Understanding the Role of Connected Devices in Recent Cyberattacks

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The world is increasingly connected. Smartphones are now capable of locking and unlocking our front doors, turning on lights, checking the camera for packages left on the doorstep. We are able to measure our steps, check our baby monitors, record our favorite programs from wherever we have connectivity. We will soon be able to commute to our offices in driverless cars, trains, buses, have our child's blood sugar checked remotely, and divert important energy resources from town to town efficiently. These are incredible potentially life-saving benefits that our society is learning to embrace, but we are also learning that these innovations do not come without a cost. In 2016, the internet encountered a denial of service attack on a scale never before seen. This attack effectively blocked access to popular sites like Netflix and Twitter by weaponizing unsecured network connected devices like cameras and DVRs. How do we make ourselves more secure without sacrificing the benefits of innovation and technological advances? A knee-jerk reaction might be to regulate the Internet of Things, but the United States cannot regulate the world. Standards applied to American-designed, American-manufactured, American-sold devices won't necessarily capture the millions of devices purchased by the billions of people around the world, so the vulnerabilities might remain. Any sustainable and effective solution will require input from all members of the ecosystem of the so-called Internet of Things.

Emerging Cyber Threats to the United States

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The United States faces evolving cybersecurity threats from nation-states such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, as well as cyber threats from criminal organizations and terrorist groups such as ISIS. These actors continue to develop and build more sophisticated cyber capabilities. These hackers now pose an even greater threat to the U.S. homeland and critical infrastructure. Cybersecurity more than ever is National security. In 2015, the U.S. was the victim of one of the most significant cyber attacks in its history. The breach at the Office of Personnel Management exposed the personal and security clearance information of 21.5 million current and former Government employees. In 2014, North Korea conducted a cyber attack on Sony Pictures that not only destroyed computers, but also was intended to stifle free speech and threaten American ideals. The Obama administration's lack of proportional responses to these cyber attacks has signaled to the world that there are no real consequences for such actions. Without a comprehensive National cybersecurity strategy that establishes deterrence, the future could bring an increasing number of adversaries that are willing to conduct cyber attacks against the United States.

Security at Federal Buildings and Facilities: Screening and Cybersecurity Issues

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Cyber Warfare: China’s Strategy to Dominate in Cyber Space (Computer Hacking and Security)

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China‘s INEW doctrine combining network attack with electronic warfare supports the use of cyber warfare in future conflict. The IW militia unit organization provides each Chinese military region commander with unique network attack, exploitation, and defense capabilities. IW unit training focuses on improving network attack skills during military exercises. The integration of the IW militia units with commercial technology companies provides infrastructure and technical support enabling the units to conduct operations. The IW units gather intelligence on an adversary‘s networks identifying critical nodes and security weaknesses. Armed with this intelligence, these units are capable of conducting network attack to disrupt or destroy the identified critical nodes of an enemy‘s C4ISR assets allowing China to use military force in a local war. In an effort to regain its former status, China pursues the strategic goal of reunification of its claimed sovereign territories and lands using economic influence as the primary means but will resort to military force if necessary. Recent cyber activities attributed to China suggest that network exploitation is currently underway and providing military, political, and economic information to the CCP. Domestically and internationally, China views Taiwan and the United States respectively as the major threats to the CCP.

Cyber Infrastructure Protection

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This book provides an integrated view and a comprehensive framework of the various issues relating to cyber infrastructure protection. It provides the foundation for long-term policy development, a road map for cyber security, and an analysis of technology challenges that impede cyber infrastructure protection. The book is divided into three main parts. Part I deals with strategy and policy issues related to cyber security. It provides a theory of cyberpower, a discussion of Internet survivability as well as large scale data breaches and the role of cyberpower in humanitarian assistance. Part II covers social and legal aspects of cyber infrastructure protection and it provides discussions concernsing the attack dynamics of politically and religiously motivated hackers. Part III discusses the technical aspects of cyber infrastructure protection including the resilience of data centers, intrusion detection, and a strong focus on IP-networks.