Monday, 30 November 2015

WikiLeaks Slams Prosecution of Turkish Reporters for Arms Convoy Coverage

The prosecution of two Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists by Turkey after the publication of photos of trucks transporting weapons to Syrian opposition groups is wrong, the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier on Thursday, prosecutors requested an Istanbul court to arrest Cumhuriyet newspaper Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar and the daily’s Ankara representative Erdem Gul after both journalists were summoned to Istanbul Courthouse to testify. They face espionage and treason charges. For the full article click here 



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U.S. and Russia On a Hair Trigger For Nuclear War

Hair trigger nuclear alerts might be more dangerous now than at any time during the Cold War. This is the warning issued by Bruce Blair, a former nuclear launch officer and a co-founder of Global Zero, in an article posted by Politico, yesterday.

“Low-level military encounters between Moscow and Washington are fanning escalatory sparks not witnessed since the Cold War,”

Blair writes.

“And there exists a small but steadily growing risk that this escalation could morph by design or inadvertence into a nuclear threat.”

The backdrop for this is the launch-on-warning posture of the nuclear forces of both the US and Russia. “Our nuclear command system and forces practice it several times a week,” Blair notes. “So do the Russians.” Indeed, top Russian commanders, he says, can now launch missiles from their command posts directly, bypassing the entire human chain of command, in only 20 seconds. “In short, the slope between the low-level military encounters, the outbreak of crisis and escalation to a nuclear dimension is a steep and slippery one,” writes Blair. For the full article click here 



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CYBERSECURITY DIRECTOR, CLAY CALVERT FEATURED IN INFORMATION WEEK’S PIECE ON CYBERWAR

Clay Calvert, Director of Cybersecurity at MetroStar Systems was featured in Information Week’s piece on Cyberwar, Government Hacks that Threaten Private Sector.  Clay specifically discussed threats in predictive analytics and how they are becoming more pervasive and easier to use. “The main vulnerabilities are the ways that nearly all organizations allow direct communication to the individuals at the desk: email and Web servers,” Clay Calvert, director of cyber-security at government IT contractor MetroStar Systems, told InformationWeek. “We can have some of the most sophisticated firewalls, but like the Maginot Linein France, it is so easy to get past formidable defenses if you can simply walk around them For the full article click here 



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Cyber Monday 2015 Xbox One Deals Include $299.99 Gears of War Bundle and Halo 5 Dual Charging Stand

Given that Cyber Monday 2015 is one anticipated date for the bargain-hunters, there are some offers that Xbox One owners cannot resist. As the discounts surface, fans of some of the most decorated games of the generation can rest assured that there is something meant for them along the way. According to Telegraph, various stores have started to launch the most ideal sales and deals for Black Friday. That being said, Cyber Monday looks to make the price drops even more interesting. With only so much to give for the last days of November, Amazon, GameStop and Walmart are ready to place their cards on the table. For the full article click here 



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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Time for industry to take a lead against cyberthreats

As a society we are fairly reactive to issues and opportunities brought about by change. A strategic approach to change is all but absent. Those that choose the much more difficult strategic approach usually find themselves in a position of strategic advantage, while those that choose the reactive approach typically find themselves slugging it out day after day. Stop for a moment and think what percentage of your cyber efforts (offensive and or defensive) are reactive and what percentage are strategic and proactive?

There are several aspects to both the strategic and reactive approaches. The most common reactive approach is “patch and pray.” Organizations respond to reported vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks as they become known. Most of their efforts are NOT strategic or proactive. For the full article click here 



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CYBER MONDAY 2015 DEALS: THE BEST DEALS TO SNAG

Most retailers have announced Cyber Monday 2015 deals ahead of Black Friday. The Cyber Monday deals are for the most part different from Black Friday deals.

Many Black Friday deals will though also be offered on Cyber Monday at the same price points. This is true for most fixed TV deals including the Samsung and LG Black Friday deals as well as Amazon’s gadget discounts.

The $299.99 Sony PS4 and Xbox One bundle deals will also still be available in Cyber Monday sales.

Retailers including Walmart and Amazon kick off Cyber Week on Saturday after Black Friday. On Sunday the main Cyber Monday events kick off. For the full article click here 



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Cyberwar Part 3: Marketing Data Collection Threatens All

Marketers are after every scrap of customer data they can get, in hopes of increasing their company’s sales. Do you know they may be putting you at risk in the process? In the last of our three-part series on cyberwar, learn what IT needs to know about potential security threats rising from companies’ marketing habits. The hottest ticket in business today is big data. Data-driven decision making is all the rage, and rightfully so, in all business departments. Arguably, marketing is at its most keen and aggressive in collecting data, specifically customer data, in order to develop more personalized and highly targeted ads, pricing, and loss-leader offers. Unfortunately, gathering and storing so much personal data can put other organizations at risk.For the full article click here 



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S. Korea trains student hackers to fight Kim’s cyber unit

SEOUL _ In a darkened “war room,” dozens of South Korea’s brightest college students are practicing hacking one another as part of a government program to train them to battle some of the world’s best — the shadowy techno-soldiers of Kim Jong Un‘s regime.

To build its defenses, President Park Geun Hye’s government has enlisted 120 of the country’s most talented young programmers, offering full scholarships in return for seven years of military service. While the hackers of the Kim regime may be best known for their link to last year’s attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, their primary target remains South Korea, with the two countries technically still at war more than 60 years after the conflict that sealed their division. For the full article click here 



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Friday, 27 November 2015

5 Russian Weapons of War Turkey Should Fear

Given recent events, just like its counterpart discussing the five Turkish weapons that Russia should fear, this article covers the weapons that Russians could use in a limited engagement in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean. As such, Russia’s ballistic missile capabilities or U.S. tactical nukes based in Turkey will not be part of the analysis because they are virtually useless in a limited engagement. Su-34 fighter-bomber and AA-10/AA-12 Air-to-Air Missiles 

Since 2008, the Sukhoi-34 “Fullback” fighter-bomber has been replacing the older Tu-22M and Su-24 bombers. Su-34 possesses a state-of-the-art fire control system, a phased array radar, and a powerful electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite. Compared to Turkey’s F-16, Su-34 can carry more weapons and fuel so it enjoys a longer range. Russia currently has more than eighty Su-34s, of which about fifteen are based in Syria.

Following the Nov. 24 incident, we should expect the Su-34 to assume a greater role in air-to-air engagements with the F-16. The latest addition to Russia’s air arsenal is better at defending itself and boasts high maneuverability—all of which makes the Su-34 a tough nut to crack for the Turkish F-16. For the full article click here 



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Target Cyber Week: Samsung 4K TV, ‘Gears of War’ XBox Bundle, Sennheiser, Huawei Smartwatches Leaked; Prices Slashed Off Big Time

Target is having a cyber week sale that will commence on Nov. 30. The specials leaked online, showing a lineup of heavy tech goodies. Target customers can present CYBER15 as promo code in order to take off 15% from each of the product’s original prices, including shipping. Moreover, Target is also preparing larger discounts on premium holiday items during the week-long holiday period. For the full article click here 



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Anonymous Versus ISIS, #OpParis: The Cyberwar On Terror Continues

Following the horrific Paris terror attack, the hacker collective Anonymous waged a cyber-warfare against the Islamic State. Anonymous, known for its hacking attacks which are usually politically motivated, initiated #OpParis and aims to track down Islamic State online outlets. Anonymous hacking efforts have been fairly successful since it was launched. The group claim that it has taken down several Islamic State propaganda websites as well as tracked down operatives and provide their information to law enforcement agencies. For the full article click here 



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The @ of War

Cyber-security is generating a lot of concern for businesses and for national security. Intellectual property, private information and the entity’s reputation are under threat from massive attacks, and the number is increasing. In October 2014, a professional group of hackers stole account information on 83 million accounts at JPMorgan Chase. A month later, a cyber-attack aimed at Sony Pictures Company stole terabytes of data, including employee information and unreleased comedy scripts. This attack was considered as retaliation by North Korea in response to a Sony movie about President Kim Jong Un. Another massive cyber-attack penetrated Lockheed Martin, a huge weapons production company, and stole terabytes of secret data. Shane Harris, author of “@ War: The Rise of the Military Internet Complex” joins to The Big Trade Series to provide a chilling portrait of cyber-espionage and hacking operations. For the full article click here 



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Thursday, 26 November 2015

OIG Identifies IT Security Issues Following OPM Data Breach

OPM’s IT security protocols are still underperforming, even in the healthcare data category, an OIG audit report shows.

Following the massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) earlier this year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has released an audit report detailing several IT security issues at the agency.

Although the data breach prompted OPM to perform an overhaul of its IT security protocols, OIG still found considerable gaps in security, including in healthcare data security.

Although the OPM data breach included more than just health information, the OIG audit report shows a need to increase security for health information. For example, OIG found that healthcare and insurance information was one of seven categories that failed a security control testing metric.

Furthermore, healthcare and insurance is one of several categories that have overdue Plans of Action and Milestones (POA&Ms). OIG emphasized the urgency of OPM’s need to renew the systems’ POA&Ms.

Healthcare and insurance systems also failed to update their contingency plans, which are required plans according to the OPM handbook.

“Contingency Plans shall be reviewed, updated, and tested at least annually to ensure its effectiveness,” the handbook says.

Read more , Click Here



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Federal Insecurity

Months after the devastating Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack came to light — in which 21.5 million personnel records were stolen — the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on the extent that US Federal Government is experiencing breaches. The report revealed that the number of security incidents impacting Federal agencies has grown from 5,503 in 2006 to 67,168 in 2014 — a massive 12x increase in 8 years — and that the US government is looking to hire 10,000 cyber professionals in the next year. In this blog post I will go over some of the highlights of the report and some of the short-term fixes being implemented.

So what are the threats facing the US Government? The Feds list out bot-network operators, criminal groups, hackers and hacktivists, malicious insiders, other nations and terrorists. In other words, not a trivial list of adversaries.

And what techniques or exploits are the bad guys using? You name it, they are facing it: cross-site scripting, denial of service attacks, malware, phishing, passive wiretapping, spamming, spoofing, SQL injection, war driving and zero-day exploits. Basically everything is being thrown at our government systems.

The net result is a 1121% increase in 8 years in security incidents that government knows about.

Incidents reported

The GAO has quantified the five challenges that Federal agencies must address:

  1. limiting, preventing, and detecting inappropriate access to computer resources;
  2. managing the configuration of software and hardware;
  3. segregating duties to ensure that a single individual does not have control over all key aspects of a computer-related operation;
  4. planning for continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or disruption;
  5. implementing agency-wide security management programs that are critical to identifying control deficiencies, resolving problems, and managing risks on an ongoing basis.

And those challenges were fairly consistent across the 24 agencies of the US Government:

For More , Click Here



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WikiLeaks Alleges That Turkish Aircrafts Violated Greek Airspace Over 2,000 Times in 2014

Following the controversial takedown of a Russian Air Force aircraft by Turkish F-16 authorities, Wikileaks has released figures on Turkish violations of Greek airspace.

A Wikileaks tweet, citing data compiled by the University of Thessaly, based on Greek military records, alleges that Turkey violated Greek airspace 2,444 times in 2014 alone, while there are 636 such violations in 2013.

A United States classified cable, also released by Wikileaks on Tuesday, reports that in June 2005, the then Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis told the American Ambassador that Turkish aircrafts did not have to fly 40 times per day over disputed airspace to get their political point across and could instead limit it down to one flight per week.

Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Lavrov on Tuesday evening, that included discussions on Tuesday’s incident as well as the war in Syria, Greek media reports. Kotzias also spoke with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Melvut Cavusolglu and German Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. For the full article click here 



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Target Cyber Monday Ad Leaks: Samsung 4K TV, Xbox One ‘Gears Of War’ Bundle, Sennheiser Headphones And More

Target has announced its Cyber Week sale scheduled to start on Nov. 30, and now the retailer’s specials have been leaked online, revealing an apparel-heavy selection with a bunch of tech goodies.

Customers can use the promo code CYBER15 to get 15 percent off for every product on Target’s website, which includes free shipping. On top of that, the retailer is throwing in a slew of “deeper discounts on top holiday items” in the course of the week-long promo period.

“We’re making Target.com a not-to-be-missed destination for deal-seekers on Cyber Monday and throughout Cyber Week. We’re confident holiday shoppers who are looking to quickly and conveniently check items off their lists won’t want to miss Target’s deep discounts as well as free shipping and returns on Target.com,” says Jason Goldberger, Target.com and Mobile’s president. For the full article click here For the full article click here 



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Cyberwar Part 1: What IT Can Do To Survive

Are we at risk of being victims or casualties in a government cyberwar? In the first of this three-part series, we explore what the experts say about the current state of cyberwar — and what it means to IT departments everywhere.

Cyberwar is an ugly word, not only because of what it implies, but because the term is ill-defined. It’s suggestive of digital attacks alone. That’s simply not the case. It is far more likely that cyberattacks would be only one form of aggression in the otherwise familiar hells of war.

The biggest question of all, for corporations and citizens alike, is: Are we here in the US simply in the midst of informal nation-state aggression, or are we in a full-fledged cyberwar? For the full article click here 



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Anonymous Aims To Annihilate ISIS in Cyber War

In the aftermath of the Paris Terrorist Attacks, there is a new target on ISIS: A Declaration of Cyber War. The hacker activist group, Anonymous is using social media to retaliate against ISIS for their reign of terror in the city of light.

In a new YouTube video Anonymous vowed to take out ISIL: “We are tracking down members of the terrorist group responsible for these attacks we will not give up we will not forgive and we’ll do all that is necessary to end their actions.”

Anonymous ‘hacktivist’ known as “Vex” joined the hacker group about 5 years ago. After watching news reports of the terror attacks in Paris he decided to be part of the mission to stop the spread of ISIS propaganda.

“I got on the internet relay chat room as soon as possible. I was trying to figure out what we can do to help,” said Vex, Anonymous #OpParis. For the full article click here 



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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

UK boosts spending on cyber army to launch hack attacks on enemies

The UK government has provided more detail on its plans to build a capability for launching hacking attacks against aggressors around the world.

In its National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review published this week, the government said it will provide the armed forces with “advanced offensive r capabilities”.

These capabilities will draw on the National Offensive Cyber Programme, a project run by the Ministry of Defence and the GCHQ surveillance agency.

The report said the UK will also invest in detecting and analysing cyber threats, and in its ability to “pre-empt attacks and track down those responsible”. For the full article click here 



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Inside Anonymous’ Messy Cyberwar Against ISIS

The Saturday morning following the deadly terrorists attacks in Paris, the hacktivist network Anonymous declared war on ISIS. In a widely distributed video, a figure in a Guy Fawkes mask announced Operation Paris, or #OpParis, and promised the Islamist group that “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.”

So far, Anonymous’ much-hyped digital war has generated lots of headlines but not much in the way of impressive results. It’s been mostly focused on identifying ISIS-affiliated websites, Twitter accounts, and internet addresses and reporting them to Twitter and other webmasters in an effort to get them shut down. Shortly after OpParis launched, Anonymous claimed to have helped get 5,500 ISIS Twitter accounts taken down, a number that ballooned to 20,000 by last Friday. An unnamed Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Dot that Anonymous’s claims are “wildly inaccurate.” For the full article click here 



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Dell Cyber Monday and Black Friday: two really nice Xbox One bundles for Fallout 4 and Halo 5

Dell has two rather nice Xbox One bundle deals listed for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

One is the 500GB Xbox One Gears of War Bundle for $299.99 and it comes with Halo 5: Guardians plus a BDA Halo Dual Charging Stand. The retail price on this is typically $434.99, so you’re saving $135. It is an online Doorbuster Deal for Cyber Monday.

The other is a Black Friday online Door Buster deal which knocks $50 off the console bundle like all other stores, only the game included is Fallout 4. It also comes with Gears of War UE and an extra controller. For the full article click here 



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ISIS is one one of the best users of internet technology: Parrikar

you take the example of terrorist organisation like Daesh or IS; they use Internet to ensure lot of recruitment and support”.

The DEFCOM India 2015 is jointly conducted by the Corps of Signal (Indian Army) and CII under the theme “leveraging ICTEC Infrastructure and Harnessing the Human Capital for Digital Army”.

He cautioned the Indian Army against a possible “information blackout” underscoring the need for enhanced capabilities to ensure protection from disruptive cyber attacks or manipulations For the full article click here 



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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Trident: What if it didn’t work when needed?

What if it didn’t work? On Monday the prime minister revealed the cost of renewing the nuclear weapons system, Trident, might rise to around £40bn, including cash for contingencies.

But former Labour Defence Secretary Lord Browne has told the BBC that the threat from cyber attacks could render the programme obsolete.

Citing an official report from the American Department for Defense, which asserts that America and its allies cannot be confident weapons programmes could survive significant attacks on their technology, he said the government must identify Trident’s weak spots, and make sure they are adequately protected.

If it does not, in his view there is no guarantee the prime minister will be able to use the system “when he needs to reach for it”. For the full article click here 



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Anonymous faces backlash in cyber war against ISIS

The hacking group Anonymous appears to be facing stumbling blocks in its self-declared cyber war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Just days after the team orchestrating the online assault on the terrorist group’s digital presence said it had uncovered a list of 20,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts, reports emerged that Twitter is wary to accept Anonymous’s research because of its consistent inaccuracies.Fractures within the anarchist hacking collective also surfaced over the weekend with some Anonymous members accusing “fame whores” of trying to hop onto the operation against ISIS.

Anonymous declared a “total war” against ISIS in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris. ISIS has taken credit for the deadly assaults on Nov. 13, which killed 129 people, wounding hundreds more. For the full article click here 



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Banks rehearse ‘Quantum Dawn’ cyber attacks

More than 80 financial institutions practiced their cyber-attack game plans in September, according to a report released Monday, simulating hacks of exchanges, breaches of customer data and outages.

In the exercise, called Quantum Dawn — the third cyber war exercise held by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) since 2011 — more than 650 participants from the firms and agencies played out their responses to attacks on critical financial infrastructure in computer games. Sifma found the sector needs to quicken its detection and response time to cyber threats, develop more “playbooks” as to how firms should handle different types of attacks and strengthen communication within the financial industry and with regulators and the government.

A system-wide attack on the financial sector would be a “low probability” but “high-impact event,” Kenneth Bentsen Jr., president and chief executive of Sifma, said in a news release. For the full article click here 



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It’s Time for Cyberwar, Courtesy: Anonymous!

Summary: Anonymous, a loosely-associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities, have declared an online war against the terrorist group. By hacking into these accounts, Anonymous can paralyse the activities of the organisation, till they rectify it. The cries for the destruction of the terrorist group, ISIS, have increased manifold, with last week’s Paris attacks. On a video posted on YouTube, it has warned ISIS: “War is declared. Experts say that the two major targets of Anonymous’ operation would be ISIS’s bank accounts and the email and social media accounts of its members.

The cries for the destruction of the terrorist group, ISIS, have increased manifold, with last week’s Paris attacks. Anonymous, a loosely-associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities, have declared an online war against the terrorist group. The news has been received with much praise the world over. On a video posted on YouTube, it has warned ISIS: “War is declared. For the full article click here 



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Monday, 23 November 2015

Anonymous should leave ISIS cyberwar to professionals – NATO official

International hacker group Anonymous should leave its cyberwar effort against Islamic State to the authorities, who are better able to deal with the terrorists’ internet activities, a NATO security official has said.

The war on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) declared by Anonymous is “good to some degree,” NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Dr Jamie Shea, told Euronews. For the full article click here 



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Challenges New Weapons and Humanitarian Assistance Present for International Law

In this fourth and final post in a series reflecting on the International Committee for the Red Cross’s just-released Report on International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Conflicts, I’ll address a mixed bag of issues discussed in the report: new weapons, challenges to humanitarian assistance, and some thoughts about how and why the United States could benefit from greater openness to the ICRC’s perspectives.

New Weapons: Cyber Warfare

The ICRC report affirms the near-global consensus that pre-existing rules of international law apply to cyberspace, including IHL to cyber warfare. It notes that “asserting that IHL applies to cyber warfare is not an encouragement to militarize cyberspace and should not, in any way, be understood as legitimizing cyber warfare.” The ICRC was too diplomatic to say so, but the reason it needed to make this obvious point is that some states have asserted that accepting application of IHL legitimizes cyber warfare. Of course, their argument is no more valid than is the false claim that the Geneva Conventions (to which all States are party) legitimizes warfare. In either case, the UN Charter’s prohibition on the use of force in international relations still applies. For the full article click here 



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McCain presses Obama administration on cyber deterrence

Senate Defense Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) is holding the flame to the Obama administration’s feet on a cyber policy.

In a Nov. 18 letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, McCain  said he is “seeking an explanation for the administration’s delay in developing a cyber deterrence policy and utilizing the many tools available to it to achieve substantive deterrence.”

The letter states that the defense authorization acts over the past three years have included provisions concerning cyber deterrence. The 2014 defense authorization act required the President to develop a cyber deterrence policy. McCain’s letter claims that policy is more than a year overdue.

McCain asked Clapper for an update on the policy in the letter and how the President will use his authority to authorize sanctions on individuals stealing intellectual property from U.S. companies. For the full article click here 



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DELL CYBER MONDAY 2015: $299.99 XBOX ONE GEARS OF WAR WITH FREE HALO 5 GAME

The Dell Black Friday 2015 ad features the best Xbox One deal of Black Friday 2015. Dell offers the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle with free Fallout 4 and extra controller for $299.99. The market value for this bundle is $469.99.

Dell is not done with exceptional Xbox One deals this Holiday season. The just leaked Dell Cyber Monday 2015 ad reveals another hot Xbox One deal. Dell will offer the $299.99 Xbox One Gears of War Bundle with a free Halo 5: Guardians game and a BDA Halo Dual Charging stand.

The Dell Cyber Monday Xbox One deal will go on sale at 8am EST, Cyber Monday, November 30.

All stores are offering the Xbox One Gears of War bundle for $299.99 on Black Friday. Dell is about the only store that offers free add-ons to Xbox One deals For the full article click here 



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Friday, 20 November 2015

Former Guyana minister launches defence in face of Wikileaks defamation lawsuit

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 19, 2015 – Former Minister of Home Affairs Gail Teixeira is defending her actions in the wake of a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by her predecessor Ronald Gajraj, following the release of incriminating US diplomatic cable by Wikileaks.

Gajraj is claiming GUY$10 million (US$ 49,096) for defamation of character by both Teixeira and the Guyana Chronicle newspaper, GUY$10 million from the publication for publishing the statements, and aggravated and punitive damages in excess of GUY$10 million.

Gajra has been implicated in certain practices at the General Register Office (GRO), according to Wikileaks.

But Teixeira, who is cited as providing information on the ex-minister in the cable, has challenged the accuracy of the information. For the full article click here 



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U.S. military plans to outsource cyberwar support to private companies

United States military leaders are looking to the private sector to build the next generation of cyberweapons, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The DoD has already spent over $390 million on cyberwar contracts in 2015 alone,military records show. In addition, the U.S. is gearing up to award multiple $460 million contracts “for proposals to outsource Cybercom mission support,”according to the Defense Department. For the full article click here 



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NATO holds cyber war drill

TARTU, Estonia (AP) — NATO nations and allies are battling malware in tablets and infected devices this week in the alliance’s largest cyber drill to date aimed at improving members’ data privacy in crisis situations.

Some 400 participants from 33 countries were focused on solving scenarios including attacks on high-ranking officers’ computer equipment during an exercise at a cyber range in Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city. For the full article click here 



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US Espionage: Alive and Well in Latin America

Edward Snowden revealed to the world the 21st century spycraft in use against millions of innocent, unknowing people who now think twice about sending a text or an email. Amongst the documents obtained by Snowden were reports and details on surveillance of current and former heads of state, many of them from Latin America. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff was outraged over revelations of NSA espionage against her government, including wiretaps of her own phone and email. Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was another major target of NSA operations. And now, Snowden has revealed the extensive espionage and penetration of the NSA in Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, the lifeblood of the South American nation and fuel of Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution.

Just three years before Edward Snowden became a household name, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks had already released a massive trove of classified and secret documents from the Pentagon and State Department that exposed U.S. government involvement in coups, destabilization campaigns, mass espionage and war crimes. The dirty tactics, strong-arming and back-stabbing revealed in internal State Department cables shed glaring light on the lengths Washington will go to impose its agenda. Allies are treated as enemies, and adversaries as partners, so long as it advances the self-serving objectives of U.S. power. For the full article click here 



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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Cylance Becomes a Member of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT)

Cylance Executives Malcolm Harkins and Jon Miller Add Cybersecurity Expertise to the Washington, DC-Based Tactical Bipartisan Forum of Federal Agency Executives, Legislative Community, and Industry Leaders Focused on Solutions-Based Strategies to the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure Obstacles

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwired – Nov 18, 2015) –  Cylance, the company that is revolutionizing cybersecurity with products and services that use artificial intelligence to proactively prevent, rather than just reactively detect advanced persistent threats and malware, today announced that it has become a member of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) Fellows Program. Cylance executives Malcolm Harkins, Global Chief Information Security Officer and Jon Miller, Vice President of Strategy have been named ICIT Fellows and expand the Institute’s growing expertise in preventative cybersecurity technologies and other national cybersecurity concerns.

Cylance has already contributed to several ICIT briefings including “Moving Forward: How Victims Can Regain Control & Mitigate Threats in the Wake of the OPM Breach“, the third in a series of ICIT briefs in support of the U.S. Government’s response to the OPM breach. This brief has since been turned into a series of videos, which are providing valuable guidance to the millions of federal employees victimized by the OPM breach. Cylance has deep expertise in Incident Response, Compromise Assessments, Penetration Testing, Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) in addition to its next-generation endpoint security product CylancePROTECT™.

On November 19, 2015 Cylance executive and ICIT Fellow Jon Miller will address senior legislative staffers and both public and private sector healthcare industry leaders on the top cybersecurity risks facing hospitals and other healthcare organizations as well as what can be done to mitigate them. The ICIT Briefing “Hacking Healthcare” held at the Senate in partnership with a congressional healthcare committee will also feature insights from federal agency technology leaders from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Click Here to Read More



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Gaps Found in Healthcare Cybersecurity Threat Detection

“Cyber threat intelligence sharing still holds the greatest potential to enhance situational awareness and improve organizational cyber preparedness.”

Few healthcare companies actually contribute to a healthcare cybersecurity threat intelligence sharing and analysis organization, according to a recent report, which shows there are gaps when it comes to collecting data and then learning from it.

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) found that just 5 percent of healthcare organizations contributed Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) to the HITRUST Cyber Threat XChange (CTX). However, 85 percent of organizations gathered information from IOCs in that same timeframe, according to The Health Industry Cyber Threat Information Sharing and Analysis Report.

  • Current requirements and guidance regarding the submission of IOCs to the HITRUST CTX is deficient and contributes to under-reporting or inconsistent reporting of IOCs
  • Current level of IOC collection is not representative of the level of cyber threats being perpetrated against the healthcare industry – nor are complete and timely IOCs available through existing government and other readily available commercial cyber threat sources

It is also important to note that just 50 percent of the contributed IOCs in the sampling period were considered “actionable,” meaning they could potentially be “useful in allowing preventative or defensive action to be taken without a significant risk of a false positive.”

“Cyber threat intelligence sharing still holds the greatest potential to enhance situational awareness and improve organizational cyber preparedness,” HITRUST CEO Daniel Nutkis said in a statement. “Development of the IOC collection requirements and our deployment of breach detection systems are a big step forward in advancing industry’s cyber intel sharing capability.” For the full article click here 



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OVERWHELMED NSA SURPRISED TO DISCOVER ITS OWN SURVEILLANCE “GOLDMINE” ON VENEZUELA’S OIL EXECUTIVES

describes how, by “sheer luck,” an analyst was able to access the communications of top officials of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela.

Beyond the issue of spying on a business, the document highlights a significant flaw in mass surveillance programs: how indiscriminate collection can blind rather than illuminate. It also illustrates the technical and bureaucratic ease with which NSA analysts are able to access the digital communications of certain foreign targets.

The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, is a March 23, 2011, article in the NSA’s internal newsletter, SIDtoday. It is written by a signals development analyst who recounts how, in addition to luck, he engaged in a “ton of hard work” to discover that the NSA had obtained access to vast amounts of Petróleos de Venezuela’s internal communications, apparently without anyone at the NSA having previously noticed this surveillance “goldmine.” For the full article click here 



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Jeb Bush exhorts US to lead fight against Islamic State in Citadel speech

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said the United States should not delay in leading a global coalition to take out IS “with overwhelming force,” telling 400 cadets at The Citadel “this is the war of our time.”

“While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek,” Bush said Wednesday inside a crowded auditorium less than a week after the deadly IS-led attack on Paris.

“The United States — in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners — will need to increase our presence on the ground,” Bush said, pegging the bulk of the required number of ground troops needing to come “from local forces that we have built workable relationships with.”  For the full article click here 



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DISA chief: We’re in ‘an economic cyber cold war’

The U.S. government is fighting at least a two-front cyberwar right now, according to a top Pentagon official. The challenges involve the daily fending off of millions of attacks on defense networks and the slow burn of economic espionage carried out by adversaries.

“I believe there’s an economic cyber cold war playing out right now,” said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. He made the comments Nov. 18 at CyberCon 2015, an event sponsored by Federal Times and C4ISR and Networks in Arlington, Va.

Lynn, who is also commander of DISA’s Joint Force Headquarters DOD Information Networks, For the full article click here 



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From Sun Tzu to Fourth Generation War

“We’re Winning.” “We can win.” “We will win.” “We must Win.” This was the constant talk of American generals in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria. The failure of U.S. strategy is obvious to the whole world. America violates nearly all the precepts of history’s lessons, wreaking chaos and misery upon more nations, but not “winning.”

An excellent little book should be must reading for our generals and Congress persons. It’s titled A History of Strategy: From Sun Tzu to William S. Lind. Sun Tzu was the Chinese author of the world’s most definitive study of military strategy. Lind is TAC’s own famous military historian and analyst. The author is Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld, one of today’s most prestigious and prolific military analysts. For the full article click here 



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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wikileaks unveils audio to show US dirty dealings with disabled’s money

There were ten Obama appointees, and three Bush ones implicated.

Wikileaks released the SourceAmerica tapes on Monday with the intention of giving the public evidence of this dirty dealing.

The US government programme AbilityOne is awarded about $3 billion annually in government contracts, which is then mostly distributed by the non-profit organisation SourceAmerica.

Companies which get those funds are supposed to have 75% of their work done by blind or otherwise disabled people.

Most of this ends up going through the military sector, including the Department of Defence, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin & Boeing. For the full article click here 



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Overnight Cybersecurity: Post-Paris fears spark encryption debate

Pressure is rising on Apple, Google and other technology companies to give law enforcement and intelligence agencies access to encrypted phones and other devices. In the wake of the coordinated terrorist attacks on Paris, CIA Director John Brennan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other critics are ramping up their arguments against Silicon Valley. The rise of commercial encryption technology, they say, risks shielding terrorists from surveillance — raising the bar for law enforcement to thwart future attacks. “We in many respects have gone blind as a result of the commercialization and the selling of devices that cannot be accessed either by the manufacturer or more importantly by us in law enforcement, even equipped with the search warrants and judicial authority,” New York City police commissioner William Bratton said on “Face the Nation” Sunday. The terrorists who killed at least 129 people in Paris were able to plan their strikes under the noses of French and Belgian authorities. Senior European counterterrorism officials, speaking anonymously, told The New York Times that they believed the attackers used some form of encrypted device to communicate. Brennan called the attacks a “wake-up call,” while Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who represents Silicon Valley, said in an interview Monday with MSNBC that it’s a “big problem” if tech firms “create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way.” Apple, Google and other firms have stood firm against pressure to either de-encrypt data or install a backdoor For the full article click here 



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Anonymous Vs. ISIS: Can Underground Hackers Alliance Win Cyber War Against Islamic State Jihadists?

Anonymous declared war on ISIS in the wake of the Paris attacks that took the lives of 130 people on Friday evening. But, this isn’t the first time the hacker group has waged cyber war, and ISIS isn’t scared. The violent extremist group released a videopromising that an attack on Washington, D.C. is coming soon. However, the international hacktivist group is not intimidated easily either, throwing punches right back on Twitter. Anonymous vs. ISIS cyberwarfare is starting to unfold. For the full article click here 



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Blog: Cyber Success Defined by Adversaries, Acquisition Obstacles

Much remains to be done in defense networks, but obtaining the technology still is difficult.

 

The military cyberspace environment of the future will build on the existing realm, but aspects such as adversarial activities and acquisition processes ultimately will be among its greatest influences. And both presently are outside the reach of planners and implementers.

A panel on building that environment dominated the afternoon session at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2015, being held in Honolulu, November 17-19. The conference theme of Fight to Communicate: Operating in a Communications-Degraded Environment, brought the cyber realm front and center in this broad-ranging discussion.

Maj. Gen. Dave Bryan, USA (Ret.), president and CEO, Bryan Business Management and Technology LLC, declared bluntly, “We’re at war in cyberspace, and this has been a hard lesson to learn.” Noting the whole world is hooked on networks, he urged mangers to pay attention to network needs. Most investments have been in boundary and perimeter defenses, he said, adding, “If you’re going to buy them, then keep them up to date.” For the full article click here 



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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

France Strikes Back, Kurds Push Forward, and Cyberwar 2016 – Daily Intelligence

Job revival: shake it up. Contributor David Brown advises, “If you’ve been doing things the same way for years because when you first came into the job it was the way they were always done, it’s time to rethink everything. Approach the problem mindfully and with a pioneer’s spirit reinvent your job. . . . Regardless of what your job is, it is almost inconceivable that technological advances in the last five years haven’t somehow transformed the way things could be done.”

Supercharge Veteran hiring. Editor Lindy Kyzer writes, “It’s clear – recruiters love hiring veterans. For defense industry and government contractors, the benefits are tangible – veterans know the customer and there are tax savings for vets hired. If you’re a large company, you likely have a robust military outreach and hiring program. But if you’re a smaller employer or you’re an individual recruiter sourcing for a specific position, it can be more difficult to identify what strategies will work best. . . . Here are a few concepts to consider as you look to fill your talent pipeline with more military talent.” For the full article click here 



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Cold War military tactics need update for cyber battlefields, expert says

Facing constant threats to cyber infrastructure and data breaches at the highest levels of government, it’s no secret that the federal government views cyberspace as the next big field of conflict. Experts often draw parallels between cyber warfare and traditional operations, but some believe that certain age-old tactics need to be revamped for the 21st century.

A week after members of Congress wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice about the need for an “E-Neva Convention” in setting standards for cyber warfare and peacetime practices, Paul K. Davis, senior principal researcher at the RAND Corporation, released a paper on some parallels between traditional warfare and the digital landscape of today.

In “Deterrence, Influence, Cyber Attack and Cyberwar,” Davis said all the concepts associated with deterrence and influence as tools in cyber geopolitics will take on considerably different levels of relevance. That’s important for the United States, which relied all during the Cold War and the years following on defensive posturing and other non-offensive tactical maneuvers to dissuade enemies from launching attacks. For the full article click here 



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Booting Up: ‘Anonymous’ scours the Dark Web to help fight terror

The vigilante Web group known as Anonymous could launch its attacks on the Islamic State in the so-called Dark Web — an encrypted corner of the Internet — in order to locate and expose terrorist operatives, a leading local cyber-security expert told Booting Up.

“It’s a complex and long-term attack,” said Vik Solem, president of Randolph-based MEI Security, which provides cyber security and physical security training for commercial organizations. “But it’s not attempted by law enforcement at all because it’s across so many jurisdictions.”

The mystery-shrouded Anonymous’ declaration of cyber war on the jihadis who have claimed credit for the Paris attacks could mean anything from a social media hijacking to choking off their funding sources. It could also locate and expose the physical location of Islamic State computers and personnel, with devastating consequences for the terrorist group’s infrastructure. For the full article click here 



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After Paris: War Is Not What It Used to Be

They used to be between tribes. Or city-states. Or one empire against another. Or between countries. Today, who wages war?The Islamic State has declared war on countries, on religions and on sects. As well as on groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollahand the Taliban. But what is the Islamic State? Despite its efforts to appear as a state and fulfill some of the functions that are usually carried out by governments, ISIS — or Daesh — is not a state but rather a hard-to-categorize non-governmental, militarized, Islamist terrorist organization that is essentially stateless.

And therein lies a problem. In reaction to the Paris massacre, French President François Hollande said, “[This] is an act of war … committed by a terrorist army.” For the full article click here 



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Monday, 16 November 2015

Demystifying an assurance fallacy

When situations go awry in an organization, there’s a tendency to create new, executive-level positions by establishing the classic “one throat to choke” policy if problems persist. For example, if tacit knowledge is leaving the organization without being captured, an organization might be compelled to establish a chief knowledge officer (CKO) position. If an organization fails to implement a meaningful strategy, a chief strategy officer (CSO) position is sometimes established. If an effective marketing strategy isn’t in place or the marketing strategy fails, perhaps a chief marketing officer (CMO) will solve the problem. Or when an organization encounters an oversight in a technology decision, they might create a chief technology officer (CTO) position.

Although there is value in the growing number of C-suite positions, my main concern is the unrealistic expectations that are often associated with desired results. One memorable quote that I come back to when I ponder this topic: “We don’t need more opinions, we need more hands!”

The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 established the federal CIO positon and area of responsibility. Still, theFederal Chief Financial Officer Act often empowered CFOs to perform tasks that ran counter to the CIO’s area of responsibility. The CTO position emerged as perceptions grew that CIOs often lacked the skills needed to lead the technical direction of an organization. Consequently, CIOs were essentially in figure-head roles because they lacked line and budget authority over staff who contributed to, or negatively impacted, their areas of responsibility. As more CxO positions were created in the technical realm (CTOs, CISOs), areas of responsibility became more fragmented. It’s a paradoxical situation for CxOs to be ultimately responsible for tasks over which they do not have line authority; albeit not uncommon.

For the full article click here 



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NASA scientists shocked by what they found on Pluto’s surface

As more New Horizons photos arrive on Earth, NASA scientists are perpetually stunned by the amazing new information they reveal.

NASA recently released a stunning “psychedelic” image of the dwarf planet Pluto, the latest in a series of pictures snapped by the New Horizons space probe as it blasted past the outer limits of the solar system this July. According to a report from CS Monitor, the image reveals several features on the surface of Pluto that have left NASA scientists scratching their heads.

One of the most interesting features photographed by New Horizons is the large heart-shaped lobe on the western side of the planet, called Sputnik Planum. Scientists were baffled by the blatant lack of craters on the plain, which suggests that the surface is relatively new. Could this mean that Pluto is still geologically active? For the full article click here 



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Deterrence, Influence, Cyber Attack, and Cyberwar

Deterrence by itself is a fragile basis for strategic thinking. Thus, I start by placing deterrence within a broader framework of objectives and then discuss special features of the cyber attack challenge, distinguishing different classes and contexts of cyber threats. I then use a simple model to speculate about whether deterrence can be a significant part of dealing with those different threats. The model allows for very different degrees of “rationality” on the part of whoever is to be deterred. My discussion ends with suggestions for policymakers and scholars. My conclusion is that hoping for deterrence with today’s reality would be like grasping for straws. Deterrent measures should definitely be part of a larger strategy, but the focus should be elsewhere. For the full article click here 



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Lawmakers Demand US Military Carry Out Pretend Cyber War Against China, Russia

It’s 2020 and Russian forces are seizing the Arctic, partly by hacking the FedEx networks that handle shipping orders for U.S. troops.

Not a far cry from reality, if one’s been following Defense Department warnings that cyberspace will be a part of any future war.

And apparently, some U.S. lawmakers want to project more power in the newest military domain.

In an unprecedented move, Congress just ordered U.S. Cyber Command to carry out simulated “war games” against, specifically, Russia, along with China, Iran and North Korea. The drills are expected to run uniformed service members, civilians and contractors through the motions of staving off a cyber assault the likes of which each nation state will be equipped for — five to 10 years from now.  For the full article click here 



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Norms of Cyber War in Peacetime

Cyber attacks regularly make the headlines. There have been military cyber attacks, like those used by Russia during its invasion of Georgia. Political cyber espionage such as the NSA programs revealed by Edward Snowden. And there has been state-backed economic cyber espionage, which topped the agenda during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States in September.

Another form of attack frequently occurs, but sits outside these three categories: aggressive cyber attacks during peacetime. Consider some recent state practice: In 2012, it was revealed that the United States and likely Israel had been targeting Iran’s nuclear program with cyber attacks: the first time a cyber attack had turned hot, doing physical real-world damage. In retaliation, Iran launched a major cyber attack in August 2012 on Saudi Aramco, releasing a virus, dubbed “Shamoon,” which replicated itself across 30,000 Saudi Aramco computers and took almost two weeks to recover from. For the full article click here 



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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Experts: Winning cyberwar takes getting talent management right

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 12, 2015) — Talent management is essential for getting the right people in the right place, at the right time, for any Army job – but especially for cyber, an Army manpower leader said.

“Cyber poses an existential threat to our existence. They’ve got to get [talent management] right” since potential adversaries are really good at cyber warfare,” said Michael J. Colarusso, senior research analyst for the U.S. Army Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis.

He and others spoke at the Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare-sponsored Army Cyber Hot Topics panel discussion: “Cyber Talent Management,” Nov. 10.

WHAT’S TALENT MANAGEMENT?

Colarusso said there are different schools of thought regarding what talent and talent management mean.

In his own view, he said “talent is a force that liberates the unique abilities of every person.” Each individual has unique types of intelligence and abilities, so one cannot say he or she is the most or least talented person because there’s no such thing. With training and good leadership, those unique skillsets “can be expanded and liberated.”

Talent management, on the other hand, is an integration of four factors: acquiring the right people, developing their talent, employing them in the right places and retaining them. By doing those four things right, it will alleviate “poaching” of those talented individuals by outside agencies, he said. For the full article click here 



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Cybersecurity Questions Anderson Cooper And Megyn Kelly Should Ask The Presidential Candidates

Anderson Cooper received kudos when he moderated the CNN Democratic Debate a few weeks ago. Megyn Kelly gets high marks for questioning the presidential candidates nightly on the Fox News Channel.

Here’s a call out to Cooper and Kelly – two the most popular media figures covering the Republican and Democratic front runners: Get the candidates talking about cybersecurity.

To date, the entire field of candidates and the media have been strangely quiet on the topic of cybersecurity. We should not forget that whoever is elected President is also our Commander-In-Chief and the supreme leader of our country’s armed forces… and that includes our cyber military.

What does Ben Carson and Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican field have to say about cybersecurity? Jeb Bush has been the most vocal Republican candidate on the topic of cyber, but that has mainly been a few carefully crafted blogs – and not much in the way of answering tough questions from the media.

How about Hillary Clinton? Does the ServerGate scandal become a higher hurdle to clear if she has to answer tough questions about cybersecurity in the context of defending our nation against hostile nation states including China and Russia? For the full article click here 



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U.S. CIO Calls To Streamline Government Computer Buys

U.S. CIO Tony Scott wants to streamline how the federal government buys its laptops and desktops. He is calling on the government to consolidate purchasing into fewer contracts for civilian agencies and standardize the configurations of computers that it buys.

Federal agencies spent about $1.1 billion on laptop and desktop computersduring the 12 months ending September 30, 2014, according to an October 16 memo from the Office of Management and Budget. The government awarded more than 10,000 contracts and delivery orders for common laptops and desktops, resulting in reduced buying power, inefficient duplication of contracts and little transparency into prices, said the memo.“Instead of the Government banding together as the world’s largest buyer to negotiate better prices and terms, too often it buys like thousands of small businesses, making smaller awards for the same IT products across multiple agencies and sometimes within a single organization,” Mr. Scott and Anne E. Rung, administrator for federal procurement policy, wrote in the memo. For the full article click here 



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Pentagon readies for cyber ‘war games’ against China, Iran, N. Korea, Russia

The revised Department of Defense spending bill cleared by Congress this week will see to it that the U.S. Cyber Command is ready for a digital war as cyberattacks continue to strike American computer networks.

Buried deep within the 1,300-plus-page National Defense Authorization Act approved by lawmakers Tuesday is a provision calling for the Pentagon to ensure the U.S. is capable of avoiding a cyber Armageddon with any adversaries. For the full article click here 



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Friday, 13 November 2015

Ben Carson on Cybersecurity. Not.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump are in a neck and neck race for the Republican party nomination.

Numerous media channels recently put Carson ahead of Trump for the first time.  But during the past week a spotlight has been shined on Carson’s past while The Donald has been… well… The Donald — hogging eyeballs without spending ad dollars for them.Recent report says CSO salaries could reach a quarter of a million dollars.

Is this race going to remain close all the way through the home stretch and down to the wire?  Or, will one of these candidates make a surprise move and pull away?Carson, Trump, and the rest of the field have all talked to the big issues — the economy, taxes, our military, foreign affairs, education, abortion, healthcare, and more.  It is unlikely that either candidate can hang their hat on one of these issues and expect to move even a horse length ahead of the other at this point. For the full article click here



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Does cyberwar make sense?

CYBERWAR: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? Absolutely nothing, said several experts MC polled on the wisdom of hitting back at China over its alleged hacking of U.S. computer networks. Chris Christie and John Kasich became the latest GOP contenders this week to call for the United States to launch its own cyberattacks on countries believed to be targeting American secrets.

“It sounds like they don’t know what they’re talking about,” said James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “First, China isn’t waging cyberwar on us. They’re engaging in espionage. We’re doing espionage back.” Going on offense against China would probably only make things worse. “A Chinese PLA officer once said to me the problem is, both countries live in glass houses and both have stones.”

Still, Chris Christie’s threat to steal and release Chinese information is an option, Lewis said — but one that should be used only if China violates the cyber deal President Xi Jinping struck with President Barack Obama in September. As for John Kasich’s suggestion to attack the hackers themselves, Lewis said most intel people would prefer to be inside an opponent’s networks observing rather than enjoy the short-term benefit of destroying systems that can eventually be replaced.For the full article click here



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CYBER ‘WAR GAMES’ AGAINST CHINA, IRAN AND NORTH KOREA SET FOR 2016

It’s 2020 and Russian forces are seizing the Arctic, partly by hacking the FedEx networks that handle shipping orders for U.S. troops.

Not a far cry from reality, if one’s been following Defense Department warnings that cyberspace will be a part of any future war.

And apparently, some U.S. lawmakers want to project more power in the newest military domain.

In an unprecedented move, Congress just ordered U.S. Cyber Command to carry out simulated “war games” against, specifically, Russia, along with China, Iran and North Korea. The drills are expected to run uniformed service members, civilians and contractors through the motions of staving off a cyber assault the likes of which each nation state will be equipped for — five to 10 years from now.  For the full article click here



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Candidates line up to bash China

A growing number of Republican presidential candidates are calling for the United States to take offensive action against China for persistent hacking.

Beijing is widely believed to be behind the theft of 21.5 million private records from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Meanwhile, U.S. companies claim that Chinese hackers — backed by the government — are pilfering trade secrets and other intellectual property to give their domestic companies an edge.Republicans running for the White House say President Obama has been too soft on China on a slew of issues, ranging from cybersecurity to currency manipulation to navigation in the South China Sea.

“We have the capability to not only have a defensive posture, but also to make it clear to people that if you attack us with cyberattacks, we will destroy the mechanisms that you are using to attack us,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said during this week’s Republican presidential debate.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was relegated to the undercard debate on Tuesday,promised that “if the Chinese commit cyber warfare against us, they are going to see cyber warfare like they have never seen before.” For the full article click here



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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Sony Hack Revisited: Next Hollywood Cyber Attack Is Question of ‘Not If But When’

“Breaches truly have become the third certainty in life, along with death and taxes,” one security expert tells TheWrap

A year after the crippling hack that brought Sony Pictures Entertainment to its knees, few if any lessons have been learned on how to prevent future attacks, security experts tell TheWrap.

While some studios have made some minor changes to their security systems, experts insist another attack on a Sony scale is not only possible, but highly probable.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said Brent Rieth, who manages the Cyber Liability practice for the western region of risk management firm Aon. “At some point, there will be another studio that will be impacted by a cyber incident.” For the full article click here



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European Authorities Take Down Iranian Hackers Identified By Israeli Cybersecurity Firm

An Iranian hacking group believed to be affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was crippled by raids carried out by police across Europe after an Israeli-American cybersecurity firm informed them about the group’s activities, Reuters reportedon Monday.

Researchers from U.S.-Israeli security firm Check Point Software said the 1,600 high-profile targets include members of the Saudi royal family, Israeli nuclear scientists, NATO officials and Iranian dissidents and even the wives of high-ranking generals from unnamed countries.

“We have discovered the inner workings of a cyber espionage campaign,” Shahar Tal, research group manager for U.S.-Israeli security firm Check Point Software, told Reuters in an interview. …

The company said it had informed national computer security response teams in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who in turn alerted police in those countries to the locations of “command and control” servers used to mount attacks controlled from Iran.

Although “it is extremely rare to obtain a comprehensive check-list of a nation’s military intelligence interest,” Tal told Reuters, Check Point was able to uncover a list of the group’s targets. He added that the Eu For the full article click here



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WWII vets: Today’s soldiers face a different type of war

GOSHEN — It was an atmosphere of both pride and solemnity at the Goshen DAV Wednesday afternoon as local veterans gathered with friends and family for a Veterans Day celebration filled with food, music and memory.

“You get to know all these guys, and especially if you sit around and listen to some of these World War II guys, it’s just unbelievable some of the things they went through,” said Goshen DAV manager Bob Taylor of why he chose to host Wednesday’s Veterans Day celebration. “So today is just all about the veterans — the people that serve and have served — and so we’ve got a meal for them, we’ve got a guy playing live music who’s actually an Iraq veteran, and then we’ve also got a video playing on the TV featuring the names and photos of all the veterans from this area. So it’s just a great time.”

As an added treat, Taylor’s father-in-law and local World War II veteran Roy Hershberger made a special appearance at the DAV Wednesday along with friend and fellow World War II veteran James Matousek. For the full article click here

 



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Cyber and real war come together in the Ukraine

The type of cyber war that the U.S. government and military are most worried about and preparing for is already in full swing in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine has found itself on the receiving end of both cyber and direct attacks by Russian groups backing a separatist movement inside their country. And despite the Ukraine’s large number of hackers who have played havoc with computer systems around the world, it has found itself woefully unprepared to defend its own computer networks.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Foreign Affairs and its presidential administration have all been compromised at one time or another with many of the hacked documents appearing on the CyberBerkut website.CyberBerkut is a Moscow-based hacking group that has taken credit for attacking Ukrainian computer networks. For the full article click here



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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Cyber attacks shut down San Jose police and city websites

San Jose city websites, including the police department home page, were shut down intermittently for several days after being targeted by a cyber attacker, officials said Tuesday.

The city and police department websites were hit on Nov. 5 with a “distributed denial of service attack,” which occurs when loads of traffic are specifically sent to a website to congest and shut it down, said David Vossbrink, a spokesman for the City of San Jose.

The websites were intermittently down for a few days, according to Vossbrink.

The issue was resolved and all of the websites, including the police department’s, were back up and running as of Tuesday, he said. For the full article click here 



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A cyber wake-up call rings on after 18 years

One summer long ago, a team of government hackers yanked the digital carpet out from under the U.S. military.

They flooded Department of Defense communications networks with traffic. They broke into computers, planted data-destroying software and cracked critical infrastructure systems. The results of the classified military exercise were so shocking that U.S. officials shared some take-aways publicly as a clarion call for action.

“The bottom line to all of this is that America’s infrastructure is wide open to disruption, increasingly connected to the Internet, and connected to a technology for which there is no embedded security,” then-Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre told the Council on Foreign Relations nearly two decades ago. For the full article click here 



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Overnight Cybersecurity: Obama nominates new OPM head

THE BIG STORIES:

–DOES ANYBODY HAVE A PEANUT?: President Obama on Tuesday nominated Beth Cobert to be permanent director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), just months after the agency’s previous director resigned amid likely the largest government data breach ever. Cobert has been the agency’s acting director since former OPM head Katherine Archuleta stepped down, bowing to the growing calls for her firing from lawmakers claiming the OPM needed a more tech-savvy leader. With a background in information technology, Cobert has been touted as a leader better capable of righting the OPM’s myriad digital shortcomings. In Cobert’s first few months atop the agency, she has received mostly praise from Capitol Hill. Lawmakers on Tuesday were quick to express their hopes for her full four-year tenure as OPM chief. The Senate has not yet set up a timeline to vote on Cobert’s nomination, but the acting director seems to stand a good chance of getting the upper chamber’s approval. However, the OPM still faces criticism from Capitol Hill as it works to recover from the hacks.

–THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOSTLY DEAD AND ALL DEAD: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is vowing to enforce a “zero tolerance policy” for China’s digital theft of U.S. corporate secrets if elected. He made the pledge as part of a policy paper on U.S.-China trade released Tuesday. “China’s government ignores this rampant cyber crime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it — without any real consequences,” the paper says. “China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security.” The paper is one of the first major forays into cybersecurity for Trump, who has been leading most national polls for the Republican presidential nomination in recent months.  For the full article click here 



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Two former congressmen talk taxes, security laws

Two alums of the U.S. House of Representatives — former Republican Congressmen Dave Camp and Mike Rogers — addressed a crowd of 120 people Tuesday night during the Ford School of Public Policy’s final Policy Talk of the fall semester.

Camp served in the House of Representatives for more than 24 years and is known for introducing the Tax Reform Act of 2014, a comprehensive tax reform bill. Rogers worked in Congress for more than 14 years, specializing in cybersecurity and national terrorism policy. Before his time as a representative, he served in the United States Army and was an FBI special agent.

Rogers, who chaired the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while in office, said he thought one of the biggest national security issues is how the United States prepares for cyber attack, due to the rapidly increasing technical capabilities of antagonistic countries. For the full article click here 



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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The rise of the citizen cyber-soldier

It’s no secret that the United States faces advanced, persistent threats to the security of the networks and data that drive our daily lives—from state, state-sponsored, and non-state actors, to criminal organizations, hacktivists, and ‘lone wolf’ cyber terrorists, even insiders who work amongst us. How do we begin to defend ourselves against those threats? To take a lesson from the war on terror, we think it will take a network to defend our networks, but in this case, a human one: a network of citizen cyber-soldiers developed and deployed across our public and private sectors, all connected in support of our common defense.

The Constitution’s preamble empowers the federal government to provide for that common defense. In the earliest days of our republic, that meant reliance on citizen soldiers from among the 13 original colonies. When a threat arose, they came together as one, to fight for the greater good. We believe that this simple and profound model can be adapted to address the cyber wars (declared and otherwise) that lay ahead…to look back to our origins and apply the citizen militia model to the cyber-defenders of tomorrow. For the full article click here 



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Overnight Cybersecurity: Judge tells NSA to kill phone records program

THE BIG STORIES:

–IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: A federal judge on Monday called for the Obama administration to immediately halt its controversial collection of Americans’ phone records, mere days before the contested program is set to end. In his ruling, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia doubled down on his assertion that the National Security Agency (NSA) program “likely violates the Construction” and warned that “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm.” Monday’s ruling comes nearly two years after he initially called the NSA program “almost Orwellian,” and slightly less than three weeks before it is scheduled to end. As such, the decision “is perhaps the last chapter in the judiciary’s evaluation of this particular program’s compatibility with the Constitution,” he wrote. “It will not, however, be the last chapter in the ongoing struggle to balance privacy rights and national security interests under our Constitution in an age of evolving technological wizardry.” To read our full piece, For the full article click here 



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International Borders Mean Nothing When It Comes To Computer Hackers

Data breaches have become so commonplace that we almost expect them.

Credit cards are compromised when retail stores are hacked. Social Security numbers are at risk when government agencies or physician’s offices fall prey to phishing expeditions.

And those are just the perils the average American faces with domestic hackers. It’s just as easy for people from far-flung countries – some of whom may be working on the behest of their governments – to infiltrate our computer systems and disrupt our way of life.

“The Internet is taking down the borders around countries all over the world,” says Michael Daugherty, a cybersecurity expert and author of the book “The Devil Inside the Beltway: The Shocking Expose of the U.S. Government’s Surveillance and Overreach into Cybersecurity, Medicine and Small Business” (http://ift.tt/1fxsVDK).

This year, the federal Office of Personnel Management was hacked, putting the data of more than 22 million Americans at risk. That hack reportedly originated in China. In another case, four people were arrested this summer in Israel and Florida in connection with fraud schemes related to a 2014 hack of JPMorgan Chase & Co. For the full article click here 



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Islamic State retaliates for drone killing, leaks credentials for 54K Twitter

Hussain, from Birmingham, steered the computer hacking division for the terror group before he was killed in August by a USA drone carrying out a joint operation with Britain. “[Hussain] was involved in recruiting ISIL sympathizers in the West to carry out lone-wolf style attacks”, Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder said in announcing Hussain’s death in September, using another name for the Islamic State group. His wife, Sally Jones, remains on the government’s list of most unsafe ISIS recruits. According to British media, majority of the victims were residing in Saudi Arabia, with a few of them possessing British nationality. For the full article click here 



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Monday, 9 November 2015

Software products firm Zoho faces cyber attack, blackmail from hackers

Chennai-based online productivity and SaaS companyZoho said that it has become subject to a cyber attack that began on Wednesday, following which the attackers issued threats and attempted blackmail.
The hackers used a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) type of attack to flood Zoho’s servers with requests from multiple sites, with the intend to make the company’s services unavailable to customers.
Zoho, which makes products that compete with Salesforce, Google and Microsoft globally. The email service of Zoho is considered so secure that the National Security Agency, the tech spy agency of the US government found it difficult to crack, according to leaked documents by Edward Snowden, the German newspaper Des Spiegel said in January.
Zoho has informed users that their data is secure, but cannot be accessed reliably due to the crowd created by the attack on its networks.  For the full article click here 

 



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Sunday Lectures | Cyberattacks, Saturn, and Underground Fires

How to Get the Public to Believe in Climate Change

Communicating science to the masses isn’t easy. The research has to be parsed correctly — a difficult task — but it also has to hit home. What good is strong data if nobody cares? The trick to grabbing the public’s attention, as the U.S. Geological Survey’s Science Advisor for Risk Reduction Lucy Jones puts it, is to fold science into stories.

How DNA Unties Its Own Knots

Like earbuds in a backpack, DNA strands have the tendency to tie themselves into knots, rendering them pretty useless. Cells can’t survive when their instructions are tangled up, but fortunately, years of evolution have taught DNA how to unravel itself. For the full article click here 



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Chinese and Russian hackers attempted to hack into top ­secrets of Australia’s future submarines

Chinese and Russian hackers attempted to steal top secret futuristic submarine plans being built for Australian Navy

Cyber espionage is the new mantra for countries. Every other country is doing it and China and Russia are no different. Chinese and Russian spies repeatedly attempted to hack into the top ­secret details of Australia’s future submarines being built submarine facility in Kiel, Germany.

According to The Australian, cyber spies from Beijing and Moscow are believed to have mounted repeated cyber attacks in recent months. The hacking attempts have been aimed at the submarine builders in Germany, France and Japan bidding for the $20 billion contract to build the new fleet. The bidders are holding highly sensitive information about the Royal Australian Navy’s technical requirements for its new-generation submarines. For the full article click here 



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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Is The United States Prepared For A Massive Cyberattack?

As a child of refugees in London, journalist Ted Koppel witnessed the Blitz. Traveling the world as one of America’s most distinguished television reporters, he lived through the Cold War and witnessed combat up close from Vietnam to Iraq. In his new book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving The Aftermath, he argues that the threat posed by cyber warfare is more complicated to defend against and potentially more deadly than traditional warfare, and that we are absolutely unprepared for it.

Talking from his home in New York, he recalls how witnessing his father putting out German incendiary bombs during the Blitz taught him about Civil Defence; how those most capable of launching a major cyberattack, Russia or China, are less likely to do it than a terrorist organization like ISIS; and why it is crucial for the government to start a dialog with the American people about how to cope with a major cyberattack before it is too late. For the full article click here 



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Saturday, 7 November 2015

ISACA Joins The Institute for Critical Infrastructure

The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology formally welcomed ISACA to the ICIT Fellows Program in October.  One of the largest professional cybersecurity organizations in the world, ISACA engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems and adds to the Institute’s growing expertise in cybersecurity workforce development and training.  ISACA will be represented by Fellows Robin “Montana” Williams (Senior Manager, Cybersecurity Practices) and Thomas Lamm (Director).


Cybersecurity training and workforce development are top priorities for cyber-aware organizations.  As a leader in this space, ISACA brings its decades of expertise and globally recognized cybersecurity training programs to ICIT and its educational efforts.  To help kick-off cybersecurity awareness month, Mr. Williams contributed to ICIT”s “Town Hall” on minority underrepresentation in cybersecurity, a briefing sponsored by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and held at the Rayburn House Office Building.  Rep. Lee was joined by Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congresswoman and Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in hosting the “Town Hall” meeting.

R. “Montana” Williams, Senior Manager, Cybersecurity Practices & Cyber Evangelist states, “ ISACA’s partnership with ICIT is an important component of our efforts to create a global paradigm shift in the way cybersecurity professionals are trained and certified.  By creating the first holistic cybersecurity workforce development program that addresses the global critical infrastructure cybersecurity skills shortage, ISACA seeks to work with the ICIT Fellows Program to drive changes in the way we train and certify cybersecurity professionals. This change requires a transition from a knowledge-based education, training, and certification approach to education and training that is skills-based and a certification process that is performance-based.”

“With a projected 1.5 million workforce shortfall in the field of cybersecurity, ISACA’s addition to the Fellows program add to the Institute’s ability to educate stakeholders on the role training plays in the development of skilled cybersecurity practitioners.”

About ICIT: The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (www.ICITech.org) is a non-partisan think tank providing objective advisement on cybersecurity and technology issues to the House and Senate, federal agencies and critical infrastructure sector stakeholders.  ICIT Fellows contribute their expertise and cutting edge research to legislative briefs and other publications as well as participate in legislative briefings and speaking engagements to help educate our Nation’s technology leaders.

About ISACA: ISACA (isaca.org) helps global professionals lead, adapt and assure trust in an evolving digital world by offering innovative and world-class knowledge, standards, networking, credentialing and career development. Established in 1969, ISACA is a global nonprofit association of 140,000 professionals in 180 countries. ISACA also offers the Cybersecurity Nexus™ (CSX), a holistic cybersecurity resource, and COBIT®, a business framework to govern enterprise technology.



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The Town of Penfield, N.Y., Takes Proactive Steps to Prevent Security Breaches by Partnering With New Horizons at Logical Operations to Provide CyberSAFE End-User Security Training for All Municipal Employees

OCHESTER, NY–(Marketwired – November 06, 2015) – The Town of Penfield, N.Y., has taken proactive steps to prevent security breaches and keep their data secure from cyber threats by partnering with New Horizons of Logical Operations to provide CyberSAFE end-user security training to all Penfield employees during the week of November 2nd through November 6th, 2015.

With all of the recent cyber-attacks and data breaches in the news, especially the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield cyber-attack that has affected the Rochester, N.Y. community, the Town of Penfield has established themselves as a leader in the community by proactively taking steps to protect themselves against cyber threats. This week, all Town of Penfield municipal employees participated in the CyberSAFE class, conducted by New Horizons at Logical Operations, to make sure that their employees can recognize and avoid cyber threats. In fact, the town has made the CyberSAFE end-user training class mandatory for all of their employees.

“The senior leadership of every public and private entity must have Cyber Security at the top of their agenda for all aspects of their operations,” said Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Today, all facets of our lives rely on computers and the internet for communications, transportation needs, payroll records, educational transcripts, personnel files, business strategic data, medical documents, and much more. New attack methods are launched continuously, with increasing sophistication for cyber security threats. Cyber security training should be required for all employees, followed by regular updates as needed. We are delighted to be working with Logical Operations on this key business initiative.”

“We are thrilled that the Town of Penfield has established themselves as a security leader in the Rochester, N.Y. community by training their employees to recognize and avoid security breaches,” said Bill Rosenthal, CEO, Logical Operations. “End-users are a crucial part of protecting an organization’s assets, and other towns and organizations should take note of the Town of Penfield’s commitment and dedication to keeping their data secure.” For the full article click here 



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House members call on Obama administration to create cyberwar rules

Pressure continues to mount on the Obama administration to pursue clear global rules for cyberspace.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee’s NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice asking them to “create a binding set of international rules” for cyber conduct.

Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Jim Himes (D-Ct.), the committee’s chairman and ranking member, respectively, sent the letter to the administration. Three other Democratic members of the committee also signed it.

“An international cyber agreement won’t stop all cyberwarfare and bad behavior, and it won’t be easy, especially with non-state actors able to acquire and use offensive cyber tools,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is in the best interest of all nations, however, to establish comprehensive, official norms for cyberspace.”

International law has always challenged policymakers, but unique challenges in cyberspace—such as the difficulty of attributing digital attacks—have stymied cyberlaw experts and diplomats alike in the years since the issue began to gain prominence. For the full article click here 



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