Author Archive

Derek B. Johnson

Derek B. Johnson is a former senior staff writer at FCW.

Intel agencies uncover Russian hacking tool

The GRU malware targets Linux operating systems and is used to conduct cyber espionage on behalf.


U.S. imposes new restrictions on Huawei, semiconductor industry

The Department of Commerce is tightening rules targeting the Chinese telecom's supply chain around computer processing chips and restricting sales of chips made with U.S. technology.


Solarium commissioners focus on cyber director, better attribution

Negotiations between the House and Senate on a $740 billion defense authorization bill will determine which recommendations from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission make it into law.


Navy shifts to zero trust mindset to deal with COVID-related telework

Yesterday's buzzword has become today's security imperative, according to the department's CISO.


2020 election security is 'number one goal', NSA chief says

Gen. Paul Nakasone's remarks come as a group of former senior officials seek funds to counter the "extraordinary challenges" posed by coronavirus pandemic and foreign interference to state and local election administrators.


NDAA gets new wave of Solarium cyber amendments

Much of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission's agenda is being pushed into this year's defense authorization process, including its crown jewel idea of a national cyber director.


NSA to release VPN security advisory amid telework boom

Organizations that spent the past decade hardening their corporate networks must now contend with their workforce signing in from insecure, unmanaged personal devices at home.


White House clashes with legislators over new cyber post

The co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission said he has yet to hear from the White House on why they don't want a new top cybersecurity official in the executive branch.


Lawmakers spotlight cyber in Senate defense bill

Amendments filed to the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and others would implement more than a dozen recommendations from the Solarium Commission report.


Key Solarium recommendations find a home in the defense bill

Lawmakers declined to add a mandate for a White House Cyber Director position, citing jurisdictional issues.

IT Infrastructure

Pentagon taps Dave Spirk as chief data officer

Spirk filled the same role at U.S. Special Operations Command, has an intelligence background and will help implement the department's modernization strategy.


Lawmakers want answers on Juniper backdoors

Members of Congress are pressing Juniper's CEO for details of an internal probe into how modified code for a compromised NSA encryption algorithm wound up in the company's firewall products.


Cyber solarium pivots to align with pandemic concerns

Members of the Solarium Commission are retooling their pitch to focus on recommendations that draw parallels to the current coronavirus crisis.

IT Infrastructure

Opening up DOD's AI black box

As algorithms and other AI tools become more prominent to military operations, researchers are studying better ways to visualize and communicate their decision-making.


Cyber Commission pushes defense bill as vehicle for implementation

Even with the coronavirus outbreak dominating policymakers' attention, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) said he was "pretty optimistic" that as much as 30% of the recommendations can be included in the upcoming defense authorization bill.

Report: Hackers target defense contractors, telecoms

China spent the year targeting telecommunications infrastructure to feed its spying and IP theft, while Iran shifted to target defense contractors in the latter half of the year.

How Huawei could affect U.S.-ally relationships

A State Department official suggested the U.S. could seek to limit intelligence sharing with allies who use Huawei products for 5G, but stopped short of endorsing a legislative ban.

Cyber Solarium to back CISA as the lead response agency

Leveling up CISA and CyberCom and streamlining Congressional jurisdiction will be among the recommendations issued in an upcoming report from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

'Dumb attacks' in software supply chain prevail, NSA official says

Vulnerabilities in the software supply chain may represent a larger cybersecurity threat over the long haul than threats to physical hardware.

When it comes to defending the internet, where does DOD fit?

Much of the underlying architecture that powers the internet is under increasing threat -- and it's not clear who in government or industry can or should take the lead to protect it.