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Archive for the ‘Afternoon Wrap’ Category

Computer Security and National Security: Finding a Link

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | 4:15 PM 2 comments

The AFP this afternoon is reporting that cybersecurity experts from across the globe will meet in Estonia next week to address “the growing connection between computer security and national security.”  Among the list of expected attendees is former White House top cybersecurity official, Melissa Hathaway, who is scheduled to provide a keynote speech.

A “growing connection” can also be found between computer security, national security and the technology industry.  The connection comes by way of eSecurity Planet, who detailed a new contract won by noted IT corporation HP: A $9 million contract with the US Air Force.  Based on the agreement, HP will implement a Cyber Control System “to help Air Force officials make real-time responses and formulate strategies when faced with network intrusions or attacks.”

It is safe to say: HP is ramping up its cybersecurity efforts and calling on fellow tech industry types to follow suit.  In a separate report, in an interview with Computer World, HP’s executive vice president and general counsel, Michael Holston, urged the tech industry to start focusing on privacy and security. “With all of these challenges and issues come huge opportunities to be smart about technology innovation and strengthen trust,” Holston advised.

Senators School on Cyber Crime

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | 4:01 PM Leave a comment

“The US must take a leadership role, both internationally and bilaterally, to establish best practices for nations that allow the Internet to be turned into a criminal enterprise–or even a weapon,” advised Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in an op-ed in Forbes today.

The two senators went on to add, “If we don’t improve international cooperation, safe havens will continue to flourish, and our economy, security and people will be under threat.”

Meanwhile, students at Penn State may already be under such “threat.”  According to the Associated Press, infected university computers leaked 25,000 Social Security numbers.  This comes in addition to a similar privacy breach last year when the university reported that over 35,000 SSNs were exposed in an online attack.  Additional news from the day follows…
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The iPhone 4 and Mobile Security

Monday, June 7, 2010 | 3:49 PM 1 comment

Creating a stir in the technology world today, Steve Jobs unveiled Apple’s long-anticipated, new iPhone 4.  While Jobs did not lay claims as to whether or not AT&T would continue on as the phone’s exclusive carrier, two other organizations did.  According to Federal News Radio, the General Services Administration and the Department of Homeland Security approved the “first governmentwide provider of cybersecurity services under AT&T’s Networx contract.”

And in a separate piece on mobile security, Federal News Radio warned: “Network convergence could leave your phone vulnerable.”

Moving from voice to video, Wired is reporting that Federal officials have arrested an Army intelligence analyst who “boasted of giving classified US combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks.”  Meanwhile, PressTV announced that the Pentagon is hacked 6 million times daily.

So with all the latest buzz surrounding cybersecurity and the nation’s Defense, is Government Computer Networks wrong to report “Congress just doesn’t see cybersecurity’s sex appeal“?
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The Potential for Cyber “Sabotage”

Thursday, June 3, 2010 | 4:00 PM 1 comment

The US military’s newly launched US Cyber Command continues to make news this afternoon, as Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the command and chief of the National Security Agency, warned, “The potential for sabotage and destruction is now possible and something we must treat seriously.”  According to the Washington Post, the US is “carefully monitoring military computer networks for sabotage.”

And just when we started thinking Congress was making progress on cyber legislation in the House and Senate, Federal Computer Week reports that “cyber policy is snared in legislative tangle.”  While more than 35 cybersecurity-related measures are currently hold-up in Congress, the news site claims, “Observers don’t rule out the possibility of a bill becoming law this year, but many think it’s unlikely because other important items on the administration’s legislative agenda are lined up ahead of it.”

Yet with all the recent cybersecurity hype, including new legislation, federal appointments and spending, NextGov questions, “Is it enough?”  More cybersecurity news from the day follows…
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“Imminent” Cyber Attacks, Legislation and Lobbying

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | 3:41 PM 1 comment

“The US is not in a cyber war and cyber war likely will never occur independently of a physical armed conflict,” James Lewis, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ technology and public policy program, told Fierce Government.  Famous last words?  ManTech president Bill Varner might think so.  In an interview with The New New Internet, Varner advised, “Cybersecurity is the number one threat facing our nation.”

Over on the Hill, Wired notes that Senator Lieberman, in a co-sponsored bill with Senator Collins, is pushing for legislation to allow the government to take over civilian networks in the event of “an imminent cyber attack.”

And in an update — Yesterday’s Afternoon Wrap mentioned MasterCard’s increased cybersecurity lobby-spending.  Today an article in Canada’s CBC might prove why.  According to the report, newly-issued credit cards from MasterCard and Visa “pose major fraud and privacy concerns.”  Other cybersecurity news from the day follows…
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Cyber Coordinators and the Cyber Command

Friday, May 28, 2010 | 1:07 PM Leave a comment

Following up from yesterday’s report, key Senate cyber staffer Sameer Bhalotra’s name continues to be tossed around as White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt’s potential deputy coordinator.

Wired’s “Danger Room” features a story on the military’s new U.S. Cyber Command (“CYBERCOM”), stating that after years of planning for the operation, there is “nothing new.” On the defense, Baltimore Business Journal is reporting that the new Command would bring nearly 1,000 jobs to the military’s cyber headquarters at Ft. Meade.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen said he is “particularly concerned about cyberspace.”  Addressing the US Air Force Academy’s graduating class of 2010 in a commencement speech, Mullen noted that cyberspace, threats and attacks “will change how we fight.”

“National Security Strategy”

Thursday, May 27, 2010 | 4:36 PM Leave a comment

“National Security Strategy” were the buzz words of the day, as the Obama administration rolled out its 52-page approach to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure.  The White House document states: “Effectively protecting cyberspace requires strong vision and leadership and will require changes in policy, technology, education and perhaps law.”

The full-text White House plan can be viewed here (PDF).
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