Archive for the ‘Defense’ Category

CyberDefense: Appeal to Fear – Chinese Stole Anthem Data For HUMINT

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Chinese Stole Anthem Data For HUMINT; Should Raise US ‘Hackles’ by John Quigg.

From the post:


(Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of PLA General Staff, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Two peas in a pod?])

The Chinese just walked out of Anthem’s enormous data warehouse (though without encrypting their data it might as well have been a troop of Girl Scouts) with personal data on a quarter of America’s population. Assuming that the pro forma outrage and denial is a confirmation of culpability, the People’s Liberation Army and its various subsidiaries will comb over this and other data they hoover up in the maw of their cyber apparatus for defense and economic intelligence purposes for years, further enabling their surveillance and exploitation of Americans they find interesting.

Which leads the article to conclude, among other things:

Our toothless response as a nation is doing little to deter attacks.

To his credit, John does point out in bolded text:

This is one of the largest corporate breaches ever and has significant fiscal, legal, and intelligence implications. The latest reports indicate that the breach occurred because the data was not encrypted and the attacker used the credentials of an authorized user.

But there is a radical disconnect between national cyberdefense and unencrypted data being stolen using credentials of an authorized user.

Fear will drive the construction of a national cyberdefense equivalent to the TSA and phone record vacuuming, neither of which has succeeded at identifying a single terrorist in the fourteen (14) years since 9/11. (Not my opinion, conclusions of U.S. government agencies, see the links.)

No cyberdefense system, private, governmental or otherwise, can protect data that is not encrypted and for which an attacker has authenticated access. What part of that is unclear?

Let’s identify and correct known computer security weaknesses and then and only then, identify gaps that remain to be addressed by a national cybersecurity program. Otherwise a cybersecurity program will address fictional security gaps, take ineffectual action against others and be as useless and wasteful as similar unfocused efforts.

Defence: a quick guide to key internet links

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Defence: a quick guide to key internet links by David Watt and Nicole Brangwin.

While browsing at Full Text Reports, I saw this title with the following listing of contents:

  • Australian Parliament
  • Australian Government
  • Military history
  • Strategic studies
  • Australian think tanks and non-government organisations
  • International think tanks and organisations
  • Foreign defence

The document is a five (5) page PDF file that has a significant number of links, particularly to Australian military resources. Under “Foreign defense” I did find the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army but no link for ISIL.

This may save you some time if you are spidering Australian military sites but appears to be incomplete for other areas.

The Most Expensive Fighter Jet Ever Built, by the Numbers

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The Most Expensive Fighter Jet Ever Built, by the Numbers by Theodoric Meyer.

From the post:

Thanks to the sequester, the Defense Department is now required to cut more than $40 billion this fiscal year out of its $549 billion budget. But one program that’s unlikely to take a significant hit is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, despite the fact that it’s almost four times more expensive than any other Pentagon weapons program that’s in the works.

We’ve compiled some of the most headache-inducing figures, from the program’s hefty cost overruns to the billions it’s generating in revenue for Lockheed Martin.

[See the post for the numbers, which are impressive.]

While the F-35 is billions over budget and years behind schedule, the program seems to be doing better recently. A Government Accountability Office report released this week found that Lockheed has made progress in improving supply and manufacturing processes and addressing technical problems.

“We’ve made enormous progress over the last few years,” Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed’s vice president of F-35 business development, told the Washington Post.

The military’s current head of the program, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, agreed that things have improved but said Lockheed and another major contractor, Pratt & Whitney, still have a ways to go.

“I want them to take on some of the risk of this program,” Bogdan said last month in Australia, which plans to buy 100 of the planes. “I want them to invest in cost reductions. I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I’m not getting all that love yet.”

A story that illustrates the utility of a topic map approach to news coverage.

The story has already spanned more than a decade and language like: “[t]he military’s current head of the program…,” makes me wonder about the prior military heads of the program.

Or for that matter, it isn’t really Lockheed or Pratt & Whitney, that are building (allegedly) the F-35 but identifiable teams of people within those organizations.

And those companies are paying bonuses, stock dividends, etc. during the term of the project.

No one person or for that matter any one group of people could not chase down all the actors in a story like this one.

However, merging different investigations into distinct aspects of the story could assemble a mosaic clearer than any of its individual pieces.

Perhaps tying poor management, cost overruns, etc., to named individuals will have a greater impact than generalized stories about such practices have when the name is the DoD, Lockheed, etc.

PS: If you aren’t clinically depressed, read the GAO report.

Would you buy a plane where it isn’t known if the helmet mounted display, a critical control system, will work?

It’s like buying a car where a working engine is to-be-determined, maybe.

An F-35 topic map should start with the names, addresses and current status of everyone who signed any paperwork authorizing this project.

Semantic Technology For Intelligence, Defense, and Security STIDS 2012

Saturday, June 16th, 2012


Paper submissions due: July 24, 2012
Notification of acceptance: August 28, 2012
Camera-ready papers due: September 18, 2012
Presentations due: October 17, 2012

Tutorials October 23
Main Conference October 24-26
Early Bird Registration rates until September 25

From the call for papers:

The conference is an opportunity for collaboration and cross-fertilization between researchers and practitioners of semantic-based technologies with particular experience in the problems facing the Intelligence, Defense, and Security communities. It will feature invited talks from prominent ontologists and recognized leaders from the target application domains.

To facilitate interchange among communities with a clear commonality of interest but little history of interaction, STIDS will host two separate tracks. The Research Track will showcase original, significant research on semantic technologies applicable to problems in intelligence, defense or security. Submissions to the research track are expected to clearly present their contribution, demonstrate its significance, and show the applicability to problems in the target applications domain. The Applications Track provides a forum for presenting implemented semantic-based applications to intelligence, defense, or security, as well as to discuss and evaluate the use of semantic techniques in these areas. Of particular interest are comparisons between different technologies or approaches and lessons learned from applications. By capitalizing on this opportunity, STIDS could spark dramatic progress toward transitioning semantic technologies from research to the field.

A hidden area where it will be difficult to cut IT budgets. Mostly because it is “hidden.” 😉

Not the only reason you should participate but perhaps an extra incentive to do well!