Security

August 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

The long-desired cooperative relationship now is a matter of national survival.

The United States has recruited private industry to help fight the war on terrorism on the home front. The next battlefield may be cyberspace, and the government is working with its operators to protect and defend crucial assets in that realm against attacks that could potentially cripple the country.

August 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Changing threats, technologies redefine notions of network security.

Research is extending the boundaries of information assurance technology to include the operational reliability of individual systems and the ability of tactical wireless networks to remain secure. Scientists are developing agile solutions to counter new types of cyberassaults and to protect vulnerabilities detected in emerging technologies.

September 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

 
Office of Naval Research personnel use the Integrated Secure Encryption Console, developed by CritiCom, to converse with senior advisers involved in military operations. A large sign mounted above the equipment displays “secure” versus “nonsecure” when a videoconferencing session is in a classified mode.
Agencies flip the switch on secure videoconferencing.

October 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cyberpirates search in vain for hard drive applications, files.

A new approach to personal computer security confounds internal thieves and external hackers by making data disappear without a trace. The new security system effectively conceals the very existence of critical files and applications from all except the authorized user.

November 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Front line of computer network defense Front line of computer network defense

The U.S. Army is pushing to ensure that the people in charge of the latest tools in warfare are up to date in defending its information and computer networks. Personnel who are key to the service’s transformation and its move to digitizing the force are being trained to install, configure, operate and maintain the latest communications systems and are learning to identify evolving threats to these systems.

November 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

System notes probes and parries return intruders.

A new type of defensive software protects computer networks by actively identifying reconnaissance probes and blocking subsequent attacks. The program operates in front of a firewall by marking all incoming scans and probes. The mark consists of false data about servers and other applications. Any attempts to penetrate the system using the distorted information is treated as an attack and automatically stopped.

December 2000
By Henry S. Kenyon

Quantum cryptography allows transmission of secure information over public communication networks.

By manipulating the slippery and elusive qualities of matter’s smallest components, scientists have developed a way to encode and send data along unsecured public fiber optic lines. The method relies on the unique nature of atomic behavior—any attempt by an outside party to analyze the coded material changes the atoms’ characteristics, rendering the transmission useless.

January 2003
By Dr. Gregory B. White and Joe H. Sanchez Jr.

A joint military/civilian event examines roles in homeland cyberdefense.

A recent exercise in San Antonio revealed how homeland security cooperation among civil authorities and the military involves more than hardware and software interoperability. Issues such as military capabilities, obligations and restrictions weighed heavily as participants sought to establish procedures to counter a potential cyberattack.

January 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

The availability of satellite imagery offers benefits, poses risks.

When the first commercial imaging satellite rocketed into outer space, few realized that a quiet revolution leading to total transparency had begun. Like the introduction of television, the advent of commercial satellite imagery has facilitated the dissemination of information to the world in graphic detail. But experts warn that this new capability could be a double-edged sword. Commercial satellite imagery is unveiling previously secretive activities to the court of public opinion where it can be scrutinized in a way never before possible.

January 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

Advances spark new generation of small, sensitive detectors and scanners.

The U.S. Defense Department is developing miniaturized infrared detectors and sensors that do not require bulky cooling systems. These devices will be compact enough to fit in small robotic vehicles and microaircraft or will be manportable. The technology also may improve night vision and missile seeking equipment. Recent advances in physics and materials science are moving these devices from the laboratory to the battlefield.

June 2003
By Christopher Hekimian and Sue Adamkiewicz

For data protection, actions may speak louder than words.

Information security researchers at George Washington University are studying new ways to strengthen identification authentication processes while keeping transactions as simple as possible. The techniques involve deliberate perturbations of traditional authentication processes and can be applied to password, token and biometric systems alike.

April 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

A leaner version defines public-private partnership.

The newest U.S. government plan for cybersecurity proposes some short-term remedies while acknowledging that long-term security goals may take years to come to fruition. First published in draft form last fall, the new version establishes a list of priority programs but eschews detailed directives. This changes the thrust of the strategy from an operations manual to a list of guidelines.

August 2002
By Maryann Lawlor

Agency funding contingent upon systems’ protection.

While military combatants continue to fight the war against terrorism on the battlefield, U.S. government officials are stepping up work to protect the borders of cyberspace. Information infrastructure security is such a high priority that government agencies are now required to provide reports on risk assessments, system security needs and security plans before they receive program funding.

June 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

August 2003
By Michael A. Robinson

Making wireless networks more secure is critical to growth of federal and commercial use.

One of the key factors inhibiting the growth of the wireless fidelity market is security. The attractive wireless technology that offers a wide range of applications also is generating a wave of uncertainty about the fidelity of its connectivity.

August 2003
By Maryann Lawlor

Chief information officers examine unique requirements for government agencies.

An increasing emphasis on information security is prompting experts in the technology industry to follow the lead of the medical and legal professions, which feature a system of specialties and subspecialties. One major accreditation organization is taking a closer look at the government sector and addressing the distinct circumstances of information security specialists in that arena. Once specific issues are identified, they could affect the certification process as well as influence public policy.

August 2003
By Kevin Holmes, John Henry and Ray Steffey

A new methodology evaluates the integrity of source code.

A review of U.S. Defense Department information systems using a code analysis process has found no evidence of deliberate infusion of vulnerabilities into applications, but it has found instances of bad coding practices and programmer shortcuts that have left systems open to attack. The vulnerabilities found would not have been easily detected by an outside source, but they were open doors for an insider who wished to exploit them. The systems were hosted on extremely critical networks where a breach could have catastrophic consequences.

February 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Easy-to-use application analyzes site security, models threats.

A software analysis tool allows military and civilian managers of government facilities to evaluate vulnerability to terrorist attacks quickly. Now being installed at all U.S. military installations, the program calculates the risks that a variety of extremist organizations pose to a base or building, taking into account known tactics, methods of attack, preferred weapons and capabilities. This data is converted into graphics and three-dimensional models that can be stored and incorporated into reports.

January 2004
By Travis Good

 

Instructor Richard Nolan prepares U.S. Army Reserve Information Operations Command (ARIOC) soldiers for a hands-on exercise implementing the Network Time Protocol. It is part of a four-day advanced information assurance training course specially developed for the ARIOC at the Software Engineering Institute.

June 17, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

Current and former military leaders are used to following orders. “Take that hill,” or “Secure that village,” followed by “Yes, sir!” (or ma’am). It is what they’ve done all of their lives. Now, the order is “Reduce that budget,” so of course their response has been “Yes, Congress!” But as the military responds to this order to crunch the numbers, it is now explaining to political leaders that there is an unexpected role reversal they must accept. So, U.S. representatives and senators better pay close attention to what they’re saying.

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