Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

NSA shares cyber tools with defense contractors

The numerous announcements of sophisticated attacks against members of our defense industry have increased concerns about the security of their defense secrets. In addition, recent information about the magnitude of intellectual property theft from U.S. companies, including nondefense, high-tech companies, has raised our intelligence community’s and military’s concerns.

These relentless attacks on U.S. defense contractors have prompted the National Security Agency to offer some of its sophisticated tools and techniques as a means to fortify the defense of these sensitive systems. The offer has been extended to more than a dozen defense contractors at this point, but many believe it will be expanded even more in the not so distant future. Information about the NSA’s pilot program that partners with Internet service providers is said to scan Internet traffic and identify malicious traffic thus thwarting cyberattacks before they reach the defense contractors’ systems. The NSA program uses behavioral modeling and digital DNA (i.e., threat signatures) to identify and remove the seemingly endless flow of hostile Internet traffic generated by criminals, activists, terrorist groups and rogue nation states. If successful, the program will be expanded and possibly include systems and networks of our critical infrastructure.

There is little question that we have to increase security after recent attacks and the heightened battle of words about cyberattacks being an act of war. Add to that information about the Pentagon’s concern over terrorists’ cyber capabilities increase that came out in mid-June at the International Workshop on Global Security in Paris, many believe this threat has reached a new high.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jun 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM


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