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For DHS, Cybersecurity Education Begins in Kindergarten

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivers a speech at George Washington University on January 27, 2011 (Photo: DHS)

In a blog on the Department of Homeland Security website, Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department is working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity beginning in kindergarten.

In a blog titled, “Inspiring the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals,” Napolitano said, “In addition, we are extending the scope of cyber education beyond the federal workplace through the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, involving students from kindergarten through post-graduate school.”

“At DHS, we’re working to develop the next generation of leaders in cybersecurity while fostering an environment for talented staff to grow in this field. We are building strong cybersecurity career paths within the Department, and in partnership with other government agencies,” the secretary said.

DHS also sponsors the U.S. Cyber Challenge, she said, “a program that works with academia and the private sector to identify and develop the best and brightest cyber talent to meet our nation’s growing and changing security needs.”

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) noted on its website that the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation are leading the Formal Cybersecurity Education Component.

“Their mission is to bolster formal cybersecurity education programs encompassing kindergarten through 12th grade, higher education and vocational programs, with a focus on the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to provide a pipeline of skilled workers for the private sector and government,” the website said.

“A digitally literate workforce that uses technology in a secure manner is imperative to the Nation’s economy and the security of our critical infrastructure,” NICE said on its website.

“Just as we teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, reading, writing and other critical subjects to all students, we also need to educate all students to use technology securely in order to prepare them for the digital world in which we live,” the website added.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/dhs-cybersecurity-education-begins-kindergarten

Obama Closer to Seizing Control of Cyberspace; Exec. Order Imminent

According to a copy of a draft executive order on cybersecurity obtained by the Associated Press (AP), President Obama will soon order “U.S. spy agencies to share the latest intelligence about cyberthreats with companies operating electric grids, water plants, railroads and other vital industries to help protect them from electronic attacks.”

For some time, government officials have insisted that Iran is planning a cyberattack on the electronic communications infrastructure of the United States. The AP reports that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the U.S. armed forces are “ready to retaliate” should Iran — or any other country — attempt an attack on U.S. cybersecurity.

Promises of the White House’s imminent issuing of the edict have been coming for months. The AP reports that regardless of the latest leak, “the White House declined to say when the president will sign the order.”

On September 19, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the executive order granting the president sweeping power over the Internet is “close to completion.”

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Napolitano said that the order is still “being drafted” and vetted by various high-level bureaucrats. But she also indicated that it would be issued as soon as a “few issues” were resolved. Assuming control of the nation’s Internet infrastructure is a DHS responsibility, Napolitano added.

“DHS is the Federal government’s lead agency for securing civilian government computer systems and works with our industry and Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners to secure critical infrastructure and information systems,” she informed senators.

Napolitano’s report on the role of DHS squares with the information revealed in the seven-page version of the order the AP has read. According to the report of their findings:

The draft order would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of organizing an information-sharing network that rapidly distributes sanitized summaries of top-secret intelligence reports about known cyberthreats that identify a specific target. With these warnings, known as tear lines, the owners and operators of essential U.S. businesses would be better able to block potential attackers from gaining access to their computer systems.

The new draft, which is not dated, retains a section that requires Homeland Security to identify the vital systems that, if hit by cyberattack, could “reasonably result in a debilitating impact” on national and economic security. Other sections establish a program to encourage companies to adopt voluntary security standards and direct federal agencies to determine whether existing cyber security regulations are adequate.

The president’s de facto re-routing of all Internet traffic through federal intelligence officers deputizes more than just DHS as cybertraffic cops. The AP reports that “the Pentagon, the National Security Agency (NSA), the director of national intelligence, and the Justice Department” will all cooperate in the surveillance — in the name of national security, of course.

Corporate employees will be authorized to snoop, as well. Per the AP’s reading of the draft executive order, “selected employees at critical infrastructure companies would receive security clearances allowing them to receive the information.

As for those companies considered less critical to our national cybersecurity, “the government would ask businesses to tell the government about cyberthreats or cyberattacks. There would be no requirement to do so.”

Given the history of the federal government’s penchant for vague language, however, it is likely that despite the denial of compulsory cooperation with the government there will be a loophole just large enough to mandate private cooperation with the federal government.

Although the president and officials in his administration portray the attack as imminent, Congress isn’t persuaded, and on several occasions lawmakers have rejected measures calling for greater government control over the Internet and the communications infrastructure.

The president claims that this legislative lassitude is forcing him to bypass the Constitution and act alone to protect the country from cyberattacks. Once Barack Obama signs his name to this edict and assuming compliance with its mandates changes from voluntary to involuntary, he will possess powers only dreamed about by the most ambitious dictators of history.

“In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed. Moving forward, the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in an email reported by The Hill.

The demise of the bill in the Senate was not unforeseen. As The New American reported in July:

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has been the subject of some criticism as privacy advocates feared that the bill would pose too many threats to the constitutional rights of the American people.

Likewise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and IBM sent out letters to show their opposition for the original bill, asserting that it would overwhelm the industry with regulations.

In response to the criticism, Senator Lieberman reformed the original bill.

For example, the updated version of the bill reflects changes to the provision to assign the Department of Homeland Security the role of creating mandatory cybersecurity standards for infrastructure industries.

The newer version of the bill does not include language for “mandatory, regulatory sections,” but still requires a creation of industry best practice standards for the purposes of protecting critical infrastructure, but rather than making the adoption of those standards mandatory, the owners of the critical infrastructure adopt “voluntary” standards. The bill offers incentives to adopt those standards, such as liability protection, and access to threat information.

Some contend that the revisions are not ideal, however, as it gives the government the power to deny threat information to critical infrastructure owners who choose not to comply with the voluntary standards. Likewise, the incentives are too insignificant to fully incentivize any company to adopt the standards.

Since the beginning of his administration, President Obama has made cybersecurity a central plank in his presidential platform. As The New American reported in 2009:

The president pointed out that shortly after taking office he directed the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to thoroughly review the federal government’s efforts “to defend our information and communications infrastructure” and to recommend improvements. He mentioned that National Security Council Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace Melissa Hathaway led the review team, and that the 60-day review included input from industry, academia, civil liberty and privacy advocates, every level and branch of government, Congress, and other advisers — even input from “international partners.”

To that end, the White House proposed legislation in 2011 and has ordered one after the other administration official to testify at no fewer than 17 congressional hearings on the subject.

In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece penned by the president, he did his best to instill in the American people fear of the consequences we would suffer should someone launch a successful cyberattack on the critical infrastructure networks of our nation.

The AP reports that the version of the order it obtained was undated and that Obama administration spokesmen refused to disclose when President Obama would issue the order.

National Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden was quoted parroting the president’s party line on the urgent need for action, however: “Given the gravity of the threats we face in cyberspace, we want to get this right in addition to getting it done swiftly,” Hayden told the AP.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/item/13334-obama-closer-to-seizing-control-of-cyberspace-exec-order-imminent

Israel neck deep in perpetrating cyberterrorism

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Israeli regime will construct an iron dome to counter cyber attacks from Iran. In a security meeting, Netanyahu noted that Israel’s infrastructure system and computers are the objectives of Iran, claiming his cybernetics office staff seeks to develop a digital iron dome to address such leaks.

Israel resorts to iron dome cyberattacks against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Israeli regime will construct an iron dome to counter cyber attacks from Iran.

In a security meeting, Netanyahu noted that Israel’s infrastructure system and computers are the objectives of Iran.

He said that the Israeli cybernetics office staff, formed last year, seeks to develop a digital iron dome to address such leaks.

The Israeli official added that the operation needs time to be developed. However, he indicated that the Tel Aviv regime has started.

The newspaper The Washington Post revealed in a recent report that the Israeli regime and the U.S. created the “flame”  computer virus to spy on Iran.

The virus is among the most sophisticated and subversive pieces of malware to be exposed to date. Experts said the program was designed to replicate across even highly secure networks, then control everyday computer functions to send secrets back to its creators. The code could activate computer microphones and cameras, log keyboard strokes, take screen shots, extract geo­location data from images, and send and receive commands and data through Bluetooth wireless technology.

Also in June the newspaper The New York Times brought to light that President Barack Obama had secretly ordered a computer attack against Iran through the Stuxnet virus in order to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.

“This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today.

The two destructive viruses that infiltrated Iranian computers over the past two years were neutralized in Iran after developing software capable of disabling them.

On the other hand, Netanyahu has said that to relieve against jihad activities and the recent attacks on the Gaza Strip that left three people dead, regime forces continue operations of a similar nature.

Since Saturday, three people have been killed by the wave of air strikes by the Israeli regime against the Gaza Strip

It’s rather notable that they announce a “defensive” program, playing the victim role, when they are the perpetrators of massive cyberterrorism.  One comes to expect such Orwellian doublespeak from the FUKUS/Israel axis.

http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/conflicts/24-10-2012/122551-israel_deep-0/

Leon Panetta announces that “Cyber Pearl Harbor” is near

The cyber war against Iran began under President Bush with a series of attacks commanded by the governments of the United States and Israel. Their first known product, the Stuxnet virus, severely disrupted the Iranian nuclear facilities a couple of years ago. When it was discovered in the summer of 2010, the virus had escaped to the Internet from the Iranian Natanz nuclear plant. Obama made clear his concern and said he was weary about the U.S. turning into a “hacker” which could be a justification for other countries to launch attacks against the U.S.. But that is precisely what the cyber war is all about: seeking an external attack by provoking American foes so the military industrial complex can justify the takeover of the internet. Obama himself has approved internet censorship legislation that enables him and his government to block large portions of the internet or even to switch the net off.

Although officially the Iranians are the villains, they were not the first to push the button. It was Obama himself, who during his first presidential term, decided to carry out this less futile kind of war. He and his government developed cyber spying and cyber sabotage procedures that are now applied against the American people themselves as well as foreign governments. The plans to launch spying and cyber war games includes the use of drones to attack targets in countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The cyber war is usually kept quiet, so not many people learn about it unless it is found out that the U.S. and Israel are behind the attacks launched against Iran, as it has happened lately. Meanwhile, Leon Panetta, who has just declared that his country is on the brink of a “cyber Pearl Harbor”, does not say absolutely anything about the provocations carried out by the U.S. and its ally Israel. What is causing Panetta’s concerns? The Defense Secretary of the United States is referring to recent attacks on computer systems that belong to Saudi oil companies and U.S. financial institutions, which the U.S. attributes to Iran; more specifically, a cyber war operation put together by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The existence of Iranian cyber warriors is not new, but the US has not shown any convincing proof that Iran was the one that attacked the Saudis or American banks. Since 2011 and in response to a previous cyber attacks that sought to hack its nuclear program — conducted by Israel and the US — Iran began working on a program to not only defend itself from such attacks, but to carry out offensives against its aggressors. But the United States has not demonstrated that the attacks carried out in August that affected the national oil company Saudi Aramco and some US banks, were of Iranian making.

Obama’s doubts about having the US work as a cyber terrorists state ended quickly and the White House along with the Pentagon and the CIA began a program known as Olimpic Games. Through this and other programs, Obama approved the escalation of cyber attacks against Iran. back in early July, The New York Times published an extensive report that explained how Obama “secretly ordered increased attacks against sophisticated computer systems inside Iranian factories that worked in the enrichment of uranium.” The report detailed how this plan expanded significantly the use of cyber terror tools from the part of the US government.

After launching the attacks, Obama also called on American civil and military intelligence services to work closer together and to cooperate on this front with the Israelis. After initially denying it, so that it did not have to recognize its weakness, the Iranian regime ended up recognizing that trojans, viruses and malware coming from outside Iran had infiltrated its nuclear energy programs.

In 2010, Richard A. Clarke, who was head of U.S. counterterrorism services with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, published an essay entitled Cyber War. Clarke talked about World War III in cyberspace for which states like U.S., Israel, Russia and China were already preparing to fight.

Some people believe that Flame, one of the viruses that got inside Iranian computers may have been the first of many trojan horses to come. In late May, the Iranian government agency dedicated to the fight against piracy (its acronym CERT) announced that it had located the virus, the most malignant ever invented. Flame had been infecting computers for two years without being detected by any antivirus software.

Flame is a set of programs that performs multiple tasks of espionage and sabotage: records conversations, allows the computer to be controlled remotely, has Bluetooth and takes over upcoming mobile phones near the computers, copies and transmits data remotely and is  undetectable by any existing antivirus program today.

Of course, the U.S. does not officially recognize any of these viruses that have undermined Iran’s nuclear program. Neither does Israel. But it is well known that the U.S. Air Force already has 7000 cyber warriors in bases located in Texas and Georgia. It is unknown to the public how many more of these the US has in other departments of the Pentagon, the CIA and other U.S. federal government agencies.

The effort to turn the US into a cyber terrorist state began in 2009 under President Obama. After approving various pieces of legislation, the US government created the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) which is the organ that manages all special operations of the U.S. Air Force.

USCYBERCOM was not the only creature of its kind and now it seems to have found a serious rival in the Iranian specialized units.

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/leon-panetta-announces-that-cyber-pearl-harbor-is-near_102012

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