DoD

DARPA Tech Identifies Counterfeit Microelectronics

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) announced on Wednesday that advanced software and equipment it developed to spot counterfeit microelectronics in U.S. weapons and cyber security systems has been handed over to military contractors to continue development. DARPA said the product of its Integrity and Reliability of Integrated Circuits (IRIS) program: the Advanced Scanning Optical Microscope (ASOM) technology was transferred to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Indiana, where it will be used to inspect microelectronics for signs of tampering or compromise. The technology was developed with the help of SRI International, an IRIS contractor. Read more Security Ledger coverage of supply chain risks. “The ASOM technology housed at NSWC Crane will help engineers provide forensic analysis of microelectronics, including integrated circuits (IC) confiscated by law enforcement officials,” DARPA said in a statement. The DoD is a major buyer of integrated circuit chips, which are mainly manufactured outside the U.S. […]

Update: Cyber Spies Digging For Clues On Iraq?

The folks over at CrowdStrike have dug deep into a campaign of targeted cyber attacks targeting Washington D.C. think tanks and say they have evidence that whomever is behind the attacks has taken a sudden interest in U.S. policy towards Iraq. Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include comments from Adam Meyers, Vice President of Security Intelligence at CrowdStrike. – PFR July 8, 2014 14:30 Writing on Tuesday, CrowdStrike CTO Dmitri Alperovitch described a new campaign by a group they dubbed “DEEP PANDA” that was targeting think tanks specializing on U.S. foreign policy and national security. Alperovitch said CrowdStrike observed a pronounced shift in targets from think tank experts on Asia to experts on Iraq and the Middle East in recent weeks. The shift corresponded with the rapid escalation of violence in Iraq as the Islamic extremist group ISIS took control of large parts of the country. “This actor, who was engaged in […]

Big GOV Shift To Secure Cloud?

For those of us covering the cyber security beat, there haven’t been many feel-good stories coming out of the federal government in – well – forever. Even before the advent of nation state sponsored hacking, the news was mostly of the federal government’s bloated and unwieldy IT infrastructure, byzantine procurement systems and the difficulty of attracting top talent away from private sector employers who could offer more pay, more autonomy and a better working environment.   Then came the gut wrenching display of offensive prowess by the U.S.’s main enemies – nations like China, Russia and Iran. Those stories started, in earnest, with news about operations like Titan Rain (in 2003) and continue to the present day. The problem has gotten so bad that the military’s preferred euphemism for Chinese hackers – “advanced persistent threat,” or “APT” has become part of the nomenclature of the IT security world far beyond […]

Vint Cerf, Google Inc.

Vint Cerf: CS Changes Needed To Address IoT Security, Privacy

The Internet of Things has tremendous potential but also poses a tremendous risk if the underlying security of Internet of Things devices is not taken into account, according to Vint Cerf, Google’s Internet Evangelist. Cerf, speaking in a public Google Hangout on Wednesday, said that he’s tremendously excited about the possibilities of an Internet of billions of connected objects, but said that securing the data stored on those devices and exchanged between them represents a challenge to the field of computer science – and one that the nation’s universities need to start addressing. “I’m very excited,” Cerf said, in response to a question from host Leo Laporte. He cited the Philips HUE lightbulb as an example of a cool IoT application. “So you’re going to be able to manage quite a wide range of appliances at home , at work and in your car. Eventually, that will include things you’re […]

ToR

Is Jump In ToR Use Blowback From PRISM?

It’s ironic that government surveillance might push the public to embrace technology pioneered by the Department of Defense. But so it is: new metrics from The Tor Project show that use of the online anonymity service has exploded since early June: up more than 100 percent, from just over 500,000 global users to more than 1.2 million. Why the sudden surge in privacy conscious Internet users? It would be easy to connect the dots between revelations about the U.S. government’s omnibus data gathering program PRISM and the sudden desire of Internet users to sacrifice some speed and performance for the privilege of having their online doings passed through The Onion Router. Still, it’s not clear that this is the case. To be sure: growth is being seen across the board, not just in active users, but in the number of ToR clients running, the data suggests. There are steep increases […]