• New software obfuscation system a cryptography game changer

    A team of researchers has designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as “software obfuscation,” and it is the first time it has been accomplished. Previously developed techniques for obfuscation presented only a “speed bump,” forcing an attacker to spend some effort, perhaps a few days, trying to reverse-engineer the software. The new system puts up an “iron wall,” making it impossible for an adversary to reverse-engineer the software without solving mathematical problems that take hundreds of years to work out on today’s computers — a game-change in the field of cryptography.

  • Snowden’ leaks derailed important cybersecurity initiatives

    Edward Snowden’s leaks created such a climate of distrust around the NSA that many important cybersecurity initiatives died, stalled, or became non-starters. Security experts say that this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and that the result of these stalled cybersecurity initiatives is that the United States is now more vulnerable to cyberattacks on its infrastructure, and government agencies and American corporations more exposed to sensitive information being compromised and stolen. U.S. officials have found it more difficult to respond to cyberattacks from Russia, China, and elsewhere. “All the things [the NSA] wanted to do are now radioactive, even though they were good ideas,” says James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS).

  • National cyber complex to open next to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev campus

    A new national cyber complex called CyberSpark will open at the Advanced Technology Park (ATP) which is located next to Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Fortune 500 companies Lockheed Martin and IBM announced they would invest in CyberSpark R&D facilities, joining other cybersecurity leaders Deutsche Telekom, EMC, RSA, and many startups. The 15-building ATP is the only type of complex of its kind in the world that includes Fortune 500 companies and cyber-incubators, academic researchers, and educational facilities as well as national government and security agencies. The CyberSpark will also include a high school geared toward science and technology.

  • Gaza-based Palestinian hackers compromise Israeli defense ministry computer

    Hackers broke into a computer at the Israeli Ministry of Defense through an e-mail attachment tainted with malicious software. The attachment looked as if it had been sent by the country’s internal security service, the Shin Bet. it was likely that Palestinians were behind the cyberattack, saying that the more recent attacks were similar to cyberattacks against Israeli computers more than a year ago. Those attacks originated in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The attackers used an e-mail attachment to infect the computers with Xtreme RAT malware, which is a remote access Trojan. The malware allows hackers complete control of an infected machine. They can steal information, load additional malicious software onto the network, or use the invaded computer as a base of operations from which to conduct reconnaissance and attempt to gain deeper access into the network.

  • House approves $447 for Cyber Command

    The House of Representatives approved a fiscal 2014 stop-gap budget last Monday (it approved to full spending bill on Wednesday), which allocates $447 million to the Defense Department’s Cyber Command. This is more than twice the $191 million budget for Cyber Command in 2013.

  • U.S. Air Force plans to add 1,000 new cybersecurity personnel

    Budget cuts notwithstanding, the U.S. Air Force plans to add 1,000 new personnel between 2014 and 2016 as part of its cybersecurity units. The 24th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas is home to the U.S. Air Force cyber command. With a budget of about $1 billion and a staff of roughly 400 military and civilian personnel, the command oversees about 6,000 cyber defense personnel throughout the Air Force.

  • NERC’s critical infrastructure protection standards ambiguous, unclear: analysts

    In January 2008, to counter cybersecurity threats to critical infrastructure assets such as bulk electricity supply (BES), North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s (NERC) launched its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards for BES cybersecurity. The NERC-CIP is marked by uncertainties and ambiguous language, raising concerns in the industry and among industry observers as companies try to enforce the standards. “Industry now screams for a defined control set with very specific requirements that don’t permit subjective and ambiguous interpretations,” comments one analyst.

  • NIST's cybersecurity framework for infrastructure

    Company which are managing critical infrastructure in the United States and disregard the Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework, issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in late October, do so at their own peril. The framework is now in its final comment stage and due to be released in mid-February. It lays out a set of comprehensive but voluntary cybersecurity practices.

  • EU issues new manual for defending ICS against cyberattacks

    ENISA, the EU’s cybersecurity agency, has issued a new manual for better mitigating attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS). ICS support vital industrial processes primarily in the area of critical information infrastructure such as the energy and chemical transportation industries, where sufficient knowledge is often lacking. As ICS are now often connected to Internet platforms, additional security preparations must be taken. ENISA says that the new guide provides the necessary key considerations for a team charged with ICS Computer Emergency Response Capabilities (ICS-CERC).

  • Federal IT spending to exceed $11 billion by 2018

    A new report from Delteks, contracted spending on cybersecurity will continue to grow from nearly $9 billion in FY2013 to $11.4 billion in FY2018, driven by multiple initiatives aimed at improving the overall cybersecurity posture of federal agencies. Persistent threats, complex and evolving policy issues, and changing technologies highlight ongoing cyber-workforce shortages to drive investments despite constrained federal IT funding.

  • Cybersecurity Manhattan Project needed

    On a daily basis, cyberattacks successfully steal U.S. intellectual property and military weapons plans, disrupt banking systems operations, and gain access to personal information which is supposed to be secure. The question: What it will take to harness America’s resources to push the country into developing effective national cyberdefense capabilities? Should it take another 9/11? Experts say that the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. Power grid cyberattack exercises, increased cyberwarrior staffing at U.S. Cybercom, and the authorization of preemptive cyberattacks by Presidential Policy Directive 20 are individually good steps. But where is the whole? The unifying call to action? The United States may not be able to have another Manhattan Project, but it should be able to develop a Manhattan Project mentality, one which is orchestrated and executed by the U.S. cybersecurity czar or perhaps the DHS.

  • Cyber Gym in Israel trains cyber-defenders

    A group of IT and infrastructure companies in Israel have teamed up to launch Cyber Gym.The facility, inaugurated this month by Israel Electric Corp. (IEC), will train participants to defend against cyber attacks.When Sivan Shalom,  Israel’s Infrastructure and Energy Minister, was asked whether Israel was more concerned about a physical or a virtual attack, he said: “I think the future battle will be in cyberspace.”

  • NSA, DHS partner with academia to train next generation cyber specialists

    Universities across the United States have partnered with the NSA and DHS to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals in anticipation of growing and more serious cyberattacks on the United States. Nearly 200 schools are designing new academic programs to attract more students to the growing field of cybersecurity, and with NSA and DHS as partners, the universities are preparing students for important roles in securing the nation’s digital infrastructure.

  • Cyberattacks more serious domestic threat to U.S. than terrorism: FBI

    The heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), Department of Homeland Security(DHS), and National Counterterrorism Center(NCTC) have declared cyber attacks as the most likely form of terrorism against the United States in the coming years. “That’s where the bad guys will go,” FBI director James Comey said about cyberterrorism. “There are no safe neighborhoods. All of us are neighbors [online].”

  • Hundreds of cyber specialists to compete at NetWars Tournament of Champions

    SANS Institute’s NetWars Tournament of Champions will be held in Washington, D.C., in mid-December. Hundreds of the brightest security professionals from around the world will compete with each other in order to determine who has the best skills in tackling cyber security challenges.