The cybersecurity sector is booming — but so are our enemies | TheHill


What’s been more beneficial for the U.S. economy?

President Trump and his economic policies — or China and Russia?

At least for the cybersecurity sector, many firms should be thanking our adversaries for a growing business.

Source: The cybersecurity sector is booming — but so are our enemies | TheHill

This is how to turn your idea for change into a movement


“This is the place where often I find business leaders or individuals and companies falling down. Social organizers are really good at bringing vision to life through storytelling, and I think that’s something that business people can learn from,” she says.

That boils down to a series of steps, Jennifer Dulski says. To create change in your organization, consider these priorities of successful movement-starters.

  1. Create a clear and compelling vision
  2. Know the influencers—and what they care about
  3. Build a team of allies
  4. Be informative and transparent
  5. Take the temperature
  6. Get ready for the long game

Source: This is how to turn your idea for change into a movement

Symantec warns of China-based espionage campaign targeting satellites | TheHill


A China-based cyber group is carrying out an extensive hacking campaign by targeting satellite, telecom and defense companies in the United States and Southeast Asia, a U.S. cybersecurity firm warned this week.

“Thrip’s attack on telecoms and satellite operators exposes the possibility that the attackers could intercept or even alter communications traffic from enterprises and consumers,” Symantec said in a statement, adding that the most disturbing discovery is an attempt to control satellites by infecting linked computers with malware.

Source: Symantec warns of China-based espionage campaign targeting satellites | TheHill

On the Theft and Reuse of Advanced Offensive Cyber Weapons | Nextgov


The interesting feature of these attacks is that those responsible—North Korea and Russia—used the leaked offensive tools originally developed by the NSA. The investigation into WannaCry ultimately revealed that the attackers had exploited a security vulnerability called EternalBlue, originally developed by the NSA.

NotPetya used a variant of the same vulnerability, which is still wreaking havoc a year later. For example, in February 2018, security researchers at Symantec reported that an Iran-based hacking group had used EternalBlue as part of its operations.

This situation whereby technologically advanced countries are investing efforts in developing offensive cyber capabilities only to have these very tools stolen and reused raises three critical questions of urgent policy relevance.

First, are states going to start reusing each other’s leaked cyber tools as a matter of course?

Second, is it possible to prevent the leaking of cyber tools from occurring in the first place?

A third question for policymakers is whether the theft and reuse of cyber vulnerabilities change the way states handle these vulnerabilities.

Source: On the Theft and Reuse of Advanced Offensive Cyber Weapons – Nextgov

How a Contractor’s Bid Protest Was a Surprise Boost for Procurement Innovation | GovExec.com


Late last month, the Government Accountability Office overturned a $950 million contract award to a small Virginia firm to provide cloud services for the Defense Department.

The deal was unusual not just for the extraordinarily high price tag, but for how it was handled.

Instead of following traditional, competitive procurement rules, officials used something called a “production other transaction agreement” crafted by the Pentagon’s innovation outpost, the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).

This essentially allowed the department to make the award based on the success of a prototype developed by REAN Cloud, thus bypassing the government’s expensive and time-consuming traditional procurement process.

Source: How a Contractor’s Bid Protest Was a Surprise Boost for Procurement Innovation – Promising Practices – Management – GovExec.com

How to ‘fix’ social media without censorship | Reuters


Social media, messaging and search platforms offer real value.

They provide connections, information and security for people who might not otherwise have them, such as sexual minorities in traditional societies, reporters in authoritarian environments, or dissenters in repressive regimes. They should be celebrated for this kind of openness.

And yet the most influential corporations in this sphere wield extraordinary power from a distance. They develop rules, standards, and guidelines, often in Silicon Valley, to determine for people around the world the appropriate boundaries of expression.

In many places, American companies provide the dominant source of news and information, having an enormous impact on public life.

Even democratic societies resent this power over their public space. As one liberal European politician put it, “No one wants a Ministry of Truth, but I am also not reassured when Silicon Valley or Mark Zuckerberg are the de facto designers of our realities or of our truths.”

Source: Commentary: How to ‘fix’ social media without censorship | Reuters

Are Defense Networks Up to the Near-Peer Challenge? | SIGNAL Magazine


The days of the United States’ stature as a force without equal appear to be over.

After enjoying a period of time without peers following the collapse of the Soviet Union, we now find ourselves facing threats from a slew of invigorated adversaries. Russia, China and even terrorist groups like ISIS have developed sophisticated cyber attack capabilities.

Technology is cheaper, faster and more widely available to these enterprising bad actors. Meanwhile, the Army has begun implementing its Multi-Domain Battle concept, which integrates traditional land, air and sea offensives with space and cyberspace initiatives. There is little doubt that other nation states will eventually follow suit with similar plans.

Source: Are Defense Networks Up to the Near-Peer Challenge? | SIGNAL Magazine

DHS Aims to Improve Cybersecurity and Survivability | SIGNAL Magazine


The DHS strategy lists five cybersecurity pillars comprising seven goals. The first pillar, risk identification, emphasizes assessing evolving cybersecurity risks to inform and prioritize risk management activities. The second pillar, vulnerability reduction, includes the two similar goals of protecting federal government information systems and safeguarding the critical infrastructure. On the federal side, the DHS will strive to reduce federal agency vulnerabilities. Protecting the infrastructure will require the department to “partner with key stakeholders to ensure that national cybersecurity risks are adequately managed.”

The third pillar is threat reduction, and it aims to prevent and disrupt criminal use of cyberspace. Targets will include transnational criminal organizations and sophisticated cyber criminals. The fourth pillar, consequence mitigation, focuses on the goal of responding effectively to cyber incidents. Coordinated community-wide responses will help minimize consequences from cyber incidents.

The fifth pillar is to enable cybersecurity outcomes. One of its two goals is strengthening the security and reliability of the cyber ecosystem through improved global cybersecurity risk management. The second goal in this pillar is to improve management of DHS cybersecurity activities, with a focus on integration and prioritizing.

Source: DHS Aims to Improve Cybersecurity and Survivability | SIGNAL Magazine

Synergy Seeds Cloud Growth | SIGNAL Magazine


The nature of the cloud lends itself to technology development, as it can serve as a giant test bed for datacentric applications. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two disciplines that already are exploiting the cloud’s features, and other applications are emerging. In turn, the appearance of innovative uses is influencing the cloud, and that influence is likely to increase as momentum builds to explore further applications.

“That’s the power of a software-defined infrastructure,” asserts Mark Ryland, director, Office of the Chief Information Security Officer at Amazon Web Services (AWS). “It enables a small number of clever programmers to build out systems that would have been impossible without an army of people buying and deploying hardware.

Source: Synergy Seeds Cloud Growth | SIGNAL Magazine

The Problems With Hacking Back | SIGNAL Magazine


Though understandable in moral terms—we all have a right to self-defense—active defense, or hacking back, may create challenges that outweigh its benefits.

The main problem is attribution. Identifying an attacker, or even determining their location, is difficult. The victim may well strike back at an innocent party, who in turn could strike back at yet another innocent bystander, and the situation can easily spin out of control. At a minimum, a hack-back law must prohibit destructive activity. Surveillance might be acceptable, although even that could be problematic.  Moreover, retaliating against a cyber hacker is still illegal under international law, so hacking back across national borders could create an international incident.

Another problem with active defense is the potential damage to data or systems belonging to an innocent bystander.  Deletion of stolen data could result in damage to a third party, who would be unaware their systems are hosting stolen data. This situation, too, could damage foreign organizations or nation-states, putting important international relations at risk.

Source: The Problems With Hacking Back | SIGNAL Magazine