• Fake Cisco serial numbers in $1 million Chinese computer parts scheme

    Two Kansas men are accused of buying network gear in China, and then attaching fake Cisco serial numbers to the components, placing them in Cisco boxes, and selling them as Cisco products; security experts have warned that counterfeit networking gear could contain back doors that allow spies to conduct industrial espionage on U.S. companies

  • Counterfeit chips may hobble advanced weapons

    While most computer security efforts have until now been focused on software, tampering with hardware circuitry may ultimately be an equally dangerous threat; the Pentagon now manufactures in secure facilities run by American companies only about 2 percent of the more than $3.5 billion of integrated circuits bought annually for use in military gear

  • The brief

    Vetting a chip with a hidden agenda is not easy, and chip makers cannot afford to test every chip; also, today only Intel and a few other companies still design and manufacture all their own chips in their own fabrication plants; other chip designers — including LSI Corp. and, most recently, Sony — have gone “fabless,” outsourcing their manufacturing to off-shore facilities known as foundries

  • Canadian government finds support for Internet surveillance scheme

    The Canadian federal government wants to broaden its Internet surveillance capabilities; the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watch-dog over Canada’s spy agencies, supports the idea

  • China bolsters its information warfare capabilities

    One of the chief strategies driving the process of modernization (known in China as “informatization”) in the PLA is the coordinated use of CNO, electronic warfare (EW), and kinetic strikes designed to
    strike an enemy’s networked information systems, creating “blind spots” that PLA forces could exploit at predetermined times or as the tactical situation warranted

  • iPhones, social networking add to IT security woes

    The security staff at private and government organizations have new security problems to contend with: smartphones and social networking

  • U.S. Government recommends weighing laptop before and after visit to China

    The U.S. government urges travelers to follow extremely strict policies for visits to China which extend far beyond standard software protection; the policies encourage them to leave their standard IT equipment at home and to buy separate gear only for use in China

  • New disappearing ink developed

    Nanoparticle inks that fade away in hours could be ideal for secure communications, top-secret maps, and other sensitive documents

  • NSA to build $2 billion data center in Utah

    The NSA major data center — in Fort Meade, Maryland — has maxed out the capacity of the Baltimore area power grid; the super-secret agency is building a second data center in San Antonio, Texas, and has revealed plans to build a third center — a mammoth, 65 MW, $1.93 billion in Camp Williams, Utah

  • Disk containing secret defense-contract details sold in Ghana for $40

    Journalism students buy a hard-drive containing secret information on multi-million dollar contracts between Northrop Grumman and the Pentagon; they bought the drive at Ghana “digital dump” for $40

  • U.K. appoints a new "C"

    Outsider Sir John Sawers appointed new head of MI6, the U.K. Secret Intelligence Service; by tradition, the head of MI6 is called “C” (for “Chief”), and he writes all internal memos in green ink

  • Worries in the U.K. over Chinese-made phone equipment

    BT is engaged in a massive upgrade of its 21CN network backbone; trouble is, at the core of this upgrade is equipment acquired from Chinese networking giant Huawei, a company Western intelligence services have long suspected of being a front for Chinese intelligence; fear of an undetectable “kill switch” that could disable critical communications

  • Tensions arise over White House reorganization plan

    President Obama plans to merge the staffs of the White House National Security Council and Homeland Security Council — while stipulating that John Brennan, his homeland security adviser, will still be reporting directly to the president; tensions rise

  • Parliamentary committee: 7/7 bombings might have been stopped

    A Parliamentary committee finds that MI5’s operational decisions prior to the 7/7 attacks in London were “understandable and reasonable”; MI5 had to plot leader and some of his followers in its sights, but could not connect the dots for lack of information and resources

  • China deploys secure computer operating system

    China has installed a secure operating system known as “Kylin” on government and military computers designed to be impenetrable to U.S. military and intelligence agencies