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The inaugural U.S. based International Conference on Cyber Conflict will take place 21-23 October 2016 in Washington D.C.  Focusing on a theme of Protecting the Future CyCon U.S. seeks to create greater information exchange among industry, academia, and government entities at both the national and international levels. The issues to be covered include the future of international cooperation, imminent technical challenges and requirements, forthcoming conflicts in cyberspace, and the potential for new legal frameworks, standards, and regulations. To register go to http://CyConUS.org.

 

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Joint Service Academy Cyber Security Summit 2016 Proceedings

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Cyber Defense Review, Vol 1, No 1

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The Journal Online

FBI Cyber: Preventing Tomorrow’s Threats Today

, , , and Is the Federal Bureau of Investigation capable of defending the citizens of the United States of America against cyber-attacks? Are the cyber criminals of today too advanced and unpredictable for the FBI to keep up with? Is it possible for the FBI to predict and overcome such an advanced and ever-changing adversary? Although the cyber domain is challenging law enforcement in new and unpredictable ways, this paper imagines a future in which they are fully capable of combating cyber criminals. By reviewing past successes within the FBI, examining their ability to overcome jurisdictional hurdles, and analyzing their capacity to innovate and adapt to criminals who think they can outsmart them, the FBI of the future will be able to proactively prevent tomorrow’s threats today. Origins of the FBI During the early 20th century, as the country began to widely adopt innovations such as automobiles and radios, which were science fiction just decades before, many American workers began moving into cities to capitalize on this increasing need to develop and maintain new technologies. The drastic influx of people into urban areas created cities with a multitude of citizens, packed into relatively small areas. As these cities began to grow, a new phenomenon began to develop as well: organized crime. Organized crime began to plague local authorities in unforeseen ways, and it became such an issue that the U.S. Attorney General was forced to intervene.[1] The Bureau of Investigation, later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was the Attorney General’s answer to organized crime. Founded in July 1908, the FBI was created to address the myriad of problems that local...

Safeguarding The United States Military’s Cyber Supply Chain

America’s military cyber supply chain (USMCSC) depends on China’s manufacturing sector, yet faces uncertainty with regards to China’s global political stance. While trade between the United States  and China is extremely crucial to both country’s economies and respective GDPs, at what point does the US military choose to refrain from doing business with China? China’s desire to become one of the leading global powers has resulted in its significant and aggressive military growth. American defense companies, desiring to maintain revenues and market share, increasingly outsource military manufacturing to Chinese companies. China is slated to become a hub for American military software outsourcing. Given such a flow of information along the cyber supply chain, it is not unreasonable to suspect that China is culling the USMCSC for information for its own militaristic use. If this is the case, should the US military curb or cut trade with China as means of safeguarding American military secrets? The International Cyber Supply Chain Presently, the United States (US) military utilizes an international cyber supply chain, whereby it outsources the manufacturing of military resources and supplies so that it can maintain revenues and market share. One of the USMCSC’s partners is China, which has found equal footing alongside the US, Russia, and Great Britain as a world power due to economic prowess. Since China enjoys a status of neither an ally nor enemy of the US, it can engage with the American military as a manufacturing supplier. However, now that China has emerged as one of the foremost US geopolitical competitors, the American military must strike a balance between working within China’s global economy...

Maximizing Flexibility: Mitigating Institutionalized Risk in the Cyber Mission Force

Leaders increasingly focus on the growing risk to national security in cyberspace. Today, there is little need to describe the dynamic and unpredictable nature of cyberspace, a wide and growing threat landscape, and rapidly evolving threat capabilities and tactics. Despite tremendous resources dedicated to securing cyberspace, threats always seem to find a way. In corporate board rooms, cybersecurity means accepting this reality and taking internal defensive measures to mitigate material risk.[1] But the private sector is not defenseless: the DoD established US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and its Service components as part of a full Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership & Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) solution for full spectrum cyberspace operations. The country deserves nothing less, but the dynamic nature of cyberspace uniquely challenges DOTMLPF development because of its premise on accurately assessing future capabilities requirements – a major challenge for cyberspace! Acknowledging that capabilities evolve rapidly in cyberspace, the Commander of USCYBERCOM (CDRUSCYBERCOM) describes the imperative to maintain maximum flexibility of capabilities.[2] However, USCYBERCOM’s DOTMLPF solution – the Cyber Mission Force (CMF)[3] – is composed of individual work roles, team constructs, and employment concepts that are highly standardized for all Services, and narrowly focus on specific missions. Highly standardizing the CMF suppresses the unique strengths and diversity of capabilities inherent in the Services. Narrowly focusing individuals and organizations reduces Combatant and Joint Force Commanders’ future capabilities deployment options. Ultimately, a highly standardized and mission-focused CMF degrades the flexibility necessary to mitigate risks of the unknown in future cyberspace operations. This is analogous to an investment portfolio that lacks diversity of assets and therefore risks complete bankruptcy if the...

Division Cyber Operations

Modern adversaries can now integrate cyber operations into military plans. Recent events have shown that rival governments can not only develop cyber-attack plans, but synch them to achieve national goals. The U.S. Department of Defense must begin integrating and normalizing the use of cyber effects. While there are numerous methods to begin that process, the key is choosing a method and beginning the long process of training in its employment. The primary level this training should be performed is at the Army Division level. Often, the division is the first major headquarters that can develop a list of requirements to submit to the Joint Task Force Headquarters or the Combatant Command. With that in mind, training at home station and during operational level exercises is absolutely necessary. Simulation technology will catch up with cyber operations in due course, but this is no reason to not begin training now. As a military, the US faces adversaries that have proven their ability to integrate offensive cyber effects from the tactical up to the strategic level. Though multiple methods exist to request and execute Cyber Operations (CO) at the division level, the bigger and more looming problem is the lack of training in utilizing these effects, and being ready to put these effects to use on the battlefield. For the United States to keep pace with near-peer nations, it must train on and prepare to use these effects in a real-world combat environment. What is Available to Division Planners?  The U.S. Army Operating Concept states that a critical component to a strategic victory is being able to present the enemy with multiple,...

Applied Research in Support of Cyberspace Operations: Difficult, but Critical

, and Abstract Cyber security as a work domain and commercial sector is relatively new, but has been maturing rapidly over the past 20 years. Cyberspace operations, on the other hand, are synchronized military activities to identify, degrade and/or deceive threat actors in cyberspace. Cyberspace operations are inherently dynamic due to changing technology and tactics of malicious actors. Recent increases in the number and scale of cyber incidents have illustrated the need for improved coordination across the Cyber Mission Force as well as improved feedback and accelerated technology transition between operational research, and development communities. This paper presents arguments for improving cyberspace operations with sustained efforts to understand cyber work and the impacts of technologies on the people who perform it. The Cyber Immersion Lab, operated by USCYBERCOM, is an activity that is demonstrating the strengths of this approach.   Cyberspace operations is not cyber security  The importance of cyber security is manifest across our traditional enterprise information technology systems. Our human and military affairs are network enabled, and therefore potentially vulnerable. The reach of cyber-physical systems is also expanding rapidly, going beyond infrastructure (e.g., the utilities, water resource management, and food supply protection) and entering everything from automotive technology, to household and healthcare networks. A major effort is underway to develop the next generation of cyber security experts through the establishment of ‘academic centers of excellence’ and cyber security programs at a great many US colleges and universities. This matter is particularly acute because the current workforce must possess a great deal of knowledge and a high degree of skill. Cyber security as a work domain and commercial sector has...

Blogs

There Is No “Cyber”

At the recent Joint Service Academy (JSA) Cyber Security Summit at West Point (20-21 April, 2016), the word “cyber” was used in multiple different facets. As a noun, cyberspace is the “Domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify, and exchange data…” [COL11]. This is perhaps the broadest definition possible, proposed as the Cyberspace Operations Lexicon by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While the ambiguity with the meaning of the proper noun “Cyber” provides a difficult framework to focus meaningful actions, our use of the words “Cyber”, “Digital” and their like as adjectives serves only to create artificial divisions among researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers in the area. The term “Cyber Security” is of course ubiquitous, being the focus of the JSA Cyber Security Summit and one of the main foci of the Army Cyber Institute (ACI) at West Point; that is unavoidable. Cyber Security can be many things: at the JSA Summit it was identified as the agglomeration of practicing good hardware and software manufacturing and implementation, sourcing trusted components (again, from both a hardware and software side) and providing training and education for workers to avoid naively poking holes in those standards [CON16]. The term operational security (OPSEC) is used to describe our behaviors while conducting the mission. For those whose jobs have security considerations, OPSEC refers to not discussing their work in public places, even in an unclassified way. The phrase “Digital OPSEC” or even “Cyber OPSEC” is frequently used to discuss our behaviors on the internet, such as not connecting to public WiFi, using discretion with location services on our...

Enter the Policy and Legal Void

Soldiers are down range and have suites of tools available to them that they cannot use to their full capability. They are not technically limited, but rather constrained by the authorities and pre-requisite policies established in a pre-digital age. We tell them to go and defeat ISIS, Al al’Qaeda, or pick another future adversary, but they must do so with their hands tied behind their backs. Make no mistake, as a nation we are currently involved in a global conflict. The conflict is not defined by traditional weapons, but by bits and bytes traversing fiber lines and airwaves. This global information war collides with many of the values of Western Democracies, and the societal constraints of authoritarian regimes. The robust constraints on governmental instruments serve a valuable purpose, yet at the same time our Soldiers in the field are struggling to navigate complex legal and policy waters while corporations are drowning in data that might inform or provide context for a variety of mission sets. The volume and velocity of this data is only set to grow as globally the number of Internet enabled devices increases from approximately 17 billion to 50 billion and beyond. At the beginning of the digital age it is imperative that we, as a society, begin discussing the future we are rapidly entering. Constraints are pivotal for maintaining the fundamental civil rights Americans cherish.  Civil rights, to include various liberties such as privacy, free speech, and freedom of religion among others are challenged by data repositories that eliminate anonymity and the ability to be forgotten and to forget. Yet, we as a society are...

Critical Infrastructure Exercise 16.2 – A Transformative Cybersecurity Learning Experience

and With an increased national awareness that the critical infrastructure which keeps our country running is surprisingly vulnerable—not just to physical attacks, but also to cyberattacks that can be initiated from anywhere in the world—the State of Indiana executed CRIT-EX 16.2 on the 18th and 19th of May, 2016, at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. This cyberattack readiness exercise focused on improving Indiana’s overall security and responsiveness of its critical infrastructure to face advanced cyber disruption of essential water utility services – presenting an extreme public safety threat. Indiana, like the rest of the country, understands it has a short window of opportunity to prepare for a major cybersecurity event that, if successful, could be as devastating as a major earthquake or tornado. In order to effectively prepare for such a scenario, Indiana’s cybersecurity stakeholders realized they had to build high-functioning, collaborative networks that span the public and private sector. By working to collaborate on high-risk cyber issues, organizations throughout Indiana are elevating their response postures, and preparing to ratchet up their ability to confront the threats of tomorrow [1]. CRIT-EX 16.2 attendees tourthe FBI’s national Mobile Command Center (photo by Ernest Wong) “This exercise explored the intersection between critical infrastructure and cyber security,” explained Jennifer De Medeiros, Emergency Services Program Manager for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security [2]. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the Indiana National Guard, Indiana Office of Technology, Cyber Leadership Alliance, and over 16 other public and private partners developed this controlled functional cyberattack exercise allowing participants to deploy resources and communicate with response partners to mitigate adverse effects and...

The Number One Vulnerability in the Future of Cyber Security: A Critical Lesson for all Organizations

Since 1958, NASA has been the foremost symbol of American excellence in science and exploration, inspiring generations of engineers around the globe to achieve the impossible through advanced technology. With each of its defining events, NASA pushes humanity further into the future, bringing scientists more information about our universe than ever dreamt possible. But while NASA was reaching for the stars, other forces were secretly at work. In the dark recesses of the agency’s computers and network servers, intruders were lurking. After months of covert access, a hacktivist group called AnonSec obtained 276GB of sensitive data including flight logs, videos, and personal information from thousands of employees (Thalen 2016). This post examines how such an established institution of advanced technology could fall prey to cyber hacking, the glaring warning signs, and the one key lesson all organizations should learn from this historical event. The Back Story What sets the 2014 NASA data breach apart from other hacking events is the unprecedented insight provided by the hackers themselves. AnonSec, a hacktivist group claiming responsibility for compromising over 720 websites and networks, claimed the NASA breach. To support their claim they posted large quantities of supporting evidence. AnonSec also publically-posted paper called “Zine”, detailing on how they gained access to NASA’s networks and computer systems, the content they obtained, and why. Although their writings appear to focus on exposing drone and “chemtrail” technology, this was not their primary objective. When AnonSec initially hacked NASA they were looking for “interesting/profitable” data on the NASA networks (AnonSec 2015). But as they dug deeper into the systems, they discovered more than they were originally...

Indiana Exercising Plans to Combat Cyber Threats: Preparing for CRIT-EX 2016

, and On the 21st and 22nd of March, 2016, Indiana hosted its inaugural Defense Cyber Summit (DCS), which aimed to advance the state’s cyber readiness and preparations against a cyberwarfare attack. Spurred on by Admiral Michael Rogers, the Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, who in 2014 called cybersecurity “the ultimate team sport,” Indiana has purposefully adopted a culture of collaboration between government organizations, private firms, non-profits, and academia to improve the state’s response and resiliency to a significant cyber incident. This team approach will counter cyberattacks intent on degrading Indiana’s economic capacity and threating the critical services of its citizens [1]. Under the umbrella of the Applied Research Institute (ARI), organizations such as Purdue University, Indiana University, Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Cyber Leadership Alliance, the Indiana National Guard, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have partnered together to address and propose solutions to Indiana’s cyber security challenges. This effort is boosted by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment support of nearly $16.3 million that is funded through a grant from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation. The ARI is working to foster collaboration, research, and problem solving on cyber threats to Indiana’s critical infrastructure [2]. Purdue University Professor Joe Pekny welcomes attendees to the Inaugural Defense Cyber Summit (photo by Tony Chase)   The DCS concept was conceived during visits to US service academies by an Indiana delegation. Representatives from Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the Purdue Research Foundation, and the Cyber Leadership Alliance, had originally concentrated on partnering Purdue University with the service academies in order to provide the most cutting-edge knowledge and technology to...

Network Science Center

Cyber Domain: Getting Ourselves Ready for Future Readiness and Conflict

The issue.  DoD has been trying to establish its plans, structures, processes, and systems to deal with its cybersecurity and operational issues for several years. These efforts have slowly evolved as DoD has clarified and understood its cyber mission. Given the latest proclamation of the cyber roles assigned to government agencies (in the Presidential Policy Directive 41), it is probably time to put together more definitive plans for the DoD cyber forces and the cyber duties associated with all units, service members, and DoD employees. Another recent document that helps DoD sort out its cyber roles comes from the Joint Operating Environment 2035 (JOE2035), subtitled The Joint Force in a Contested and Disordered World, published in 14 July 2016. Essentially, the President’s document assigns DoD to take care of DoD-related contested military cyber issues. The JOE2035 predicts there will be plenty to do by the cyber forces, and identifies a high-probability, almost continuous, context for future conflict in cyberspace by outlining the struggle to define and protect sovereignty in cyberspace for our military. The cyber domain is a growth area with the specter of continuous, sometimes intense, conflict for a long time. With the US depending heavily on the interdependent networks of information technology (Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, embedded processors and controllers) and the data, information, and knowledge that is stored and flows through and between these systems, the cyber domain is the place where a high-stakes competition has, is and will be taking place.   DoD is concerned about:  Growth of state- and non-state-sponsored cyber forces and capabilities. These organizations will have more advanced cyber warfare capabilities....

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

and The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography Simon Singh New York: Random House, 1999, 432 pp. ISBN 978-0-307-78784-2   The Code Book is about the mathematics and science of codes and ciphers throughout history. Singh specifically lists two purposes for this book. The first is to show the evolution of codes and ciphers, and the second is to demonstrate their relevance in today’s society. Throughout the eight chapters, he discusses the elements of complex ciphers and simplifies the mathematical details for a general audience. He enthusiastically presents stories surrounding ciphers such as who created them, who sought to break them, and if and how the codebreakers were successful. We, as student and instructor in a course entitled Networks for Cyber Operations, used this book as one of our texts in the Spring semester of 2016. To illustrate his first point, Singh shares stories about well-known ciphers such as those involving Mary Queen of Scots, the Beale Papers, and the Enigma. He uses Mary Queen of Scots to show the evolution of secret writing and the development of cryptography. He discusses how secret writing evolved into steganography and cryptography, how cryptography developed into transposition and substitution, and lastly, how substitution evolved into codes and ciphers. Additionally, he discusses the story behind the Beale Papers to introduce how codemakers use keys to encrypt their messages. Sharing the story of the Enigma Machine in World War II, he shows the evolution from encryption by hand to encryption by machine. Singh also reveals how codebreakers accomplished their work to demonstrate that as long as codemakers develop new...