Cybersecurity

Mercyhurst University’s Tom Ridge School Hosts Fourth Global Intelligence Forum

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English: Seal of the United States Department ...
English: Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

GlobeNewswire

 

ERIE, Pa., Dec. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — From public health challenges like Ebola to the effect of climate change on food safety in the coming decades, international experts in public health, higher education, business and traditional intelligence will gather in Dungarvan, Ireland, for the fourth biennial Global Intelligence Forum — The Dungarvan Conference July 12-15, 2015.

 

Sponsored by the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, the conference comes on the heels of highly successful summits that welcomed prominent intelligence leaders like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden; former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh; and Europol Director Rob Wainwright.

 

Panelists for this year’s expanded forum — “Intelligence-Informed Decision-Making to Build a More Secure Future” — will address how leaders can effectively establish intelligence practices to enhance decision-making as they address pressing global concerns.

 

Keynote speakers include one of the world’s leading experts on cybersecurity, Howard Schmidt, who served as cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He also held positions as vice president and chief information security officer for eBay Inc., and operated as chief security officer for Microsoft Corp. Currently, he is a partner with Tom Ridge in Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, an executive services firm that helps leaders in business and government navigate the increasing demands of cybersecurity. Read the rest of this entry »

ISIS cyber capability judged more ‘aspirational’ than operational

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By Sean Lyngaas  Sep 17, 2014

Shutterstock image: unfunctional computer.ISIS terrorists have announced their intention to establish a “digital caliphate” for launching attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure.

Interviews with cybersecurity experts and questions posed to public officials reveal an assessment of the cyber warfare capabilities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria that, while potentially dangerous, remains more aspirational than operational.

It is common for a terrorist group like ISIS to develop cyber capabilities to complement their ambitions to carry out violent attacks, experts say. But being slick with social media is a world apart from being able to hack segments of U.S. critical infrastructure.

ISIS terrorists have said online that they aim to establish a “digital caliphate” for launching attacks on U.S. infrastructure, according to a Sept. 14 Fox News report. Doing so might prove difficult, but it wouldn’t cost much to begin probing networks. One could buy a tablet for a few hundred dollars, set up some encryption tools and start running vulnerability analyses of code used by critical infrastructure like the electric grid, said Tony Cole, vice president and global government CTO at FireEye, a network security firm. Read the rest of this entry »

Russia’s cyber weapons hit Ukraine: How to declare war without declaring war

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By targeting the Ukrainian government with a cyber weapon, the Russians are able to effectively engage in an aggressive, kinetic act without actually declaring war, or other countries reacting like it is an act of war. This will not last forever. 

By Alec RossCommentary contributor / March 12, 2014

A man looks at posters from an international campaign to support Ukraine in Kiev, March 12. Commentary contributor Alec Ross writes: ‘The absence of a set of broadly held norms and treaties governing the use of cyber weapons has not led to the firing of guns or launching of missiles, but this will not always be the case. We need something more than playground rules.’

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers message to ‘Revolutionary foster-children,’ aka university students, Mehr reports.

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By Haaretz | Feb. 13, 2014 | 1:20 PM

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo by AP

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged the country’s students to prepare for cyber war, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday. Khamenei delivered a message to a university students’ association, or his “Revolutionary foster-children,” as he called them, reminding them that they are “cyber-war agents” who must prepare for battle, Mehr reported.

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Cyber warfare: Pakistani hackers claim defacing over 2,000 Indian websites

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By Farooq Baloch Published: February 2, 2014

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Pakistani hackers claim defacing over 2,000 Indian websites. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

KARACHI:

Pakistani hackers have claimed responsibility for hacking over 2,000 Indian websites on the country’s Republic Day, confirming reports published by the Indian media earlier this week.

“Hackers defaced more than 2,000 Indian websites – 2,118 to be exact – on Republic Day (January 26) in what is being termed as ‘a major cyber attack’,” The Hindu reported on January 29. According to the report, the attackers’ internet protocol (IP) address was traced to Pakistan.

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“Most of the defaced websites were attacked by Pakistani hackers using the handles ‘StrikerRude’, ‘KashmirCyberArmy’, ‘PakCyberExpert’, ‘HUnterGujar’ and the operation was named as ‘#OP26jan’,” the newspaper cited the Global Cyber Security Response Team, Bangalore as saying. The websites targeted included that of the Central Bank of India.

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Bitcoin and the fictions of money

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The New York Times Reuters – A mock Bitcoin is displayed on a table in an illustration picture taken in Berlin January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/Files

How should we think about a currency like Bitcoin? The first thing to remember is this: Money is a sort of collective fiction. What money we choose to trust says much about how we see the world.

Above the simplest exchanges, most money has limited use. Gold, the most common historical currency, is almost only good for adornment. To its fans, gold’s uselessness is a value in itself; since the stock of gold is not consumed, it’s reasonably stable, while governments can print all the currency they want.

Paper is, of course, a proxy for the government issuing the money. How much we trust the government’s ability to collect taxes, pay debts, and so on is the collective fiction that gives a country’s money value. Read the rest of this entry »

Edward Snowden: Did the American whistleblower act alone?

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A new book looks at the damage the fugitive American whistleblower and his Snowdenistas are doing to Western interests

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Sabotage and treason: Edward Snowden. Clues suggest that the whistleblower is in or near the foreign intelligence HQ in Yasenevo, Russia Photo: AFP/Getty Images

By Edward Lucas 8:27PM GMT 24 Jan 2014

Edward Snowden is, in the eyes of many, a secular saint. The fugitive NSA contractor has sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose systematic wrongdoing by Western intelligence agencies: America and Britain spy on other Western countries; they hoover up and store vast quantities of information about domestic emails and phone calls; they use secret court orders to force cooperation, and they can bug almost any international communication.

After his daring heist of secrets from America’s National Security Agency, the 30-year-old has fled to a secret hiding place where he awaits deserved vindication. It is the stuff of spy movies – played out in real life. Read the rest of this entry »

Alleged NSA post in Austria becomes state affair

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Sep 13, 8:53 AM EDT

By GEORGE JAHN   Associated Press

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AP Photo/Hans Punz

VIENNA (AP) — Vienna‘s a fabled city for spying – and now its cloak-and-dagger legend has a 21st-century twist.

A stately villa in a leafy district of the Austrian capital is at the center of ruckus over whether the NSA is snooping on the city’s residents, with allegations flying that the building serves as a sophisticated a U.S. intelligence listening post.

Both the U.S. and Austrian governments deny reports claiming to expose a major surveillance operation by the National Security Agency from within the towers of the sprawling manor. They say the building is nothing more than an “Open Source Center” evaluating information freely available in newspapers and the Internet – albeit one run by the CIA.

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Germany reveals secret techie soldier unit, new cyberweapons

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Main building of the University Viadrina in Fr...
Main building of the University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have ways of making you pwned

By John LeydenGet more from this author  8th June 2012 11:29 GMT

CyCon 2012 Germany has confirmed that its military maintains an operational cyberwarfare unit with offensive capabilities.

The admission, which appeared in parliamentary documents published on Tuesday, gave no details of the size of the unit much less any operations that it might have run. However documents delivered to the German federal defence committee did reveal that the unit has been operating for six years since 2006, a year before the cyber-attack on Estonia and four years before the discovery of the infamous Stuxnet worm.

http://ds.serving-sys.com/BurstingRes/Site-27237/Type-2/e53ce8c1-9790-4f5e-b89e-03b2539b45a7.swf“The initial capacity to operate in hostile networks has been achieved,” the papers explain, adding that the Computer Network Operations Unit had carried out “simulations” of attacks in a “closed laboratory environment”, German press agency DPA reports.

The unit reports to the joint forces strategic intelligence command. Legislators reportedly expressed surprise at the existence of the unit and questioned whether military commanders had the legal authority to launch attacks on foreign networks.

Prof Dr Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, a professor of law at European University Viadrina Frankfurt in Germany, told El Reg that the armed forces of many nations are probably building up an offensive cyber capability. The only difference is that Germany and (also recently) the Obama administration is the US are publicly talking about it.

“The German MoD see a potential in having an offensive cyber-op capability as well as an ability to defend critical infrastructures”, most notably military systems, Dr Heintschel von Heinegg explained. Read the rest of this entry »

Cyber warfare

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Photo: Illustrative photo: Reuters and Marc Israel Sellem

Cyber Warfare is fast becoming a dominant element in every developed country’s military arsenal.


By JPOST EDITORIAL

06/07/2012 23:27

Judging from the slew of news over the past week or so, the field of cyber warfare is fast becoming a dominant element in every developed country’s military arsenal.

In a span of just a few days there has been a flurry of news items related to cyber warfare: the anti-virus firm Kaspersky discovered that Iran’s nuclear program was struck again, this time by Flame, which effectively turns every computer it infects into a spy; The New York Timesreported that the US and Israel were behind the Stuxnet worm, which also attacked Iran’s nuclear program; NATO held its Fourth International Conference on Cyber Conflict; and Israel hosted its own conference on cyber warfare at Tel Aviv University.

Indeed, there is good reason for the rising interest – and deployment – of cyber warfare. After all, there are many appealing aspects to cyber warfare.

Instead of wreaking mass destruction and snuffing out human life, countries can instead attack virtual targets in cyberspace. An aggressor state does not need to expose its own troops to the dangers of conventional or unconventional warfare, thus avoiding casualties and the difficulty Western societies have coping with these casualties. And since cyber weapons can be deployed anonymously from a distance, the aggressor often does not risk political fallout let alone absorbing a retaliatory attack.

Indeed, cyber warfare seems so bloodless and “clean” that there hardly appear to be any real ethical dilemmas with which to grapple.

Just War Theory, based on Judeo-Christian moral principles and Western moral philosophy, is concerned with limiting human casualties and physical damage.

When warfare is waged using a piece of code against some intangible objects, without directly causing casualties or physical damage, the anthropocentric principles of Just War Theory hardly seem to apply.

Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to claim that cyber warfare can be conducted without a consideration of its moral limits. For instance, if it knocks out electricity and the refrigeration necessary to protect supplies, even a modest cyber attack could lead to starvation and the suffering of thousands of innocent. Read the rest of this entry »