The intelligence community is developing a single cloud computing network to allow all its analysts to access and rapidly sift through massive volumes of data. When fully complete, this effort will create a pan-agency cloud, with organizations sharing many of the same computing resources and information. More importantly, the hope is the system will break down existing boundaries between agencies and change their insular cultures.

As in the rest of the federal government, lower costs and higher efficiency are the primary reasons for the intelligence world’s shift to cloud computing, said Charles Allen, formerly Under Secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis, currently a principal with the Chertoff Group, in an interview with Breaking Defense, an affiliate of Breaking Gov. Keep reading →

Putting the pieces together for intelligence gathering or crime fighting is often likened to searching for needles in haystacks. And increasingly, those needles are digital traces in a sea of data. Keep reading →

The nation’s top military cyber commander offered his version of how government and military agencies are likely to work together when America suffers cyber attacks, and warned that industry needs to take a greater role.

“We have laid out lanes of the road,” Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency said, sketching them out in broad terms for an audience of security professionals yesterday at a symposium in Washington sponsored by Symantec. Keep reading →

The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate, killing US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and four others, apparently maintained web, cell and radio silence before they acted, giving the US no hint an attack was imminent.

“If people do not emit or discuss their behavior, it’s hard to find out what they are going to do,” Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said at the huge annual conference of intelligence professionals called Geoint. The U.S., he made clear, did not have tactical warning of the attacks. He noted that there were anti-American protests in 54 countries when the attacks occurred, clearly implying the intelligence community had its hands full that day. Keep reading →

On the heels of a well publicized distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on U.S. financial institutions came a warning about another coordinated and planned cyber attack against this critical infrastructure sector.

Cyber intelligence uncovered a fairly large, coordinated cyber attack that is said to use fraudulent wire transfers as the means of attack. This cybersecurity attack is said to leverage session hijacking in a man-in-the-middle cyber attack.

Man-in-the-middle cyber attack is defined as a compromise where the attacker is able to insert themselves between its target and the system or service in which the target is trying to access or use. An attacker accomplishes this by impersonating the system or service that the target is attempting to connect with by falsely rerouting the traffic to and from the service or by hijacking session data.

This attack is known to be initiated by spam and phishing emails, keystroke loggers as well as Trojans with remote access. A high attack concentration has been seen in the small and medium sized organizations and the transfer amounts have ranged from $400,000 to $900,000.

Multiple cyber intelligence sources have warned that an estimated 30 U.S. based financial services institutions may be the targets of an organized cyber criminal gang that is said to be the entity behind this attack.

Just recently the FBI issued a warning about this threat. Their warning stated that the criminals behind this cyber attack were using multiple techniques to obtain customer log-in credentials. Once the criminals have these credentials, they initiate international wire transfers.

For additional information you should monitor the FBI, in association with the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Kevin G. Coleman is a long-time security technology executive and former Chief Strategist at Netscape. He is Senior Fellow with the Technolytics Institute weekly blog for Breaking Gov on the topic of cyber intelligence. Keep reading →

Borrowing insights gleaned from the FBI and the National Science Foundation, six U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation today that would revamp the leadership structure within NASA and U.S. space program.

The Space Leadership Preservation Act, introducedby Reps. John Culberson (TX), Frank Wolf (VA), Bill Posey (FL), Pete Olson (TX), James Sensenbrenner (WI) and Lamar Smith (TX), would create a 10-year term for the NASA Administrator. Keep reading →

A comprehensive survey released today reveals the large and growing impact of social media on law enforcement in criminal investigations.

The survey, released by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, revealed that currently four out of five respondents use various social media platforms to assist in investigations and found agencies serving smaller populations and with fewer sworn personnel (<50) use social media more, while state agencies tend to use it less (71%) than local (82%) and federal (81%) agencies. Keep reading →

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel speaks with InformationWeek Government Editor John Foley at Thursday’s event.

Having launched a formal strategy on the concept yesterday, federal CIO Steven VanRoekel offered examples Thursday morning of how shared IT services will free up valuable resources across government agencies. Keep reading →

The FBI’s cyber chief issued a warning last week that the agency is beginning to see increased targeting of mobile devices, including smart phones and tablet computers, by sophisticated cyber criminal organizations.

Speaking at the annual GovSec Conference in Washington, D.C., April 3, Gordon M. Snow, the FBI’s Assistant Director in charge of its Cyber Division, said the new mobile attack trend is likely to increase in the near future as the number of smart phones and tablets skyrocket. Keep reading →

From tinkering with an old Amiga computer in college to prosecuting one of the first computer hacking cases in the country, Chris Painter’s life has always revolved around computers and technology.

Painter has even adorned his office walls with posters from science fiction movies that involve hackers on the run, espionage and computers taking over the world. He said the posters “highlight for visiting diplomats and industry leaders the popular misperceptions of computers.” Keep reading →

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