In The Individual Market To Purchase A Lower Premium Copper Plan, JCX-58-18Description Of H.R. 6313, The Responsible Additions And Increases To Sustain Employee Health Benefits Act Of 2018, JCX-59-18Description Of An Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 6313, The Responsible Additions And Increases To Sustain Employee Health Benefits Act Of 2018, JCX-60-18Description Of H.R. 4616, A Bill To Amend The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act To Provide For A Temporary Moratorium On The Employer Mandate And To Provide For A Delay In The Implementation Of The Excise Tax On High-Cost Employer Sponsored Health Coverage, JCX-61-18Description Of The Chairman’s Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To The Provisions Of H.R. 4616, A Bill To Amend The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act To Provide For A Temporary Moratorium On The Employer Mandate And To Provide For A Delay In The Implementation Of The Excise Tax On High-Cost Employer Sponsored Health Coverage, JCX-62-18Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Trump, House GOP Lawmakers Discuss Tax Cuts 2.0

first_imgPresident Donald Trump and House GOP tax writers discussed “Tax Cuts 2.0” in a July 17 meeting at the White House. The next round of tax cuts will focus primarily on the individual side of the tax code, both Trump and House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady, R-Tex., reiterated to reporters at the White House before the meeting.Individual Tax CutsThe discussion between Trump and several top House GOP tax writers was set to focus, in particular, on how to further strengthen the economy post-tax reform, Brady said. “We think the best place to start is with America’s middle class families and our small businesses,” he added. Brady has said that making permanent the individual tax cuts that are set to expire in 2026 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97) is a top priority for Republicans.Corporate Tax RateTrump is also calling for lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. The corporate tax rate was lowered last December from 35 to 21 percent under the TCJA.Brady told reporters earlier in the week that discussions between House GOP tax writers and the White House are continuing on the possible proposal. While Brady did not openly commit to the notion of further lowering the corporate tax rate, he did tell reporters that he thinks the president is right that global competitors will likely respond in kind to last year’s tax reform.Tax Cuts 2.0 TimelineThe House is expected to vote on the Tax Cuts 2.0 package in September, Brady told reporters at the White House on July 17. Additionally, Brady stated that he anticipates the “Senate setting a timetable, as well.”Brady’s estimated timeline for votes on the tax cuts package is in line with his statement in June that House GOP members will receive a legislative outline of the proposal this month. Further, a draft of the tax package is expected to be released publicly in August.SenateAt this time, the Tax Cuts 2.0 package is not expected on Capitol Hill to fare well in the Senate. The package would need at least nine Democratic votes to clear the chamber.“The GOP tax scam was a huge tax break for big corporations,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said in a July 17 tweet. “We should reward work, not just wealth,” she added. While Democrats remain outspoken against the TCJA for primarily benefiting corporations, Republicans are hopeful for Democratic support, just prior to midterm elections, on a measure that focuses on individual tax cuts.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Neal Cancels Hearing on Treasury Shutdown Impacts; Bills to End Government Shutdown Fail

first_imgThe House’s top tax writer has canceled the January 24 hearing set to examine the impacts of the partial Treasury and IRS shutdown. The ongoing, longest government shutdown in U.S. history began on December 22, 2018. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., said he canceled the hearing because Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declined the invitation to testify.Mnuchin Refuses to Testify on Partial Treasury, IRS ShutdownMnuchin sent Neal a January 24 letter explaining his absence from the canceled hearing. Additionally, Neal stated in the letter that he agreed to testify before the Committee at a later date, but mentioned doing so in reference to President Donald Trump’s budget rather than the matter at hand.Mnuchin spoke with Neal by phone on the evening of January 23, at which time Mnuchin reportedly communicated that he would not attend the previously scheduled January 24 hearing. Additionally, in echoing a previous letter from Treasury, Mnuchin offered the testimony of senior IRS and Treasury officials instead. However, Neal rejected Mnuchin’s offer.IRS Reportedly Unprepared for 2019 Tax Filing SeasonThe IRS is reportedly unprepared for the 2019 tax filing season, according to a late January 23 press release by Neal. “With tax filing season beginning in five days and the timely issuing of taxpayer refunds at stake, we need to hear directly from the Secretary to gain greater clarity regarding the IRS’ capabilities during the shutdown,” Neal said. “Reports indicate the agency is unprepared.”Although Mnuchin did agree to testify before the Ways and Means Committee in the future, he specifically stated it would be for reasons other than the 2019 tax filing season. “As discussed, I look forward to identifying an agreeable date to testify before the Committee, as is customary, once the President’s Budget has been released,” Mnuchin said in the January 24 letter. Additionally, Mnuchin stated that the offer still stands for the Committee to hear from senior Treasury and IRS officials.Measures to End Government Shutdown Fail in SenateMeanwhile, a Republican package to reopen the government failed in the Senate on January 24. Additionally, the package contained funding for Trump’s border security requests as well as certain Democratic DACA priorities. The measure was blocked by a 50-to-47 vote with one favorable Democratic vote and two Republican deflections.Also, the Senate on January 24 voted down a Democratic-supported measure to reopen the government. The bill failed by a 52-to-44 vote.Party Leaders Are TalkingAt press time on January 24, there was talk on Capitol Hill that Party leaders would go back to the drawing board in efforts to craft a mutually agreeable legislative plan to fully reopen the government. Whether Party leaders will settle on a short term Continuing Resolution (CR) or a longer term plan to fund the government through the fiscal year remains to be seen.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on January 24 that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kan., asked to speak with him in his office. Later in the day, as Schumer emerged from McConnell’s office at the U.S. Capitol, the Democratic Leader told reporters, “We’re talking.”By Jessica Jeane, Senior News EditorLogin to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Missouri Supreme Court extends LGBTQ protections in rulings

first_img(AP) – The Missouri Supreme Court has extended legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in two separate cases dealing with the rights of workers and students.In one case involving a gay man, the court affirmed Tuesday that Missouri law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of a worker’s failure to conform to sex-based stereotypes. The court ruled he had a legal basis to sue after claiming he was harassed while working at the Missouri Department of Social Services.The court also sided with a transgender student in the Blue Springs School District who had been denied access to the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms.The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said in a statement that members of the LGBTQ community should enjoy the same protections against sex-based discrimination as everyone else. It hailed the two decisions as a step toward improving the clarity of Missouri’s anti-discrimination stance.The ACLU had filed friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases.last_img read more

Southern Boone Fire requests property tax hike

first_imgPresident Jim Cunningham has been with the Southern Boone Fire Protection District since 1985. He’s seen major growth in the Ashland area, meaning more work for his volunteer team.“So far, we’re ok. But we are seeing a disturbing trend where the increase in the number of call is increasing beyond the rate we can put on new firefighters.”The fire district has put a 12-cent property tax increase question on Tuesday’s ballot. Cunningham says it actually gets the rate back where it used to be, and this is the first time the fire district has requested a tax hike.The new money would go toward a paid on-call system for firefighters, and administrative costs for a chief and clerk, according to Cunningham.“The time is now to change the way we’re operating a little bit, and get some compensation flowing to some of the people who have been providing these services for free so that we can ensure they’re there in the future.”last_img read more

Missouri lobbyist pleads not guilty in drug case

first_imgJEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A 35-year-old Missouri lobbyists accused of conspiring to distribute marijuana in Missouri pleaded not guilty to federal charges in the case.Eapen Thampy, who lobbied for 14 groups in Jefferson City, is charged with conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana. He also is charged with possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana.Thampy is one of nine people indicted in the alleged scheme to bring marijuana from Oregon to mid-Missouri.The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Thampy was released from prison Wednesday after prosecutors withdrew a motion to have him held without bond.Since 2015, Thampy has donated $26,507 to Missouri candidates and other political action committees.Thampy’s attorneys, Michael Belancio and Shawn Lee, declined to comment after the hearing.—Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.comlast_img read more

Columbia council votes to ban conversion therapy

first_imgThe Columbia City Council on Monday night voted to ban the practice of conversion therapy on juveniles.Mizzou Dr. Aaron Sapp said during the public hearing the discredited technique tries to change someone’s sexual orientation to heterosexual.“Because of the twin daggers of no evidence in favor of it, and distinct evidence of harm from these efforts, numerous organizations have policies preventing their members from practicing this.”The ban had unanimous support from the council and everyone who spoke at Monday night’s meeting.“If Columbia’s going to be a medical destination for the state, I think this council needs to send a strong message, not just to our health care providers but to our families, that we only practice competent care here,” Mayor Brian Treece says.last_img read more

New release of Intel® vPro(tm) Packet Decoder Available for Download

first_imgToday we are announcing version 1.0.5.4 of the packet decoder. This version includes some minor bug fixes as well as two important enhancements:+ Prerelease* support for Intel® AMT Versions 4 & 5+ Results search & sort+ Logging*Due to hardware availability, not all constructs have been testedThese enhancements are in direct response to user requests. Here’s a 5 minute movie on the tool.We are currently reviewing other user’s feedback to determine what the next update will contain and when it will be available. Stay tuned.DOPD Software Engineering Teamlast_img

ROI Analysis – See how University of Plymouth saved $$$ with 4800 vPro systems

first_imgTheir break-even point for Intel vPro technology was achieved in under a year! Read all about it:ROI Analysis: Leaner and Greener Because of Intel® Core™2 Processors with vPro™ Technology (University of Plymouth)last_img

The Information Security Policy Must Be Marketed To Employees

first_imgDon’t assume people will read the security policy!Just because the policy is posted, does not mean everyone will read it. Listen to the Audiocast:Policy, like any other communication, must be marketed.  It is the role of the security professional to show the end-users the value and how it helps them.   Make it personal.References: SANS.org blog: How to Suck at Information Securitylast_img

Nehalem-EP just a heartbeat away – 3D Advanced Medical Visualization Demo

first_imgWith the Nehalem architecture-based processor server/workstation launch just around the corner, customers are demonstrating how quickly they can take advantage of the performance afforded to them by our newest processor. One recent example was a Philips* CT demonstration of a beating heart at the major European IT show, CeBit*.  According to the Philips demonstration, they were able to render the human heart twice as fast using our upcoming Nehalem workstation processors as compared to the previous generation Intel® Xeon® processor 54xx series.  Check out the beating heart demonstration video in this link using our Nehalem architecture-based workstation processor.For those of us with no medical background,  3D imaging is a tool enabling doctors to visualize the human body without invasive tools.  The patient is scanned, data is acquired, and a 3D model is assembled and they are able to show what going on in the human body without touching it.  CT tools are able to produce thousand of pictures or slices per second.  This results in large datasets that take time to process.  Software running on a server or workstation processes this vast amount of data to generate detailed 3D images and then can be interpreted by medical staff.   The primary challenge is managing large datasets generated by large volume acquisitions while speeding time to diagnosis.The heart is a particularly challenging to visualize using CT scanning.  It is a very fast moving organ, with little control over its movement because is involuntary, and the heart needs to be frozen in time to get accurate anatomical picture.  Another challenge for volume rendering is high level image quality necessary so that anatomical structures of the heart can be depicted in an accurate way.One interesting aspect of Philips CT solution is that image rendering takes place in the in the CPU which means that the performance of their solution is not restricted to by the memory available on a graphics card and is not slowed down by transfer of data between the CPU and the graphics card.  The Philips’ rendering software is multi-threaded and is able to take advantage of Intel advances in multi-threading /multi-core processing technology and software optimization tools for best performance improvements.I believe Philips’ demonstration is just one example of how Nehalem architecture-based processors will provide meaningful advances in 3D visualization, not just in medical fields, but other areas such as manufacturing and digital content creation.Jimmy Leon*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.last_img read more

Open Data Center Usage Models: Solution Providers Respond

first_imgLast week was a big week for technology news, Ultrabooks, Ivy Bridge, Memcache records broken, and the big Intel & Android announcement were all chart toppers from IDF.  As we’ve pointed out before, the data center was not left out of the action!  Specifically the Open Data Center Alliance made a splash at IDF with major announcements.To start there is the collaboration between the ODCA and the Facebook-led Open Compute Project.  Second is the announcement of the “Conquer the Cloud” competition.  Have a cloud implementation you would like to share?  You could win $10,000… Lastly the ODCA shared the Solution Providers members’ response to the ODCA usage models that launched not too long ago.In this 25-minute video ODCA Solution Providers representatives from Citrix, Dell, EMC, Red Hat, and VMware present how they are working towards addressing the key requirements of ODCA usage models for automation, common management & policy, secure federation, and transparency.last_img read more

Secure the Enterprise with Intel Identity Protection Technology

first_imgWe live in curious times. People are doing more things online than ever before. Many employees telecommute instead of driving to work. We communicate more often through email. As a result, life is much more convenient. For example, if I am not feeling well or am buried in the snow, I don’t have to choose between infecting my coworkers and tackling a giant pile of tasks that had to wait; instead, it will be business as usual, except I will be at home. I don’t have to hand-carry or use “snail mail” to send or receive sensitive documents anymore; I can get them where they need to be in seconds via email. I, for one, would not want to go back to the way things were. However, all of this convenience comes with a price: It opens the enterprise to additional security risks. In response to this, the industry has come up with some great solutions that companies use to mitigate these risks.In order to be productive, telecommuting employees must be able to use network resources as if they were physically in the office. This means that all network traffic, including sensitive information, must travel over the internet where it might be snooped. In order to safely access company networks, enterprises set up Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections for their employees to use. VPN connections authenticate the user with a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) key and login information, and then establish a secure, encrypted connection between the employee and the company network.Email is a great way to communicate with people both inside and outside of your organization. It delivers almost instantly and you can attach files or documents. However, email can be insecure and email senders can be spoofed. For these reasons, when you send an email you can optionally sign and/or encrypt the email. When you sign an email, you use a PKI key to create a digital signature of the email which is verified by the receiver. This signature confirms to the recipient both that you are the person who sent the email and that the email has not been altered since you sent it. Your email client usually does this process in the background, and will notify you, loudly, if an email’s signature is invalid. Signing prevents an attacker from either sending you an email pretending to be someone you trust, or altering a message sent by someone you trust before it gets to you. Encrypting uses a PKI key to encrypt the email and any attachments, which are decrypted by the sender on the other end. It prevents anyone but who you send the email to from reading it.The point of commonality between these solutions is the Public Key Infrastructure. PKI key pairs are made up of two parts: the public key and the private key. These two keys are mathematically related so that anything encrypted by the public key can only be decrypted by the private key and anything encrypted by the private key can only be decrypted by the public key. The public key is freely available to anyone who wants it. The private key is kept secret. The strength of this system lies in the fact that people don’t have to share private keys (which could be intercepted) to communicate securely. However, the system is only as secure as the private key. If the private key is compromised, the entire system breaks down. An attacker who steals a person’s private key can impersonate them (through false digital signatures), read their private documents (such as encrypted email), and any number of other equally disturbing things.Many companies mitigate this risk by using smart cards to provide additional protection for the private key by separating the private keys and sensitive PKI operations from the operating system. Smart cards can store some data and process cryptographic operations on the card. Another security benefit is a second factor of authentication: “Something you have” (a smart card) and “Something you know” (a user PIN). Smart Cards do provide added security, but with added expense of a smart card for each employee and smart card readers for each computer. These cards must be replaced if employees lose them, break them, or run them through the washing machine. All in all, this system, while good, creates added expense and complexity for an organization.Intel® Identity Protection Technology with public key infrastructure (or Intel® IPT with PKI), is a new product from Intel designed to enhance the security of PKI operations. It uses the Intel® Management Engine (or ME) available on 2012 Intel® vPro™ systems to protect the private key and perform sensitive PKI operations at the firmware level. Protecting the key this way prevents malware or other forms of attack from compromising the private key. You can think about it like a smart card built in to your computer; a smart card that you can’t leave in your pocket and put through the wash (unless you have really big pockets); a smart card that you probably won’t forget (at least not if you remembered your computer). Also, for companies that already use Intel® vPro™ systems and PKI certificates, no additional infrastructure is required, and you can use it out of the box.Intel® IPT with PKI was designed from the ground up for ease of use. It integrates directly into Microsoft’s CryptoAPI, which is a mature interface for cryptographic operations in the Windows operating system. CryptoAPI is an extensible framework that uses plugins (called Cryptographic Service Providers, or CSPs) to do the actual cryptographic operations. Many applications are designed to work with CryptoAPI, and thus are able to support Intel® IPT with PKI with little to no changes to the program. As far as applications are concerned, Intel® IPT with PKI works the same way as Microsoft’s cryptographic service providers, but the real magic happens behind the scenes. Unlike Microsoft’s implementation, where PKI operations are done within Windows (where they can be snooped by malware), Intel® IPT with PKI works with the ME, which is a small, self-contained platform embedded in the chipset. This platform has an internal processor and some storage space—much like a smart card does—and is completely segregated from the operating system. All sensitive operations that involve the private key are performed at this level and are protected from hackers or malicious software that might try to steal the private key.As a final security measure, PKI keys can optionally be PIN protected. When you try to use the key, you will be prompted to enter the PIN. This prevents someone from accessing your computer and using one of the Intel® IPT with PKI protected keys without your knowledge. This additional layer of security uses a product called Intel® IPT with protected transaction display, to render a PIN pad on the screen in such a way that the operating system cannot see it. Malicious software like screen scrapers will only see a black square in the area where the PIN pad is displayed.  This is a new technology developed by Intel which makes use of Intel branded integrated graphics and Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP) to securely display a PIN pad to the screen. PAVP creates a secure connection from the graphics card to the monitor, bypassing the operating system entirely. It was originally developed to display high definition video from Blu-Ray disks while protecting them from being copied, but can also be used to make passwords secure from host based malware.Below is a video that shows a Intel(R) IPT with PKI being used to sign an email in Outlook. It also demonstrates the protected transaction display. Intel® IPT with protected transaction display works by reserving screen space with the operating system, then filling it with an encrypted image that was rendered in the ME. The user can see the image on the screen, but the operating system doesn’t know what is there. The result is that any attempt to snoop at what is on the screen (such as a malicious screen scraper, a hacker mirroring the user’s screen, or even a simple “Print Screen”) will see a black square instead of a protected pin pad. The two real screenshots below demonstrate the concept. The first image is what the user sees, and the second is what a hacker would see. This is what the user sees. This screenshot was taken specifically using an IP/KVM connectionto a remote computer (essentially, a photograph of the moniter),otherwise, the PIN-pad would not be visible. To protect against key-logging malware, the user interacts with Intel® IPT with protected transaction display via the mouse only, no keyboard input is accepted. The numbers zero through nine are arranged in a random order, and the user clicks the numbers that make up their PIN. Every time Intel® IPT with protected transaction display is used, the order of these numbers is randomized, making it unlikely that a hacker would guess a PIN simply by location. All of the processing is done in the hardware. This produces a PIN that was never exposed in the clear to the operating system or a hacker.Over the course of development of IPT with PKI, the engineering team worked closely with Symantec, one of the leaders in managed PKI tools to integrate this product with their solution, The Symantec Managed PKI Service. The collaboration with Symantec allowed Intel® IPT with PKI to be tested with a live piece of software, one that is actually used by the target market. This sort of real-world exposure from day one was important to make sure we weren’t developing something that wouldn’t work or have value in the wild. Intel® IPT with PKI will be distributed with the next release of the Symantec Managed PKI Solution.Intel® IPT with PKI and Intel® IPT with protected transaction display are two of the Intel® Identity Protection Technology family of products. Another product in this family is Intel® IPT with one-time password (OTP)—a system that uses the ME to provide secure two-factor authentication to websites, such as eBay or PayPal. On the Enterprise side of the fence, Intel® IPT with OTP can be used to make a company’s intranet more secure. By providing the same functionality as one-time password generating tokens issued to employees by enterprises (such as key fobs that periodically generate new passwords), Intel® IPT with OTP can provide the same security without the additional cost of managing and replacing those tokens. The one time passwords generated by OTP can be used in the enterprise environment to help secure access to company websites, VPN connections, and more. The Identity Protection Technology suite represents a collaborative effort between several groups within Intel. PC Client Architecture developed the common infrastructure used by the IPT family of products, the Chipset and SoC IP Group built the protected environment found on the ME, and Business Client Platform Division Engineering developed Intel® IPT with PKI.It is ironic that while businesses are adopting cloud solutions, accommodating their employees’ needs to work anywhere on any device, the internet is simultaneously becoming more and more unsafe. There is really no such thing as privacy on the internet any more. Attackers are getting more skilled and focused and their tools more advanced. Private information (both business and personal) is now a commodity to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. The only way for an organization to be safe is to continually improve and upgrade their security systems and processes. Intel® Identity Protection Technology with public key infrastructure makes an organization more secure by pulling sensitive information out of the software in to tamper-resistant hardware and gives people the tools to better protect themselves. This is what a hacker would see. Actual screenshot using Windows’ Print Screen button while theIntel® IPT with protected transaction display window was on screen.last_img read more

Take user-authentication to the next level!

first_imgToday’s hackers have moved well beyond the viruses and Trojan horses that attack at the operating system level. Recent rootkit attacks and other new techniques have suddenly made tokens and smart cards insufficient at blocking unauthorized access to the client’s IT system. This has become a critical issue as remote users and cloud computing are becoming commonplace. So how can you combat these cutting-edge hackers? Amy Doescher, Enterprise Security Product Marketing Engineer at Intel, and Marty Jost, senior manager of product marketing at Symantec, will explain how you can take authentication to the next level. Register for our webinar to learn how embedded, hardware-based authentication solutions can help you:Fend off attacks that circumvent traditional software-only-based security measures.Step up authentication with embedded hardware-based storage of authentication tokens and certificates.Prevent screen scraping and other malware attacks by verifying a human presence at the PC.Reduce costs associated with lost smart cards or tokens, and minimize IT staff time associated with traditional token and smart card provisioning.  Marty and Amy will also discuss how our new solutions can assist you in disaster recovery scenarios. They’ll even be answering questions live, so be sure to bring a question or two to ask. It’s a great chance to get answers directly from industry experts on IT security. L Intel IT Center Talk to an Expert webinar series IT Security and Cost Control without Compromise: A Fresh Look at Authentication Thursday, July 19, 2012 9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Register now >last_img read more

The Lenovo X1 Carbon, like a “GI Joe strapped in Kevlar.”

first_imgI’ve seen a few Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbons around the office lately and they’re pretty cool.  The X1 Carbon is a new Ultrabook that’s also an Intel vPro Platform.The X1 Carbon makes an immediate first impression with its ultra cool and sleek carbon fiber exterior.  But as they say, beauty is only skin deep and that’s where the carbon comes into play.  You see, carbon fiber is pretty tough stuff.  As strong as aluminum with only one third the weight (think Formula 1 cars or the Boeing 787 Dreamliner) carbon fiber is amazingly durable which helps reduce system flex and better protect key components like the display.  Speaking of the display, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s screen is made from scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. Lenovo says the Thinkpad X1 Carbon has passed eight rugged, military spec tests.  One reviewer described the X1 Carbon as  “…a G.I. Joe strapped with Kevlar.”The X1 Carbon is the ideal mobile office with a high tech home theatre and mobile video conferencing system all rolled into one. Its Dolby Home Theater v4 delivers clear, crisp surround sound, and it dual-microphones with audio canceling software automatically filter out background noise during conference calls.  The ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s 720p high-definition camera has face tracking software so users don’t have to worry about staying on camera.The X1 Carbon comes packed with advanced security features like an encrypted hard drive, an integrated fingerprint reader, Lenovo remote security management and is even pre-loaded with Norton® Internet Security 2011.  Also, Because the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an Intel vPro Platform, it includes hardware enhanced authentication and is able to remotely disable access to data or disable the hardware itself, if lost or stolen.If you’re looking for a system that both users and IT will love, the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook should be on your list.last_img read more

Kicking off European Utility Week in Barcelona With Team Intel

first_imgWe’re here in Barcelona at the premier European energy conference, connecting the global smart utility community on all things energy—from grid optimization, renewable energy, energy storage, smart metering, smart cities, smart homes, smart buildings, data management, analytics and IoT, cyber security and more.Today’s top trend revolves around learning opportunities for European utilities. I’m seeing firsthand how innovation underscores every element of today’s power grid; that’s why today’s hub sessions, including “Data-Driven Sustainability,” “Investing in Innovation” and “IIOT Security Solutions,” have been well attended and created some buzz around the future of power transmission and management.@Kevin_ODonovanCome visit the Intel team at booth 3F148 to see how utilities can drive efficiency for tomorrow’s energy demands. While you’re here, pick up a free USB charger for your smartphone.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Medical Imaging, In A Snap

first_imgVANCOUVER, CANADA—Doctors struggle to keep squirming children still for long scans. Now, thanks to faster magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they may no longer have to worry about keeping their patients still for so long. The above image of the blood flow through the heart of a 6-year-old with a congenital heart defect was acquired in 10 minutes rather than an hour, as with traditional MRI. To take faster images, researchers use algorithms similar to JPEG compression, they reported here today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW). So-called compressed sensing MRIs offer a quicker way to snap pictures of soft tissues in time and space. Instead of capturing all data points, this technique records data randomly, drawing a sparse image. The incomplete pictures are filled in after the scan by algorithms that reveal the simplest solution for each pixel. While researchers are still perfecting this quick scanning method, a handful of clinics are already using it to slash scan times.See more ScienceShots.Full coverage of AAAS 2012Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

U.S. National Academy Gives Itself a Facelift

first_imgTrendsetter. Xiaowei Zhuang is part of the NAS class of 2012. Fred Field The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is regarded as the most prestigious honorary scientific society in the country. But it also has a reputation for being old, white, and male. Today its members took a big step toward changing their image by inviting a younger and more diverse group of scientists to join them. This year’s class of 84 new members includes 26 women. That number far exceeds the previous record of 19, set in 2005. In addition, the class’s average age has dropped by 3.5 years from last year, to 58. “We are trying to become more diverse by age, gender, geographic location, and ethnicity,” says Susan Wessler, a plant geneticist at the University of California, Riverside, and NAS home secretary. “But we haven’t changed the criterion—it’s still outstanding science.” Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) The new class is also the largest in the academy’s history, with an increase of 12 over previous years. That jump made it much easier to broaden the pool, Wessler admits. “The idea was that the additional slots would encourage the election of people who would diversify the membership,” Wessler explains. “And I think it was extremely successful.” The biggest reason for boosting the size of the entering class—it had been at 72 since 2001—was the fact that the age of new members had been rising for several years. Wessler said members were worried about the academy’s continued ability to perform its functions of advising Congress and the executive branch and disseminating new knowledge across scientific fields and throughout society. “Election may be honorific, but NAS is a working society,” she says. “So it’s vitally important that our members are actively involved in science. We felt that we might be missing the truly outstanding young scientists because of the intense competition for a limited number of slots each year.” New inductee Xiaowei Zhuang could be a poster child for the initiative. At age 40, she’s a full professor at Harvard University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institution investigator with a sheaf of scientific awards. “In my unqualified opinion,” she e-mails ScienceInsider, “I think electing young scientists with remarkable accomplishments [I don’t mean to include myself] will help make the academy stronger.” The share of women in the new class—31%—also breaks the previous record of 26% set in 2005, the high-water mark in a 3-year stretch when women comprised roughly one-quarter of each new class. Last year’s class contained only nine women, some 13% of the total, and in 2001 they represented only 8% of the new inductees. “I am very pleased,” says Alice Agogino, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. “It was not clear that increasing the number of slots would increase women, but that was the hope.” Asked how the academy planned to continue its drive to get younger and more diverse, Wessler says that “we’ll have to keep encouraging people” to take those factors into consideration. She hopes that younger scientists like Zhuang will become active in academy affairs, nominate their peers for membership, and spread the word that the academy is eager to represent the best of U.S. science.last_img read more