Showing posts with label ICTEC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ICTEC. Show all posts

12 December 2017

Blockchains - What Are They? What Can We Expect?

by Elliott Morss

Introduction

I know very little about blockchains (BC), distributed ledger systems, and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. But I am a bit dumbfounded by the claims of what "the BC era" will bring. In what follows, I comment on some of these claims appearing in a paper written by Don and Alex Tapscott in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Quotes from the article start with BC. The lead-in to my comments is EM. Click on graphic below for larger image.

A Little Background

DoD spent $7.4 billion on big data, AI and the cloud last year. Is that enough?

By: Amber Corrin 

Lt. Bret Andrews, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), stands officer of the deck watch in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Fleet Integrated Synthetic Training and Testing Facility (FIST2FAC) operated by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, located on Ford Island, Hawaii. FIST2FAC allows Sailors to interact with artificially intelligent synthetic forces in verious settings. Spurred by a desire to overmatch future foes with modern technology, the Defense Department is boosting investment in core tech areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. While spending in those three areas reached more than $7 billion in 2017 – a 32 percent increase over five years ago – anything short of a technological revolution could threaten the United States, according to a new report.

SPAWAR: Artificial intelligence should be the next space race

By: Mark Pomerleau

The push for artificial intelligence is slowing becoming the new buzz in both the commercial-civilian sector as well as the defense industrial complex. “This is the space race of the 21st Century. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re in a competitive space to own this technology,” Chris Miller, executive director of SPAWAR Atlantic, said during a keynote address Dec. 6 at a defense conference hosted by the Charleston Defense Contractors Association in Charleston, SC. Miller called on the United States to think strategically about AI given that it’s pretty clear that other nations such as China have placed it under great importance.

Blockchains - What Are They? What Can We Expect?

by Elliott Morss

I know very little about blockchains (BC), distributed ledger systems, and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. But I am a bit dumbfounded by the claims of what "the BC era" will bring. In what follows, I comment on some of these claims appearing in a paper written by Don and Alex Tapscott in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Quotes from the article start with BC. The lead-in to my comments is EM. Click on graphic below for larger image.

A Little Background

11 December 2017

The Word Cyber Now Means Everything—and Nothing At All

By James Shires and Max Smeets

It’s hard to argue with the sentiment, but what does it actually mean? Is she suggesting that companies should invest in data breach insurance? That governments should build new weapons? That police should have better decryption tools? That tech companies should write safer code, especially for critical infrastructure? That international differences in internet governance must be resolved? That individual citizens should review their online behavior? Or all of the above?

The problem is in the word cyber. At first, the word’s flexibility was a good thing—it helped raise awareness and offered an accessible gateway to discussing all kinds of security. But it has now become an obstacle to articulating credible solutions.

DO TREES FALL IN CYBERSPACE?

H. AKIN ÜNVER

Why do all hackers wear hoodies? A quick Google image search for terms “hacker” or “cyber” will give you a range of abstract stock photos of men (almost never women) in hoodies, along with incoherent codes (usually Python script) in the background or foreground. Usually, these abstract stock images are accompanied by either circuit board or world map artworks, adding to the nonsensicality of the visual imagination of cyberspace. CNN asked the same question in May 2017, exploring the stereotypical representations of programmers, cybersecurity professionals, or “hacktivists” with a hoodie or occasional Guy Fawkes mask in stock photos, Hollywood movies or popular series. After all, there must be a reason why Eliott in Mr. Robot puts on his hoodie when he’s stressed out, or about to embark on a shady adventure.

Protecting secret networks means being more open about threats

By: Mark Pomerleau 

An unclassified version of the government's threat framework is allowing vendors a glimpse into adversary behaviors, allowing for better network detection, protection and response.

How can the proper solutions and mitigations be put in place without understanding threats facing networks?

That was part of the thinking behind packaging an unclassified version of a years-long review of the Department of Defense’s network for the vendor community.

DoD spent $7.4 billion on big data, AI and the cloud last year. Is that enough?

By: Amber Corrin 

Lt. Bret Andrews, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), stands officer of the deck watch in the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Fleet Integrated Synthetic Training and Testing Facility (FIST2FAC) operated by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, located on Ford Island, Hawaii. FIST2FAC allows Sailors to interact with artificially intelligent synthetic forces in verious settings. 

Spurred by a desire to overmatch future foes with modern technology, the Defense Department is boosting investment in core tech areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. While spending in those three areas reached more than $7 billion in 2017 – a 32 percent increase over five years ago – anything short of a technological revolution could threaten the United States, according to a new report.

10 December 2017

Okay, Say Someone Hacks into the USPower Grid. Then What?

BY CAROLINE HOUCK

A joint research project between the Department of Energy and a geographic analytics company is mapping just how far the repercussions could spread.

“On a scale of 1 to 10,” the threat of a cyber attack on U.S.critical infrastructure is “a 7 or an 8,” the Department of Homeland Security warned lawmakers last week. And indeed, someone has been probing the defenses of utilities, key manufacturers, and others. So what happens if hackers launch a network attack that, say, causes a rolling blackout in the Midwest?

How far will it spread, and what about the second-tier effects? What happens to regional chemical manufacturers or nuclear power plants? How long until municipal utilities cannot provide potable water? What would all this do to hospitals, local businesses, and communities?

Outing Spooks: “Doxing” in the Cyber-Hack Era

LEVI MAXEY 

Revealing the identities of intelligence officials – a practice known as doxing – could become more common among nation-states, directed in particular at the clandestine cyber-spies who operate overseas. Doing so undermines an unspoken norm of confidentiality among even adversarial intelligence services – where they allow each other to operate intelligence networks in their country, within limits. It also opens individuals and their families up to violent acts by non-state actors such as terrorists and criminal groups as well as retribution by on-looking governments. 

Spies have long relied on a level of anonymity or cover to operate effectively and safely in foreign lands under the watchful eyes of host-nation counterintelligence units and paranoid terrorist and criminal organizations. Should their identities become known, their country could face political blowback and they themselves could be confronted with prison or even violence. 

EVIDENCE THAT ETHIOPIA IS SPYING ON JOURNALISTS SHOWS COMMERCIAL SPYWARE IS OUT OF CONTROL

Ron Deibert

THROUGHOUT 2016 AND 2017, individuals in Canada, United States, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, and numerous other countries began to receive suspicious emails. It wasn’t just common spam. These people were chosen.

The emails were specifically designed to entice each individual to click a malicious link. Had the targets done so, their internet connections would have been hijacked and surreptitiously directed to servers laden with malware designed by a surveillance company in Israel. The spies who contracted the Israeli company’s services would have been able to monitor everything those targets did on their devices, including remotely activating the camera and microphone.

Americans Voice Support For Net Neutrality


Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs), regardless of the content that is delivered or who it was created by.

The new proposal, named the Restoring Internet Freedom order, would no longer classify ISPs as public utilities but rather as information services, meaning that telecommunication companies such as Comcast or Verizon would be legally allowed to create so-called fast lanes for content by providers that either pay for preferential treatment or that the ISP itself has a financial stake in, such as Comcast has in NBC Universal.

While the FCC argues that scrapping net neutrality rules would boost investments and innovation by limiting government regulation, advocates of net neutrality argue that the concept creates a level playing field for content providers and fear that getting rid of net neutrality would stifle competition and further increase concentration in the online media landscape.

9 December 2017

Struggle Over Scripture: Charting the Rift Between Islamist Extremism and Mainstream Islam


There must be greater consensus among policymakers and thought leaders that the battle against the extremism of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda is not against Islam, but against a perversion of the religion. Concerns about Islamist extremism are growing both in the West and in Muslim-majority countries as it continues to kill tens of thousands each year around the globe. Yet there is a deficiency in evidence-based research into how the supremacist ideology that drives this violence warps mainstream religious principles. There must be greater consensus among policymakers and thought leaders that the battle against the extremism of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda is not against Islam, but rather against a perversion of the religion. This report aims to clarify the nature of that perversion, to enable a religiously grounded response to Islamist extremism, in both its violent and its nonviolent forms.

Army launches direct commissioning program for civilian cybersecurity experts


The Army has approved a program to recruit experienced cybersecurity experts directly into the service as cyber officers in an attempt to bolster a growing field that military leaders see as vital to national security. U.S. Army Cyber Command will directly commission five civilians in the coming months, aiming to bring its first batch of officers into military training by February, said Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the Army’s Cyber Command chief. The pilot program, approved by the Pentagon and Congress, seeks to bring in five new officers each year for five years.

RBI reiterates warnings about trading in Bitcoins


The price of a single Bitcoin, which is not regulated by any monetary authority, skyrocketed to up to $11,000 last week. "Huge volatility in the value of VCs has been noticed in the recent past. Thus, the users are exposed to potential losses on account of such volatility in value," the had RBI said. Citing its earlier warnings on the subject, the central bank said, "in the wake of significant spurt in the valuation of many VCs and rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), RBI reiterates the concerns".

US Must Rethink Space Policy In Face Of Enormous Change

By COLIN CLARK

In the vast swirling enterprise of global security space, the United States must come to terms with the tectonic shifts occurring as commercial companies come to dominate launch, the building of satellites and the sensors and software on which they depend, and figure out how to lead the way. That’s the conclusion of what may become a touchstone study by two of the brightest lights in national security space, Jim Vedda and Pete Hays. Vedda is a space strategist with the Aerospace Corporation and Hays works with the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. They surveyed more than 30 experts on major areas of concern within the U.S. space enterprise to help leaven the study’s guidance.

8 December 2017

Countering Russian Information Operations in the Age of Social Media


Russia's information warfare operations, aimed to weaken adversaries' social cohesion and political systems, are complex and adaptive, but Western governments can take steps to guard against them. A Russian flag and a 3-D model of the Facebook logo is seen through a cutout of the Twitter logo in this photo illustration taken in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 22, 2015. Dado Ruvic/Reuters

How “Cyber” Sidelined “Development” at the ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Conference

Samantha Dickinson

Cybersecurity has made the World Telecommunication Development Conference another political battleground for digital policy, threatening to sideline the very real problems that developing countries need to solve. Every four years or so, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) holds the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), and this year’s conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You would be forgiven for thinking that discussing information and communication technologies (ICTs) and how they can contribute to social and economic development would be relatively uncontroversial. However, contentious issues like cybersecurity have made WTDC another political battleground for digital policy, threatening to sideline the very real problems that developing countries need to solve. 

WHEN ROUTINE ISN’T ENOUGH: WHY MILITARY CYBER COMMANDS NEED HUMAN CREATIVITY

MAX SMEETS

I was largely disappointed in Cyber Command’s effectiveness against ISIS. It never really produced any effective cyber weapons or techniques. When CYBERCOM did produce something useful, the intelligence community tended to delay or try to prevent its use, claiming cyber operations would hinder intelligence collection. This would be understandable if we had been getting a steady stream of actionable intel, but we weren’t. The State Department, for its part, was unable to cut through the thicket of diplomatic issues involved in working through the host of foreign services that constitute the Internet. In short, none of our agencies showed very well in the cyber fight.

7 December 2017

Securing Cyber in the Sky Layered cybersecurity needed to protect aviation ecosystem


When the WannaCry ransomware warning popped up on the arrival-and-departure signs of Germany's national rail system, experts in aviation security took notice. While the now-infamous attack did not affect travel, it did show how easily malicious code can infiltrate mass transit systems. And with thousands of attacks on aviation systems every month, Raytheon, a company with expertise in both cybersecurity and air traffic management, is taking steps to mitigate cyber attacks in the skies.