Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

A new frontline in cyber defense

Few professionals would disagree with the fact that the cyber threat domain (CTD) continues to evolve at a breakneck speed. As CTD evolves, the bot forces and combatants on the frontline change. At this point, it appears we are experiencing one of those transitions.

Recent reports seem to indicate the private sector is now on the front lines of cyber aggression. The recent report of 24,000 defense contractor files being exfiltrated is one example that the transition has begun. An unconfirmed report indicated this breach and the sensitive information involved might cause a redesign of a weapons platform that was under development. If that is true, imagine the tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars that was spent on the design that must be tossed aside. Now consider the number of reports about intellectual property (IP) theft and the damage this causes. One private-sector organization was compromised and access to its sensitive, proprietary intellectual property was discovered. While that investigation was underway, information that a patent application on aspects of that IP was filed in China.

One of the most significant products of the United States is IP. Cyber intelligence suggests that cyberattacks are now targeting corporate IP and other sensitive information. Once they steal these secrets, they sell them to competitors and foreign governments for a hefty price. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said, "It is a significant concern that over the past decade, terabytes of data have been extracted by foreign intruders from corporate networks of defense companies."

No one knows the true value of the 24,000 files that were stolen from the defense contractor network, nor the true impact on our national security, given that the theft has been attributed to a foreign intelligence service.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:27 PM

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