18 Oct 10. Cyber attacks, terrorism, inter-state conflict and natural disasters are the top threats to British security, officials said on
Monday, before a major military review expected to usher deep defence spending cuts. A new National Security Strategy highlighted threats from al Qaeda and Northern Ireland-linked groups, as the government sought to convince critics that an armed forces review due on Tuesday is policy-driven, and not a money-saving exercise.
The report also said the Olympic Games, which London will host in 2012, would “be an attractive” target for disruption.
“Our strategy sets clear priorities — counter-terrorism, cyber (attacks), international military crisis, and disasters such as floods,” the government said in its report entitled “A Strong Britain in an Age Of Uncertainty”.
The government is trying to reduce a record budget deficit of nearly 11 percent of national output while keeping Britain a strong military power in Europe and a capable ally of the United States, which it has backed in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: Reuters)
20 Oct 10. The U.S. Defense Department aims to tighten ties with its cybersecurity contractors in an effort to better protect sensitive computer networks against growing cyber threats. The department’s use of top-level system integrators and entrepreneurs will continue to grow, along with the need for so-called “active” defenses that scan incoming code to shield network perimeters, Robert Butler, the Pentagon’s top official for cyber policy, said on Wednesday.
“And as we thread those together, what we want to do is a very very tight partnership with industry,” Butler, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, told reporters at a breakfast session.
One key goal, Butler said, was to cut the lag between development of new protective technology and its deployment. He said the department also wants to promote supplier diversity, partly to guard its information technology supply chain against compromise. The Pentagon’s biggest suppliers — including Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co, Northrop Grumman Corp, BAE Systems Plc and Raytheon Co — all have big and growing cyber-related product and service lines for a market that has been estimated at $80bn to $140bn a year worldwide, depending on how broadly it is defined. Butler declined to comment directly on newly expressed concerns by U.S. lawmakers about buying telecommunications hardware from companies such as Huawei Technologies Co, a China-based network equipment maker founded by a retired Chinese military officer.
“Supply chain is a big issue that we are tracking,” he said. Part of the approach involves screening to verify components and sub-components, he said.
The department is also seeking to understand how manufacturing processes are taking place and to manage risks, Butler said. A group of lawmakers including Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, asked the Federal Communications Commission on
Tuesday to detail any security risks from network equipment made by Huawei and ZTE Corp, both based in Shenzhen, China. The two “are aggressively seeking to supply sensitive equipment for U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and/or serve as operator and administrator of U.S. networks, and increase their role in the U.S. telecommunications sector through acquisition and merger,” Lieberman said in a letter also signed by Senators Jon Kyl and Susan Collins and Representative Sue Myrick. A report commissioned by the congressionally chartered U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said last year that Beijing, at odds with Washington over Taiwan arms sales among other things, appeared to be conducting “a long-term, sophisticated, computer network exploitation campaign” against the U.S. government and U.S. defense industries.