Cyber Strategies for a World at War

OPEN SOURCE AGGREGATION & ANALYSIS

Former CIA Director Talks Cyber Security

Michael_Hayden,_CIA_official_portraitFormer National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Director General Michael Hayden discusses life as the nation’s premier spy, as well the pressing cyber and national security issues of the day, with Frank Sesno, Director of George Washington University‘s School of Media and Public Affairs. This event took place February 19, 2013, and was recorded by CSPAN.

One of the first topics they discuss is the huge load of evidential data the information security company Mandiant recently released that alleges the Chinese government, through its military, is complicit in persistent cyber espionage against the United States government and corporations.

Not-so breaking news, folks: According to General Hayden, the United States steals China‘s secrets, too. However, he goes on to differentiate the type of espionage between the two nations. He regards the United States’s spying against the Chinese government as being done only to protect the United States’s citizens’s liberty and security; whereas the Chinese spying is being done against the United States primarily to steal its corporate and national secrets to improve China’s industrial and technological capacity and strength.

Unfortunately, CSPAN offers no embeddable file for the event so you will need to watch it at www.c-spanvideo.org/program/311052-1

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Mandiant Exposes Persisten Hacking Authorized By Chinese Government

Mandiant, an information security company, has been in the news lately as the go-to cybersecurity company after high profile newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post, and others were allegedly attacked by Chinese hackers. The New York Times alleged they were attached by China in retribution for the newspaper exposing government corruption at the highest levels.

Today, Mandiant has done something unusual for the hyper-secret world of cyber espionage and counter-espionage: they went public with accusatory reports and videos that shows a “day in the life” of a typical Chinese hacker.

The following is available from Mandiant’s website:

From the report:

Since 2004, Mandiant has investigated computer security breaches at hundreds of organizations around the world. The majority of these security breaches are attributed to advanced threat actors referred to as the “Advanced Persistent Threat” (APT). We first published details about the APT in our January 2010 M-Trends report. As we stated in the report, our position was that “The Chinese government may authorize this activity, but there’s no way to determine the extent of its involvement.” Now, three years later, we have the evidence required to change our assessment. The details we have analyzed during hundreds of investigations convince us that the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in China and that the Chinese Government is aware of them.

Read the full report:
Mandiant Report

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Obama’s Cybersecurity Executive Order: A Pirate Party Analysis

RussiaToday
February 13, 2013

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President Obama Names Vivek Kundra Chief Information Officer

The White House
March 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama named Vivek Kundra the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the White House.

The Federal Chief Information Officer directs the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments and is responsible for oversight of federal technology spending. The Federal CIO establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and ensure information security and privacy across the federal government. The CIO will also work closely with the Chief Technology Officer to advance the President’s technology agenda.

President Obama said, “Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position. I have directed him to work to ensure that we are using the spirit of American innovation and the power of technology to improve performance and lower the cost of government operations. As Chief Information Officer, he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible.”

The following announcement was made today:

Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer
Vivek Kundra formerly served in Mayor Fenty’s cabinet as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia, responsible for technology operations and strategy for 86 agencies. He has been recognized among the top 25 CTO’s in the country and as the 2008 IT Executive of the Year for his pioneering work to drive transparency, engage citizens and lower the cost of government operations. Kundra is also recognized for his leadership in public safety communications, cyber security and IT portfolio management. Before Kundra came to the District, Governor Timothy M. Kaine appointed him Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the first dual cabinet role in the state’s history. Kundra’s diverse record also includes technology and public policy experience in private industry and academia. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership and holds a MS in Information Technology from the University of Maryland.

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The Highlighter: Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency – Part V

A Report of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency

Part V includes highlights of:

  • Section 4 – Regulate for Cybersecurity

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CSWW is not affiliated with CSIS or the commission that produced this report. The use of “we,” “our,” “us,” etc., throughout the highlights of this report refers to the members of the CSIS Commission and not to CSWW.
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The Highlights:

4
Regulate for Cybersecurity

Recommendations

  • The president should task the NOC to work with appropriate regulatory agencies to develop and issue standards and guidance for securing critical cyber infrastructure, which those agencies would then apply in their own regulations.
  • The NOC should work with the appropriate regulatory agencies and with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop regulations for industrial control systems (ICS). The government could reinforce regulation by making the development of secure control systems an element of any economic stimulus package…
  • The NOC should immediately determine the extent to which government-owned critical infrastructures are secure from cyber attack…
  • The president should direct the NOC and the federal Chief Information Officers Council, working with industry, to develop and implement security guidelines for the procurement of IT products (with software as the first priority).
  • The president should task the National Security Agency (NSA) and NIST, working with international partners, to reform the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP).
  • The president should take steps to increase the use of secure Internet protocols. The president should direct OMB and the NOC to develop mandatory requirements for agencies to contract only with telecommunications carriers that use secure Internet protocols.

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Cyber review underway

The White House Blog
March 2, 2009

John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, passed along this update about the ongoing review of our nation’s communications and information infrastructure.

In response to President Obama’s direction, the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council are presently conducting a 60-day review of the plans, programs, and activities underway throughout the government that address our communications and information infrastructure (i.e., cyberspace). The purpose of the review is to develop a strategic framework to ensure that our initiatives in this area are appropriately integrated, resourced and coordinated both within the Executive Branch and with Congress and the private sector.

Our nation’s security and economic prosperity depend on the security, stability, and integrity of communications and information infrastructure that are largely privately-owned and globally-operated. Safeguarding these important interests will require balanced decision making that integrates and harmonizes our national and economic security objectives with enduring respect for the rule of law. Guided by this principle, the review will build upon existing policies and structures to formulate a new vision for a national public-private partnership and an action plan to: enhance economic prosperity and facilitate market leadership for the U.S. information and communications industry; deter, prevent, detect, defend against, respond to, and remediate disruptions and damage to U.S. communications and information infrastructure; ensure U.S. capabilities to operate in cyberspace in support of national goals; and safeguard the privacy rights and civil liberties of our citizens.

The review will be completed by the end of April 2009. At that time, the review team will present its recommendations to the President regarding an optimal White House organizational construct to address issues related to U.S. and global information and communications infrastructure and capabilities. The recommendations also will include an action plan on identifying and prioritizing further work in this area.

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National Intelligence Program Budget for 2010

Funding Highlights:

• Strengthens the capabilities of the Nation’s intelligence agencies to furnish timely, accurate, and
insightful intelligence on the capabilities and intentions of foreign powers, including international
terrorist groups.
• Enhances Federal cybersecurity capabilities.
• Prioritizes resources to support a U.S. Government-wide counterterrorism action plan.
• Improves the sharing of terrorist-related information with Federal, State, local, tribal and foreign
partners.
• Increases collection capabilities and continues transforming intelligence analysis.

The National Intelligence Program (NIP) funds intelligence activities in several Departments and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). NIP’s budget is classified, so the 2010 Budget does not publicly disclose funding requests for intelligence activities. However, since NIP supports key elements of America’s national security,
this chapter highlights some NIP-funded activities without detailing funding information.

To protect America’s national security, the Intelligence Community (IC) provides effective intelligence collection, the analysis of that intelligence, and the production of finished intelligence products. IC is responsible for ensuring timely and effective dissemination of intelligence to those who need it, ranging from the President, to heads of Executive Departments, military forces, and law enforcement agencies. To meet this country’s national security challenges, IC is strengthening its components’ abilities to collect intelligence, increasing the security of Federal cyber networks, and protecting against the threat of international terrorism in the United States.

The 2010 budget for NIP will support the Administration’s national security objectives. The Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the CIA, and Department Secretaries with intelligence organizations will use 2010 NIP funds to defeat terrorist networks, prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, penetrate and
analyze the most difficult targets of U.S. foreign policy, and anticipate developments of strategic concern.

The Administration will request funding for IC for the remainder of 2009 and for 2010 to cover the costs of global intelligence operations. The details of the 2009 supplemental appropriations request will be provided to the Congress in the next few weeks while the detailed 2010 request will be transmitted with the President’s 2010
Budget request.

Increases funding for Cybersecurity. The threat to Federal information technology networks is real, serious, and growing. To address this threat, the President’s 2010 Budget includes substantial funding for cybersecurity efforts; such activities will take an integrated and holistic approach to address current cybersecurity threats, anticipate future threats, and continue innovative public-private partnerships. These
efforts encompass the homeland security, intelligence, law enforcement, military and diplomatic mission areas of the U.S. Government.

Implements Counterterrorism Plan. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has developed a U.S. Government-wide counterterrorism action plan. This plan lays out broad strategic objectives aligned with policy objectives to guide the overall implementation of this national strategy on counterterrorism. The Administration will work with NCTC, IC, and relevant Departments such as Defense, State, and Homeland Security to direct resources in support of counterterrorism implementation objectives.

Facilitates information Sharing. The President’s 2010 Budget will support initiatives to improve the sharing of intelligence, including terrorist-related information, with Federal, State, local, tribal and foreign partners. These efforts include advancing the National Suspicious Activity reporting Initiative; establishing agency-based, outcome-oriented performance targets for information sharing; and institutionalizing the use of
effective business practices.

Improves Collection and Analysis Capabilities. The 2010 Budget provides funding to improve mission performance by increasing intelligence collection capabilities and continuing to transform intelligence analysis in IC.

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Obama Budget Eyes Boost to Cybersecurity Funds

By Andrea Shalal-Esa
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The budget proposed by President Barack Obama includes funding aimed at improving the security of U.S. private and public computer networks.

“The threat to federal information technology networks is real, serious and growing,” said an outline of the budget proposal for fiscal 2010 that begins October 1 and released by the Obama administration on Thursday.

The document called for $355 million in funding for the Department of Homeland Security to make private and public sector cyber infrastructure more resilient and secure.

The money would help support the operations of the National Cyber Security Division, as well as initiatives under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, according to the document.

In addition, the administration said it would put “substantial” funding for cybersecurity efforts into the national intelligence program, but gave no details since that funding is kept secret.

That money would be used for “an integrated and holistic approach to address current cybersecurity threats, anticipate future threats, and continue innovative public-private partnerships,” it said.

Continue…

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U.S. must craft cyberwarfare battle strategy

By William Jackson
February 18, 2009
Government Computer News

America has to face up to the realities of cyberwarfare with tactical and strategic planning, Kurtz says

The intelligence community and the military have crucial roles to play in protecting cyber space, former presidential adviser Paul E. Kurtz said Wednesday, and a clear command and control structure is needed to ensure that our information infrastructure can survive and recover from major disruptions.

In his opening address at the Black Hat Federal security conference being held in Arlington, Va., Kurtz, who served on the National and Homeland Security councils under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the nation has been reluctant to consider the proper role of government in regulating and defending cyberspace. He said it is important that these decisions be made openly after public discussion rather than allowed to happen behind closed doors.

“To those who object to the militarization of cyberspace, I would say, it’s too late: We’re already there,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz, who recently served as cybersecurity adviser on President Barack Obama’s transition team, steered clear of discussing his advice to the new administration. But he praised the 60-day review of federal cybersecurity initiatives announced by the president on Feb. 9 and called Melissa Hathaway, the Bush administration official tapped to conduct it, “exceptionally capable.”

He said the United States should apply some of the lessons learned during the Cold War to cyber conflicts now simmering online. Cyber warfare is not as simple as the bipolar confrontation between the Western democracies and the Soviet bloc, Kurtz said. It is multilateral standoff involving multiple nations, shadowy organizations, and individual hackers and criminals.

“But I do think a number of concepts from the Cold War may apply, and one of these is deterrence,” he added.

A clear policy of deterrence by the United States and its allies helped to avoid the use of nuclear weapons. But no similar policy has been established for battles fought over networks. There is no definition of cyberwarfare, no policy on how and when cyber weapons should be deployed and used, and we do not have a clear idea of who our enemies are.

“We must begin by addressing the question of attribution,” Kurtz said. The ability to collect, share and analyze data in order to tailor responses to a threat is “the beginning of a deterrence policy.”

That ability will require the efforts of the intelligence community, in cooperation with law enforcement and the private sector, he said. Each of these sectors now collects large amounts of data, but the same inability to share and “connect the dots” that led to the 2001 terrorist attacks still plague our cybersecurity, he said.

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Cyber Threats 101

By Kim Hart
February 16, 2009
The Washington Post

An Army lieutenant may be an expert at securing borders and warding off enemies in a war zone. But when it comes to making sure hackers cannot break into the military’s communications network, officers may feel pretty defenseless.

To get a better grasp on technological threats, military officers, agency heads and government contracting executives have found one of the Defense Department’s best-kept secrets: the National Defense University.

NDU is made up of four graduate-level colleges, including the National War College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the Joint Forces Staff College. But the largest college — the Information Resources Management College — has grown the fastest over the past few years because the skills it teaches are in such high demand.

Located on the District waterfront, at Fort Lesley J. McNair, the college trains mid-career workers, in the public and private sectors, how to leverage the newest consumer technologies as well as how to protect vital information. This expertise used to be reserved for an agency’s chief information officer. But as tools like thumb drives, Facebook, Twitter and voice over Internet Protocol phone services creep into offices and bases, secure digital networks are becoming essential for all employees.

“Web 2.0 and information assurance are such big deals these days, but they are in conflict,” said Robert Childs, senior director of the college. The courses are tailored for people responsible for safeguarding the networks at the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, for example. The Defense Department is the college’s primary source of funding.

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Biography – Dennis C. Blair

Director of National Intelligence

Dennis C. Blair became the nation’s third Director of National Intelligence on January 29, 2009.

Prior to retiring in 2002, Admiral Blair served as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, the largest of the combatant commands. During his 34-year Navy career, Admiral Blair served on guided missile destroyers in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and commanded the Kitty Hawk Battle Group. Ashore, he served as Director of the Joint Staff and as the first Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support at the CIA. He has also served in budget and policy positions on the National Security Council and several major Navy staffs.

From 2003 to 2006, Blair was President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses — one of the nation’s foremost national security analysis centers. Most recently, he served as the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and the Deputy Director of the Project on National Security Reform, an organization that analyzes the U.S. national security structure and develops recommendations to improve its effectiveness.

A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Blair earned a master’s degree in History and Languages from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and served as a White House Fellow at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has been awarded four Defense Distinguished Service Medals and has received decorations from the governments of Japan, Thailand, the Republic of Korea and Australia.

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U.S. Interests Face Challenges in Europe, Intelligence Chief Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2009 – (This is the third in a series on the intelligence community’s annual threat assessment.)

Russia’s perceived strengths and its policies, tensions in Eurasia, Caucasus and Central Asia, and instability in the Balkans all pose challenges to U.S. interests in Europe, the director of national intelligence said Feb. 12.

Dennis C. Blair, a retired Navy admiral, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that Russia continues to rebuild its military and, as events in Georgia last year show, use those forces to impress on the world that the nation is still relevant.

“Russian challenges to US interests now spring more from Moscow’s perceived strengths than from the state weaknesses characteristic of the 1990s,” Blair said in prepared testimony.

“U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and general anti-Americanism have created openings for Russia to build alternative arrangements to the US-led international political and economic institutional order,” he said.

Russia is attempting to increase its ability to influence events, he said, by “actively cultivating relations with regional powers, including China, Iran, and Venezuela.”

Blair said Russia’s energy policy is aimed at increasing the country’s importance on the European continent.

“Moscow also is trying to maintain control over energy supply and transportation networks to Europe to East Asia, and protect and further enhance its market share in Europe through new bilateral energy partnerships and organizing a gas cartel with other major exporters,” he said.

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The Highlighter: Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency – Part IV

A Report of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency

Part IV includes highlights of:

  • Section 3 – Rebuilding Partnership with the Private Sector

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CSWW is not affiliated with CSIS or the commission that produced this report. The use of “we,” “our,” “us,” etc., throughout the highlights of this report refers to the members of the CSIS Commission and not to CSWW.
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The Highlights:

3
Rebuilding Partnership with the Private Sector

Recommendation

The U.S. government should rebuild the public-private partnership on cybersecurity to focus on key infrastructures and coordinated preventive and responsive activities. We recommend the president direct the creation of three new groups for partnership that provide the bases for both trust and action:

  • A presidential advisory committee organized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), with senior representatives from the key cyber infrastructures. This new body would incorporate the National Security and Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) and National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC);
  • A town hall style national stakeholders’ organization that provides a platform for education and discussion; and
  • A new operational organization, the Center for Cybersecurity Operations (CCSO), where public- and private-sector entities can collaborate and share information on critical cybersecurity in a trusted environment.

Securing cyberspace requires government and the private sector to work together.

There is a bifurcation of responsibility (the government must protect national security) and control (it does not manage the asset or provide the function that must be protected).

…the United States has a perplexing array of advisory groups with overlapping interests, inadequate resources, varying capabilities, and a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities. To achieve real partnership, we must simplify mission and organizational structure.

In many interviews, we found almost universal recognition that the status quo is not meeting the needs of either the government or the private sector with respect to trust and operational collaboration.

Another problem for securing cyberspace is a diffusion of effort. Currently DHS identifies 18 different sectors as critical.

For us, critical means that, if the function or service is disrupted, there is immediate and serious damage to key national functions such as U.S. military capabilities or economic performance.

To focus the defense of cyberspace, we have identified four critical cyber infrastructures: energy, finance, the converging information technology and communications sectors, and government services (including state and municipal governments).

We recommend concentrating on two key problems: how to build trust between the government and company executives and how to focus efforts on what is truly critical for cyberspace.

The primary goal of the new partnership organizations should be to build action-oriented relationships rather than to share information that is either already available or that companies are reluctant to provide. This can be done by creating a simplified structure that has three parts: a new presidential advisory committee that connects the White House to the private-sector entities most important for cyberspace; a national town-hall organization that provides a dialogue for education and discussion, and a new operational organization.

The intent behind the three groups is to provide an inclusive platform for national engagement, something the United States currently lacks.

Trust is the foundation of a successful partnership between government and the private sector.

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Intelligence Community Sees Asia Rising

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2009 – (This is the second in a three-part series on the intelligence community’s annual threat assessment.)

U.S. intelligence planners predict the 21st century will be the time for the rise of Asia, the director of national intelligence said Feb. 12.

Dennis C. Blair told the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “China and India are restoring positions they held in the 18th century when China produced approximately 30 percent and India 15 percent of the world’s wealth.”

While the current global economic crisis will slow growth in China and India, the two countries are likely to become the world’s third and fourth largest economies by 2025. China’s emergence as a world power is affecting the regional balance of power in Asia, Blair said in a prepared statement.

While the communist rulers of China have been successful in transforming the direction of the country, the government’s international behavior is driven by the need to maintain power. Leaders see their main missions as continuing prosperity and maintaining domestic stability, he said.

“Chinese leaders view preserving domestic stability as one of their most important internal security challenges,” Blair said.

Roughly 300 million Chinese have benefited from the current economic success, leaving 1 billion still in poverty.

Tibet and Taiwan remain problems internationally for the Chinese, but the election of a new government in Taiwan has tamped down tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic, Blair said.

From a military standpoint, China continues its modernization programs and operationally Chinese forces are prepared to move beyond the region, the admiral said. For example, a Chinese ship is cooperating with anti-pirate patrols in the Gulf of Aden, and Chinese troops may soon take part in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

On the equipment side, China continues to develop new, increasingly accurate missile capabilities that can reach U.S. forces throughout the region.

China is developing a robust anti-satellite capability, and Blair said this is among the nation’s highest military priorities. The Chinese also are modernizing their nuclear weapons capabilities.

Blair also spoke of India, which is harnessing the power of free markets after decades of trying to manage the economy.

“Like China, India’s expanding economy will lead New Delhi to pursue new trade partners, gain access to vital energy markets, and generate the other resources required to sustain rapid economic growth,” he said.

From a foreign policy and intelligence standpoint, relations with Pakistan dominate. The terror attack on Mumbai in November chilled relations between the two powers. Pakistan has vowed to crack down on extremists who used Pakistan to plan and train for the attack that crippled India’s major financial center and killed more than 130 people.

In Asia, North Korea is the odd-man out. In a region that reaped the benefits of economic growth, North Koreans are starving, and the government is pouring money into the military.

Blair said the U.S. intelligence community believes North Korea is operating a covert uranium enrichment program. While the country has nuclear weapons, Blair said he did not think North Korea would use them unless faced with a military defeat or loss of control.

North Korea continues to participate in the Six Party Talks — with South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the United States — but progress is slow, Blair said. North Korea continues to proliferate nuclear weapons and missile technology, most notably to Iran and Syria.

“We remain concerned North Korea could again export nuclear technology,” he said.

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Economic Crisis Overlays all Threats Facing U.S., Intel Chief Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2009 – (Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on the intelligence community’s annual threat assessment.)

The global economic crisis colors all other threats confronting the United States, the new director of national intelligence told the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 12.

Dennis C. Blair said the crisis raises the level of uncertainty in the world and places new areas of the globe in danger. Analysts are trying to understand the geopolitical implications of the crisis.

“The crisis has been ongoing for about a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom,” Blair said in prepared testimony. “Time is probably our greatest threat. The longer it takes for recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests.”

The longer the crisis continues, the more likely the risk of instability in many areas of the world including Latin America, Central Asia and Africa. “Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one- to two-year period,” he said.

The overlay of the crisis makes known threats — such as al-Qaida — even more dangerous, he said. Extremist Muslim groups retain the greatest capability to threaten the United States and its interests.

Still, there has been progress countering al-Qaida, in particular. Blair said the indiscriminate attacks on fellow Muslims in Iraq and North Africa have caused many moderate Muslims to condemn the group.

Al-Qaida remains a threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group portrays itself as aiding Taliban insurgents who are fighting Western imperialism, Blair said.

In Pakistan’s tribal areas, the terror group lost many of its leaders in 2008, he said. While this has weakened the group in the area, the group in Pakistan remains the most dangerous and continues to plot against the United States and U.S. interests from havens in the region.

In Iraq, al-Qaida has been severely weakened, but still retains the ability to launch occasional attacks, he said.

The terror group is re-emerging in Yemen. A terror cell launched an attack on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa in September and has launched 19 attacks on Western targets in the country in 2008.

Blair forecasts more al-Qaida activity in East Africa, specifically in Kenya and Somalia.

Al-Qaida cells may grow in the United States, Blair said. “We remain concerned about the potential for homegrown extremists inspired by the al-Qaida militant ideology to plan attacks in the United States, Europe and elsewhere without operational direction from the group itself,” he said. U.S. agencies will focus on identifying ties between U.S.-based individuals and extremist networks overseas.

There are terror groups beyond al-Qaida. Hezbollah in Lebanon remains a dangerous terrorist foe, Blair said. The group could attack U.S. targets if it perceives the United States is threatening its survival, leadership or infrastructure. Due to the terror group’s sponsorship by Iran, should Hezbollah’s leaders think the United States is a threat to its benefactor, the terror group may launch attacks on U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Iran is at the heart of what Blair calls an “arc of instability” running from the Middle East to South Asia. Blair said Iran’s goal to be a regional power drives its efforts in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, North Africa, the Persian Gulf and beyond. It also is at the heart of the Iranian drive to develop nuclear weapons, he said.

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CSWW Recommends – IntelFusion

If you have even the slightest of interest in intelligence matters, particularly those pertaining to cyber warfare, you should plug Jeffrey Carr’s site IntelFusion into your RSS reader.

Some very exciting work is being done there regarding open source intelligence and some very exciting opportunities and anxious times are occurring for Mr. Carr.

CSWW wishes him the best of luck and success!

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The Highlighter: Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency – Part I

A Report of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency

Part I includes highlights of the:

  • Executive Summary
  • Summary of Recommendations
  • Introduction

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CSWW is not affiliated with CSIS or the commission that produced this report. The use of “we,” “our,” “us,” etc., throughout the highlights of this report refers to the members of the CSIS Commission and not to CSWW.
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The Highlights:

This report makes use of a broad definition of cyberspace that goes beyond the Internet to include all forms of networked, digital activities.

Executive Summary

(1) cybersecurity is now a major national security problem
(2) decisions and actions must respect privacy and civil liberties
(3) only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces both the domestic and international aspects of cybersecurity will make us more secure

We were encouraged in our work by senior officials in the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and other agencies who told us that cybersecurity was one of the greatest security challenges the United States faces in a new and more competitive international environment.

Major agencies play key roles set by presidential directives and coordinated by the White House.

We propose creating a new office for cyberspace in the Executive Office of the President. This office would combine existing entities and also work with the National Security Council in managing the many aspects of securing our national networks while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

Government must recast its relationship with the private sector as well as redesign the public-private partnership to promote better cybersecurity.

The Bush administration took a major step toward improving federal cybersecurity with its Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

…we face a long-term challenge in cyberspace from foreign intelligence agencies and militaries, criminals, and others, and that losing this struggle will wreak serious damage on the economic health and national security of the United States.

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Filed under: Analysis, cyber security, Doctrine, Policy, Politics, Strategy, The Highlighter, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama and the Cyber Threat – The Transition

A CSWW Analysis

On the historic day of the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, the world witnessed levels of security and caution never-before displayed for a presidential inauguration, and for good reason: The threats against the United States, and the threats against its new president, are very real, and very dangerous.

Just by watching the inauguration and witnessing with our own eyes the unprecedented levels of security and force that was on hand and ready for action, we understand that President Obama understands that the physical, kinetic threats to the United States are real. But what about the non-kinetic threats, the hidden and secret threats–the cyber threat? Does the United States’ new president understand that the cyber threat is just as real and just as dangerous?

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Filed under: Analysis, History, Politics, War, , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama and the Cyber Threat – On the Trail

A CSWW Analysis

To mark the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, and in addition to our normal coverage of the cyber-related news and events, CSWW will provide an in-depth, serial look at what the world can expect regarding President Obama’s view toward cyber warfare and the threat it poses to the United States.

We will provide a series of occasional posts that present President Barack Obama’s, and his team’s, words and writings regarding the cyber threats to the United States and what he, as president, intends to do to confront them.  We will take a look back at what he said during his historic campaign and what has he has said during his transition to the presidency; additionally, and more importantly, we will follow the president and report on what he says and does about the threat during his presidency. Also, as part of this series, we will provide highlights from the various cyber reports and position papers written in attempt to influence the president as he crafts his policy and agenda as it relates to the cyber threat.

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Filed under: Analysis, History, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

A World at War

The world is transforming right before our eyes. Yet, perhaps calling what is happening a transformation is an understatement. A more accurate description may be that the world is undergoing a massive reality shift. Markets are collapsing as tempers rise and then erupt into fevered protests. Ice caps are melting as economies freeze up. The Middle East more and more is becoming the center of everyone’s violent attention. And there is so much more, so many shifts in reality happening all at once that we are barely even noticing, or perhaps we are neglecting to notice, the biggest shift in reality of them all: that a truly global and deadly war has begun.

We are aware, of course, of the many wars and conflicts that are forever being covered in the news: the longstanding war on terror, we see the isolated conflicts and flare ups in places like Africa and South America, the infinite destruction between Israel and Palestine, and we have accepted the fact that some day some where a weapon of mass destruction will be unleashed on an unsuspecting and unprepared population; however, we so not seem to be completely aware of the total global war that is being fought relentlessly on the cyber battle fields that are all converging on the Internet.

The world is truly at war and it is the mission of this site to focus as much attention as possible on the reality and on the of consequences of this war.

Filed under: Analysis, cyber war, , ,

Global Trends

"The nature of conflict is changing. The risk of conflict will increase due to diverging interests among major powers, an expanding terror threat, continued instability in weak states, and the spread of lethal, disruptive technologies. Disrupting societies will become more common, with long-range precision weapons, cyber, and robotic systems to target infrastructure from afar, and more accessible technology to create weapons of mass destruction."
 
Global Trends and Key Implications Through 2035 from the National Intelligence Council Quadrennial Report GLOBAL TRENDS: The Paradox of Power

A World at War

The World is at War. It is a world war that is being fought right now, in real time, virtually everywhere on the planet. It is a world war that is, perhaps, more encompassing and global in nature than any other world war in history because, not only is it being fought by nations and their governments, it is also being fought by non-state actors such as terrorists, organized crime, unorganized crime, and many other known and unknown entities. It is a total world war being fought every day on the hidden and dark battle fields of the cyber domain. It is a war that, according to some intelligence estimates, has the potential to be as nearly as serious and as deadly as a nuclear war... [MORE]

 


 


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In this New York Times bestselling investigation, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared... [MORE]


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Kurt Brindley is a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief who specialized in the fields of tele-communications and C4SRI systems Upon retirement from the navy, he spent nearly a decade as a defense industry consultant. He now writes full time... [MORE]


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