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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

02 Dec 12. Former US spy warns on cybersecurity. A former US intelligence chief says the west has had its “9/11 warning” on cybersecurity and warns that, unless urgent action is taken, the US faces, “the cyber equivalent of the World Trade Center attack”. According to John “Mike” McConnell such an attack would bring the country’s banking system, power grid and other essential infrastructure to its knees. Sustained cyber attacks targeting the websites of a dozen major US banks including Wells Fargo , JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America coupled with an earlier attack on Saudi Aramco which erased data on two-thirds of the Saudi oil company’s corporate PCs were examples of the growing threat. Mr McConnell, who served as director of the National Security Agency under President Clinton and then as director of National Intelligence under George W. Bush and President Obama, believes those corporate attacks should be treated as a further “wake-up call” to politicians and business leaders in the west. (Source: FT.com)

04 Dec 12. Swiss Spy Agency Warns U.S., Britain about Huge Data Leak. Secret information on counter-terrorism shared by foreign governments may have been compromised by a massive data theft by a senior IT technician for the NDB, Switzerland’s intelligence service, European national security sources said. Intelligence agencies in the United States and Britain are among those who were warned by Swiss authorities that their data could have been put in jeopardy, said one of the sources, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)

29 Nov 12. Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully delivered the trial proof of concept for an automated biometric information system (ABIS) for the Australian Department of Defence. The system will be operated for a trial period to enable testing and refinement of analytical techniques for producing biometrically enabled intelligence and to help determine the requirements for a future biometrics information management solution. The proof of concept was delivered to the Chief Information Officer Group, Australian Department of Defence, under a one-year contract. The Australian system, which is modelled after the U.S. Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System (DOD ABIS), will be used to produce biometrically enabled intelligence and demonstrate the feasibility of a biometric analytic capability in the Australian Defence Force. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the DOD ABIS system, the central repository and authoritative source for the U.S. Defense Department multimodal (face, fingerprint, iris and palm) biometric identity records for persons of interest. The network-centric system is accessible worldwide and interfaces with other U.S. government agency data systems.

28 Nov 12. Northrop Grumman Corporation launched its Northrop Grumman Innovation Network, a new Web-based environment intended to encourage and reward challenge-driven innovation and solution collaboration, with the initial focus on partnering with U.S.-based colleges, universities and small businesses. The Innovation Network will enable interested parties to review challenges and submit ideas that will aid in solving some of the aerospace and defense industry’s most critical problems. The most promising concepts will be considered for funding from the company to enable further development and refinement of specific solutions. The Northrop Grumman Innovation Network website currently lists two Call for Innovation challenges – one focused on colleges and universities, and the other targeted at small business. Academicians are being encouraged to submit novel concepts that have the potential to dramatically improve or replace current defense radars 10 to 20 years in the future. In addition, small business owners are being asked to provide their innovative ideas for a low-cost means to detect small-arms fire

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