When the Senate Appropriations Committee meets, the subject is usually money — say the $13 billion that the administration is seeking for cyber warfare in the Fiscal Year 2014 — but how the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FBI planned to spend that money was swept away by repeated questions over just what the federal government was doing in collecting so much data on U.S. citizens.
There is an inherent tension between security and privacy and citizens want to know what the government is doing with the data it is collecting from phone calls to Google searches to credit card purchases, said committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Read More
U.S. Air Force cyber airman from the @4th Ari Force in April 2013. US Air Force Photo
The head of China’s Internet security said it had extensive evidence pointing to U.S. hacking targeted toward China, according to a Wednesday report in the state controlled China Daily.
“We have mountains of data, if we wanted to accuse the U.S., but it’s not helpful in solving the problem,” said Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, known as CNCERT. Read More
The following is a Monday open letter to Pentagon leaders and Congress from a bi-partisan group representing ten D.C. think tanks that focus on national security issues. The groups are calling for reform on the most politically sensitive defense expenditures: Military compensation, closing excess military facilities and the size of the Pentagon civillian workforce. The letter appeared as an advertisement in The Hill newspaper.
Dear Secretary Hagel, Chairman Levin, Ranking Member Inhofe, Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith,
Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Cochran, Chairman Young, and Ranking Member Visclosky:
A striking bipartisan consensus exists today across the think tank community on the need for Pentagon and Congressional leaders to address the growing
imbalances within the defense budget that threaten the health and long-term viability of America’s volunteer military.
It is our shared belief that the Department of Defense urgently needs to close excess bases and facilities, reexamine the size and structure of the DoD civilian
workforce, and reform military compensation. While we do not all agree on the best approach to reform in each case, we agree that if these issues are not addressed, they will gradually consume the defense budget from within. Read More
Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon’s budget under sequestration. CSBA Image
Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at balancing the Department of Defense’s budget if the Pentagon has to weather ten years of ten percent across-the-board sequestration budget cuts sequestration on Wednesday.
The consensus of the four (American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment) was unanimous.
First, cut the Department of Defense’s civilian employees – including shipyard and depot workers. Then reduce the services’ end strength – particularly the Army’s. Read More
The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo
The Pentagon attempted to allay fears Tuesday it had lost an edge in technology development following a Monday revelation China had hacked more than two dozen weapons programs from the U.S.
“Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a Tuesday statement. Read More
A launch of the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo
Chinese hackers have obtained designs for more than two dozen U.S. weapon systems — including the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship and electromagnetic railguns — according to a Monday report from The Washington Post. Read More
The canceled Distinguished Warfare Medal annouced in February at the Pentagon. DoD Photo
The Pentagon is cancelling a controversial medal designed to recognize contributions of unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber troops, according to a Monday memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel obtained by USNI News. Read More
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert addresses a Sailor’s question during an all hands call hosted at Naval Air Station North Island on Jan. 31, 2013.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, is pushing for the Navy to pay more attention to threats in the Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. Read More
Image from new white paper accusing the Chinese military of a major ongoing hacking operation. Mandiant
A unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is one the most persistent Chinese security threats responsible for stealing, “hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations,” a Tuesday white paper from Virginia-based Mandiant claims and first reported by The New York Times. Read More
The following was excerpted from the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2012 annual history conference “The History and Future Challenges of Cyber Power” at Alumni Hall on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy on Oct. 16.
The panel discussion focused on the cooperation between the public sector (the intelligence and military for the sake of this discussion) and a private sector that is often vulnerable to cyber warfare.
The segment was moderated by University of Maryland School of Public Policy Research Professor Dr. William Nolte, who reminded the audience just how much people are touched by computers and by extension potentially cyber warfare on a daily basis.
“I used to ask audiences like this, ‘How many of you have used a computer today?’” Nolte said. “And people caught on. The easier question is, ‘How many have not used a computer today,’ meaning how many of you have not driven a car, or in some cases turning on your stove? You use your iPhone certainly. And this event I think has really taken us all by storm.”
Participating in Nolte’s panel was Dr. Michael Warner, the command historian for U.S. Cyber Command of the U.S. Department of Defense. Warner’s claimed that he is the only practicing “trained historian” in this field and explained his role a historian.
“Federal historians are those people who have to say to the boss, ‘Sir, ma’am — the problem is actually much harder than you realize and it’s much more complicated, too,’” Warner said. “So on that cheery note, that may be why there are so few federal historians because that is our job to bring this unwelcomed news to people.”