ISIS use of Cyber Presentation

Very interesting presentation coming up at The George Washington University on the terror group ISIS’ use of social media and cyber attacks:

ISIS Cyber

For more information visit the college’s website.

New NSA Director Rogers Speaks on NSA Spying, Snowden

Last week a host of government and industry security experts met at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit in Washington. During the summit NSA Director and CyberCommand Commander Admiral Rogers shared his views on NSA privacy issues, Snowden and the threats we face today.

Director Rogers, the new head of the NSA, inherits a mess. American citizen trust in the NSA and other government intelligence organizations hit an all time low after Edward Snowden “blew the whistle” on questionable practices at the agency.

Rogers will not only have to try to restore public faith in the NSA, he will have to deal with the fallout.

“They’re changing the way they communicate,” Admiral Rogers said concerning NSA targets. Foreign nations, terror groups and others targeted by the NSA have taken direct measures to protect themselves from current American collection techniques.

And while many see Snowden as a hero, they neglect to see that his actions go far beyond bringing attention to NSA spying and US citizen privacy.

“Mr. Snowden stole from the United States government and national security a large amount of very classified information, a small portion of which is germane to his apparent central argument regarding NSA and privacy issues. The great majority of which has zero to do with those viewpoints,” Director Rogers said.

“I would characterize it as … a broad range about NSA capabilities against a range of traditional military targets, issues of concern to the nation,” Rogers added. “Nothing to do with privacy rights or actions that NSA does or does not take involving citizens of the United States.”

Snowden then took this classified information and ended up seeking asylum in Russia, of all places…

Director Rogers has a full plate in front of him – leading US CyberCommand, and not only directing but fixing the public image of the NSA. And, honestly I could not think of a better man for the job.

When watching news about government spying in the ’70s with his family, Rogers turned to his father and said, “Dad, what kind of nation would we ever want to be that would allow something like this to happen?

What kind of nation indeed.

Rogers is highly regarded in both the military and the intelligence community. He also seems to be a man of integrity and a great leader. If anyone can right the ship, my money is on him.

CyberArms is Back! Security News, Book Reviews and More

I’ve been out of town for almost two months sans internet and had a long time to think about this blog, among other things. So I figured it was well and about time to kick some new life into it and get it spun up again.

Yes!

I haven’t posted on CyberArms consistently for a long time, yet I still amazed at the constant flood of visitors that still check in every day. So, I have decided to begin posting regularly again. Yup, security news, computer tips and even some cool military stuff!

New Ethical Hacking Book!

Though I haven’t been posting, I have been fairly busy on other projects. The biggest one is the release of my new book, “Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux“:

Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux

Over 300 pages packed full with hands-on step by step Ethical Hacking tutorials. An E-Book version will be out later this week!

Navy Base Visit

During my two month “vacation”, I was able to visit one of our top Navy bases. I met some great people, got to see numerous Naval Warships and even got a tour of a Super Carrier!

I also watched the movie “Lone Survivor” on the base. It was a powerful movie, and watching it surrounded by our men and women in the Navy was an experience that I will never forget.

Vice Adm. Rogers Cyber Command Nomination

I was delighted to hear that Vice Admiral Michael Rogers was nominated to be the future leader of both Cyber Command and the NSA. I have had the honor of meeting Vice Adm. Rogers and his wife at a Navy function (non-cybersecurity related) a few years ago.

He was down to Earth, professional, competent and truly seems to be a man of integrity.

I cannot think of a man more qualified to man the helm of our nations Cyber War and Signals Intelligence forces.

Books

I was able to catch up on some reading during my vacation too. Here are two of my favorites:

Information Warfare” is an older book by Winn Schwartau, the Second Edition was published in 1996! I was reading a computer book about 20 years old, yet the content and information still seems very pertinent today.

Bravo Two Zero” is a first hand account of a British SAS unit in Iraq during the First Gulf War that evolved into one of the longest Escape and Evasion treks in history. If you liked the movie Lone Survivor, you will love this book.

Coming Soon

Security news & tutorials, military news, computer tips and some news on more upcoming books.

Stay tuned!

 

FBI: Al-Qaeda Video calls for Electronic Jihad against the US

A 6 minute Al Qaeda video translated by the FBI calls for extremist followers to perform cyber attacks against the US. According to Foxnews, the video states that US computer systems are as vulnerable to electronic warfare as airline security was leading up to the 9/11 attacks.

In the video those “with expertise in this domain to target the websites and information systems of big companies and government agencies“, are called on to join in the attack.

This is the clearest evidence we’ve seen that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups want to attack the cyber systems of our critical infrastructure“, said Senator Joe Lieberman who first saw the video last week in a Homeland Security meeting,”Congress needs to act now to protect the American public from a possible devastating attack on our electric grid, water delivery systems, or financial networks, for example“.

Unlike facing America’s military might on the battlefield, cyber warfare can be done on the cheap. According to Lieberman, “Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are focused on cyber warfare because it can be carried out, if you have somebody smart enough, at very little expense“.

This video comes on the heels of a report last month that stated Al-Qaeda was seeking cyber attack capabilities:

While it’s “accurate today,” that the terrorist group isn’t close to having such a capacity, “how fast that can change is my concern,” Rear Admiral Samuel Cox said at a conference yesterday in Arlington, Virgina.

We are used to what the current threat is, and we lose sight of just how fast that can change and go bad,” Rear Admiral Cox said, “They don’t have to build some technological thing.” They “could hire it, or blackmail it, or find the right person who has that skill set and be able to use that and rapidly increase their capabilities.

From the video it looks like they are taking the next steps and actively recruiting extremists with technical skills. The US will and should take this threat seriously.