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Category Archives: Defense

DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

FCW.com: GAO hacks DOD weapons systems, calls out weak cyber

Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities. GAO-19-128: Published: Oct 9, 2018. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 2018. “DOD’s weapons are more computerized and networked than ever before, so it’s no surprise that there are more opportunities for attacks. Yet until relatively recently, DOD did not make weapon cybersecurity a priority. Over the past few years, DOD has taken steps towards improvement, like updating policies and increasing testing. Federal information security—another term for cybersecurity—has been on our list of High Risk issues since 1997. Today’s weapon systems are heavily computerized, which opens more attack opportunities for adversaries (represented below in a fictitious weapon system for classification reasons).”

Trump’s International Ratings Remain Low, Especially Among Key Allies

Most still want U.S. as top global power, but see China on the rise – “America’s global image plummeted following the election of President Donald Trump, amid widespread opposition to his administration’s policies and a widely shared lack of confidence in his leadership. Now, as the second anniversary of Trump’s election approaches, a new 25-nation… Continue Reading

Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018

Lott, John R., Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018 (August 14, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3233904 “Despite the expectations of many after the 2016 elections, the number of concealed handgun permits has increased for the second year in a row. In 2018, the number of concealed handgun permits soared to now over… Continue Reading

CRS – Gun Control: 3D-Printed AR-15 Lower Receivers

Gun Control: 3D-Printed AR-15 Lower Receivers August 22, 2018. IN10957 “The possibility that criminals could use three dimensional-printing (3D-printing) technology to produce “untraceable” firearms, including AR-15s, is an issue of growing concern for some lawmakers. It overlaps in part with the issue of 3D-printed “undetectable” firearms discussed in a previous Insight (CRS Insight IN10953, Gun… Continue Reading

The Cautious Path to Strategic Advantage: How Militaries Should Plan for AI

EFF White Paper: “In June, Google executives announced that the company would be backing away from its provision of AI services to the U.S. military drone program, and would not continue that work after the Project Maven contract is completed. This was in response to a campaign from Google’s own employees, with thousands calling on… Continue Reading

Actions Needed to Improve National Nuclear Security Administration Contract Document Management

Management Report: Actions Needed to Improve National Nuclear Security Administration Contract Document Management. GAO-18-246R: Published: Aug 1, 2018. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2018. “The National Nuclear Security Administration spent over $11 billion in 2016 on management and operating contracts at the federal sites that maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, among other things. We found… Continue Reading

Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace 2018

Foreign Economic Espionage in Cyberspace 2018 – Economic cyber espionage will only get worse, ODNI report says “In the 2011 report to Congress on Foreign Spies Stealing U.S. Economic Secrets in Cyberspace, the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive provided a baseline assessment of the many dangers facing the U.S. research, development, and manufacturing sectors… Continue Reading

DHS announces US critical infrastructure at risk from Russia

WSJ – DHS Forms New Cyber Hub to Protect Critical U.S. Infrastructure Secretary Nielsen Says ‘Our Intelligence Community Had it Right’ About Russian Interference – What What What ⸮⸮⸮ [see my previous posting about this punctuation mark] As this article is behind a paywall – you may want to avail yourself via US-CERT of the… Continue Reading

American Airlines, TSA Testing New State-of-the-Art Screening Technology in New York

American Airlines Newsroom: “Research and development efforts have shown that CT is the most consequential technology available today for airport checkpoints worldwide. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), working collaboratively with American Airlines, is demonstrating a new computed tomography (CT) scanner at the Terminal 8 security checkpoint at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).… Continue Reading

DOJ Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force

United States Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Cyber-Digital Task Force Report. July 2, 2018. “In February 2018, the Attorney General established a Cyber-Digital Task Force within the Department and directed the Task Force to answer two basic, foundational questions: How is the Department responding to cyber threats? And how can federal… Continue Reading

How the Russians did it – unwrapping Mueller’s latest indictment

What Mueller’s Latest Indictment Reveals About Russian and U.S. Spycraft “Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into interference with the 2016 presidential election, charged 12 Russian military intelligence officers with conducting “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The indictment contains a surprising amount of technical information about alleged Russian… Continue Reading

Putin: The one-man show the West doesn’t understand

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Putin: The one-man show the West doesn’t understand – Fiona Hill, Published online: 13 Apr 2016. “The West is at an inflection point in its relations with Russia; the stakes for having an accurate understanding of its president, Vladimir Putin, have never been higher. A misreading of this man… Continue Reading