Cyber Strategies for a World at War

OPEN SOURCE AGGREGATION & ANALYSIS

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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NSA Should Oversee Cybersecurity, Intel Chief Says

By Kim Zetter
February 26, 2009

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Despite the fact that many Americans distrust the National Security Agency for its role in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, the agency should be entrusted with securing the nation’s telecommunications networks and other cyber infrastructures, President Obama’s director of national intelligence told Congress on Wednesday.

Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair told the House intelligence committee (.pdf) that the NSA, rather than the Department of Homeland Security which currently oversees cybersecurity, has the smarts and the skills to secure cyberspace.

“The National Security Agency has the greatest repository of cyber talent,” Blair said. “[T]here are some wizards out there at Fort Meade who can do stuff.”

Blair added that “because of the offensive mission that they have, they’re the ones who know best about what’s coming back at us and it’s defenses against those sorts of things that we need to be able to build into wider and wider circles.”

He acknowledged that the agency had a trust handicap to overcome due to its role in the Bush Administration’s secret domestic spying program, and therefore asked Congress to help convince the public that it’s the right agency for the task.

“I think there is a great deal of distrust of the National Security Agency and the intelligence community in general playing a role outside of the very narrowly circumscribed role because of some of the history of the FISA issue in years past. . . . So I would like the help of people like you who have studied this closely and served on commissions, the leadership of the committee and finding a way that the American people will have confidence in the supervision, in the oversight of the role of NSA so that it can help protect these wider bodies. So, to me, that’s one of the keys things that we have to work on here in the next few months.”

Blair is not without support for his view. Paul Kurtz, who led the cybersecurity group on Obama’s transition team and was part of Bush’s White House National Security Council, recently told Forbes that he supports the NSA taking a prominent role in cybersecurity.

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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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DoD Foots the Bill for Web-Based Security Training

By Noah Schiffman, NetworkWorld
January 21, 2009
PCWorld

Our tax dollars at work…or is it tax dollars from our work? Regardless, you can save budgetary resources by outsourcing security training to our government. A curriculum of free web based training from the Department of Defense (DoD) concentrates on Information assurance (IA), although covers a wide range of security topics.

As security professionals, implementing principles of IA is almost reflexive in nature, although it has become one of those amorphously defined terms. Other than consistency with the CIA (confidentiality, integrity, availability) triad core, most comprehensive definitions vary considerably among sources. Maintaining my policy of providing vague, yet all encompassing definitions, I usually refer to IA as–assuring appropriate levels of all forms of security across processes involving information, or when lazy, just “assurance of information.”

If unfamiliar with the intricacies of IA, know that it’s an umbrella term that includes corporate governance issues such as privacy, authenticity, authorization, compliance, audits, business continuity, disaster recovery, and emphasizes areas of strategic risk management. Obviously, these are all relevant issues for our government’s information resources.

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CWE/SANS TOP 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

Experts Announce Agreement on the 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors – And How to Fix Them
Agreement Will Change How Organizations Buy Software.

By Bob Martin, MITRE (Project Manager)
Questions: top25@sans.org

(January 12, 2009) Today in Washington, DC, experts from more than 30 US and international cyber security organizations jointly released the consensus list of the 25 most dangerous programming errors that lead to security bugs and that enable cyber espionage and cyber crime. Shockingly, most of these errors are not well understood by programmers; their avoidance is not widely taught by computer science programs; and their presence is frequently not tested by organizations developing software for sale.

The impact of these errors is far reaching. Just two of them led to more than 1.5 million web site security breaches during 2008 – and those breaches cascaded onto the computers of people who visited those web sites, turning their computers into zombies.

People and organizations that provided substantive input to the project are listed below. They are among the most respected security experts and they come from leading organizations ranging from Symantec and Microsoft, to DHS’s National Cyber Security Division and NSA’s Information Assurance Division, to OWASP and the Japanese IPA, to the University of California at Davis and Purdue University. The MITRE and the SANS Institute managed the Top 25 Errors initiative, but the impetus for this project came from the National Security Agency and financial support for MITRE’s project engineers came from the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division. The Information Assurance Division at NSA and National Cybersecurity Division at DHS have consistently been the government leaders in working to improve the security of software purchased by the government and by the critical national infrastructure.

What was remarkable about the process was how quickly all the experts came to agreement, despite some heated discussion. “There appears to be broad agreement on the programming errors,” says SANS Director, Mason Brown, “Now it is time to fix them. First we need to make sure every programmer knows how to write code that is free of the Top 25 errors, and then we need to make sure every programming team has processes in place to find, fix, or avoid these problems and has the tools needed to verify their code is as free of these errors as automated tools can verify.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence expressed its support saying, “We believe that integrity of hardware and software products is a critical element of cybersecurity. Creating more secure software is a fundamental aspect of system and network security, given that the federal government and the nation’s critical infrastructure depend on commercial products for business operations. The Top 25 is an important component of an overall security initiative for our country. We applaud this effort and encourage the utility of this tool through other venues such as cyber education.”

Until now, most guidance focused on the ‘vulnerabilities’ that result from programming errors. This is helpful. The Top 25, however, focuses on the actual programming errors, made by developers that create the vulnerabilities. As important, the Top 25 web site provides detailed and authoritative information on mitigation. “Now, with the Top 25, we can spend less time working with police after the house has been robbed and instead focus on getting locks on the doors before it happens.” said Paul Kurtz, a principal author of the US National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and executive director of the Software Assurance Forum for Excellence in Code (SAFECode).

What You Will Find In This Announcement:

  • Which People and Organizations Made Substantive Contributions to the Top 25 Errors List?
    Please note that the proposed procurement guidelines incorporates in part language utilizing the OWASP Secure Software Contract Annex.
    https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Secure_Software_Contract_Annex
  • How Will the Top 25 Errors Be Used?
  • How Important Are the Top 25 Errors?
  • What Errors Are Included in the Top 25?
  • Resources to Help Organizations Eliminate The Errors

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Air Force planning to train hundreds yearly in cyber warfare skills

By Trish Choate
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Standard-Times Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – Someday, somewhere, while the clock ticks relentlessly, an Air Force version of Jack Bauer – who does not engage in torture, of course, unlike the “24” character from television – might be waiting tensely, desperately for help from a cyber warrior who trained at Goodfellow Air Force Base.

During 100 days on the base, the cyber warrior might have laid the groundwork to save this Bauer’s skin and America with some well-placed keystrokes.

Air Education and Training Command officials expect “Undergraduate Cyber Warfare Training” will be about 100 days long – no matter which of the three bases in the running for the project wins the cyber-training mission.

They also estimate “Cyber 100,” a professional continuing education course, will be about 10 days. The two courses are linked.

“They will be placed at the same location because once they graduate from the UCWT, they will stay for the 10-day course,” Col. Lee Pittman, chief of the technical training division for AETC, said.

The Air Force will also bring in other students for Cyber 100, the 10-day course, bringing them all together, Pittman said.

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Filed under: cyber war, Military, News, Training, , , , , ,

Defense Department to Develop National Cyber Testbed

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2009 – The Defense Department is developing a national “cyber range” to test cybersecurity technology and reduce the vulnerability of government computer systems to networks attacks.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency officials announced yesterday that they awarded contracts to seven companies to come up with detailed engineering plans to design and build the new testbed. Over the next eight months, each contractor will lead a team of businesses, universities and federal laboratories in the first phase of the National Cyber Range program. DARPA will select from the plans to build the full-scale facility.

“What we are doing is creating kind of a ‘Consumer Reports’ or an underwriter laboratory-type facility to bring in different types of computer equipment to test and see how secure they are,” DARPA Program Manager Dr. Michael VanPutte explained.

The facility is to take current testing for government research and development programs to a whole new level — making it faster and broader and automating much of the manual procedures involved.

“I see it as advancing the state-of-the-art of cyber testing,” VanPutte said.

The goal, he said, is to identify the most promising security solutions for future computer systems. But the testbed also will help identify and shore up yet-unrecognized vulnerabilities in current systems.

“Today, we really don’t have a way to know how secure our solutions are,” VanPutte said. “It’s like in the dark ages of building cathedrals. We don’t understand the science of security. So we are building the national cyber range in order to bring in potential solutions and really stress them and test them in a carefully controlled environment.”

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Filed under: Military, News, Training, , , , ,

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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Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Against All Enemies, former presidential advisor and counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke sounds a timely and chilling warning about America’s vulnerability in a terrifying new international conflict—Cyber War! Every concerned American should read this startling and explosive book that offers an insider’s view of White House ‘Situation Room’ operations and carries the reader to the frontlines of our cyber defense. Cyber War exposes a virulent threat to our nation’s security. This is no X-Files fantasy or conspiracy theory madness—this is real... [MORE]

RSS ODNI News

  • Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert Discusses Global Ransomware Attack May 22, 2017
    The President's Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert, briefed the press on 15 May 2017 on the WannaCry ransomware attack that began spreading 12 May and affected computers in more than 150 countries. Bossert highlighted CTIIC's role in keeping the White House informed of unfolding events and discussed US responses and public/private coordination […]
  • Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert Discusses Global Ransomware Attack May 22, 2017
    The President's Homeland Security Advisor, Tom Bossert, briefed the press on 15 May 2017 on the WannaCry ransomware attack that began spreading 12 May and affected computers in more than 150 countries. Bossert highlighted CTIIC's role in keeping the White House informed of unfolding events and discussed US responses and public/private coordination […]
  • DS&T AND OUSD(I) Launch “Xpress” Automated Analysis Challenge May 16, 2017
    NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ODNI News Release No. 13-17 May 15, 2017   DS&T AND OUSD(I) Launch “Xpress” Automated Analysis Challenge   WASHINGTON – The Intelligence Community is sponsoring a $500,000 prize competition to explore artificial intelligence approaches that would transform the process by which analysts currently support policymakers and […]
  • Presidential Management Fellow Program April 20, 2017
    The Presidential Management Fellow Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and matches outstanding graduate students with exciting Federal opportunities. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence actively seeks PMF finalists and provides them with challenging assignments, training, and mentoring, beginning at the GS […]
  • Standards, Guides and Best Practices April 13, 2017
    Structured, standards-driven approaches to technology and enterprise data management are the foundation for responsible information sharing that protects privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. Standards provide a common lexicon to enable information exchanges.   The ISE Common Information Sharing Standards (CISS) program provides standards for technolog […]

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Hackers are always pushing the boundaries, investigating the unknown, and evolving their art. Even if you don't already know how to program, Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition will give you a complete picture of programming, machine architecture, network communications, and existing hacking techniques. Combine this knowledge with the included Linux environment, and all you need is your own creativity... [MORE]


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Web applications are the front door to most organizations, exposing them to attacks that may disclose personal information, execute fraudulent transactions, or compromise ordinary users. This practical book has been completely updated and revised to discuss the latest step-by-step techniques for attacking and defending the range of ever-evolving web applications... [MORE]

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“When it comes to what government and business are doing together and separately with personal data scooped up from the ether, Mr. Schneier is as knowledgeable as it gets…. Mr. Schneier’s use of concrete examples of bad behavior with data will make even skeptics queasy and potentially push the already paranoid over the edge.” (Jonathan A. Knee - New York Times)... [MORE]

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The Blue Team Handbook is a zero fluff reference guide for cyber security incident responders and InfoSec pros alike. The BTHb includes essential information in a condensed handbook format about the incident response process, how attackers work, common tools, a methodology for network analysis developed over 12 years, Windows and Linux analysis processes, tcpdump usage examples, Snort IDS usage, and numerous other topics... [MORE]

RSS Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

  • 2017/06/23 DARPA to Host “Sync with STO” Event June 23, 2017
    DARPA's Strategic Technology Office (STO) is hosting a "Sync with STO" event on August 2 - 3, 2017, designed to familiarize attendees with STO's mission, problem spaces, program managers (PMs), and technology interests. The event aims to facilitate technical discussion between STO PMs and attendees that explore innovative and revolutionar […]
  • 2017/06/15 Transforming How Troops Fight in Coastal Urban Environments June 15, 2017
    As nation-state and non-state adversaries adapt and apply commercially available state-of-the-art technology in urban conflict, expeditionary U.S. forces face a shrinking operational advantage. To address this challenge, a new DARPA program is aiming to create powerful, digital tools for exploring novel expeditionary urban operations concepts-with a special […]
  • 2017/06/02 New ways of representing information could transform digital technology June 2, 2017
    Many people who use computers and other digital devices are aware that all the words and images displayed on their monitors boil down to a sequence of ones and zeros. But few likely appreciate what is behind those ones and zeros: microscopic arrays of "magnetic moments" (imagine tiny bar magnets with positive and negative poles). When aligned in pa […]
  • 2017/06/02 Extracting Insight from the Data Deluge Is a Hard-to-Do Must-Do June 2, 2017
    A mantra of these data-rife times is that within the vast and growing volumes of diverse data types, such as sensor feeds, economic indicators, and scientific and environmental measurements, are dots of significance that can tell important stories, if only those dots could be identified and connected in authentically meaningful ways. Getting good at that exe […]
  • 2017/06/01 Beyond Scaling: An Electronics Resurgence Initiative June 1, 2017
    The Department of Defense's proposed FY 2018 budget includes a $75 million allocation for DARPA in support of a new, public-private "electronics resurgence" initiative. The initiative seeks to undergird a new era of electronics in which advances in performance will be catalyzed not just by continued component miniaturization but also by radica […]

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RSS Cyber News (Google)

  • Cyber-attack on UK parliament: Russia is suspected culprit - The Guardian June 25, 2017
    The GuardianCyber-attack on UK parliament: Russia is suspected culpritThe GuardianThe Russian government is suspected of being behind a cyber-attack on parliament that breached dozens of email accounts belonging to MPs and peers. Although the investigation is at an early stage and the identity of those responsible may prove ...Parliament cyber-attack 'h […]
  • UK electricity grid cyber-attack risk is 'off the scale' - The Guardian June 25, 2017
    The GuardianUK electricity grid cyber-attack risk is 'off the scale'The GuardianConcerns over the threat posed by cyber-attacks on power stations and electricity grids is “off the scale” in the UK energy sector, according to a leading industry figure. No other country in the world has an energy industry as worried about the risk ...Cyber attack rai […]
  • Why Are IBM and Cisco Sharing Cyber Security Secrets With Russia? - Newsweek June 25, 2017
    NewsweekWhy Are IBM and Cisco Sharing Cyber Security Secrets With Russia?NewsweekWestern technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyber attacks on the West, a Reuters ...Under pressure, Western tec […]
  • Cyber attacks on Parliament and the NHS show criminals and dictators are teaming up - but we can fight back - Telegraph.co.uk June 25, 2017
    Telegraph.co.ukCyber attacks on Parliament and the NHS show criminals and dictators are teaming up - but we can fight backTelegraph.co.ukWhether it is protection from cyber attacks or terrorism, industry is now likely to have better data and better technology for the job than nation states. The democratisation of technology, including strong encryption, has […]
  • Delaware man with history of cyber theft under FBI scrutiny - The News Journal June 25, 2017
    Delaware man with history of cyber theft under FBI scrutinyThe News JournalA Delaware hacker, connected to high-profile, multimillion-dollar cyber thefts during the past decade, is a target of the FBI — evidenced by federal agents' recent seizure of a new BMW coupe and nearly $40,000 in cash from his Wilmington-area home.
  • Recent cyber bullying verdict spurs parents, teachers to talk to kids - Milford Daily News June 25, 2017
    EngadgetRecent cyber bullying verdict spurs parents, teachers to talk to kidsMilford Daily NewsIf you have a teenager - or you are a teenager - you know bullying isn't what it used to be. It doesn't just happen at school. It happens online, all the time, via texts and social media apps, where one person's unkindness to another is broadcast to […]
  • Russian Cyber Strength Pushes EU Into The Modern Era - OilPrice.com June 25, 2017
    Russian Cyber Strength Pushes EU Into The Modern EraOilPrice.comOver the past year, the most powerful European Union member state, Germany, has created a foundation for the creation of “cyber troops” under the umbrella of the Bundeswehr. It is expected to be composed of 13,500 military and civilian personnel and ...
  • Airways worried about the cyber attack threat - New Zealand Herald June 25, 2017
    Airways worried about the cyber attack threatNew Zealand HeraldAirways is worried about the threat of a cyber attack on the air traffic control system and is searching around the world for ways to prevent it. As the state owned enterprise moves towards more automated towers, its chief technology officer is ...
  • National Identification System — the cyber security aspect - Jamaica Observer June 25, 2017
    Jamaica ObserverNational Identification System — the cyber security aspectJamaica ObserverThese are all important aspects, but let us not forget the cyber security side of things. how about unauthorised people accessing and modifying the data by means of hacking? Such an event can be seen as a major breach of the integrity of the data that ...and more »
  • 5 Lesser-Known Ways Cyber Attacks Can Destroy Your Business - Business 2 Community June 25, 2017
    Business 2 Community5 Lesser-Known Ways Cyber Attacks Can Destroy Your BusinessBusiness 2 CommunityAccording to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, 46% of all UK businesses with over 99 employees saw at least one cyber attack during the last 12 months. The number rises to 72% when it comes to US firms, according to Hiscox Cyber Readiness ...

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RSS Cyber War News (Bing)

  • UK electricity grid cyber-attack risk is 'off the scale' June 25, 2017
    Concerns over the threat posed by cyber-attacks on power stations and electricity grids is “off the scale” in the UK energy sector, according to a leading industry figure. No other country in the world has an energy industry as worried about the risk ...
  • Parliament cyber-attack 'hit up to 90 users' June 25, 2017
    Up to 90 email accounts were compromised during the cyber-attack on Parliament on Friday. Fewer than 1% of the 9,000 users of the IT system were impacted by the hacking, said a parliamentary spokesman. The hack prompted officials to disable remote access ...
  • Parliament cyber attack: Up to 90 email accounts hacked amid blackmail fears June 25, 2017
    Grenfell: Count rises as 60 high-rises fail fire safety tests Up to 90 parliamentary email accounts were compromised during the cyber attack on Westminster, officials have said. Saturday’s incident gave rise to blackmail fears after hackers tried to ...
  • Report: Obama authorized a secret cyber operation against Russia June 25, 2017
    President Barack Obama learned of Russia's attempts to hack US election systems in early August 2016, and as intelligence mounted over the following months, the White House deployed secrecy protocols it hadn't used since the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's ...
  • UK Parliament is investigating after being hit by a cyber security attack June 25, 2017
    UK Parliament has been hit by a cyber security attack, with hackers reportedly attempting to identify weak passwords in users' accounts. The attack seems to have targeted email accounts in particular, with MPs revealing they had been unable to access their ...
  • British lawmakers hit by 'sustained' cyber attack June 24, 2017
    LONDON Britain's parliament was hit by a "sustained and determined" cyber attack on Saturday designed to identify weak email passwords, just over a month after a ransomware worm crippled parts of the country's health service. The House of Commons said it ...
  • Report: Obama ordered cyber 'implants' for Russian network in response to hacking June 23, 2017
    President Obama secretly planned to retaliate against the Russians by planting "cyber weapons." Nathan Rousseau Smith (@fantasticmrnate) explains. Buzz60 President Obama, angered by Russian hacking during the 2016 elections, authorized a covert cyber ...
  • Report: British parliament hit by cyber security attack June 24, 2017
    The Houses of Parliament are framed by an archway, in central London. Thomson Reuters LONDON (Reuters) - The British parliament has been hit by a cyber attack that is preventing lawmakers from accessing their emails when not in Westminster, politicians and ...
  • Cyber Attack At Honda Stops Production After WannaCry Worm Strikes June 23, 2017
    The WannaCry worm is still alive. Honda said this week that it was forced to halt production for one day at its Sayama plant near Tokyo after finding the WannaCry ransomware in its computer network. This virus is the same one that infected over one million ...
  • Cisco tackling human element of security with cyber training course (ZDNet) June 22, 2017
    With one of the most commonly cited threats to an enterprise being the human element, the Australian arm of Cisco is investing in cyber-focused courses to bring people up to date with the role they can play in preventing an attack. Speaking with ZDNet ...

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Cyber Threat Assessment

 


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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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As cyber-attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join terrorists on the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War, by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Fred Kaplan... [MORE]


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Editor, CSWW

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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Now in development for film by 20th Century Fox, award-winning CyberStorm depicts, in realistic and sometimes terrifying detail, what a full scale cyber attack against present-day New York City might look like from the perspective of one family trying to survive it... [MORE]