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CYBER WARFARE UPDATE

31 Jan 11. The winner of the Sophos and SANS Institute Cyber Security Challenge Treasure Hunt was announced on Saturday following the penultimate event, which was held at Sophos’s headquarters in Oxfordshire. This stage of the competition saw 25 finalists pitting themselves against real-world malware challenges set by SophosLabs’ world leading security experts. This weekend’s competition was the last of three stages that make up the road to the 2010 Cyber Security Challenge UK final. As with the earlier competitions, Sophos found the standard of competitors taking part in the Treasure Hunt to be extremely high. As well as the accolade of winning this competition, Simon Walker, a software consultant from Tring, has also won a place in the Challenge’s final – The Masterclass – to be hosted in Bristol at HP Labs in March 2011. Simon will be joined by other high-ranking participants for the chance to be crowned the UK’s Cyber Security Champion including today’s runners up Alan Steer, an IT support worker from Rugby who came second, and Jack Dipper, an RAF engineering officer from Suffolk who came third. All will be awarded prizes from a pool of career-building and education-focused awards, including internships and other opportunities with leading companies, bursaries at Universities and SANS Institute and 7Safe training. The charge towards next year’s Cyber Security Challenge UK has already begun. Registrations for the UK Category of the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge set by the US Department for Defence is already open. Anyone interested in testing their mettle should visit. https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/competitions/forensics.html.

31 Jan 11. After years of lip service to public-private collaboration, the government apparently still has trouble working and playing well with others. That is a conclusion drawn from a study, commissioned by the Homeland Security Department (DHS), of lessons learned from the Conficker Working Group (CWG). The working group is an ad hoc assemblage of more than two dozen companies, Internet registrars, universities and agencies including the FBI and DHS, that came together in 2008 to combat the Conficker worm.
“In coordinating to stop the botnet threat, the CWG became a model for cyber defense,” the report said. “Thanks to this effort, we can glean a number of valuable lessons to guide how future efforts may be initiated, organized and managed.”
According to the study, what worked was the collaboration between companies and Internet organizations. One of the things that didn’t work was the government’s collaboration.
“The group as a whole saw little participation from the government,” the report, released this month, said. “One person put it as ‘zero involvement, zero activity, zero knowledge.’” (Source: GCN)

31 Jan 11. Spammers and those involved in cyber-crime are taking advantage of the current political climate in Egypt and are targeting internet users both inside and outside Egypt using social networking and fake links, according to James Lyne senior technologist from internet security firm Sophos.
“What we have to remember is that the bad guys are better at following the hot topics on the internet than any other PR company, news agency or vendor. They are great at this.When Michael Jackson passed away, the top three hits on Google for a period of time were fake anti-virus sites, above CNN.com who spend an astronomical amount of money trying to do search engine optimisation, so be very cautious of the links you click online whether you are from Egypt or not. Whilst this is a hotspot of press activity, the bad guys will be looking to use you,” Lyne told ITP.net. The internet in Egypt is still blocked, forcing people to use dial-up alternatives to get online and share what is happening in the country via social networking. (Source: itp.net)

27 Jan 11. Estonia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has proposed presented a new proposal to establishing a national cyber defense unit (NC

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