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28 Oct 11. “I think the threat [of cyber-attacks] is very real and could potentially be very near-term,” said Brig. Gen. John Davis, U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md. The nation, he said, will demand the military be engaged in cyber defense of the nation, because the military has the greatest capacity and capabilities to do so. Davis said that today, it’s not in the “authority lane” of the military to play that role. Instead, he said, the responsibility lies with the Department of Justice and the FBI, though he said the military is responsible for its own military networks.
“But 90 percent of the military networks reside and ride on commercial infrastructure, so we’re concerned about what [an adversary’s] cyber activity could do to that commercial infrastructure, because it can have an adverse impact on the military’s ability to do its job,” he said.
Davis and other think tank specialists came together at Unified Quest 2012, Oct. 25-28, for a series of annual seminars where members of academia, and U.S. and foreign militaries examine critical issues to current and future force development.
“This is the beginning of our campaign of learning for fiscal year 2012,” Lt. Gen. Keith C. Walker, deputy commanding general, futures, and director of Army capabilities integration. “We’re going to use what we learn in this session on alternative futures to set the conditions for further seminar war games and experiments.”
Key takeaways from Unified Quest 2012 include:
— As the world population grows, increased global competition for affordable finite resources, notably energy and rare earth materials, could fuel regional conflict
— Water is the new oil, and its scarcity will confront regions at an
accelerated pace in this decade
— Super-empowered individuals will have the capacity for wide-spread influence and the ability to change local and state events
— Tight monetary policy, infrastructure enhancements, and advanced technology investments will set conditions for economic recovery in 2020 to 2028
— U.S. retrenchment, if it occurs, will be a transient state
— The United States will retain relative supremacy, but by a smaller margin, requiring selective strategic choices
— Land power is required for sustainable solutions, to pursue national interests, and to demonstrate resolve
— Technological advancements through 2028 are expected to increase, and will impact all facets of life
— Dynamic changes in the Islamic world will continue
“The purpose of this symposium is about plausible strategic landscapes,” said Col. Kevin Felix, director of the Army’s Future Warfare Division. “The four working groups were given wide latitude to work towards 2028, and it was about bringing in the right folks.” (Source: Army News Service, Oct. 28, 2011)

25 Oct 11. Cybersecurity concerns grow as sophisticated attacks, automation evade detection. This summer, cybersecurity is seemingly making news daily, as the number and variety of incidents reported are growing. At the same time, federal government agencies and departments are striving hard to keep up with current and emerging threats. A rash of high-profile breaches suggests that conventional defenses aren’t working well. Breaches have cost Citigroup an estimated $2.7m, RSA an estimated $100m and an untold sum from the numerous attacks on Sony. According to industry news reports, hackers allegedly released 400M of internal data from government cybersecurity contractor ManTech International Corp. as part of a reported “weekly campaign” to embarrass the FBI, as well as other government agencies and their partners. The batch of documents appears to mostly involve NATO, along with the Homeland Security Department, U.S. military branches, and the State and Justice departments, according to those news reports. Yet another recognized concern — social media — still isn’t getting the security focus needed, based on findings from a newly published Government Accountability Office report.

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