On Cyber Patrol

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When it comes down to it, you — yes, you — are the last line of cyber defense against the endless hordes of cyber criminals, terrorists and foreign agents. Digital technology now touches almost every living person and as time moves on its reach will only continue to grow. With technology reaching us all and being incorporated into more parts of our daily lives, you can no longer rely on someone else to protect you. Whether it is defending your data at work, or defending your personal data at home, being an effective cyber defender is a continuous responsibility.

December 16, 2011

This holiday season, don’t fall prey to a criminal’s cyber scam. Protect yourself by following a few simple guidelines when shopping online and giving to charities. Actually, these rules are good all year round as well.

November 28, 2011

Here’s an interesting look into the inner workings of international cyber criminals by virtue of covertly recorded conversation snippets. The characteristics of similar processes in Western governments, particularly here in the United States, are well known because they are described in detail in the media. Our processes exist to provide accountability, budget constraint, quality assurance and fair competition. The bad guys have a slightly different take on how to go about things.

August 22, 2011

“It’s all about the network” is the rallying cry for the digital resources that enable the Army to perform its mission more effectively and efficiently. Yet, the Army Network requires a significant amount of effort, not only to develop, implement, maintain and improve it, but also to keep it secure. Those specific network or “Net-Work” tasks are the responsibility of everyone who touches the Army Network.

August 22, 2011

“It’s all about the network” is the rallying cry for the digital resources that enable the Army to perform its mission more effectively and efficiently. Yet, the Army Network requires a significant amount of effort, not only to develop, implement, maintain and improve it, but also to keep it secure. Those specific network or “Net-Work” tasks are the responsibility of everyone who touches the Army Network.

August 2011

According to a recent story in Bloomberg News, the Department of Homeland Security tried a little experiment by dropping CDs and thumb drives in the parking lots of government building and private contractors. Well, one would imagine this would be a great opportunity for our government employees and the specialized contractors that support them to show off their cyber security chops. After all, isn’t it a given that these people would have cyber security and information assurance best practices drilled into them?

May 26, 2011

A series of raids, both CONUS and OCONUS, on the hideouts of known cyber criminals has resulted in the discovery of a number of information documents. These documents indicated that the cyber crime and terrorism communities have ceased global operations involving the exploitation of unsecured wireless networks. But don't let that fool you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What’s a Caltrop? It could be the start of a lame joke like, “what’s a hen way” or “what’s a Grecian earn?” In fact, a Caltrop is an ancient land mine of sorts. It is usually a multi-sided spiked object that could seriously tear up a bare foot, an unshod hoof or a pair of Bronze Age sandals. Today the modern version of caltrops is used against vehicles with unreinforced tires. Think televised car chase on some freeway. They are not sophisticated and certainly not anywhere as bad as an IED. Yet, given the right circumstances, they are very effective.

February 22, 2011

Your mouse may no longer be a friendly. That goes for your keyboard as well. Cyber security researchers have reportedly found a way to create peripherals that can be programmed to steal and transmit data when certain actions or keystrokes are performed.

January 21, 2011

In an intelligence coup, G2 operatives were able to secure the New Year’s Resolutions of the infamous International Cyber Criminal (ICC).

December 22, 2010

Even if people try to practice sound information assurance, it is often difficult to keep up with some of the policies and procedures because technology moves at such a fast pace. This is true not only in military, government and private sector settings, but also in our own homes. Often network intrusions are not due to malicious or negligent actions, but to lack of understanding of what needs to be done. That’s where Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) come in.

October 2010

The national awareness in our wartime footing is nothing like what our parents and grandparents experienced during prior conflicts. ... Our hunger for immediate knowledge, and gratification, is supported by our great resources. It could also become our greatest weakness long after the conventional weapons go silent.

September 2010

A soldier in harm’s way has no greater ally than other soldiers watching his or her back. That trust is the key component of a good unit. Usually, the bond of trust that only members of the military share is built during training and missions. That trust is priceless in theater, but what about other environments? Dark alleys, sketchy neighborhoods, the bleachers of an away game – soldiers have that covered. But, who has your back in cyber space?

August 23, 2010

Whether by the casual hackers in a coffee shop or the state-sponsored experts in a cutting-edge cyber war room, our network and information defenses will always be engaged. Into this fray the new cyber command leads a combined force of expertise, experience, technology and vision drawn from the various Army groups that have held the line so far.

July 15, 2010

Whether it is the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliant encryption for FOUO or otherwise unclassified content or National Security Agency (NSA) certified Type 1 encryption for classified material, encryption keeps data and communications safe even if it physically or electronically falls into the wrong hands. Not using encryption only exposes identities, missions and lives to unnecessary risk.

June 18, 2010

When military data is lost, stolen or compromised, the potential dangers are obvious. Lost personal data can lead to identity theft, lost operational data can lead to mission cancellation or failure and lost technical data can lead to other compromised systems and even further damage. While loss of data is bad enough, sometimes the loss is not mitigated in a timely fashion. When this happens, it is often not because of a stealthy hacker or a missing hardware audit. It is because somebody did not report the incident out a fear of potential personal consequences. We need to change that mindset. Not accepting responsibility and warning others of a network or data breach can put missions and lives at risk.

May 20, 2010

What do bad brakes, invading termites, leaky dams and equally leaky military networks have in common? They are conditions that can result in significant damage if not addressed but are easily avoided through attention, upkeep and paying attention to Certification and Accreditation (C&A) Process, DIACAP, resulting in an Approval to Operate (ATO) or an Interim Approval to Operate (IATO). . There are a number of people who will tell you that keeping them in good IA order is too much work and/or too costly. These are usually the people who have “more important things to worry about” or MITT-WA.

April 16, 2010

Every day there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of people searching the Internet for classified military data and the identities of military personnel and their families. However, they are not hacking into sensitive databases or trying to breach Pentagon networks. They are simply looking in locations that are filled of this type of free information: social networking sites and personal web pages. There is one small group of these data seekers that you would want to be the very first to find this kind of online treasure. They are the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell (AWRAC).

March 2010

Can technology counteract the determined, the deceitful and the dimwitted? This is a question that has yet to be answered as the Army and other branches look at resuming the use of flash media on military networks.

Pages