[iwar] news excerpts...

From: Fred Cohen (fc@all.net)
Date: 2001-06-22 18:21:55

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Subject: [iwar] news excerpts...
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Thursday June 21 3:19 PM ET

Russia, China Working on Cyber Warfare -US Official

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia and China appear to be developing
computer-based tools with the potential to do long-lasting harm to the U.S.
economy, a top intelligence official told Congress on Thursday.

Such arms will give future foes new leverage over the United States,
including a way to ratchet up pressure and the prospect of anonymity, said
Lawrence Gershwin, the national intelligence officer for science and

Testifying before the Joint Economic Committee, Gershwin cited what he
called some nations' public acknowledgment of the role cyber attacks would
play as the ``next wave of military operations.''

``We've certainly seen that from countries such as China and Russia,'' he
said. While he mentioned no other states by name, he said a ``fair number''
had ``active'' programs, adding that most of his information on the subject
was classified.

``We watch them very intensely,'' Gershwin said. ``Some of them are aimed at
the United States and some of the others are probably aimed at others.''

``For the next five to 10 years or so, only nation-states appear to have the
discipline, commitment and resources to fully develop capabilities to attack
critical infrastructures,'' he said.

The United States itself is working to integrate keyboard-launched attacks
and network defense into ``all military plans and operations,'' Army Lt.
Gen. Edward Anderson, deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Space Command,
told House Armed Service Committee members Wednesday.

``We need to continue developing computer network attack strategies through
simulations and war-gaming to improve our understanding of the potential
collateral effects associated with such actions,'' he said. ``Collateral''
damages is military jargon for spillover to civilians.


U.S. Forces in Gulf on High Alert

Possible Terrorist Threat Detected, Ships Leave Ports

June 22 - U.S. Navy warships have pulled out of Persian Gulf ports following
the detection of a possible "imminent" terrorist threat against an American
target in the region, ABCNEWS has learned.

 Administration officials say they are aware of an imminent, but unspecified
terrorist threat against Americans. The State Department is expected to
issue a worldwide alert in the coming hours.  Military sources say the
threat is "credible, and actionable," meaning it is serious enough for the
military to pull ships out of port, standard procedure after the Navy ship
USS Cole was hit by a terrorist attack while refueling in the Yemen port of
Aden nine months ago. Seventeen sailors were killed.

U.S. military  installations in the region that were not at the highest
state of alert, "Threatcon Delta," have been raised to that status,
warranting a series of protective actions military commanders take to
safeguard forces.  The moves come a day after federal prosecutors indicted
14 people in the Khobar Towers truck bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed
19 U.S. servicemen nearly five years ago.


From a Federal Department:

Apparently someone is dialing our prefix seeking a modem connection (ala
War Games).  The agency reported the incident to us. 


OCC issues cyberthreat alert 
ABA Bank Compliance, 6/22/2001
No URL available.

ABSTRACT: In OCC Alert 2001-4, on April 24, 2001, OCC issued an alert
outlining steps that banks should take to protect electronic network
data from hackers and other cyberthreats.  BODY: On April 24, 2001, OCC
issued an alert outlining steps that banks should take to protect
electronic network data from hackers and other cyberthreats.  OCC Alert
2001-4.  The alert was prompted by a recent report from the National
Infrastructure Protection Center, a group made up of representatives
from federal, state and local agencies and the private sector formed to
safeguard U.S.  essential infrastructure, about increasing numbers of
attacks on electronic commerce.  The alert said that banks and service
providers should take the following steps to respond to network
vulnerabilities: Identify systems vulnerabilities; Eliminate unwarranted
risks by applying vendor-provided software fixes, commonly called
"patches;" Ensure that exploitable files and services are assessed and
removed or disabled; Ensure that changes to security configurations are
documented, approved, and tested; Update vulnerability scanning and
intrusion detection tools to identify known vulnerabilities and related
unauthorized activities; Conduct subsequent penetration testing and
vulnerability assessments, as needed; Review contracts with service
providers to ensure that security maintenance and reporting
responsibilities are clearly described, including notice by service
providers of systems security breaches that may affect the bank; and
Establish monitoring, reporting, and investigation controls that
identify unusual funds transfer activities as a potential indicator of
system security breaches.  The alert is available on OCC's website at

FBI reviewing IT security 
By Christopher J. Dorobek, Federal Computer Week, 6/22/2001

The FBIs information technology security practices are part of an
internal review of the bureaus counterespionage efforts, said former FBI
director William Webster, who is leading that review.

Attorney General John Ashcroft specifically requested that the review
cover IT security, Webster said during testimony before the Senate
Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Webster said the review is looking at:

* The adequacy of the FBIs protection of computer and telecommunications
* The bureaus audit trail capabilities examining the FBIs ability to
track who has access to what information. 
* The FBIs implementation of automated tripwire detection systems, which
are used to notify officials when somebody is looking at information
unrelated to their work. 
Webster was brought in by FBI Director Louis Freeh, who steps down this
week, in the wake of the arrest of Robert Hanssen, a veteran FBI
counterintelligence agent who was arrested in February on charges of
spying for the Russians for 15 years.


N. Korea masses forces
U.S. intelligence agencies are closely watching the east and west coast of 
North Korea. Last week, large numbers of amphibious assault vehicles and 
craft were spotted getting into formation. Officials said the forces were 
probably preparing for military exercises.

The amphibious-warfare equipment was photographed by a U.S. spy satellite and 
included air-cushioned landing craft and troop- and tank-transport ships.

The massing of forces coincided with the incursion of a North Korean merchant 
ship into South Korean waters on June 13.


Asymmetric threats

     Army Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the U.S. Central Command, is 
warning that the United States must prepare itself for a future "asymmetric" 
Pearl Harbor-like sneak attack.
     "The asymmetric threat is serious and deserves our focused thought and 
preparation," Gen. Franks said in a recent speech to the Operations Security 
Professionals Society. "The point is to avoid another Pearl Harbor-like event 
by recognizing the threat and preparing to meet this growing challenge."
     How to deal with asymmetric threats will be addressed in the ongoing 
defense-transformation efforts by the military, he said.
     Asymmetric warfare threats include efforts by weaker powers to defeat 
stronger ones using attacks that can include weapons of mass destruction, the 
use of computer-based information warfare, and terrorism.


Lots more is hapenning out there today...


Fred Cohen at Sandia National Laboratories at tel:925-294-2087 fax:925-294-1225
  Fred Cohen & Associates: http://all.net - fc@all.net - tel/fax:925-454-0171
      Fred Cohen - Practitioner in Residence - The University of New Haven
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	PGP keys: https://all.net/pgpkeys.html - Have a great day!!!


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