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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

01 Nov 11. London Conference on Cyberspace: Could Do Better. The Foreign Secretary welcomed (1-2 Nov 11) over 700 people from 60 countries to the London Conference on Cyberspace, touted as “the first of its kind”. Presentations and debates focused on: economic growth & development, social benefits, cyber-crime, safe & reliable access and international security. Hungary will host the next international conference in 2012 and Korea (RoK) the one after next in 2013.
Comment: Although the conference attracted worthy contributors, including the US Vice President, the UK Prime Minister and the President of Estonia, cyber specialists were thin on the ground. Media coverage has been muted, mainly because journalists were exiled to a press centre where only selected sessions could be viewed via a faulty video-link. The Foreign Secretary’s concluding remarks on the Conference can be accessed via the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website (www.fco.gov.uk/).(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/43, 07 Nov 11)

03 Nov 11. In its most blunt statement to date, the U.S. government accused both China and Russia of conducting far flung cyber espionage campaigns against U.S. and other Western firms in an effort to promote domestic interests. The report, “Foreign Spies Stealing US Economic Secrets in Cyberspace” was prepared by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive. It found that cyber espionage on the part of China and Russia – and even from U.S. allies – is a “pervasive threat” to U.S. interests that surpasses even the threat posed by traditional forms of spying. This isn’t the first public warning about cyber espionage against U.S. firms. In January, the U.S. Department of Defense warned of attempts by foreign spies to obtain classified or restricted U.S. technology increased and that foreign governments are focusing their spying efforts on naval and marine technology that could provide the foundation for a next generation “blue water” navy. That report named “entities” from “East Asia and the Pacific region” as the source of the hacks, and a major problem for the U.S. military and military contractors. (Source: Google)

31 Oct 11. Government Communications Headquarters, England, is one of three main intelligence agencies for the U.K.. A significant but unsuccessful cyber attack was launched on the U.K. Foreign Office and other government departments this summer, according to the head of the country’s communications spy agency. Iain Lobban, director of the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, wrote in a piece for The Times, based in London, that there was a “disturbing” volume of e-crime and attacks on government and industry systems. “I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs–in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors as well as other industries–to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements,” Lobban wrote. “We are also aware of similar techniques being employed to try to acquire sensitive information from British government computer systems, including one significant (but unsuccessful) attempt on the Foreign Office and other government departments this summer.” (Source: FT.com)

06 Nov 11. The United States should be more open about its development of offensive cyber weapons and spell out when it will use them as it grapples with an increasing barrage of attacks by foreign hackers, the former No. 2 uniformed officer in the U.S. military said.
“We’ve got to step up the game; we’ve got to talk about our offensive capabilities and train to them; to make them credible so that people know
there’s a penalty to this,” said James Cartwright, the four-star Marine Corps general who retired in August as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Cartwright, who raised the profile of cyber security issues while still in uniform, told Reuters in an interview that the increasing intensity and frequency of network attacks by

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