cyber

July 8, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/metamorworks

Last of a multipart series.

The success of China’s foray into Internet control ultimately may be determined by the growth of the Internet itself, according to an Internet expert. While China seeks economic benefit from having its prime technology companies become the providers of choice for Internet customers, it also looks forward to being able to control Internet use outside of its borders. The ongoing evolution of the Internet, particularly its spread into a growing number of devices, may be China’s best asset for realizing its aims.

July 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/AlexLMX

Third of a multipart series.

The seeds of future telecommunications are being planted in China. But the question remains, will they take root globally?

China’s cyber policy has both economic and political sides to it. On the economic side, flooding the global market with subsidized Chinese-made technologies offers the chance for major financial rewards as this equipment and its services become ubiquitous. On the political side, introducing Chinese standards to the Internet and cellular service will give the nation control over both services and data.

July 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The NETCOM Network Enterprise Center provided extended information technology support to many of the units deploying in support of Joint Task Force-Civil Support during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Army Cyber Command has now delegated to NETCOM some its authorities for protecting Army portions of the Department of Defense Information Network. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Chafelmer Kroll

The U.S. Army Cyber Command is transferring some of its cyber defense responsibilities for the service’s networks to the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, commonly known as NETCOM. The change, which officially took effect on June 1, transfers authority for the Army’s worldwide regional cyber centers to NETCOM, allows Cyber Command to increase its focus on electronic warfare and information operations and provides one primary point of contact for warfighters in need of network support.

July 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Credit: DR MANAGER/Shutterstock

Network data collection, analysis and sharing are core to cyber defense, and Tinisha McMillan is on a mission to improve all three.

As division chief for the Cyber Situational Awareness and NetOps Division within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), McMillan is responsible for building and providing cyber analytics and tools to enhance the department’s cyber information sharing to protect the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).

July 1, 2020
By Allison Annick
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Grace Hopper remained in the naval reserve. In 1952, her team at Remington Rand created the first compiler for computer languages, which was a precursor for COBOL. In this 1960 report, Hopper stands next to a mainframe computer that ran using COBOL. Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

At 61 years old, the common business-oriented language is the same age as many college kids’ parents. The coding language had its own exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2013. Many in the industry now call it a “legacy language,” but its continued, widespread use tells a different story.

June 24, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

Second of a multipart series.

China’s high-technology communications and networking industries are proposing a host of future capabilities to come if vendors cast their lot with companies such as Huawei and ZTE. But these new technologies, once ensconced, would lead their users down a path closed to others and open to Chinese government control, say Internet experts.

June 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/AlexLMX

First of a multipart series.

The next-generation Internet proposed by Huawei and supported by the Chinese government would provide a platform for revolutionary capabilities while implementing repressive measures that would eliminate today’s open communication. At worst, it would place control of Internet content in the hands of a few masters. But even if it does not subsume the entire Internet, it would cripple the interoperability that has characterized the network’s value as an economic growth engine by creating separate and unequal Internets.

July 1, 2020
By Stephen Wood
Devices such as copiers have been updated with Internet connectivity, creating a potential risk as an entry point to the network. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

In the past two years, hackers have increasingly targeted Internet of Things devices to breach cybersecurity defenses. Because these devices are frequently not patched when software flaws are found, they represent a soft target for attackers. In 2017, 15 percent of all successful attacks exploited one of these device’s beachheads. By 2019, that number increased to 26 percent of all incidents with growth expected to continue, according to a recent analysis performed by Ponemon Institute.

July 1, 2020
By Capt. Alex M. Roberts, USAF
U.S. Marines with 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, collaborate as part of Team Spartan during Cyber Fury 2020. Cyber Fury is an annual training exercise that allows Marines to simulate a series of cyberspace attacks by identifying and countering them. Credit: Lance Cpl. Haley McMenamin, USMC

With the 2020 election fast approaching and tensions with Iran continually shifting, many people are looking to U.S. Cyber Command to help ensure cybersecurity. The command faces an uphill battle because the current construct allows each service branch to retain tactical command of its organic cyber experts. To be more successful in the cyberspace domain, the command needs to take over tasking authority for all cyber-related units, establish a standardized joint cyber schoolhouse and establish a Joint Cyber Operations Command to perform joint, effects-driven cyber operations.

July 1, 2020
 

Since 2012, AFCEA has provided courses and event sessions that support continuing education for cybersecurity certification maintenance. One certifying organization supporting AFCEA is CompTIA, which reviews sessions for continuing education units (CEUs) for A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Cloud+, PenTest+, CySA+ and CASP+. In addition, GIAC reviews event material that may qualify as continuing professional education (CPE) for GIAC certifications, and CertNexus reviews material for continuing education credits (CECs) for CFR and CIoTP.

June 24, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force intelligence leader warns U.S. industry of growing risk from China's goal of intellectual property theft to undercut U.S. national security. Pictured, a F-35A Lighting II waits to taxi on the runway at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on May 20. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw.

U.S. adversaries are trying to take control of cyberspace as a medium, resulting in implications to our freedom of maneuver and access in cyberspace, says Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, USAF, director of Intelligence (A2), Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Increasing cyberspace activity is coming from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

“We are seeing it not just in volume, but we are seeing an expansion in the ways that they use cyberspace, whether it is to steal information, whether it is to directly influence our citizens or whether it is to disrupt critical infrastructure,” Gen. Gagnon reports. The general spoke at the AFCEA Tidewater chapter’s recent monthly virtual luncheon.

June 17, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF), director, Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, pictured center, speaks to Col. Mark Bradley, USAF, the TCJ6 deputy director at the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) on June 9. In July, Gen. Lyman will be joining the Pentagon as the Air Force’s assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, AF A2/A6. Photo by Michelle Gigante, USTRANSCOM/PA

Next month, Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman (USAF) will become the assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operations, the AF A2/A6, at the Pentagon, the U.S. Transportation Command announced on Monday. Gen. Lyman is currently dual-hatted as the director for Command, Control, Communications, and the Cyber Systems Directorate, TCJ6, at the command.

As the TCJ6 director, Gen. Lyman led the planning, integration, operations and maintenance of the Transportation Command’s, or USTRANSCOM’s, command, control, communications and computing (C4) systems, as well as guiding cyberspace mission assurance.

June 17, 2020
 

The one constant of cybersecurity is its rate of change. The technology you knew yesterday was acquired, bundled and updated into a consolidated tool that provides the solution for today. That consolidation is inevitable given the breadth of solutions and vendors working to address always-shifting security operations requirements. Not all segments of cybersecurity are responding equally to consolidation though. In particular, a critical segment that is long overdue, the security operations center (SOC), has not undergone its shift—yet.  

June 12, 2020
 

Scientific Systems Co. Inc.*, Woburn, Massachusetts, is awarded a $9,575,556 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N68335-20-F-0006) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N68335-15-G-0030). This order provides for continuing improvement of the software development processes to enhance cybersecurity and software safety for the Image Based Navigation for Vertical Take-off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Shipboard Landing program in support of the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle. This is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III for research and development performed under the SBIR topic numbers N112-127, N03-025 and AF06-149.

June 12, 2020
 

ICF Inc. LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $13,444,607 modification (P00036) to contract W911QX-17-C-0018 to extend mission critical defense cyber operation services provided by ICF. Work will be performed in Adelphi, Columbia, Fort Meade, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of December 15, 2020. Fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $13,444,607 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

June 2, 2020
 

Range Generation Next LLC, Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a $13,941,843 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P000297) to contract FA8806-15-C-0001 for cyber hardened infrastructure support. This modification supports an increase in launch and test range requirements. The primary locations of performance are the Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; and the Western Range, Vandenberg AFB, California. Work is expected to be completed Feb. 14, 2022. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $13,941,843 are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value is $1,210,861,882. Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson AFB, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

June 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (ONISQ) program intends to leapfrog current computing technology by combining classical and quantum computing capabilities to tackle a widespread class of problems known as combinatorial optimization problems, which have national security, commercial and global implications. Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei and Boex Design/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia​

In the future, anyone trying to figure out how to use limited resources may reap the benefits of computers that are a hybrid of quantum and classical systems.

Such hybrid computers might prove especially efficient and effective at solving certain kinds of problems, such as strategic asset deployment, global supply chains, battlefield logistics, package delivery, the best path for electronics on a computer chip and network node placement. Research also could impact machine learning and coding theory.

May 28, 2020
 

Zero Trust, a strategic security model to “never trust, always verify,” centers on preventing successful breaches by eliminating the whole concept of trust from an organization’s digital environment; instead, everything must be proven. 

June 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency put in place a cyber situational awareness room on Tuesday to support state and local governments' voting primaries. Credit: Shutterstock/Melinda Nagy

Ten states and Washington, D.C., held primaries on June 2 as part of this year’s presidential and local election cycle. Along with other federal stakeholders, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, has the role of helping to protect American’s confidence in the voting process by providing cybersecurity and a secure voting infrastructure.

June 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Advances in quantum information science will allow the military a different approach to communications and networking. Credit: Shutterstock

Across the U.S. Air Force’s research arm, scientists are developing quantum information science capabilities in four key areas of interest to the service: timing; sensing; communications and networking; and computing. Experts at the Air Force Research Laboratory, known as AFRL, are also investigating the development of enabling technologies, which will springboard the use of quantum capabilities in the four areas.

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