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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

21 May 13. Several U.S. power utilities say they face constant cyber attacks on critical systems, according to a report by two Democratic lawmakers amid warnings from the Obama administration that foreign hackers are seeking to attack the electric grid. Congressmen Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Henry Waxman of California disclosed their findings on Tuesday as the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on cybersecurity. In preparing the report the two asked some 160 utilities to describe their experiences fighting cyber attacks over the past five years. More than a dozen utilities said they experienced daily, constant or frequent attempted cyber attacks, according to a 35-page report summarizing their responses. The report cited an unidentified Northeastern power provider as saying it was under constant attack from cyber criminals as well as activist groups who have been targeting firms in the energy sector over the past few years. (Source: Reuters)

26 Apr 13. Though Pentagon planners are committed to making some hard line-item choices in their budgets in the coming years, they got it right when it came to accelerating the funding for cyber defense in fiscal year 2014 so it at least can have a fighting chance of keeping pace with technical, IT developments in the commercial and consumer world. The U.S. Cyber Command will see a boost in funding, as will each of the military service’s various cyber commands. USCYBER will receive a newly built Joint Operations Center, construction of which should be finished in 2017. Cyber intelligence sharing is getting the attention it needs through funding of the National Security Council’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Five, which seeks to connect cybersecurity centers and other cybersecurity analytics electronically and in real time. (Source: Defense Systems)

20 May 13. USAF contracts CRA for innovative cyber technologies development. Charles River Analytics (CRA) has been awarded two contracts to develop innovative cyber capabilities for use by the US Air Force (USAF). Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), the contracts cover development of probabilistic relational models for cyber situation awareness (PRM4Cyber) and an advanced pattern recognition (APR) system. The company is collaborating with PatchPlus Consulting for the production of technologies that will eventually be validated by AFLCMC for use in a cyber Air Operations Center (AOC). Under the PRM4Cyber project, the company will specifically address challenges faced by the air force when trying to quickly detect and respond to cyber attacks. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

20 May 13. EU invites NATO to boost cyber alliance. The European Union’s top justice official invited NATO on May 18 to work more closely with the EU to combat cyber-crime and create a safe Internet environment where citizens’ rights and personal data are protected. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly that the EU was striving to establish the safest online area in the world and that the military Alliance has important technologies and know-how that would help bolster Internet security.
“The EU is open to work with all partners, and to team up with those that share its vision of a free and open Internet,” Reding said during the NATO PA Spring Session in Luxembourg, where some 250 parliamentarians are in attendance. “NATO should be one of those partners.” Cyber attacks have increased exponentially in recent years. Europol puts the annual value of the global cybercriminal economy at 1trn U.S. dollars. But Reding said cooperation between the European Union and NATO had not kept up with the rise in crime. The EU has introduced rules to protect the personal data of citizens and to create a true digital single market. The proposed Network Information Security Directive obliges the 27 EU member states to improve their levels of preparedness, for instance

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