The White House and the federal government is keeping the commitment to open-source software it made earlier this year. The White House has announced the Federal Source Code policy. The policy is designed to help make custom-developed source code created for the federal government easily accessible to all federal agencies.

In addition to the policy, a pilot program is being introduced, which requires agencies to release at least 20% of its code as open-source software for three years.

“While the benefits of enhanced Federal custom-developed code reuse are significant, additional benefits can accrue when source code is also made available to the public as OSS. Making source code available as OSS can enable continual improvement of Federal custom-developed code projects as a result of a broader user community implementing the code for its own purposes and publishing improvements,” according to a statement from Tony Scott, U.S. chief information officer, and Anne Rung, U.S. chief acquisition officer.

Oracle MICROS data breach

A Russian hacking group known for getting into computer systems appears to have breached systems at Oracle. According to Krebs on Security, the attackers compromised Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale systems.

Krebs On Security first investigated this incident in July when it received a tip from an Oracle MICROS customer about a breach in the company’s retail division.

In a statement to Krebs on Security, Oracle acknowledged it had “detected and addressed malicious code in certain legacy MICROS systems.” Oracle has asked customers to change their passwords for the MICROS online support portal as an additional precaution.

The scope of the break is still being investigated.

Wolfram Language version 11 now available

Wolfram Language version 11 is now available with more than 500 new functions, and the ability to compute in the Wolfram Cloud.

In addition, the language aims to bring knowledge-based programming to new domains such as 3D printing, machine learning and neural networks. With the tight integration between the Wolfram Language and Wolfram Cloud, version 11 enables the development of cloud based feature such as channel-based communication, interactive ways to deploy, and APIs in the Wolfram Data Repository, according to the company.

More information is available here.

Alibaba Cloud and HTC partner to advance VR

Alibaba Cloud and HTC announced a partnership designed to help both companies explore new virtual reality solutions for customers.

The companies will leverage Alibaba Cloud computing technology and focus on developing solutions that tackle bandwidth allocation, data transmission, and data processing needs in areas such as VR video production or VR broadcasting. Developers will work to build a VR cloud ecosystem and extend Viveport, which is HTC’s VR app store. The app store will be extended to Alibaba Cloud cloud computing platform.

Developing VR technology requires a strong infrastructure that has support from the backend, and cloud computing technology can improve development and lower operation costs, according to the companies.

Android vulnerabilities in Qualcomm chipsets detected

Four vulnerabilities affecting 900 million Android smartphones and tablets that use Qualcomm chipsets have been detected, according to Check Point software.

The Check Point mobile threat research team has dubbed the set of Android vulnerabilities QuadRooter. If any of these four vulnerabilities are exploited, an attacker can gain root access to a device.

Some of the most popular Android devices that use Qualcomm chipsets include the BlackBerry Priv, Blackphone 1 and Blackphone 2, Google Nexus 5X, Samsung Galaxy S7 , and Samsung S7 Edge.

Android devices can be exposed to these vulnerabilities through the use of malicious apps. These apps require no special permissions to take advantage of these bugs, which means users would not be suspicious when installing.

Check Point recommends organizations encourage their employees to follow best practices to keep their Android devices safe, including downloading recent updates to keep the device protected.