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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

18 Dec 12. One day an Army brigade may call for a cyber attack as it does for a precision-guided bomb, according to an official with Army Cyber Command. The military is figuring out the chain of authorities a commander might use to trigger an offensive attack — a kind of cyber effects request system, according to Col. Thomas Goss, chief of the command’s Strategic Initiatives Group. Eventually, Goss said, the ability to coordinate cyber operations through a brigade’s intelligence, communications and operations personnel, and higher echelons, will be organic to a brigade. (Source: Defense News)

18 Dec 12. In an intriguing push against the ever-increasing number of foreign-governments sponsored cyber attacks against U.S. companies, the U.S. Department of Justice intends to turn to its roots with an old-fashioned tactic that has worked against the mafia, drug traffickers and white collar crime: criminal prosecutions. It is no secret that Chinese state-sponsored hackers have been running advanced persistent attacks against U.S. defense contractors in recent years — often virtually living on their computer networks. But until now, responses to cyber attacks were viewed as either a legislative challenge, an intelligence riddle for the FBI, or a potential Defense Department and National Security Agency job. The riddle has consistently been this: If defenses aren’t working against better and better attackers, how to make the attackers pay? State Department demarches? Ineffectual. Offensive cyber retaliation? What’s the legal basis for it, and to what end? (Source: Defense News)

16 Dec 12. Not long ago, if your computer network was cut off from the Internet, devoid of wireless routers and hunkered behind locked doors, you were safe. But not anymore. Several U.S. industry and military labs are improving the deciphering of the 1s and 0s that traverse these carefully guarded networks, and finding ways to inject data and infect systems with destructive viruses — “jumping the gap” into an ironclad network. The progress in adding information to a network begins a new chapter in cyberwarfare, and the U.S. Army is looking to test the scientists’ handiwork. This new chapter also shows how longstanding research on the physical science of electromagnetic fields and radio frequencies is coming into play in the realm of cyberwarfare, an area typically focused on software. The Army’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) hosted a classified planning day Nov. 28. Sixty entities attended to discuss what can be done in the realm of electronic warfare and cyber, according to a source familiar with the program. The roughly half-dozen objectives of the Tactical Electromagnetic Cyber Warfare Demonstrator program are classified, but the source said the program is designed to demonstrate ready-made boxes that can perform a variety of tasks, including inserting and extracting data from sealed, wired networks. (Source: Defense News)

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