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CYBER WARFARE, CLOUD COMPUTING AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

13 Aug 13. Venezuela is seeking assistance from Brazil to enhance its cyber defence capabilities following a series of hacking attempts against government networks during the country’s last presidential election. Venezuelan Minister of Defence Carmen Melendez met with her Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, on 8 August to discuss possible co-operation. Melendez said Venezuela is interested to learn from recent Brazilian experience in setting up its Cyber Defense Center (CDCiber) to protect its communications networks during a series of high-profile events. A Venezuelan delegation accompanied Melendez to Brazil to continue work on Latin America’s multinational UNASUR basic training aircraft. She also visited the state-owned EMGEPRON shipyard, where Venezuelan patrol vessel PC-22 Warao is undergoing repairs. (Source: Jane’s)

13 Aug 13. Surprisingly, sorting out the rules connected with all-out cyber war has picked up considerable steam. A little more than a month ago, a gathering of officials from more than a dozen countries including China and Russia agreed to apply international law on warfare to cyber. But coming to agreement on the more pervasive threat — constant cyber intrusions emanating from China — is proving far more challenging. Even defining the difference between intrusion and attack gets thorny. It’s one of the areas playing a key role in the ongoing dialogue between the two countries on the issue, an issue that contains definitional disagreements, cultural standards, and even technical ambiguity.
“It’s not always clear,” said Christopher Painter, US State Department cyber coordinator and chair of the cyber dialogue with China. “The two major threat concerns that we’re facing right now, there are three but two are realized, the other being this cyber war hypothetical. The two that are realized are things like denial of service attacks. That’s sustained but it’s not going to be debilitating. But that’s an attack. But you don’t use the attack term for an intrusion. It’s not an attack, it’s an intrusion. We always try to be very precise.” (Source: Defense News)

13 Aug 13. Companies ‘critical’ to UK to receive support against cybercrime. Companies deemed critical to the UK’s infrastructure are to receive support in preventing and combating serious cyber attacks from a new service that combines industry expertise with the services of British eavesdropping agency GCHQ. Two separate cyber incident response units launched on Tuesday reflect the security services’ growing anxiety about state-sponsored cyber attacks against British companies. Jonathan Evans, former head of MI5, last year told an audience in the City of London that his officers were discovering “industrial-scale processes involving many thousands of people lying behind both state-sponsored cyber espionage and organised cybercrime”. One of the schemes will inform companies, public sector bodies and universities about general practice in how to respond to an attack, while another group will engage directly with “sophisticated, targeted attacks” against UK networks as they happen. Chloë Smith, minister for cybersecurity, said British organisations were being confronted with increasingly numerous and complicated cyber threats. “The best defence for organisations is to have processes and measures in place to prevent attacks getting through, but we also have to recognise that there will be times when attacks do penetrate our systems and organisations want to know who they can reliably turn to for help,” Ms Smith said. The information-sharing initiative is backed by the security industry trade body, the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (Crest). (Source: FT.com)

08 Aug 13. Even as they analyze and respond to operational cyber threats on a day-to-day basis, officials at the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) say they’re working to build concrete plans that public and private se

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