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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

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27 Sep 13. A new group of cyber attackers is eschewing long-term system compromise for fast hit-and-run style network breaches, part of a shift in tactics that’s making it harder for defenders to protect systems. The group, tracked by cybersecurity vendor Kaspersky Lab over the past two years, primarily targeted defense contractors in Asia, mostly in Japan and South Korea. Some of those firms are involved with the manufacture of US military platforms, the researchers said. But Kaspersky’s team said that while a report released Sept. 25 focused on one group, a larger pattern was emerging. “We’re starting to see more smaller, agile, hit-and-run-type crews where they will infiltrate an organization. They know exactly what they’re looking for, pull it out, and as soon as they complete their assignment, they move on,” said Kurt Baumgartner, principal secretary researcher for Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team. “They actually abandon the company, clean their things up and move on.” That approach stands in stark contrast to the tactics typically seen from attackers over the past several years, where vulnerabilities would give the attackers long-term access, sometimes for years at a time. Typically, victims wouldn’t notice for several months, and the attackers could monitor large amounts of data with barely detectable programs meant to pass along information in a network. (Source: Defense News)

03 Oct 13. Niteworks hosts Australian counterpart. Niteworks received a recent visit from representatives of the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) and RPDE, a Niteworks-like collaboration between the Australian DoD and Australian industry. Niteworks played host to Brigadier Kathryn Toohey, who is Director General Integrated Capability Development at the Australian DoD’s Capability Development Group. She was accompanied by Richard Shalders, General Manager of RPDE and Brigadier Bill Sowry from the Australian High Commission in London. RPDE- which stands for ‘Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation’- supports the Australian Defence Forces in coming up with solutions to high risk, complex problems. Like its Niteworks counterpart in the UK, it brings together a range of large and small industry organisations to provide impartial recommendations to its government sponsors. During the visit, Niteworks and RPDE updated each other on some of their latest activities including projects being undertaken in the areas of Tactical C4ISR and Cyber. They also discussed current issues and respective ways of working. Niteworks and RPDE have enjoyed a close relationship over the years, and are the beneficiaries of an agreement signed between the Australian DoD and the UK MOD in 2012 that enables the exchange of information to mutual advantage. This includes the outputs of projects, emerging trends such as the types of
activities being undertaken and information relating to governance and management.

27 Sep 13. USAF Still Struggling With Cyber Acquisitions. Air Force officials are working to develop an “effective” procurement model for buying equipment and services related to activities in the cyber domain, says Richard Lombardi, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition integration. Too often, technology advances at a pace for cyber tools far faster than the Pentagon’s methodical process to procure traditional weapon systems can accommodate. Aircraft often take a decade or longer to field. “The budget process just doesn’t work for it,” Lombardi told a breakfast group hosted by the Air Force Association in Washington. (Source: glstrade.com/AvWeek)

27 Sep 13. U.S. Says Iran Hacked Navy Computers. U.S. officials said Iran hacked unclassified Navy computers in recent weeks in an escalation of Iranian cyberintrusions targeting the U.S. military. The allegations, coming as the Obama administration

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