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CYBER WARFARE, EW, CLOUD AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDA

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05 Feb 14. The 6th Military Information and Communications Symposium of South Africa (MICSSA) is being held from 3-6 February at the CSIR International Conference Centre in Pretoria, South Africa. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Military Information Communication Technology within a rapidly evolving cyber world”. The symposium is a platform where military and civilian interests meet to exchange ideas, insights and contributions to policies and directions. The explosive growth of the cyber world has changed the nature of military communications from the traditional notion of radios and telex machines to a totally integrated world. This has of course also lead to a major increase in the threat facing communication infrastructure and the integrity of information. This year 17 countries are represented at the symposium, from attendees and speakers to exhibitors. These countries include Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Canada and Russia. South Africa is the only country in Africa to host a symposium of this nature and thus caters to the growing needs of Africa. Maj Gen Bhembe, the Chief of Command Management Information Systems (CMIS) in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) pointed out that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) does have forums where information and communication technology (ICT) is discussed and linkages between the countries forged. The African Union (AU) has drafted a charter, as has the United Nations, and South Africa plays an active part in this process. The military is part of the government cluster of departments that oversees the National Cyber Framework which aims to ensure that all government departments are on the same track with regards to the cyber future of South Africa. (Source: African Armed Forces)

05 Feb 14. A new report found more than 400 cybersecurity vulnerabilities across dozens of Defense Department programs, including the Navy’s Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services and the DoD Automated Biometric Identification System. The findings were included in an annual report by DoD’s Office of the Director for Operational Test and Evaluation and released Jan. 29. The office assessed 33 DoD programs in fiscal 2012 and 2013. Half of the 400 security vulnerabilities were identified as category one, meaning they could allow “debilitating compromise” to DoD systems. As of November 2012, CANES had 29 category one vulnerabilities and 172 less severe vulnerabilities, the report found. It isn’t clear how many of those issues have been resolved, but the report’s most recent recommendations suggest the Navy mitigate outstanding cyber vulnerabilities prior to initial operational test and evaluation. CANES will replace legacy networks on ships, submarines and shore sites. “The majority of system vulnerabilities discovered in operational testing over the last two years could and probably should have been identified and resolved prior to these tests,” Director Michael Gilmore said of the 400 vulnerabilities. “There is general agreement that systems must be assessed for cybersecurity earlier in a system’s development,” Gilmore said in the report, adding that his office is collaborating with the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics to revise cybersecurity policy to address the shortfall. Among the category one vulnerabilities, the most common were out-of-date or unpatched software, configurations that included known code vulnerabilities, and the use of default passwords in fielded systems, the report noted. Eighty-nine percent of the 400 vulnerabilities could have been found in developmental testing, versus the remainder that required an operational test to uncover. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

06 Feb 14. Thales creates integrated business line to meet growth

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