Cyber Strategies for a World at War

OPEN SOURCE AGGREGATION & ANALYSIS

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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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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Local cyber leader meets with likely Obama cyber czar

By John Andrew Prime
January 10, 2009
Shreveport Times | The Times

The head of the Cyber Innovation Center met Friday with the man many believe will be the nation’s chief technology officer, dubbed the cyber czar, under the Obama administration.

CIC Executive Director Craig Spohn met in Washington with Paul Kurtz, whom insiders say is on a short list of technology experts vying to be President-elect Obama’s leading adviser on national cyber security issues. He has appeared on platforms with Obama on several occasions in past weeks and months.

“Paul Kurtz is a very helpful young man with excellent credentials for the position of Cyber Czar,” said Spohn, who is heading development of the center City and its associated National Cyber Research Park on 64 acres north of Barksdale Air Force Base and east of Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City.

“His knowledge and understanding of the national cyber assets and critical infrastructure combined various agencies that have the responsibility of protecting them make him one of few people that pass the down-select process.”

Spohn said his talk with Kurtz focused on “additional agencies in the national cyber construct that would serve to complement the Air Force, among other groups, that would make good candidates for inclusion in the National Cyber Research Park.”

While Spohn has not listed them for the record, the candidates are those agencies with three, four and even five initials familiar to the public, including but not limited to the CIA, FBI and NSA.

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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]

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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]

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  • 2018/07/18 Faster, Lighter, Smarter: DARPA Gives Small Autonomous Systems a Tech Boost July 18, 2018
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  • 2018/07/17 Developing Microrobotics for Disaster Recovery and High-Risk Environments July 17, 2018
    Imagine a natural disaster scenario, such as an earthquake, that inflicts widespread damage to buildings and structures, critical utilities and infrastructure, and threatens human safety. Having the ability to navigate the rubble and enter highly unstable areas could prove invaluable to saving lives or detecting additional hazards among the wreckage. Partner […]
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    Models for providing hourly terrestrial weather forecasts anywhere in the world have become increasingly precise-our smartphones buzz or chirp with local alerts of approaching thunderstorms, heavy snow, flash floods, and big events like tornados and hurricanes. The military relies on accurate weather forecasts for planning complex operations in the air, on g […]

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  • Cyber Saturday—Introducing Fortune Brainstorm Finance - Fortune July 21, 2018
    FortuneCyber Saturday—Introducing Fortune Brainstorm FinanceFortuneGood morning, Cyber Saturday readers. It's been a heady week of hand-shaking, connection-making, and idea-waking at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen. With the conference concluded, I've descended from the mountaintops to an islet off the coast of ...
  • Singapore cyber attack affects 1.5 million people - euronews July 21, 2018
    euronewsSingapore cyber attack affects 1.5 million peopleeuronewsGovernment officials did not say who might have been behind the attack, but a joint statement by the health and communications ministries suggested a high degree of sophistication. The cyber attack comes as the state has made cybersecurity a top ...Cyber attack on Singapore health database stea […]
  • What Alexander Hamilton Can Teach Us About Cyber Policy - Defense One July 21, 2018
    Defense OneWhat Alexander Hamilton Can Teach Us About Cyber PolicyDefense OneThough this Hamiltonian framework is useful for any policy discussion, it is a particularly good lens for the cyber realm, for it encourages policymakers to balance the expected effects and unintended consequences of a proposed policy; and to harmonize ...
  • US Officials Warn of Potential Cyber Attacks from Iran - Fortune July 20, 2018
    FortuneUS Officials Warn of Potential Cyber Attacks from IranFortuneIranian hackers have laid the groundwork to carry out extensive cyber attacks against private U.S. and European companies, U.S. officials warn, according to NBC News. Although experts don't believe any such attack is imminent, the preparations could ...Iran has laid groundwork for exten […]
  • What a Cyber 9/11 Would Mean for the US - Fortune July 20, 2018
    FortuneWhat a Cyber 9/11 Would Mean for the USFortuneThe United States has been beset by hackers who have plundered the country's intellectual property and meddled with its political system. But the worst could be yet to come in the form of a “cyber 9/11″—a term often invoked but rarely defined. This ...
  • Top FBI cyber officials set to retire - CNNPolitics - CNN.com - CNN July 20, 2018
    CNNTop FBI cyber officials set to retire - CNNPolitics - CNN.comCNNThe FBI's top two cybersecurity officials are planning to leave the bureau, the FBI confirmed Thursday.Three senior cyber officials at FBI retiring: report | TheHillThe HillTop FBI cyber officials set to retireWPLG Local 10all 10 news articles »
  • Cyber Security offers long list of work opportunities - KCAU 9 July 20, 2018
    KCAU 9Cyber Security offers long list of work opportunitiesKCAU 9Non-profit information security advocacy groups, predict a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019. And research shows employers are struggling to fill 200,000 other cyber-security positions every year. One of the biggest ...
  • What Is The GRU And What Role Does It Play In Russia's Cyber And Military Operations? - NPR July 20, 2018
    What Is The GRU And What Role Does It Play In Russia's Cyber And Military Operations?NPRIn 2008, a combined cyber and military attack that pummeled neighboring Georgia. More recently, critical ongoing support to bolster President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's devastating war. MARK GALEOTTI: And then, above all, along came the Ukrainian ...and more » […]
  • EU, China setting global cyber standards - Politico July 19, 2018
    NextgovEU, China setting global cyber standardsPoliticoAnd China has been even more aggressive, enacting a cyber law with strict security controls on tech companies and spreading its heavy-handed model throughout the developing world. And while the global tech industry is adapting to these new realities, ...Government's Cyber Monitoring Program Would Be […]
  • With cyber forces underequipped, DoD turns to rapid prototyping contracting - fifthdomain.com July 20, 2018
    fifthdomain.comWith cyber forces underequipped, DoD turns to rapid prototyping contractingfifthdomain.comAs a result, the military wants to quickly get these new cyber warriors the tools they need. To do this, they are turning to contracting vehicles such as other transaction authorities and the so-called IT Box construct as a way to skirt the traditional .. […]

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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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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]