Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Defense, E commerce, Finance, IT Security, Security, Technology

Agencies fall short of White House targets for cybersecurity

The White House continues to see an upward trend in new cybersecurity practices governmentwide, but the Obama administration is finding that not all agencies are living up to the cyber standards it set forth in last year’s cross-agency priority goals.

Published with the 2015 budget, the cross-agency priority (CAP) goals focus on longstanding and critical issues affecting agencies across the federal government. Cybersecurity — one of the first mentioned of the White House’s 15 CAP goals — is a mission-based goal to “[i]mprove awareness of security practices, vulnerabilities, and threats to the operating environment, by limiting access to only authorized users and implementing technologies and processes that reduce the risk from malicious activity,” according to a goal statement. It says the president views cybersecurity as “one of the most serious national security, public safety, and economic challenges we face as a nation.”

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Business, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Defense, Finance, IT Security, Security, Technology

North Korea is doubling its skilled cyber security staffers

NORTH KOREA IS REPORTEDLYdoubling the number of its highly skilled cyber soldiers while still denying claims that it ever maliciously hacked anyone.

In case you missed it, North Korea has been accused of hacking like a dry cough. The country has had more fingers pointed at it than a button, and has got rather comfortable with denyingaccusations that it has done things like tear apart Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Now it is accused of doubling its cyber warfare posse, called Bureau 121, which the last time anyone checked was made up of some 3,000 skilled staffers.

Today, according to reports, including this one on Reuters, that number is 6,000 if South Korea is to be believed.

A white paper from the South Korean Defence Ministry said that the enlarged unit will be used to bring mischief on the South, and possibly other countries and their utilities.

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SONY HACK SIGNALS ‘NEW NORMAL’ IN CYBERSECURITY

The Sony hack copied a multinational company’s financial documents, its employees’ personally identifiable information and years’ worth ofembarrassing – and poorly written, it must be said – emails from high-level executives and released them all for the world to see.

But for many cybersecurity observers, the real eye opener was how the hack illustrates today’s cyber landscape: It’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

A growing collection of high-level computer security experts believe evidence points to aninsider-orchestrated attack, while the U.S. government quickly blamed and sanctioned North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong-un, is portrayed in an unflattering fashion in the Sony-backed film, The Interview.

Meanwhile, as Sony’s image continues to tarnish with each leaked, scandalous revelation, the company experienced an added layer of suffering other data-breached companies — Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot — had avoided.

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Trend Micro Supports Cybersecurity Curriculum with Educational Grant

DALLAS, Jan. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in security software, has announced a $10,000 donation to the Mission College Center for Innovation and Technology (MC²IT). The grant will provide resources and expertise to advise and help enhance cybersecurity course curriculum. As the security and privacy industry continues to expand and evolve, Trend Micro is committed to encouraging students to enter the cybersecurity field while empowering them with the core competency to do so.

“As part of our responsibility to help keep the world safe for exchanging digital information, Trend Micro is helping MC²IT rebuild existing curriculums while recommending relevant courses,” said Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro. “The addition of these types of courses will help students to become future experts and next generation leaders in cyber security.”

As a member of the MC²IT advisory board, Trend Micro and other security and privacy leaders recognize the challenges presented by a lack of skilled cybersecurity professionals. With the advent of new technology, experts and professionals will need training on how to investigate and manage corresponding threats.

“With the expertise and knowledge that Trend Micro and the security advisory board bring to MC²IT, we can bridge the gap between technology and education,” said Daniel Peck, president, Mission College. “We have the right people collaborating, bringing their passion to the security profession to motivate students and others interested in learning more about technology careers.”

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Air Force evolves its cybersecurity as JIE comes into focus

The Air Force is moving beyond requiring airmen to use smart identification cards to log onto its computer network. The service now is making its network security even stronger.

Lt. Gen. Bill Bender, the Air Force’s chief of information dominance and chief information officer, said the use of role-based authentication should be “baked- into” its IT systems in the future.

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Ex-Federal Cybersecurity Director Gets 25 Years for Child Porn

A former cybersecurity chief at the Department of Health and Human Services Timothy DeFoggi was sentenced to 25 years in prison on child pornography charges Monday, according to the Department of Justice. “Using the same technological expertise he employed as Acting Director of Cyber Security at HHS, DeFoggi attempted to sexually exploit children and traffic in child pornography through an anonymous computer network of child predators,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement.

A federal jury in the District of Nebraska convicted DeFoggi of child exploitation and conspiracy to distribute child pornography on Aug. 26. The 56-year-old was a member of a pornography website on the Tor network — a web browser that helps users remain anonymous online — from May 2012 until December 2012 when it was taken down by the FBI, according to the statement. He is the sixth person to be convicted in an ongoing federal investigation into three Tor-network-based child pornography websites, according to the DOJ.

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White House cyber czar: Even non-critical infrastructure vulnerable – Top Sony Corp. exec condemns hack at CES

WHITE HOUSE CYBER CZAR: EVEN NON-CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE VULNERABLE — The Sony hack demonstrated that attacks on non-critical infrastructure can still implicate fundamental American values, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel tells Dave in a Q&A out this morning. The hack also means the Obama administration might need to expand its cybersecurity outreach to the private sector, Daniel said.

“Obviously, part of the issue with Sony is … the fact that it was aimed at, effectively, suppressing speech,” Daniel said. “While that’s not critical infrastructure, that’s a value the U.S. holds pretty dear.” As a result, the devastating Thanksgiving week attack on the studio “raises a very interesting question about exactly how broadly we have to cast the net” in cybersecurity information sharing and other policy areas, he said.

Daniel’s 2015 prognosis: “One of the things you can look for from us is continued effort to identify places where we can take executive action…We will be looking for all the cases where we can potentially take some executive action to further things like information sharing and improving cybersecurity. Another big area you should look for us to do is continue pressing on legislation…like information sharing, and there’s still the issue of getting a national data breach law.

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