cyber

July 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen addresses mobility concerns at the enterprise level. Photo by Michael Carpenter

As the Defense Department dives into the mobility ecosystem and embraces the use of mobile devices by the warfighter in the battlefield up to the highest echelons of leadership, it seeks solutions too for full-on mobility at the enterprise level. Leaders still struggle over concerns from security vulnerabilities to the legal questions that impact employees workload when they’re off the clock.

“You’re going to see a lot of headlines here that say ‘secure mobility.’ Blank that out,” said Terry Halvorsen, the Defense Department’s chief information officer. “I want you to insert the words ‘secure enough mobility.’ Part of what we’ve got to understand is: what’s secure enough?”

July 9, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Hackers behind cybersecurity attacks on the U.S. federal government through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pilfered personal information from a much more significant number of current and former employees than previously reported.

Thursday, investigators reported two breaches occurred, with data stolen from 21.5 million workers, far more than the 4 million officials originally disclosed in June.

Hackers managed to breach the computer systems of the OPM, stealing data including Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, job assignments, performance reviews, insurance details and training certificates.

July 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
Part of the power grid is supported by electrical lines that carry power to customers through rugged terrain. Cybersecurity experts believe supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems may be the Achilles’ heels that allow malefactors to bring down such critical infrastructure via cyberspace.

A more diverse group of players is generating a growing threat toward all elements of the critical infrastructure through cyberspace. New capabilities have stocked the arsenals of cybermarauders, who now are displaying a greater variety of motives and desired effects as they target governments, power plants, financial services and other vulnerable sites.

But concerns come from not just evolving and future threats. Malware already in place throughout critical infrastructure elements around the world might be the vanguard of massive and physically destructive cyber attacks launched on the say-so of a single leader of a nation-state. Physical damage already has been wrought upon advanced Western industrial targets.

June 29, 2015
By Terry Roberts

The recent breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a cyber event that has touched many of us personally in a way that other breaches have not. It is not simply government employment data; it is the most personal and detailed of information about many of us or our protégés or friends. It is information that can be used in so many insidious ways, it is difficult to account for or imagine them all. It truly is a national security hit of the magnitude of WikiLeaks and the Snowden case because of the millions of lives, careers, families, agencies and missions that it impacts today and well into the future.

June 24, 2015
By George I. Seffers
NSA officials intend to increase open source software releases through GitHub.

The National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) recently established GitHub presence could become a focal point for releasing new technologies into the open source community. Sharing software could benefit the nation’s cybersecurity while also benefiting businesses and economic growth, officials say.

June 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 3

Quote of the Day: “I absolutely love these conferences. It’s like vendor speed dating.”
—David Stickley, services executive, Defense Information Systems Agency.

On the final day of the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials wooed industry, stressing the need for cooperation and partnership to tackle the toughest problems faced by today’s warfighters.

June 18, 2015
 

AFCEA presented awards to three individuals for innovative cyber technology solutions during a ceremony at the AFCEA International Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore. The winners were selected from 50 entries in AFCEA's Cyber Solutions Showcase.

The winners and the representatives receiving the awards on behalf of the companies are:

Best Overall

Aveshka Inc.
Cloud Based Real-Time Cyber Monitoring
Christopher Kenly

Most Innovative

June 17, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. James McLaughlin, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, kicked off the second day of the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, during which military officials highlighted the importance of command and control in defending cyberspace.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day: “JIE is a good thing, because it allows us to bring a more centralized capability to bear and that is a lot of security capability.”
--John Hickey, DISA cybersecurity risk management authorizing official executive.

June 16, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., USAF, director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), releases an updated strategic plan for the agency.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 1

Quote of the Day: “Write that down, everybody. Security is the business case.”
--Dave Mihelcic, chief technology officer, DISA.

June 4, 2015
 

TASC Inc., Andover, Massachusetts, has been awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee $6,966,555 modification (P00015) to previously awarded contract FA7037-11-D-0003. Contractor will provide management, engineering and technical support services required to support the establishment, maintenance and evolution of the 92nd Information Operations Squadron cyber assessment program. Work will be performed at San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2015. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The 38th Contracting Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base Oklahoma, is the contracting activity.

 

June 4, 2015
 

Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp., Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $12,211,473 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-15-C-0097), for a research project under the Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission program. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,331,395 are being obligated at time of award. Vencore Labs Inc., doing business as Applied Communication Sciences (ACS), Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been awarded an $11,762,572 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-15-C-0098).The period of performance is 36 months, with two 18-month phases.

May 12, 2015
By George I. Seffers

A new study from Juniper Research, Hampshire, United Kingdom, suggests that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015.

May 7, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Officials with the Transition to Practice (TTP) program followed the commercialization of the Quantum Secured Communications system with the transition of Hyperion, a malware forensics and software assurance technology, to R&K Cyber Solutions LLC, an application development and cyber solution company based in Manassas, Virginia.

March 9, 2015
 

Isis Defense, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,034,317 firm-fixed-price, other transaction for prototypes agreement, for a research project entitled "Threat Intelligence Platform." This agreement provides for the development of a threat intelligence and cyber analytics platform that will merge existing Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency big data research with novel approaches to high-performance computing and data storage hardware. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $750,000 are being obligated at time of award. All work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of March 2016.

March 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Challenges ranging from teaching people new ways of learning languages to providing security for homemade computer chips head the priority list for researchers at the National Security Agency. The exponential expansion of technology capabilities is perhaps matched by the growth of potential conflict areas, and both are increasing the issues faced by the agency’s research community.

February 26, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is looking for a few good ideas. The organization’s Office for Anticipating Surprise has initiated a competition for its Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) program, which aims at discovering ways to anticipate cyber attacks before they occur.

January 12, 2015
 

Editor, SIGNAL:

I read Adm. Stravidis’ thoughtful piece on “Cyber Attacks” with great interest, for I directed the Tallinn Manual project to which he referred. Unfortunately, the admiral misstates the position taken by the “International Group of Experts” that prepared the manual during a three-year project sponsored by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence.

December 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is inviting comments on a draft project to secure medical devices known as networked infusion pumps, which convey fluids, drugs and nutrients into patients' bloodstreams. Hospitals are increasingly using the devices and connecting them to a central system, which makes them more vulnerable to cyberthreats.

A networked infusion pump can allow centralized control of the device’s programming as well as automated cross checks against pharmacy records and patient data to ensure the right dose of fluids or medication are delivered at the right time to the right patient.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

OPM issued a statement on the breach and began notifying employees that files might have been compromised.

“While there was no conclusive evidence to confirm sensitive information was removed from the system, it is possible that personally identifiable data may have been exposed,” reads an OPM statement.

KeyPoint Government Solutions conducts background checks for government agencies. One of its competitors, USIS, suffered a breach earlier this year.

November 19, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman officials say they are developing a new kind of cyber system—a disposable system tailored for a single mission. The concept, they say, will make it more difficult for adversaries to penetrate or maneuver inside user networks.

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