SIGNALScape

NIST Seeks Industry Information for Cybersecurity Framework

February 26, 2013
By George I. Seffers
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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
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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.

Cool App-titude: Google Authenticator

February 26, 2013
By Rachel Eisenhower

Attacks on private email accounts are on the rise, but a simple added security layer could help keep your personal messages safe from hackers. Gmail account holders can download the Google Authenticator app for iOS or Android, which generates a numeric code for users to enter in addition to their passwords.

How does this help? It drastically reduces the risk of having your personal information stolen, because someone would need access to both your password and your phone to sign into your account.

With 2-step verification, you will sign into your email as usual using your password. You will then be prompted to enter a code, which will be generated by the Google Authenticator app. Simply input the code and access your emails. A new code will be generated each time.

If you're using a trusted computer, you can then check a box asking Google not to require a code again when you sign into that particular machine. Gmail will still ask for the code if you or anyone else tries to sign into your account from another computer.

The app can still send a verification code even if you don't have an Internet connection or mobile service.

Download the free app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new websites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

LGS Innovations to Modernize Southwest Asia Communications Hub

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers
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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
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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.

Teledyne Awarded Research Lab Contract

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers
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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. 

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