Shows & Panels
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Connected Government
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Cyber Imperative
- Cyber Solutions for 2013 and Beyond
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- The Real Deal on Digital Government
- The Reality of Continuous Monitoring... Is Your Agency Secure?
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
The director of the Defense Information Systems Agency says the agency will spend the next year focusing on a faster, more agile acquisition process to accelerate the way it delivers technology, rather than letting procurements drag on for years.
Recent revelations about secret U.S. surveillance programs could significantly impede progress on negotiations over new laws and regulations meant to beef up the country's defenses against the growing threat of cyber-attacks. Current and former cyber security officials say they worry the ongoing disclosures about secret National Security Agency spying programs by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden could trigger knee-jerk reactions by Congress or the private sector.
How does DHS detect and respond to malicious cyber activity. DHS also operates a cyber-information coordination center, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), and several operational units. These units respond to incidents and provide technical assistance to information system operators. The NCCIC coordinates the information collected through these channels to create a common operating picture for cyber communities across all levels of government and the private sector.
How do you know if your computer is vulnerable to cyber-attack? USCERT The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. says many computers are sold with software already loaded. Whether installed by a computer manufacturer, operating system maker, Internet Service Provider, or by a retail store, USCERT says the first step in assessing the vulnerability of your computer is to find out what software is installed and how one program will interact with another. Unfortunately, it is not practical for most people to perform this level of analysis.
What is DHS's role in cyber security. DHS uses intrusion detection tools to monitor .gov network traffic for malicious activity and uses this resulting data to address cyber vulnerabilities. In addition, DHS issues bulletins and alerts that provide information on potential cyber threats. Last year, DHS issued more the 5,000 alerts and advisories, which it shared with various government, private sector, and critical infrastructure stakeholders; as well as the public.
Cyber criminals --what's their M.O.? USCERT says Attackers focus on exploiting client-side systems (your computer) through various vulnerabilities. They use these vulnerabilities to take control of your computer, steal your information, destroy your files, and use your computer to attack other computers. A low-cost way attackers do this is by exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers. An attacker can create a malicious web page that will install Trojan software or spyware that will steal your information.
To promote cyber security practices and develop these core capabilities, DHS says it is working with critical infrastructure owners and operators to create a Cyber security Framework - a set of core practices to develop capabilities to manage cyber security risk. These are the known practices that many firms already do, in part or across the enterprise and across a wide range of sectors. The draft Framework will be complete in October.
How strong is your password? Cyber criminals are running a wide-ranging password-guessing attack against some of the most popular blogging and content management systems on the net. The Fort Disco cracking campaign began in late May this year and is still going on. The UK based Register reports Four strains of Windows malware are associated with the campaign, each of which caused infected machines to phone home to a hard-coded command and control domain
Techweek has been reporting that two large botnets have targeted various content management systems, including WordPress and Joomla. The most recent attacks were labeled as Fort Disco, which began in late May 2013, according to Arbor Networks. Arbor has found six command and control servers, running over 25,000 infected Windows machines that were used to attack CMS systems using brute force or basically running through large lists of possible passwords.
Web page addresses can be disguised or take you to an unexpected site. Many web browsers are configured to provide increased functionality at the cost of decreased security. New security vulnerabilities may have been discovered since the software was configured and packaged by the manufacturer. Computer systems and software packages may be bundled with additional software, which increases the number of vulnerabilities that may be attacked.
The U.S. government says there is an increasing threat from software attacks that take advantage of vulnerable web browsers. USCERT says we have observed a trend whereby new software vulnerabilities are exploited and directed at web browsers through use of compromised or malicious websites. This problem is made worse by a number of factors, including the fact that many users have a tendency to click on links without considering the risks of their actions.
Your web browser. No matter which one you use, it's vulnerable. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (USCERT) says it is vital to configure them securely. USCERT says often the operating system is not set up in a secure default configuration. Not securing your web browser can lead quickly to a variety of computer problems caused by anything from spyware being installed without your knowledge to intruders taking control of your computer.
Not only are Americans suspicious of NSA, but according to bizjournal.com Washington bureau, Foreign competitors are looking to aggressively grow their market share in cloud computing because of concerns raised by the National Security Agency's PRISM program. Bizjournals.com reports U.S. cloud computing companies could lose $22 billion to $35 billion in revenue over the next three years because of foreign customers' concerns about the privacy of their data.
The U.S. government's efforts to recruit talented hackers could suffer from the recent revelations about its vast domestic surveillance programs, as many private researchers express disillusionment with the National Security Agency. Experts say much of the goodwill that existed has been erased after the NSA's classified programs to monitor phone records and Internet activity were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The chief scientist with Berlin's Security Research Labs, revealed recently that he led a research team at the German firm that figured out a way to remotely gain control of and also clone some mobile SIM cards. Karsten Nohl, a well-known security expert said mobile carriers have quickly protected customers from that security bug that he revealed 10 days ago and that he estimated had put more than 500 million phones at risk of cyber-attacks.
On August 6, 2013 - 10:24 AM, a critical day a what was called the biggest Al Qaida threat since 9/11 was unfolding, the US Secret Service tweeted "Contact your nearest field office with time-sensitive or critical info or to report a tweet." While some question the solicitation, there is merit, as the very next day Wikileaks posted a tweet warning former NSA Director Mike Hayden that if NSA leaker Edward Snowden is extradited Cyber terrorist would destroy Hayden.
Researchers at mobile security firm Lookout discovered a security flaw in Google Glass which allowed them to capture data without the user's knowledge, when the user merely took a photo that captured a malicious QR code. Lookout was able to force Google Glass to silently connect to a Wi-Fi access point, which let the researchers view all of the data flowing to and from the device. When combined with an Android 4.0.4 web vulnerability, the hack apparently gave researchers full control of the Glass headset.
DHS awards 17 vendors a spot on the continuous diagnostics and mitigation contract. Agencies can now access a common set of tools and services to improve how they monitor and secure their computer networks.
The FRTIB awarded Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) a five-year, $224.5 million contract. SAIC beat out several competitors including incumbent Serco.
Building off a project to assess the nation's overall cyber capabilities, the Department of Homeland Security has begun drawing up plans for how it would respond in the event of a range of cyber emergencies affecting critical infrastructure.