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Two-year DHS DOMino contract protest saga concludes

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More than two years after the Department of Homeland Security originally decided to award their Development, Operations, and Maintenance (DOMino) contract to Raytheon, GAO has denied Northrup Grumman’s third protest of the contract award, allowing Raytheon and DHS to begin work under the contract. The $1 billion, five-year contract, originally announced in July 2014, sought support for DHS’s mission of protecting the .gov web domain from cyberattacks. The contracted company would support cybersecurity system design, developmen... Read More
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DoD still doesn’t have cyber deterrence, redline policies, but says they’re working on it

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Despite the inherent and unique challenges cyberspace poses independent of physical domains, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee continued to lament the lack of any defined policy or strategy. During an Oct. 19 hearing, members of the committee chastised the Defense Department’s witness given that after several years of working the problem, the answer to how the department may respond to actors or incidents is essentially: it depends. ... Read More
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Trump UN envoy: Russia’s election interference is ‘warfare’

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NEW YORK (AP) — Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s chief envoy to the United Nations, cast Russian interference in the 2016 election as “warfare” on Thursday, breaking in tone, if not substance, from a president who has consistently downplayed Russian influence in American politics. U.S. Ambassador Haley lashed out at Russia’s efforts to “sow chaos” in elections across the world during a conference hosted by the George W. Bush Institute. ... Read More
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The difference between cybersecurity and cybercrime, and why it matters [Commentary]

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A Texas woman in her 50s, let’s call her “Amy,” met a man online calling himself “Charlie.” Amy, who lived in Texas, was in a bad marriage. Charlie said he was a businessman and a Christian, and wooed her. “He was saying all the right things,” Amy later told the FBI. “He was interested in me. He was interested in getting to know me better. He was very positive, and I felt like there was a real connection there.” Early on, Charlie told her he was having some problems with his business and needed money. She wanted to help. ... Read More
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Senator: Why won’t DOJ answer my emails on cyber?

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, criticized the Justice Department’s lack of a cybersecurity representative to coordinate with Congress on legislative issues at a Department of Justice Oversight hearing on Wednesday. “It really complicates life if there is not somebody at the Department of Justice whose job it is to work with us on cybersecurity legislation. And the silence has been deafening,” said Whitehouse. “The issue is, there are things we need to fix legislatively on cybersecurity, and, at the moment, I can’t find a... Read More
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Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

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Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device. A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within range of the potential victim, but the weakness could affect anyone using a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, the office or at a public coffee shop. ... Read More
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Protect your privacy: A hacker’s guide to being cyber-safe [Commentary]

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Protecting individual privacy from government intrusion is older than American democracy. In 1604, the attorney general of England, Sir Edward Coke, ruled that a man’s house is his castle. This was the official declaration that a homeowner could protect himself and his privacy from the king’s agents. That lesson carried into today’s America, thanks to our Founding Fathers’ abhorrence for imperial... Read More
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Think tank launches new center to study information warfare

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The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a Washington, D.C., nonpartisan think tank, announced it is establishing the Center for Cyber-Influence Operations Studies. CCIOS will expand ICIT’s focus on critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity and online privacy to include information warfare. Potential topics of future CCIOS research include digital propaganda, psychological warfare, political warfare and other forms of perception steering. ... Read More
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OIG: Energy Department’s cybersecurity needs improvement

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The Department of Energy needs to better its cybersecurity initiatives for the next fiscal year, according to DOE’s Office of Inspector General. The OIG set out to determine whether the agency’s unclassified cybersecurity program provides proper protection for DOE’s information systems operations and assets, as required by the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014. However, the report stated that “i... Read More
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DHS issues mandate for agencies to beef up their email, web security

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The Department of Homeland Security announced a binding operational directive (BOD) to all federal agencies, ordering them to enhance their email and web security through specific programs. DHS plans for agencies to adopt email and web security standards akin to ones found in the private sector, specifically when it comes to phishing emails, spam minimization and the protection of the confidentiality and integrity of internet delivered data. ... Read More
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DoD still working toward CYBERCOM elevation

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President Donald Trump, in accordance with Congressional decree, directed Cyber Command to elevate to a full unified combatant command out from under Strategic Command in August. The Defense Department is “in the throes” of making this happen right now, Maj. Gen. Burke “Ed” Wilson, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy and deputy principal cyber adviser to the secretary of defense, said during a media roundtable Oct. 16. ... Read More
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‘Safe Cities Index’ highlights paradox of tech advancement, cyber vulnerability

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The Economist Intelligence Unit released its 2017 Safe Cities Index, a biennial study that ranks 60 global cities using 49 indicators of safety across four categories, including digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security. Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Toronto and Melbourne top the global index using all four categories of indicators. At number 15, San Francisco ranked as the safest U.S. city, with Los Angeles (18), Chicago (19), New York (21) and Washington, D.C., (23) rounding out the U.S.‘s top... Read More
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Under pressure from Congress, IRS suspends Equifax contract

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS suspended a $7.25 million contract with the credit reporting company Equifax Friday after members of Congress complained the tax agency had awarded a no-bid contract to a company that recently had a massive data beach. The IRS had contracted with Equifax to validate the identity of taxpayers communicating with the agency on the telephone or through its website. In a statement Friday, the IRS said it suspen... Read More
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Israel discovers Russian hacking through some of its own

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WASHINGTON ― Israeli intelligence officials found evidence of Russian hacking of U.S. government systems by infiltrating the network of Russian company Kaspersky Lab in 2014, the New York Times reports. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security ordered on Sept. 13 the cessation of Kaspersky product usage by federal agencies. The New York Times further indicates that the FBI had long since suspected that Kaspersky senior executives had been working to provide Russian intelligence “backdoor” access to U.S.... Read More
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Cyber Command awards first contract under its limited acquisition authority

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After almost a year of special acquisition authority granted from Congress, Cyber Command has finally flexed those powers, awarding a contract in late September. In a press release issued late Thursday, Oct. 12, Cyber Command said it has “begun executing its new ‘limited acquisition authority’ to speed up the acquisitions process for cyber-specific tools,” awarding “its first c... Read More
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Poland says it repelled 3rd Russian hacking attack

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s defense minister says the nation’s cyber experts have successfully repelled a third hacking attempt from Russia but warns the cyberattack threat is mounting. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Friday the recent attack targeted companies in Ukraine that also have offices in other countries, including Poland. He told state TV1 television that “luckily in Poland we repelled them, but the threat increases daily.” ... Read More
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Equifax pulls customer service page, cites vendor’s software

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NEW YORK (AP) — Equifax said Thursday that problems with an online customer help page were caused by a vendor’s software code and not by a cyberattack on its systems. The company earlier said it had disabled its credit report assistance page after reports that another part of its website had been hacked. Equifax Inc. is dealing with the aftermath of hackers breaking into its system earlier this year that exposed the personal info... Read More
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Pennsylvania must do better on cybersecurity, watchdog says

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s auditor general says a survey of nearly 1,000 school districts and municipalities finds that most do not employ a cybersecurity professional or consult with one. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that the state must do a better job helping its school districts and municipalities protect their data. He says sensitive data includes Social Security numbers, health records, student records and more and that the threaty of cyber theft isn’t going away. ... Read More
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A peek inside Army cyber protection teams

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Of the four types of teams that make up the cyber mission force — the 133-team cadre of cyber warriors the four service branches provide to U.S. Cyber Command — cyber protection teams (CPTs) serve as the quick reaction defensive force responding to network intrusions. Each service also gets to retain a small subset of CPTs to help get at their own service-specific missions. Maj. Josh Rykowski, mission team leader with a service-r... Read More
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Can you be hacked by the world around you? [Commentary]

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You’ve probably been told it’s dangerous to open unexpected attachment files in your email – just like you shouldn’t open suspicious packages in your mailbox. But have you been warned against scanning unknown QR codes or just taking a picture with your phone? New research suggests that cyberattackers could exploit cameras and sensors in phones and other devices. As someone who researches 3-D modeling, including ... Read More
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Vermont governor signs order encouraging cybersecurity

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he wants the state to do more about cyber security. At the Statehouse on Tuesday, Scott signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Cyber Security Advisory Team. Scott, a Republican, said that since January there have been more than 3.3 million attacks on the state’s computers, none of which were successful. He says as cyber threats become increasingly complex and freque... Read More
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Man gets probation for cyberattack on 911 systems

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PHOENIX (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty in an August 2016 cyberattack on Phoenix-area 911 emergency systems must serve three years of probation. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office says authorities will be able to monitor Meetkumar Desai’s computer while he serves the probation term imposed Tuesday by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge. Four Phoenix-area law enforcement agencies reported receiving hundreds of hang-up emer... Read More
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Could cyberattacks knock out lights in the US? Not so easily

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Hackers likely linked to the North Korean government targeted a U.S. electricity company last month, according to a security firm that says it detected and stopped the attacks. John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis for FireEye, said Wednesday that phishing emails were sent to executives on Sept. 22. The attacks didn’t threaten critical infrastructure. It’s the latest example of cyberespionage targeting U.S. energy uti... Read More
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Cyber Command stands up planning cells at combatant commands

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Cyber Command has recently stood up forward deployed planning cells within the combatant command staffs to help better coordinate offensive and defensive cyber effects. The entities, called Cyber Operations-Integrated Planning Elements (CO-IPE), are weeks old and will do all the planning for Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) operations, defensive cyber operations, defensive cyber operations-internal defense measures and offensive cyber operations, Army. Col. Paul Craft, Joint Force Headquarters DoDIN, said during a... Read More
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Russia scores temporary win against US on cybercrime suspect

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THESSALONIKI, Greece — Russia on Wednesday won the latest round in a judicial tug-of-war with the U.S. over who should try a Russian cybercrime suspect arrested during a holiday in Greece. Last week, a panel of judges in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, agreed to send Alexander Vinnik to the U.S. to face charges he laundered $4 billion worth of bitcoins through BTC-e, one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges, which he allegedly operated. ... Read More
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Interview: Joe Billingsley, founder of the Military Cyber Professionals Association

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WASHINGTON ― The founder of the Military Cyber Professionals Association, Joe Billingsley, discussed with Defense News’ Congress reporter Joe Gould the military's challenges attracting and retaining enough skilled personnel for its cyber billets. When did you found the association and what has changed for military cyber professionals since? I founded it in 2013 in Monterey, California, and since then there has be... Read More
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Go cyber: Airmen can earn cash and promotions, get set up for civilian life

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China’s hack of the Office of Personnel Management exposed the personal information of millions. A computer nerd in North London, looking for military evidence of UFOs, shut down the Army’s Military District of Washington network of 2,000 computers for 24 hours. And the hack — believed to be by Russian intelligence — of the Democratic Party’s emails roiled the 2016 election. ... Read More
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South Korean lawmaker says North Korea hacked war plans

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean lawmaker said Tuesday that North Korean hackers may have stolen highly classified military documents that include U.S.-South Korean wartime “decapitation strike” plans against the North, according to South Korean media reports. Rep. Lee Cheol-hee, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic Party, cited unidentified defense officials as saying the hackers stole the plans last year, according to the reports. Neither Lee nor Defense Ministry officials responded to attempts late Tuesday to conf... Read More
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4 areas where military cyber forces should focus in cyberspace

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The cyber domain as an operational environment is still relatively new, and the Department of Defense is still working out tactics, techniques, procedures and authorities in cyberspace for military operations. But despite the DoD and NATO declaring cyberspace a domain of warfare, “nobody has defined what that means,” said Alex Crowther, of the National Defense University. At the annual conference of the Association of the U.S. Ar... Read More
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How does US-Japan defense agreement apply to cyberattacks?

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In August, Japanese and high-level U.S. security officials met for the first time as part of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee since President Donald Trump took office. Amid discussions of nuclear and ballistic missiles and international defense agreements, the officials addressed a growing problem among the two nations: cyberwarfare. Japan and the U.S. have been close defensive allies since the post-WWII era. But the details of what constitutes a threat has changed in meaning as cyberattacks jeopardize both nations, promising to wreak physical... Read More
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How the Chinese cyberthreat has evolved [Commentary]

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With more than half of its 1.4 billion people online, the world’s most populous country is home to a slew of cyberspies and hackers. Indeed, China has likely stolen more secrets from businesses and governments than any other country. Covert espionage is the main Chinese cyberthreat to the U.S. While disruptive cyberattacks occasionally come from China, those that cause overt damage, like destroying data or causing power outages, are more common from the other ... Read More
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Organization to teach coding to girls in Detroit area

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DETROIT (AP) — Computers already are a big part of Marianna Campbell’s life. Now, the 17-year-old Detroit resident is looking forward to attending workshops, classes and discussions with other girls who want to learn about cyber technology. With a focus on programming and computer coding, the events are being offered by Oakland-based Black Girls CODE. The nonprofit introduces young black, Latino and Native American females to computer sciences. Black Girls... Read More
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UK ‘Cracka’ pleads guilty to hacking CIA chief’s computer

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LONDON — A British teenager has admitted trying to hack into the computers of the director of the CIA and other U.S. government officials. Kane Gamble pleaded guilty Friday to eight charges of attempting to “secure unauthorized access” to computers and two charges of unauthorized modification of computer material. Prosecutors say that in 2015-16, Gamble, now 18, targeted the computers of officials including then-FBI director Mark Giuliano, then-Secretary... Read More
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Nordic states join together to bolster cyber defenses

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Nordic governments have greenlighted deeper collaboration within the cyber defense strategies and response domain between the militaries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The strengthening of interstate cyber defense and security is being tasked to the Nordic Defense Cooperation, or NORDEFCO, the primary vehicle for joint military collaboration between the Nordic armed forces. The primary objective for a unified approach among Nordic countries is to deve... Read More
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German prosecutors say no evidence of US, UK eavesdropping

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BERLIN (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they have concluded a nearly four-year evaluation of possible eavesdropping of German telecommunications by U.S. and British secret services and concluded there is not enough evidence to open a formal investigation. Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said Thursday that, among other things, her office had considered material collected by a parliamentary panel, German intelligence reports and documents leaked from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. ... Read More
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Bipartisan bill seeks to limit US use of foreign surveillance

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee set the stage for a fight with the White House by pushing a bill that would require law enforcement to get a court order before viewing intelligence collected by the National Security Agency. The bipartisan legislation, which is set to be formally introduced Friday, would renew a highly contentious section of a surveillance law due to expire at the end of the year with revisions that lawmakers say will safeguard civil liberties. But the Trump administration, which has pushed for ... Read More
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Judge denies bail for accused NSA leaker, citing security risk

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets will remain jailed until her trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps ruled Thursday that releasing 25-year-old Reality Winner on bail would pose an “ongoing risk to national security.” Winner is a former Air Force linguist who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency in Augusta, Georgia, when she was charged in June with leaking a classified U.S... Read More
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Q&A: DoD CISO, Deputy CIO Essye Miller

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As Department of Defense deputy CIO for cybersecurity – and the Pentagon’s CISO – Essye Miller takes the reigns on a range of initiatives, some already existing and some her own. Regardless of their origin, expect to see DoD CIO cybersecurity initiatives gaining traction across the military: Miller means business when it comes to securing networks and IT infrastructure. Let’s start with the cybersecurity scorecard. What is it, where does it stand and how is progress going? ... Read More
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Can IT ever be left of boom? [Commentary]

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Recently, I spoke with a veteran who spent 25 years in bomb disposal activities. That’s a long time in a dangerous occupation. He was in the front row as the DoD evolved its approach to this dangerous mission. It’s silly to refer to anything related to bomb disposal as “standard,” but what started out as a standard job of managing the detonation or disposal of ordnance evolved into sophisticated operations to track the patterns and activities of those trying to hide the devices. ... Read More
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German intelligence heads stress need for international info sharing

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BERLIN (AP) — The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global. Speaking at a public session Thursday of a parliamentary panel, the heads of Germany’s foreign, domestic and military intelligence agencies emphasized that cyber threats in particular necessitate joint solutions. The head of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service, Bruno K... Read More
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DOJ official takes aim at Silicon Valley encryption

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BOSTON (AP) — A high-ranking Department of Justice official is taking aim at Silicon Valley’s methods for protecting privacy, saying there should be a public debate about whether companies should create digital lock boxes that cannot be opened by police and judges. Speaking Wednesday at a cybersecurity conference in Boston, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein described such warrant-proof encryption as a serious problem. Rosenstein said encryption is a v... Read More
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The U.S. Navy must shore up its cyber defenses [Commentary]

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In 2009, then-chief of naval operations, or CNO, Admiral Gary Roughead, created the Information Dominance/Director of Naval Intelligence, or OPNAV N2/N6, organization by merging two of his deputy CNOs, the N2 and N6. This new deputy CNO position, N2N6, was elevated to the rank of a 3-star vice admiral, and it officially recognized how much crossover there is between intelligence work and communications. The following year, Roughead re-activated the U.S. Navy’s 10th Fleet, which is charged with the operations and coordination of naval, joint and coalition ... Read More
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Integrating conventional and cyber weapons [Commentary]

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Having served in Desert Storm flying combat missions in the F-16, I found that success during that conflict came from the first true integration of electronic warfare and conventional munitions given the support we received from the F-4G Wild Weasels and EF-111 jammers. Today’s forces are at a similar point of opportunity for enhanced operational effectiveness. As the battlespace evolves, mission success requires an expanded understanding of how to include cyber − creating a “trinity” of integrated conventional weapons, electronic warfare and cyber ... Read More
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FedRAMP Tailored service baseline available for use

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FedRAMP recently announced the availability of their FedRAMP Tailored baseline program, designed to expedite and streamline the process for low risk systems like collaboration tools, project management applications, and tools for developing open-source code. The tool for cloud service providers was finalized after two rounds of public comment on the program. “We think the goals for FedRAMP Tailored address these cases that are low risk for use — focusing o... Read More
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Greece backs extradition of Russian to US over bitcoin fraud

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THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A Greek court ruled Wednesday to extradite Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik to the United States, where he is wanted in connection with a $4 billion bitcoin fraud case. The three-member panel of judges in the northern city of Thessaloniki backed the U.S. extradition request for the 37-year-old, who was arrested while on vacation in northern Greece on July 25. Soon after the decision, Vinnik’s lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court on behalf of their client. ... Read More
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Scandal-plagued Equifax wins $7.25M contract from IRS

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The company at the center of the biggest breach of personal information just signed a contract with the federal government to provide, well, personal information. The Internal Revenue Service signed a $7.25 million contract with Equifax last month. The no-bid contract, first reported by Politico, is for Equifax to provide the IRS with taxpayer and personal identity verification services. The contract stated that Equifax was the only company capable of providing these services to the IRS, and it was deemed a “critical” service that co... Read More
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Yahoo triples the impact of its 2013 breach to 3B accounts

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Yahoo has tripled down on what was already the largest data breach in history, saying it affected all 3 billion of its users, not the 1 billion it revealed late last year. The company announced Tuesday that it’s providing notice to additional user accounts affected by the August 2013 data theft. The breach was previously disclosed by the company in December. ... Read More
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White House cyber coordinator wants Social Security number alternative

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White House Cyber Coordinator Rob Joyce is seeking agency and department input on potential replacements for what he calls a “flawed” Social Security number system. “I feel very strongly that the Social Security number has outlived its usefulness,” said Joyce, who spoke at the Washington Post Cyber Summit on Tuesday. “We’ve called for the departments and agencies to bring forward their ideas.” Joyce said that he supports a public-private key syst... Read More
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Hackers wanted: Special ops leaders seek soldiers who can fight the enemy up close and online

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Already in high demand for their rare and elite skills, special operations soldiers need to add one more capability to their toolbox: cyber. Leaders in the special operations and cyber communities discussed current and future needs for special operations and the cyber domain during the Project Gray Symposium held recently at the National Defense University at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. “There are people in this audience who know how to both engage the ene... Read More
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MARFORCYBER educating new information units on cyberwarfare

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As the Marine Corps’ Marine Expeditionary Forces Information Group – MEF Information Group or MIG, is coming online, the service’s chief cyber operations outfit will be offering education to help leaders understand how cyber can be employed into traditional operations. “Right now we’re, from a cyber perspective, focused on education. As you have the three MIGs, we want to be able to ensure that they understand the cyber capabilities and then the methods of employment and the friendly and adversary [tactics, techniques and procedures],” Gregg Ken... Read More
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Congressmen criticize Equifax’s response to hack [Ongoing]

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Several lawmakers on a congressional panel say Equifax’s response to a massive data breach is unacceptable and still inadequate. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., says that if Equifax wants to stay in business, its entire corporate culture needs to change to one that values security and transparency. Former Equifax chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith is testifying before a House subcommittee overseeing digital commerce and consumer protection. ... Read More
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SEC now says personal info was leaked in breach

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission is now saying that at least two people had their personal information stolen in the breach that happened last year. The SEC disclosed on Sept. 20 that hackers last year broke into its system that allows companies to digitally upload their documents, commonly known as EDGAR. Originally government investigators believed that no individuals’ information was stolen, but an investigation after the original disclosure found that not to be the case, the SEC said in a statement Monday. ... Read More
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You have it wrong: Collaboration tools and security are the perfect marriage [Commentary]

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Time to set the record straight. When it comes to collaboration tools and security, it is a necessary and equal partnership. Government officials often position collaboration and security as opposites pitted against each other. Many federal CIOs and IT managers have long considered security an inhibitor that has slowed or even prevented them from driving greater collaboration among IT tools, ultimately increasing efficiency. This is a misconception. ... Read More
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Here’s how the Army wants to integrate cyber, EW into operational formations

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The Army is continuing to evolve concepts to fight and win in future operating environments, which will increasingly involve digital means of combat effects. What will these capabilities look like, and how will they impact the overall force structure? The Army is building integrated cyber and electromagnetic activities, or CEMA, cells into every operational formation, according to Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of Fort Gordon, Georgia, and its Army Cyber Center of Excellence, who ... Read More
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Report: Company allowed Russia to review major Pentagon defense software

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Major IT company Hewlett Packard Enterprise allowed a source code review of ArcSight, a Pentagon cyber defense software, by a Russian defense agency according to Reuters. ArcSight is implemented across much of the U.S. military in order to alert analysts in real time when computer systems are being attacked. Hewlett had reportedly allowed Russian review of Arc... Read More
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Army seeks more cross-service cyber drills, experiments

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Cyber is a team sport. And though the Army works through experiments and exercises to help develop internal concepts and requirements, there is recognition that the service never goes to war alone. C4ISRNET recently attended one of these experiments, which was put on by the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst, New Jersey. Cyber Blitz seeks to better understand how cyber and electromagnetic activities within an Army brigade combat team will be used in a regional peer environment... Read More
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Las Vegas program teaches cybersecurity skills to homeless

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A business innovation center in downtown Las Vegas hosted a training program that aimed to teach cybersecurity skills to people who are homeless. The business incubator RedFlint partnered with a workforce development program last week to offer training in a field that’s experiencing a workforce shortage, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Hero School Initiatives has offered training an... Read More
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Former Equifax chairman apologizes for data breach

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The former chairman and CEO of Equifax says the company was entrusted with personal information of 140 million Americans and “we let them down” as human error and technology failures allowed a massive data breach. In prepared congressional testimony, Richard F. Smith said the millions are not just numbers in a database, but friends, family, neighbors and members of his church. The Associated Press obtained a copy of his eight-page statement in advance of Tuesday’s hearing before a House panel. ... Read More
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BAE upgrades naval counter-mine system

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BAE Systems has unveiled an upgraded version of its Naval Autonomy Tactical Information System (NAUTIS) counter-mine system. “NAUTIS 5 incorporates a number of new and improved features including: improved command and control for autonomous and off-board systems, an improved human-computer interface with latest graphical technologies, and embedded onboard training,” according to a BAE news release. NAUTIS 5 uses commercial off-the-shelf hardware. Mine coun... Read More
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Cyber Blitz: Army’s military hide-and-seek tests cyber, EW tools

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The Army has been taking a series of steps through experimentation and exercise to better understand how to employ technological, non-kinetic capabilities in a future fight against a near-peer adversary. One example of this is Cyber Blitz, an exercise put on by the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC. Cyber Blitz is a “second-generation, Army-level experiment sanctioned by the Army G-3/5/7 for establishing ... Read More
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Greece opens Russian cybercrime suspect’s extradition case

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THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Russian cybercrime suspect Alexander Vinnik, who is wanted in the United States in a $4 billion bitcoin fraud case, denied the charges against him Friday during an appearance in a Greek court to fight an extradition request. Vinnik, 37, was arrested while on vacation in Greece on July 25 and detained pending the extradition hearing following a request from U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California. According to U.S. authorities, he ran digital currency exchange BTC-e, and was allegedly involved in launderi... Read More
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Half of US companies have been hacked

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More than half of U.S. businesses report being hacked in the past year, according to a new survey. Those businesses had to spend a considerable sum of money to repair the damage, found the survey of company executives by Zogby Associates on behalf of the HSB insurance company, which offers cyber insurance. “Of those businesses hacked in the previous 12 months, 72 percent spent over $5,000 to investigate each cyberattack, restore or replace software and hardw... Read More
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‘I screwed up royally’ accused leaker confessed to FBI agent

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SAVANNAH, Ga. — A young woman charged with leaking U.S. secrets to a news organization told FBI agents she was frustrated with her job as a government contractor when she tucked a classified report into her pantyhose and smuggled it out of a National Security Agency office in Georgia, according to court records. Prosecutors are using Reality Winner’s own words against her as they urge a federal judge to keep the former Air Force translator jailed until her trial. In a court filing Wednesday, prosecutors attached a 77-page transcript of Winner’s interv... Read More
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Twitter execs talk to House, Senate in Russia probe

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Executives of the social media giant Twitter spoke with House and Senate investigators Thursday at the Capitol about Russian interference in the 2016 elections and anonymous “bots” that can spread misinformation. Twitter executives visited both the Senate and House intelligence committees, briefing staff members in closed-door meetings that lasted several hours. The executives included attorney Elizabeth Banker; Emily Horne, global policy communications director; Carlos Monje, the company’s director of public policy and philanthrop... Read More
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DHS: Hackers targeted other systems to find election weak spots

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security says that just because Russian government hackers didn’t directly scan election systems in some U.S. states, it doesn’t mean they weren’t looking to break into them. DHS spokesman Scott McConnell says that hackers in an unspecified number of states scanned other state computer systems looking for vulnerabilities they could exploit to get into the election systems later. The other networks were usually connected to the election systems or shared similarities. ... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 9
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1chief of staff0.634person, serviceman, chief of staff
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Army National Guard activates its first cyber brigade

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The 91st Cyber Brigade stood up on Sept. 17 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to oversee cyber units across 30 states, according to the head of the Army National Guard. Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, joined Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe and adjutant general of Virginia Maj. Gen. Timothy Williams for the activation ceremony. “We’ve really jumped into the deep end of improving cyber capability within the Army National Guard,” Ka... Read More
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EU police agency calls for better action against cybercrime

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union’s police agency called Wednesday for better awareness and tougher, targeted legislation to tackle cybercrime in the wake of devastating malware and ransomware attacks in recent months. Events such as the global “WannaCry” attack in May have “taken the threat from cybercrime to another level,” Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright told delegates at an international conference. Wainwright spoke as ... Read More
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DOJ (sort of) releases FBI insider threat audit

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The Department of Justice has released findings of an audit into the FBI’s effort to stop insider leaks. Yet those findings have been deemed too secret to reveal to the public. Instead, the Justice Department’s Inspector General has only released its recommendations for the FBI’s insider threat program, established by an President Obama executive order as the National Insider Threat Task Force, or NITTF. Thus there are no figures, for example, on how many insider threats were detected or stopped. ... Read More
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GSA touts anti-hacker support services

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The General Services Administration is touting an anti-hacker support system for government agencies. The Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS) are contractors that provide cybersupport. GSA has awarded HACS SINs to more than 70 vendors to support high-value assets, or HVA, according to a blog by Shon Lyublanovits, GSA’s IT Security Subcategory manager and director of the Office of IT Security Services for Office of Information Technology Category. ... Read More
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Leonardo eyes work on NATO cyber command

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ROME ― Italy’s Leonardo is eyeing work on a possible NATO cyber command after six years in which the company says it has successfully defended NATO sites from hackers, a company official said. The firm was first contracted in 2011, along with Northrop Grumman, to ensure cybersecurity at NATO sites, and its systems are now in use with 75,000 users at 75 NATO sites in 28 member nations, work worth €65 million (U.S. $77 million) since the contract began. No... Read More
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Audit finds weaknesses in DOE cybersecurity

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The Department of Energy is lacking in multifactor authentication for cybersecurity, according to an audit by the department’s Office of Inspector General. Despite longstanding federal requirements for multifactor authentication, in which users must provide multiple types of authentication before logging in, DOE’s procedures still have weaknesses, the IG found. “Our review of 18 federal information systems, including those systems operated by contractors... Read More
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DHS office leading the way on federal cyber innovation [Commentary]

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It isn’t often that the words innovation and government find their way into the same sentence. When they do, it is often to decry the lack of innovation in government practices. Silicon Valley and other corporate leaders have long lamented that the federal government just doesn’t seem to understand what it takes to bring innovation to government programs. One office in the federal government is having an outsized, positive impact on bringing private sector innovation to government cybersecurity problem solving. The Cybersecurity Division (CSD) of the Sc... Read More
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Feds want foreign surveillance authority renewed

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Intelligence and law enforcement officials across the government lobbied Congress Monday to let them conduct broad surveillance on foreign targets in coming years, saying it helps prevent terrorist and cyberattacks on the United States. They said current rules adequately safeguard the privacy of Americans. More than 10 senior officials with the CIA, National Security Agency, FBI, Justice Department and national intelligence director’s office made their case to news reporters for why Congress should reauthorize a highly contentious sect... Read More
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WhatsApp service disrupted in China as censorship tightens

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BEIJING (AP) — The encrypted messaging service WhatsApp suffered intermittent disruptions in China on Tuesday as communist authorities tightened censorship ahead of a major ruling party meeting. Attempts to set up new WhatsApp accounts on some cellphones were met with network error messages. Others reported difficulty sending images and video on the service, which is owned by Facebook and offers more privacy than government-monitored Chinese social media. Ch... Read More
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SEC chair: No PII leaked in breach, still ‘concerns me deeply’

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Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton faced questions on recent high-profile data breaches and the adequacy of current breach disclosure laws when he appeared in front of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Senators pressed Clayton for details about the 2016 cyberattack on the SEC, which was just disclosed last week, as well as the massive Equifax breach that was disclosed earlier this month. Both incidents, th... Read More
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Russia threatens to block Facebook over data storage

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MOSCOW (AP) — In its latest attempt to wrest control of the internet, Russia’s communications agency on Tuesday threatened to block access to Facebook if the company refuses to store its data locally. Alexander Zharov, chief of the Federal Communications Agency, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that they will work to “make Facebook comply with the law” on personal data, which obliges foreign companies to store it in Russia. Critics have slammed the law, which went into effect in 2015, for potentially exposing the data to Russian intelligence ag... Read More