Cyber Strategies for a World at War

OPEN SOURCE AGGREGATION & ANALYSIS

Top Hacker Shows Us How It’s Done

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The Latest Security Firm “Tell all”

On the heels of Mandiant’s international sensation APT1: Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units, we now have the Symantec report flamboyantly entitled Stuxnet 0.5: The Missing Link.

Have we now entered an era where Security Firms need to reveal their secrets in order to stay relevant and, perhaps more importantly, attract new customers? Or is it that these Security Firms regard more openness by them as better for the overall health and security of the cyber world than keeping their secrets secret?

Read the Symantec report:
Stuxnet 0.5: The Missing Link

Filed under: Business, cyber security, cyber war, government, Intelligence Community, Internet, Politics, SCADA, Stuxnet, Technology, Threats, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Administration Trade Secret Strategy Rollout

Department of Justice
February 20, 2013

Thank you, Victoria, for those kind words – and thank you all for being here. It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the White House today – and a privilege to stand with so many friends, key partners, and indispensable allies in introducing the Administration’s strategy for combating the theft of trade secrets.

As Victoria just mentioned, this work is a top priority for President Obama, for the entire Administration – and of course for the dedicated men and women at the Department of Justice. I’m deeply proud of the contributions that my colleagues have made in developing this strategy – and the pivotal role that the Department will play in its implementation. And I’m confident that – as we bring government agencies and additional private sector partners together to put these plans into action – we’ll continue strengthening national efforts to protect the rights, safety, and best interests of American consumers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Particularly in this time of ongoing economic recovery, this work is more important than ever. Despite the challenges of recent years, American companies remain the most innovative in the world. They are responsible for many of the most important technological advances the world has ever seen, an overwhelming number of the 100 most valuable brands, and almost 30 percent of global research and development spending.

This level of innovation and the investments that make it possible benefit consumers, create jobs, and support our economy. For instance, in 2011, companies in Silicon Valley added over 42,000 jobs and recorded a growth rate more than three times that of the U.S. economy as a whole. But, as any of the corporate leaders in this crowd can attest, this prosperity is a double-edged sword. And it inevitably attracts global rivals – including individuals, companies, and even countries – eager to tilt the playing field to their advantage.

By corrupting insiders, hiring hackers, and engaging in other unscrupulous and illegal activities, these entities can inflict devastating harm on individual creators, start-ups, and major companies. As one private security expert has said of the largest U.S. corporations, there are only “two categories” of companies affected by trade secret theft – “[T]hose that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t know yet.”

This is because, as new technologies have torn down traditional barriers to international business and global commerce, they’ve also made it easier for criminals to steal trade secrets – and to do so from anywhere in the world. A hacker in China can acquire source code from a software company in Virginia without leaving his or her desk. With a few keystrokes, a terminated or simply unhappy employee of a defense contractor can misappropriate designs, processes, and formulas worth billions of dollars.

Some of these criminals exploit pilfered secrets themselves – often by extorting the victim company or starting their own enterprise. Others try to sell the illicit information to a rival company, or obtain a bounty from a country interested in encouraging such theft. And all represent a significant and steadily increasing threat to America’s economic and national security interests.

Fortunately, the women and men of the Justice Department are working tirelessly to prevent, combat, and punish these serious crimes. Thanks to the efforts of 40 prosecutors and four computer forensic experts serving in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and more than 230 specially-trained prosecutors stationed at U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the country, including 25 Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property – or “CHIP” – units, I’m pleased to report that we’re fighting back more aggressively, and collaboratively, than ever before. And with approximately 240 FBI agents in the field dedicated to investigating IP crime, along with officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and 20 additional state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies that are partners at the IPR Center, we are poised to build on our recent successes.

I’m proud of the outstanding work that these professionals are leading every day, in offices all across the country. But I also recognize – as I know you all do – that the Justice Department won’t be able to continue making the progress we need, and that our citizens and companies deserve, on its own.

We need to increase cooperation and coordination between partners at every level of government. We need to improve engagement with the corporations represented in the room today. We need to find ways to work together more efficiently and effectively – by following the road map set forth in the Administration’s new, comprehensive strategy. And we need to do so starting immediately – because continuing technological expansion and accelerating globalization will lead to a dramatic increase in the threat posed by trade secret theft in the years ahead.

In fact, by 2015, experts believe that the number of smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other internet-access devices in use will be roughly double the total that existed in 2010. In the same period, the proliferation of cloud-based computing will significantly enhance flexibility and productivity for workers around the world. But these same forces will also create more access points and vulnerabilities that allow criminals to steal confidential information.

Just as increasing globalization will enable American companies of all sizes to benefit from foreign technical experts and research and development activities in other countries, the sharing of trade secrets with entities operating in nations with weak rule of law may expose them to intellectual property losses. Any resulting cost advantages will likely be more than offset by losses in proprietary company information.

Unfortunately, these projections aren’t merely hypothetical. We’ve seen this phenomenon before – including in the late 1990s, when I had the privilege of serving as Deputy Attorney General. Between 1997 and 2000, internet usage in the United States more than doubled – and this massive technological shift also brought about major changes in the nature of crime. For instance, in 1999 alone, we saw a 30-percent spike in intellectual property cases over the previous year. In order to fight back, in July of that year I announced the Department’s first major IP Strategy, known as the Intellectual Property Rights Initiative.

Of course, we’ve all come a long way since then. As critical technologies have advanced, criminals have adapted accordingly. Our need to keep pace with these changes remains imperative. And the stakes have never been higher.

In some industries, a single trade secret can be worth millions – or even billions – of dollars. Trade secret theft can require companies to lay off employees, to close factories, to lose sales and profits, to experience a decline in competitive position and advantage – or even to go out of business. And this type of crime can have significant impacts not only on our country’s economic well-being, but on our national security – allowing hostile states to obtain data and technology that could endanger American lives; expose our energy, financial, or other sensitive sectors to massive losses; or make our infrastructure vulnerable to attack.

In response, the Justice Department has made the investigation and prosecution of trade secret theft a top priority. This is why the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section has taken a leading role in economic espionage cases – and others affecting national security and the export of military and strategic commodities or technology. It’s also why, in 2010, I established an internal Task Force on Intellectual Property – led by Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole and other senior Department leaders – to improve and expand our enforcement efforts in this area. And it’s why the FBI has increased its focus on trade secret theft and its use of sophisticated tools and techniques in conducting national security and criminal investigations.

Of course, most trade secret matters are dealt with in civil court. But when the Justice Department receives referrals, we investigate and, when appropriate, prosecute those matters fairly and completely. And, although the primary legislation creating criminal liability for these acts is less than 20 years old, federal law enforcement officials have established a remarkable record of success in this area.

In the decade between 2001 and 2011, we secured well over 100 convictions in cases involving criminal trade secret thefts, and 6 convictions in economic espionage cases. For instance, in December 2011, a federal court in Indiana sentenced a man from China to more than 7 years in prison – after his conviction on charges of economic espionage on behalf of a foreign university tied to the Chinese government. Last September – in New Jersey – a jury convicted another Chinese native of trade secret theft and other charges for stealing information from a defense contractor about the performance and guidance systems for missiles and other military hardware. And last November – in Michigan – a former General Motors engineer and her husband were convicted of conspiring to steal more than $40 million worth of trade secrets from GM, with intent to use them in a joint venture with an automotive competitor in China.

In these and many other cases – as we’ve refined our approach and increased our understanding of these crimes and those who commit them – the Department has also gathered valuable intelligence about foreign-based economic espionage. We’ve forged strong relationships with law enforcement partners, private sector experts, and international allies. And we’ve begun to raise awareness about the devastating impact of these crimes – and to encourage companies to report suspected breaches to law enforcement – so violators can be caught, brought to justice, and kept from striking again.

As we carry this work into the future – thanks to the support and assistance of everyone here today, and the cutting-edge strategy we’re committed to implementing – I’m confident that we’ll continue to make great strides in the fight against trade secret theft. We’ll keep improving our ability to crack down on intellectual property infringement and economic espionage. And together we’ll ensure that the United States is, and always will be, the world leader in innovation.

/////////////////

Attendees of the Justice Department announcement received copies of the following report:

FOREIGN SPIES STEALING US ECONOMIC SECRETS IN CYBERSPACE

 

Filed under: Business, China, cyber security, Doctrine, government, Internet, News, Policy, Politics, Strategy, Technology, Threats, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama’s Cybersecurity Executive Order: A Pirate Party Analysis

RussiaToday
February 13, 2013

Filed under: Analysis, cyber security, government, Internet, News, Technology, , , , ,

Improving the Security of the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

White House
February 13, 2013

The Nation increasingly relies on the Internet to run the systems that light our houses, provide gas for our cars, and ensure our water is safe to drink. Collectively, these diverse systems represent our cyber critical infrastructure. Linking our critical infrastructure to the Internet brings considerable benefits, but our daily reliance on this critical infrastructure means that we are vulnerable to disruptions in our ability to use it. Unfortunately, the threats against our cyber critical infrastructure are numerous, ranging from sophisticated nation states to common criminals.

The government’s senior-most civilian, military, and intelligence professionals all agree that inadequate cybersecurity within this critical infrastructure poses a grave threat to the security of the United States. Most recently, we have seen an increased interest in targeting public and private critical infrastructure systems by actors who seek to threaten our national and economic security. Along with dissuading their actions, we must better protect the critical systems that support our way of life.

[Continue reading…]

Filed under: government, , , , , , , , ,

Spies give way to ‘sexy’ social media

ODNI
August 2, 2012

Gathering intelligence from social media has finally become as “sexy” as more traditional clandestine methods.

Open source intelligence — generally regarded as information gathered through methods other than clandestine activity — is the “hot new field” in the intelligence community, said Patrick O’Neil, director of analytic development at the Open Source Center (OSC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Intelligence agencies are developing their capabilities to gather useful information by scouring social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

The amount of data available continues to grow from the inclusion of these non-traditional sources. As a result, members of the intelligence community must develop new tools and best practices to analyze the information.

There are opportunities involved, but there also are challenges in the process of adjusting to the shift, as O’Neil and two other panelists discussed at the event hosted by the Government Executive Media Group and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance in Washington Tuesday.

O’Neil said the Director of National Intelligence has chosen the Open Source Center to act as the intelligence community’s functional manager for open source intelligence and to coordinate resources and methodologies between governmental agencies.

“Our goal is to collect information once and distribute it to everybody in the government who needs it,” O’Neil said.

Filed under: cyber security, government, Intelligence Community, Internet, , , , , , , ,

An “Horrendous Risk” In Action

Wired tech writer Mat Honan provides heart-stopping but timely insight into what Steve Wozniak’s horrendous cloud risks look like:

In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Continue reading, if you dare, at Wired

Filed under: Business, cyber security, Internet, Life, News, Polls, Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wozniak Warns of “Horrendous” Cloud Risks

The Telegraph
August 6, 2012

Wozniak told an audience in Washington DC: “I really worry about everything going into the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976, was speaking after a performance of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a monologue about working conditions at Apple’s Chinese factories.

Read more at The Telegraph

Filed under: cyber security, Internet, Life, News, Polls, Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Filed under: Analysis, Biography, Business, cyber security, cyber war, Doctrine, government, History, Intelligence Community, Internet, Life, Military, News, Policy, Politics, Strategy, Technology, Terrorism, Training, 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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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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RSS Cyber News (Google)

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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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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]