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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

02 Feb 12. At least a half-dozen major U.S. companies whose computers have been infiltrated by cyber criminals or international spies have not admitted to the incidents despite new guidance from securities regulators urging such disclosures. Top U.S. cybersecurity officials believe corporate hacking is widespread, and the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a lengthy “guidance” document on October 13 outlining how and when publicly traded companies should report hacking incidents and cybersecurity risk. But with one full quarter having elapsed since the SEC request, some major companies that are known to have had significant digital security breaches have said nothing about the incidents in their regulatory filings. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp, for example, said last May that it had fended off a “significant and tenacious” cyber attack on its networks. But Lockheed’s most recent 10-Q quarterly filing, like its filing for the period that included the attack, does not even list hacking as a generic risk, let alone state that it has been targeted. (Source: Len Zuga/Reuters)

01 Feb 12. UKFast backs Gizmodo’s calls for ‘Password Day’ to help users protect themselves. Internet hosting firm UKFast is backing gadget authority Gizmodo in its calls to make 1 February ‘Change Your Password Day’ after a debate highlighted the growing need for consumers to protect themselves from cybercrime that is becoming more common than street crime. A group of cyber security boffins gathered at UKFast’s Manchester head offices to discuss the greatest cyber security threats faced by consumers and businesses in 2012. They agreed that cyber crimes are becoming increasingly common in today’s society and suggested individuals are more likely to suffer a cyber attack than a physical crime such as burglary or assault. Online gadget authority Gizmodo has dubbed 1 February ‘Change Your Password Day’. UKFast is supporting its campaign and offering advice on how to create a robust password. As UKFast revealed in 2011, the power of cheap graphics cards leaves most passwords vulnerable to crack – it can take just 12 seconds to crack a six character password.

31 Jan 12. The U.S. ranked behind Finland, Israel and Sweden in a new report analyzing the ability of countries to defend themselves against cyber attacks. The report pointed to information-sharing limitations as one of the key stumbling blocks for U.S. security, giving the country four out of a possible five stars. “Government only inhales, it never exhales,” said Jason Healey, director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. He was part of a panel assembled for the release of the report Jan. 30. “It will take all the information, but it will find any excuse to not share.” The reputational rankings appeared in “Cyber-security: The vexed question of global rules,” a report based on surveys with 250 leaders in 35 countries that rated 23 countries. Produced by the Security & Defense Agenda, a Brussels-based think tank, and the cybersecurity company McAfee, the report used a methodology developed by Robert Lentz, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber, that measures preparedness based upon a country’s technology and available pool of expertise. While ranked as even with Germany, France and the United Kingdom, among others, the United States was ahead of China and Russia, which only received three stars. The two countries are often cited as the source of the vast majority of cyber attacks, with those emanating from China appearing to be state-sponsored espionage and those from Russia likely financial crime related. Although information-sharing was cited as the best technique for combating cyber attacks, the details can be difficult to figure out, experts said. (Source: Defense News)

01 Feb 12. Israel has been rated as best prepared to counter emerging cyber attacks followed by Finland and Sweden, according to a survey by Security and Defense Agenda (S

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