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March 2014 Department of Homeland Security Cyber News Spotlight

A monthly summary of publicly published information concerning significant cybersecurity and cyber infrastructure issues. Articles at the beginning of each section include context on the article to provide additional information and indicate the effect that the article may have on particular sectors. DHS's Industry Engagement and Resilience (IER) branch, part of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), produces the Cyber News Spotlight.


DHS Reaction on “Heartbleed”: Working Together to Mitigate Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Information sharing is a key part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) important mission to create shared situational awareness of potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities. DHS, through our National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), actively collaborates with public and private sector partners every day to make sure they have the information and tools they need to protect the systems we all rely on.

When a cybersecurity industry report was published three days ago about a vulnerability known as “Heartbleed” – affecting websites, email, and instant messaging – that can potentially impact internet logins and personal information online by undermining the encryption process, the Department’s U.S.-Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) immediately issued an alert  to share actionable information with the public and suggested mitigation steps.  Subsequently, our Industrial Control System-Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) published information and reached out to vendors and asset owners to determine the potential vulnerabilities to computer systems that control essential systems – like critical infrastructure, user-facing, and financial systems.  The National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC) also provided situational awareness to communications sector partners for their review and action. Importantly, the Federal government’s core citizen-facing websites are not exposed to risks from this cybersecurity threat. We are continuing to coordinate across agencies to ensure that all Federal government websites are protected from this threat.

Read more


Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission: Antitrust Policy Statement on Sharing of Cybersecurity Information

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly more common, more sophisticated, and more dangerous. One way that private entities may defend against cyber attacks is by sharing technical cyber threat information – such as threat signatures, indicators, and alerts – with each other. Today, much of this sharing is taking place. Some private entities may, however, be hesitant to share cyber threat information with others, especially competitors, because they believe such sharing may raise antitrust issues.
Through this Statement, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (the “Division”) and the Federal Trade Commission (the “Commission” or “FTC”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) explain their analytical framework for information sharing and make it clear that they do not believe that antitrust is – or should be – a roadblock to legitimate cybersecurity information sharing. Cyber threat information typically is very technical in nature and very different from the sharing of competitively sensitive information such as current or future prices and output or business plans.
Specific guidance in the context of cybersecurity information was previously provided by the Division’s October 2000 business review letter to the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI). The Division confirmed that it had no intention to initiate an enforcement action against EPRI’s proposal to exchange certain cybersecurity information, including exchanging actual real-time cyber threat and attack information. While this guidance is now over a decade old, it remains the Agencies’ current analysis that properly designed sharing of cybersecurity threat information is not likely to raise antitrust concerns.

Read full statement


NextGov: DARPA Cyber Ops Needs a Bigger Rolodex

The Pentagon is scouting for cyber ninjas in the private sector who would be available for future help dominating the cyber domain, according to documents. The trick will be finding potential “performers” that hold security clearances for classified endeavors, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency officials said. 


Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards Accepting Nominations Through June 13

The Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards™ is the premier event honoring the leadership, innovation and commitment to excellence of the people and businesses in the region's government contracting community. Presented by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax Chamber) and Professional Services Council (PSC), the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards™ winners will be announced at an evening gala, which has been dubbed the "Academy Awards of Government Contracting." This unique networking event draws nearly 1,000 industry and government leaders.


FCW: DARPA seeks dielets to defend the IT supply chain

Defense researchers are looking to stem the tide of counterfeit electronic parts invading the military supply chain by developing a tiny electronic component to authenticate other electronic components.

The component, called a dielet, is being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under its Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD) program. DARPA is looking for proposals from industry to develop a 100-micron-x-100-micron dielet that authenticates the provenance of electronics components. The dielets, it said in a Feb. 24 announcement, should contain a full encryption engine, sensors to detect tampering and would readily affix to today's electronic components such as microchips.


The INSTINCT Challenge

Investigating Novel Statistical Techniques to Identify Neurophysiological Correlates of Trustworthiness
February 19 - May 5, 2014

How do you know if you can trust someone? Answering this question accurately is essential for society in general—but particularly so in the Intelligence Community (IC), where knowing whom to trust is often vital. The INSTINCT Challenge asks members of the public to develop algorithms that improve predictions of trustworthiness, using neural, physiological, and behavioral data recorded during experiments in which volunteers made high-stakes promises and chose whether or not to keep them.


Cyber Security Solutions for Small/Medium Sized Businesses

Response Date: Apr. 8, 2014 12:00 pm Eastern

Issuance Date: February 20, 2014

DHS is seeking information from industry on its capacity to provide broadly scalable cyber security solutions at an affordable cost to Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) in support of adoption of the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (NIST Cybersecurity Framework). SMBs have a need for strong cyber security capabilities as they face cyber security threats and challenges with limited resources, capacity, and/or personnel. DHS seeks to understand the landscape of capabilities available to SMBs and ways to encourage economies of scale so SMBs can benefit from the rapid advances in cyber security and technology. At the same time, DHS hopes to drive the markets to innovate creatively toward solutions that enable provision of high levels of cyber security affordably to all entities with attractive business returns that keep the markets active. One key goal is for business interests to be served for providers and consumers through stronger cyber security.


Defense Systems: DOD wants a ‘Big Mechanism’ for mining research data

The Pentagon wants to revolutionize the way research data is mined, with a $45 million program it calls Big Mechanism. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a solicitation calling for innovative, automated methods of essentially reading multiple research papers on complex subjects and finding causal connections and overarching patterns. And the solicitation emphasizes that DARPA is looking for a breakthrough — evolutionary improvements to existing practices are “specifically excluded.”


Add Your Company's Information to the FINDD Discovery Engine as a Provider of Innovation

The Foundation for Innovation and Discovery was born out of the high demand from Government agencies for new ideas in mission solutions and tech discovery. The founders believed an organization dedicated to meet that demand was needed and that a distinguishing hallmark of the organization would be its transparency in the discovery of capabilities. Further, this new organization would foster education and collaboration. AFCEA Corporate Members are encouraged to add their information to the Discovery Engine in order to increase their discoverability by government agencies. Companies who join as FINND members may attend the FINND Talks with senior leaders as well as the Mission Forums with mid-level operators throughout the year. FINND members are also automatically considered for each Discovery Summit held for government agencies. Read more and sign up at


SPAWAR Office of Small Business Programs: Three Year Acquisition Forecast

The updated forecast, for fiscal years 2014 - 2016 is a projection of supplies and or services SPAWAR anticipates it may purchase in the future. This should be a great reference for future planning, especially small businesses. This forecast is posted solely for informational and planning purposes. It does not constitute a solicitation or a promise to issue a solicitation in the future. The information in this forecast is based on current information available to date. This information is subject to change and is not binding to the Government.


National Science Board releases STEM education data and trends tool

How much are states spending on their schools?

What is the science and engineering job market outlook for U.S. graduates?

How proficient are primary school students in math and science?

Today, the National Science Board (NSB) released the STEM Education Data and Trends tool, a rich resource for anyone searching for answers to those and many other questions.


AFCEA Online Corporate Member Directories: Cybersecurity, Education, Health IT, Homeland Security, and Intelligence

The AFCEA Online Directories are comprehensive profiles of AFCEA corporate members worldwide. Listings include contact, business focus, products/services, client, contract access and certification information. They are searchable by corporate name, business categories, location, small business status and NAICS codes.


Government Contracting Weekly is a TV show devoted to winning government contracts, brought to you by AOC Key Solutions, Inc.. The show airs every Sunday on the DC Metro CBS affiliate WUSA9. For a list of upcoming and past shows, click here.



Need more information about joining AFCEA or maximizing benefits? Contact:

Julie Lama, Director, Corporate Member Programs (703) 631-6174

Barbara Norkus, Corporate Membership Coordinator (703) 631-6198


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