Cyber

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss requirements for innovative solutions, primarily in the cyber realm, at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016.

AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 3

Quote of the Day:
“We need a network environment where cybersecurity and cyber situational awareness is, in real time, capable of automated response, reacting at machine speed, self-diagnosing and self-healing.”—Gen. Dennis Via, USA, commander, Army Materiel Command

Officials with the Army’s Materiel Command (AMC) have initiated discussions with Army Cyber Command officials to see if the command can play a greater role in the cyber arena, according to Gen. Dennis Via, USA, AMC commander.

August 3, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A TechNet Augusta panel discusses critical infrastructure protection.

AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 2

Quote of the Day:
“There isn’t a warfighting function that isn’t impacted by cyber, so securing, operating and defending the Army portion of the DODIN is a core warfighting capability.” —Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army

On day two of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference, cyber experts from across the military and industry openly and bluntly discussed the challenges of cybersecurity.

August 3, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Corrupting GPS data can disrupt the power grid, says one expert at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference.

When a hacker talks about a novel way to disrupt the power grid, people listen. At least that was the case on day two of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference taking place in Augusta, Georgia.

Shawn Wells, chief security strategist, public sector, Red Hat Inc., who was once busted—and then hired—by the NSA for breaking into the networks at Johns Hopkins University, said he recently learned at a Department of Energy cyber conference about a creative technique hackers used to mess with power distribution.

Wells did not specify when the attack took place.

August 3, 2016
By George I. Seffers

One of the biggest advances in the near future likely will be the convergence of major military networks into one unified Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), predicts Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army. And that network will be operated and maintained by Signal Corps soldiers.

August 2, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Center of Excellence, speaks at TechNet Augusta on August 2, 2016.

The Russian Federation forces are using a wide array of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities unlike anything U.S. forces have faced in the past 16 years. Russia uses its sophisticated capabilities to detect, locate and eliminate enemy forces, according to Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Center of Excellence.

Gen. Fogarty made the comments as the first speaker for AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference, Cyber in the Combined Arms Fight, taking place in Augusta, Georgia, August 2-4.

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. government wants to hack the hackers—and be able to talk about it. 

In an ambitious effort slated to begin in November, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to delve into developing technologies and processes that would allow authorities to access and then operate inside the networks and systems of cyber adversaries, says Angelos Keromytis, program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office.

August 1, 2016

Research funded through a $9.4 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) could develop a new technique for wirelessly monitoring Internet of Things (IoT) devices for malicious software without affecting the operation of the ubiquitous but low-power equipment, according to a Georgia Tech announcement.

August 1, 2016
By Nickolas Guertin and James P. Craft

Fourth in an ongoing series of articles

One technique for speeding up the acquisition process is the use of open systems architecture. Employing open systems architecture (OSA) capabilities is the intelligent way to create next-generation solutions for warfighters in all services. OSA-based solutions can optimize scarce financial and engineering resources and enable the United States and its coalition partners to extend their strategic military advantages over global adversaries.

July 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

As government and businesses struggle to hire and retain highly qualified cybersecurity experts, it just might be time for the people sporting purple mohawks to receive consideration for the coveted jobs, some experts say.

The White House released this month the first-ever Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy that sets in motion aggressive plans to recruit and retain cyber talent, and the Defense Department seeks to loosen for cyber personnel some of its hiring constraints within the civil service system.

July 19, 2016
By Joe Kim

It wasn’t too long ago that the Defense Department embarked on a Cybersecurity Discipline Implementation Plan identifying specific tasks that department’s IT personnel must perform to reinforce basic cybersecurity requirements identified in policies, directives and orders across the agency.

The plan, publicly unveiled in March after being amended, segments tasks into four key “lines of effort” to strengthen cybersecurity initiatives:

July 19, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Despite all of the talk of cyber technology safeguards being built in versus bolted on, security remains an afterthought for a vast majority of digital transformation activities such as mobility, cloud services and the Internet of Things, according to a recent industry survey.

July 14, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Do you play Pokemon Go?

The craze surrounding the augmented reality game that blends modern technology with a hint of nostalgia has resulted in a lot of benefits, from getting people outdoors to striking up conversations with strangers. But security concerns cause the hair of cybersecurity experts and privacy practitioners to stand on end worse than Brock’s.

The mobile app, created by Niantic and supported by the Pokemon company Nintendo and Alphabet, which owns Google, has taken the nation by storm. The free app uses GPS and real-world aspects and overlays the Pokemon characters on a cartoon map of neighborhoods.

There’s more, but back to the security issue.

July 14, 2016

The U.S. Army is testing how cyberwarriors adjust to morphing cyber threats and electromagnetic warfare (EW) attacks during its Cyber Quest 2016, an exercise now underway at the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The event examines concepts and products that could influence future technologies and requirements as well as other Army and Defense Department exercises and experiments.

July 12, 2016
By Bob Kimball

It’s no exaggeration to say the networking industry is going through a period of near-unprecedented change. The explosion of software defined network (SDN) concepts over the past few years brings great promise for new networking capabilities and increased economies of scale. The rapid adoption of SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) by global telecommunications service providers will continue to drive the rapid evolution and standardization. Additionally, SDN will bring many benefits to enterprise securities yet to be fully explored or imagined.

A New Security Approach

May 31, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Former Lockheed Martin executive Linda Gooden has a passion for education, technology and, well, fast cars—such as her current Cadillac CTS-V with 640 horsepower that can go 200 mph.

The foundation to build the next generation of scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians must be set in elementary school, particularly if the nation is going to include women in its pool of qualified STEM candidates. The United States trails other industrialized nations in education, particularly in math and science. One set of results ranked the United States 35th out of 64 countries in math and 27th in science. SIGNAL Media and AFCEA International’s Women in AFCEA address the issue in a multi-month project to highlight women in STEM.

July 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Cybersecurity today is less about stopping adversaries from breaching networks and more about damage control once they get in, an adjustment that has government and businesses embracing a new trend that merges security and big data.

This confluence gives rise to a growing practice called threat hunting, the act of aggressively going after cyber adversaries rather than waiting to learn they have breached security perimeters.

While growing in popularity, a recent survey of security experts notes that a significant portion of threat hunting is still being performed ad hoc, negating benefits of a repeatable processes and a waste of resources in trying unverified methods that provide minimal value.

July 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Romanian soldiers at a Romanian air base render honors with U.S. forces commemorating the 74th anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Romania’s growing activities with fellow NATO members include greater information sharing on cyberspace.

A nation that once was part of the Soviet bloc now finds itself on the front lines of unrest in Ukraine, territorial disputes in the Black Sea and state-sponsored attacks in cyberspace. Romania, now a stalwart member of NATO and the European Union, is playing an increasing role in cybersecurity, both regionally and internationally. It is passing a national cybersecurity law and reaching out to assist other nations, directly and indirectly, with cyber defense. 

July 1, 2016
By Robert B. Dix Jr.

Third in an ongoing series of articles

Improving the speed and efficiency of the federal acquisition process will involve leveraging innovation to benefit end users. But as speed challenges are addressed, the integrity of the process must be maintained to preserve well-established requirements for full and open competition. These qualities are not mutually exclusive—in fact, they are complementary. Full and open competition helps improve the speed of acquisition and provides access to a range of innovative solutions and reduced total cost of ownership.

July 1, 2016
By Bryan W. Bowlsbey
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel stand in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Long-standing traditions, beliefs and doctrine underpin many PLA activities in cyberspace.

China likely will be one of the United States’ main adversaries—or perhaps more accurately, competitors—in the cyber realm for the foreseeable future. U.S. business leaders may not understand the extent to which attacks against their own corporate networks actually are coordinated efforts by Chinese hackers, Chinese business interests and elements of the Chinese government. Many of the tactics and schemes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is employing in cyberspace have their basis in history, and some of them are anchored in Chinese philosophy.

July 1, 2016
By Dan Velez

Researchers in government and industry are combining advanced analytics with traditional detective work to quash dangerous cyberthreats from within. Instead of focusing on a silver-bullet solution to stop the insider threat, they are adopting an approach that consolidates information from multiple events to provide greater advanced warning of problems.

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