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Chinese and Iranian Cyberthreat Growing

February 27, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Gen. Michael Hayden, USAF (Ret.), former director of the CIA, indicated an astounding extent of Chinese cyber espionage and said he believes the Iranians are attacking U.S. banks with unsophisticated but pervasive cyber attacks.

Regarding the Chinese, Gen. Hayden said he believes the government solution to cyber espionage should be economic rather than cyber. “We have cyber espionage coming at us, and they’re bleeding us white. The reason the Chinese are doing this is economic. I think the government response should be economic. We can punish China in the economic sphere,” Gen. Hayden told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

He added that some believe we cannot punish China economically because the Chinese own too much U.S. debt. Gen. Hayden indicated he disagrees.

The general also said the U.S. engages in cyber thievery as well, but he indicated that it is more for security reasons than economic reasons. “We steal other people’s stuff, too. And we’re better at it. We’re number one. But we self-limit—we and a small number of other countries around the world, all of whom speak English,” Gen. Hayden said.

Regarding the Iranians, Gen. Hayden said the number of attacks on the U.S. banking industry has ballooned. “My sense is that we’ve seen a real surge in Iranian cyber attacks. The Iranians have committed distributed denial of service attacks against American banks. I’ve talked to folks in the game here, and they’ve reported to me there’s nothing sophisticated about the attacks, but they say they’ve never seen them on this scale,” Gen. Hayden revealed.

NIST Seeks Industry Information for Cybersecurity Framework

February 26, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a request for information on Tuesday, February 26, for the cybersecurity framework demanded by the recent White House executive order.

Speaking on the cybersecurity panel at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jeff Voas, a NIST computer scientist, said he received his first briefing on the executive order about a week ago and NIST already has begun putting together working groups. The request for information process should be concluded in about 45 days. “We’re only a week or two into this,” Voas said.

The panel included Darren Ash, deputy executive director for corporate management and chief information officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates the civilian use of nuclear power. Ash said that most nuclear power plants in this country were built decades ago in an analog environment, whereas more recent applications to build nuclear facilities are grounded in a digital environment.

“We know that cyber is important. What we expected and required of these licensees was to establish their plans on how to address cyber,” Ash said. “What’s important is what we do with it.” Recent nuclear license requirements have been accepted, he reported, and just this fiscal year, the commission has begun to inspect the cybersecurity capabilities to ensure they are meeting the requirements.

Richard Puckett, chief security architect for GE, argued that the term “cyber” is too vague, meaning different things to different sectors. To private sector clients, for example, cyber refers to protection of credit card numbers and other personal information, whereas government and military customers are more concerned with the cyber activities of other nation states and the protection of critical infrastructure.

Hotels Hot Target for Terrorists

February 26, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The hotel industry has seen a greater increase in terrorist attacks than any other industry in recent years, according to Alan Orlob, vice president of global safety and security for Marriott International. Orlob offered a first-hand account of the attacks on two hotels in Jarkarta, Indonesia, in 2009.

Orlob, the luncheon keynote speaker at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., was staying at a Ritz Carlton hotel, which is owned by Marriott, at the time of the attack.

He said that as he stepped out of the shower, he heard at an explosion at the hotel across the street. “I looked out my window, and I could see the front of the JW Marriott, and I saw smoke coming out of the back and people running,” he said. Moments later, another explosion occurred at the Ritz Carlton.

“I followed the broken glass and the destruction into the restaurant. I don’t know how many of you have been involved in improvised explosive device attacks, but it tears clothes off people and separates extremities. That’s what I was seeing that morning,” he said. “I remember feeling that sense of anger that morning.”

Orlob said he studies the tactics, techniques and procedures used by terrorists, and he offered lessons learned, including training first responders to decide which victims should be treated first, only evacuating a building if the evacuation area has been cleared first and ensuring evacuation plans are current.

Two-in-One Unmanned Aircraft

February 25, 2013
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Navy technology may allow in-flight conversion from helicopter to fixed wing.

Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are developing unmanned aircraft technology that will allow the conversion from a vertical take-off and landing system to a fixed-wing craft during in-flight operation. The conversion capability will provide the take-off and landing flexibility of a helicopter with the longer range, higher speeds and lower wear and tear of an airplane.

The technology demonstrator is referred to as the Stop-Rotor Rotary Wing Aircraft. It is capable of cruising at about 100 knots, weighs less than 100 pounds and can carry a 25-pound intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) or electronic warfare payload, such as the Expendable, Mobile Anti-submarine warfare Training Target (EMATT). “We decided to do a demonstration vehicle that could carry an EMATT. It’s like a little submarine that can generate sonar signals, and it’s for training anti-submarine warfare operators,” explains Steven Tayman, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory. “It’s a neat payload.”

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) includes a removable payload bay that is about 12 inches wide, 38 inches long and six inches deep with “bomb bay doors” for dropping payloads, such as sonobuoys. “You could use a UAV to deploy a sonobuoy field, which would be pretty exciting,” Tayman says. “There’s really no limit to the payload other than volume.”

LGS Innovations to Modernize Southwest Asia Communications Hub

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
LGS Innovations, Herndon, Va., recently announced it has been awarded a contract worth just over $49 million to upgrade the U.S. Army’s Main Communications Facility (MCF) in Southwest Asia. The MCF, designed as a state-of-the-art commercial communications operations center, will serve as the central information systems hub for the region. The MCF will house 9,000 square feet of usable equipment room space and will be capable of multiplexing and de-multiplexing circuits transported over copper, fiber, satellite, or terrestrial line of sight radios. LGS will engineer, furnish, install, test, and secure the Army’s extensive network, transmission, and voice infrastructure in Southwest Asia. The company has also been tasked to execute a critical cutover of transmission circuits as well as design, develop, furnish, and install a virtualized infrastructure to accommodate the migration of servers and their applications from existing facilities to the MCF.

Kratos to Support U.S. Marine Corps Biometrics Programs

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc., San Diego, Calif., a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Defense Rocket Support Service division's Technical Services business unit won the contract to provide acquisition, financial, logistics, training, technical, program management and administrative support to the Program Manager United States Marine Corps Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (PM USMC CREW) Biometrics Programs. PM USMC CREW Biometrics Programs include the Biometrics Automated Toolset and server, the Identity Dominance System Marine Corps, the Biometrics Enrollment Screening Device, the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment. Kratos will also support Biometrics training, which is conducted by the Tactical Training Exercise Control Group and the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, 29 Palms, Calif.

Lockheed Martin to Provide Air Defense Radios to Saudi Arabia

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Lockheed Martin Corp., Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $6,554,538 contract modification to acquire an air defense system capability for the Royal Jordanian Air Force and purchase and install 22 guided advanced technical rocket radios. The contracting activity is the U.S. Air Force Life Cyble Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.  

Teledyne Awarded Research Lab Contract

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Teledyne Scientific Imaging L.L.C., Thousand Oaks, Calif., is being awarded a $13,845,840 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Diverse Accessible Heterogenous Integration research and development work. This award is the result of a competitive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency broad agency announcement. The contracting activity is the Air Force Research laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 

Honeywell to Modernize Tracking Station Electronics

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., is being awarded a $26 million firm-fixed-price contract to modernize the core electronics at Guam Tracking Station A-Side and Hawaii Tracking Station B-Side. The contracting activity is Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.  

All Native Services to Develop Reconnaissance System

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
All Native Services, Winnebago, Neb., is being awarded a $15,009,514 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed fee research and development contract to exercise option year two for the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. The Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate will promote research and development, which will result in a prototype of a Cerberus Lite system, which will be capable of becoming a four-person hand carried portable unit. Support areas include infrared, laser, thermal imaging and other related sensor technologies. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity. 

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