Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla discusses Air Force Cybersecurity Strategy

air force cyber

Defense News Vago Muradian discusses Air Force cybersecurity strategy with USAF Lt. Gen. Michael Basla.

24th Air Force Commander discusses Cyber Oberations

The Commander of 24th Air Force and Air Force’s Cyber Air Component to USCYBERCOM Network Operations, Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, spoke Monday at the 4th Annual Cyber 1.2 event at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

General Vautrinot, who is responsible for the Air Force’s component force that provides combatant commanders with trained and ready cyber forces, discussed the importance of the 24th Air Force mission.

When we talk about cyber, we are talking about mission, a mission focus and a mission accomplishment.

My mission focus, just like in any other domain-whether it is ground, sea, air or space-the same is true for cyber: we are responding to orders and guidance that support this nation in its responsibilities and national security efforts around the globe,” the general said.

She described how the 24th Air Force is the operational warfighting organization that establishes, operates, maintains and defends Air Force networks and conducts full-spectrum operations in cyberspace.

The general explained that full-spectrum is offense, defense and exploitation and they merge together at Cyber Command and are provided to the combatant commands so they can execute their missions.

She also said that it is important to defend Air Force networks to ensure warfighters can maintain the information advantage as we prosecute military operations.

The defense can make a huge difference,” the general said, “and it makes the difference by understanding what is happening on the field of play and getting in front of it before a play can form, that is the beginning of forensics.”

When looking at forensics from a defensive stand point, it is like reviewing the game tapes before a football game. You’re able to “stop the play” before adversaries get any ground, General Vautrinot explained.

When you watch them over and over again, the “signature” advises the defense. And more importantly you can get to the next step of heuristics and know what any play may look like and let the system automatically adjust…in cyber-time.

It is about proactive defense in depth” she said.

She said cyber defense is all about being able to apply your knowledge across all possibilities of how someone can take advantage of your architectures and your ability to use cyber to your own advantage and to their disadvantage.


Auburn Davis – Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

Cyber Arms Intelligence Report for August 3rd

ATM and Cell Phone Hacking, Elite US Cyber Team

Some interesting topics at the Black Hat and Defcon conferences recently. Let’s start this report off with a video. Security Week has a few videos of the “Jackpotting Automated Teller Machines” presentation by Barnaby Jack:

At Defcon, Chris Paget demonstrated intercepting mobile phone calls. “As far as your cell phones are concerned I am now indistinguishable from AT&T”, he said. He had 30 cell phones connected to his system. But aren’t cell phone communications encrypted you say? “If I decide not to enable encryption I just disable it, it’s that simple.”, Chris said. That simple huh? Well, I guess when your phone thinks your system is a cell phone tower, you can change some of the rules. Kind of makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside doesn’t it?

Okay, all the latest cyber geek goodness not your thing, you say. What other reasons are their to attend a top security conference? How about the cool ninja badge? Or instructions about how it was hacked?

Still not peeked your interest? Okay, how about the chance to be recruited for an elite US cyber team? According to an AFP article, “Vigilant” was present and recruiting at Defcon:

An elite US cyber team that has stealthily tracked Internet villains for more than a decade pulled back its cloak of secrecy to recruit hackers at a DefCon gathering. Vigilant was described by its chief Chet Uber as a sort of cyber “A-Team” taking on terrorists, drug cartels, mobsters and other enemies on the Internet. “We do things the government can’t,” Uber said on Sunday. “This was never supposed to have been a public thing.”

According to the article, Vigilant has more than 600 volunteers, which include former high-ranking US spies and executives of top technology companies. And they are looking to add 1750 people this year. They have had their hands in several different hot topic events including uncovering fraud in the Iran election, and they also provide a way for people to slip information out of countries with controlling regimes.

The intelligence they recover is reported to the federal government. Very interesting indeed. 

Offensive Cyber Weapon – Cynialating Hackers

The FOSE conference yesterday was pretty good. It used a virtual atmosphere that was interesting. I have seen it only once before, and that was an online HP employment fair. The majority of the buzz I saw there was for the CISSP Exam Prep Clinic. I must admit I have not seen anything like it since Microsoft created the MCSE exam. Also, the Keynote speech by craiglists creator Craig Newmark was very well received. What was great too was some people there knew of the Cyber Arms blog! It was great meeting you!

I must admit though, with all the excitement over the presentations, I was smitten by the very first vendor booth that I visited – Rsignia. This company makes intrusion detection systems on steroids. I was very impressed with their products… then I saw Cyberscope.

Cyberscope is a rackable hardware solution, that not only detects and identifies intrusion attempts, but it also attacks. Yes, this is a true to life offensive weapon. From the above video, here are some of the facts.

Cyberscope Capabilities Include the Ability to:

  • Flow Jam – Locate and then Jam incoming signals.
  • Botnet Capture – Inject software onto Botnet zombie PC’s and turn them against each other.
  • Misinformation – Intercepts data, changes it and then sends it back to the hackers.

According to the video, Cyberscope can identify the target by using several sources, including public domain signatures and law enforcement agencies. The units are stackable and rackable and run at full line speed. Check out the video, I like the presenter, he is like a cool version of a mad scientist. Well, you’ll see. 🙂

Check out Cyberscope, cynialating hackers near you!