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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

01 Oct 12. Manchester cloud hosting firm UKFast has launched a spin-off company to respond to growing demand from businesses for cyber security services. Secarma operates as a standalone company specialising in IT security and disaster recovery services including forensic, ethical testing and crisis management. Secarma’s technical team boasts more than 20 years of experience in the security industry and the company is pro-actively recruiting for additional technical and operational staff to bolster the already impressive team before the end of the year. UKFast’s award-winning R&D team is already working on a new product that it set to revolutionise the industry with its launch in the new year.

25 Sep 12. The new head of the Air Force said he “isn’t exactly sure” what the Air Force is doing in cyberwarfare, and he will wait to invest in cybersecurity until the service can better understand cyber in general to improve its communication with the other services and itself. “I’m going to be going a little slow on the operational side of cyber until we know what we’re doing,” Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III said Sept. 18 at the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference. Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, the director of cyberspace operations in the Office of Information Dominance, said the Air Force’s four-star generals will meet next month to discuss cyberspace issues and hold an “immersion day” with the National Security Agency to better understand what is happening in the cyber realm. (Source: Defense News/C4ISR Journal)

27 Sep 12. Uncontrolled security threats on the Internet could return much of the planet to an era without electricity or automated transportation, top U.S. and Russian experts said on Thursday. Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden warned that the United States had yet to resolve basic questions about how to police the Internet, let alone how to defend critical infrastructure such as electric generation plants. And if recently discovered and government-sponsored intrusion software proliferates in the same way that viruses have in the past, “somewhere in 2020, maybe 2040, we’ll get back to a romantic time – no power, no cars, no trains,” said Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive officer of Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, the largest privately held security vendor. The back-to-back presentations at a Washington conference painted the starkest picture to date about the severity of the cybersecurity problem. The past two years have seen an escalation of such warnings, especially about what U.S. officials have termed an unprecedented theft of trade secrets and. more lately, mounting threats to infrastructure. At the same time, Congress failed last month to pass legislation aimed at protecting vital facilities, which Hayden bemoaned, and Kaspersky earlier this year detected extremely sophisticated surveillance programs that infiltrated personal computers and energy facilities in the Middle East. If previous viruses were like bicycles, Kaspersky said, then the Stuxnet worm that damaged uranium enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz plant in Iran two years ago would be a plane, and the latest programs, dubbed Flame and Gauss, would be “space shuttles.” Researchers are still dissecting those heavily encrypted viruses. Kaspersky and others say they are related to Stuxnet, which officials have privately admitted was designed by U.S. and Israel intelligence forces. But Kaspersky said Stuxnet, Flame and Gauss would become templates. Although Stuxnet infected thousands of machines in friendly nations, it was written by cautious “professionals” who minimized collateral damage, Kaspersky said at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit at the National Press Club. The knock-off versions by others will be much less discriminating, he added. To show how quickly computer attacks can proliferate, Kaspersky said an electronic assault that disabled thousands of computers at Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in mid-August had followed

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