Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean

Approximately one year ago, the Russian navy caused quite a stir by hanging around internet cables in the Atlantic for some period of time. The accusation was the Russians were mapping the cables in o

Source: Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean

The Kyrgyzstan Cyber Attack That No One Is Talking About


From IntelFusion:

“A colleague alerted me a couple of days ago to a massive DDOS attack against Kyrgyzstan ISPs which essentially shut them down on January 18, 2009. There are only 4 ISP providers for the entire country so this attack was clearly sending a message. Since the attacking IPs were Russian, and since the Russian government supports the current Kyrgyzstan President, I’m thinking that its a message to the opposition party.” … Continue reading “The Kyrgyzstan Cyber Attack That No One Is Talking About”

A ‘Fifth-Generation’ War

“5GW is what happens when the world’s disaffected direct their desperation at the most obvious symbol of everything they lack, taking advantage of the tactics and battlefields pioneered by more highly organized fourth-gen warriors. The symbol is the United States, the world’s sole super-power. And the fifth-gen fighters’ weapon of choice is political “stalemate,” contends Marine Lt. Col. Stanton Coer, in a new piece inMarine Corps Gazette. “5GW fighters will win by … point[ing] out the impotence of secular military might. … These fighters win by not losing, while we lose by not winning.”

The battlefield will be something strange — cyberspace, or the Cleveland water supply, or Wall Street’s banking systems, or YouTube. The mission will be instilling fear, and it will succeed.

5GW is anchored in the global Islamic jihad espoused by Al Qaeda, Coer writes. But that doesn’t mean that fifth-gen warriors necessarily are clearly ideological, with aspirations of setting up alternative political systems. They’re opportunists, intent only on destruction. But even seemingly pointless violence can have a perverse logic, for the sudden, irrational destruction undermines the idea that nations — and especially the most powerful nation, the U.S. — are viable in the modern world.

So how do you beat a fifth-gen enemy? By not fighting, first of all. Beebe says ending the vortex of violence in Africa means alleviating “the conditions of human beings that create these insecurities across state borders.” In other words, focus on economic development, humanitarian assistance and communication, with nary an M-16 or Abrams tank in sight.

In Coer’s words, “success will vary inversely to exported violence.””

Source: Danger Room

And, because some part of this war is about cyberspace…

“According to Bloomberg — Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the world’s biggest defense companies, are deploying forces and resources to a new battlefield: cyberspace.”


INPUT’s Information Security Market Forecast 2008 – 2013 illustrates that demand for vendor-furnished information security products and services by the U.S. federal government will increase from $7.4 billion in 2008 to $10.7 billion in 2013 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7%.

(Source: IntelFusion)

CRS, What are the Benefits of an Office of Science and Technology Policy?

from ZIA

OSTP.jpgSecrecy News alerts us to a series of newly released Congressional Research Service reports related to national security policy. The leading report it of particular interest to the science and technology community, especially given the incessantObama transition chatter. The report is titled, “The President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy: Issues for Congress,” and it presents a thorough analysis of how the OSTP has been used, how it interacts with the executive, and its relationship with other S&T agencies (including the organizational chart of OSTP advisory councils, pictured at the right). Later in the report, however, CRS moves forward to consider how the future president might use the OSTP, asking the question: what are the pros and cons of having an OSTP at all? To that end, CRS comes to some very interesting conclusions:

From a presidential perspective, if the S&T adviser or presidential advisory committee is not committed to the President’s agenda and is not willing to represent the Administration’s perspective, the President may believe that high-level S&T advice will provide more harm than good. If the S&T adviser has a close relationship with the President, the S&T community may fear this will lead to the politicization of S&T and subvert the S&T adviser’s ability to provide independent advice. A historical review of presidential S&T activities since the F.D. Roosevelt Administration illustrates that a presidential S&T adviser or advisory committee may be placed in a challenging position when a difference in opinion exists between the President and the majority of the S&T community. The result may be dismissal or marginalization of S&T consideration from the White House inner circle.

This jumped off the page to me, because by definition the OSTP should be committed to the promotion of good science, rather than the political ends of the President. CRS continues by presenting the alternative, which is that, “an S&T adviser who understands these sensitivities may be an asset to the Administration, providing confidential advice privately and speaking authoritatively on S&T-related issues for the Administration publically.” While these sensitives would certainly be an asset to the adviser, I shudder to think of the trade-off between political maneuvering and the promotion of a legitimate national security research agenda.

Photo: CRS

Commercial satellites alter global security

WASHINGTON — The secretive National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is rushing to get the latest, high-definition satellite photos of Afghanistan into the hands of U.S. ground troops as they ramp up operations in the country’s tangled terrain.