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EADS, BAE deal could roil U.S. defense industry

September 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. and BAE Systems of Britain are in merger talks to create the world's largest aerospace and defense company, the Wall Street Journal reports. EADS, the parent of aircraft maker Airbus, has struggled to expand in the crowded U.S. market. A deal with BAE,...

India, United States kick off cyber drills

September 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team kicked off a two-day joint offensive computer exercise with the United States on Wednesday, according to an Indian media report. The two agencies will launch phishing, network-probing, spam and malware attacks against each other and work out possible security ventures going forward, according to...

Aging activists draw attention to lax security in uranium storage complex

September 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Three anti-nuclear activists -- an 82-year-old nun, a gardener and a house painter -- who in July cut through fences of the complex housing the nation’s largest concentration of weapons-grade uranium, have caught lawmakers’ attention and raised questions about the facility’s lax security, reports indicate. The group slipped past security...

Obama administration pushes to extend electronic surveillance law

September 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama Administration is pushing to renew a controversial 2008 surveillance law, warning that the country would lose an important intelligence-collection tool if Congress allows the measure to expire at the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows a secret national security...

U.S. missile defense strategy is flawed, panel finds

September 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The nation’s defenses against missile attacks have fallen short and left the U.S. vulnerable to some long-range strikes, according to a study chartered by Congress and reported by the New York Times. Domestic defenses could handle crude missiles but nothing more sophisticated, the report said. The assessment is a blow...

Japan creates cyber defense unit

September 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Japan’s Defense Ministry announced that it would create a unit dedicated to countering computer attacks and espionage, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports. The ministry plans to recruit 100 people to collect information about malware, study ways to respond to security threats, and take over operations currently conducted separately by ground, maritime...

Al Qaeda’s No. 2 in Yemen killed in airstrike

September 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An airstrike killed al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader in Yemen along with six others traveling with him in one car on Monday, the Associated Press reports. Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi national who fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the Guantanamo Bay military prison, was killed by a missile...

Army, Marines want to give combat troops access to ‘cyber fire support’

September 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Army and Marine Corps are developing procedures for frontline troops to request offensive electronic tools to support ground missions, Foreign Policy reports. Such tools could plausibly infiltrate networks, disrupt communications, or deliver misleading messages to enemy computers. The Army currently uses a system called the Cyber Effects Request Format...

State-sponsored computer attacks grow increasingly ‘reckless,’ NSA official says

September 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nations are increasingly employing computer attacks without "any sense of restraint," a National Security Agency official said on Friday at a forum in New York. "We're starting to see nation-state resources and expertise employed in what we would characterize as reckless and disruptive, destructive behaviors," Debora Plunkett, head of NSA's...

Pentagon receives ‘overwhelming response’ to Plan X cyber offensive

September 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have decided to postpone briefings and the release of solicitation documents for Plan X, a widely-anticipated funding initiative that will lay the foundation for the government’s push into offensive computer warfare operations. “Due to an unanticipated and overwhelming response from industry and...

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