Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Cyber Storm", Russian Arctic X's, + News



"Cyber Storm"

Trains, planes and bloggers concerned U.S. terror drill





This photo provided by the U.S Secret Services shows the work area for the Department of Homeland Security's "Cyber Storm" war games worldwide simulation challenge in Washington


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/5501246.html



WASHINGTON — It's the government's idea of a really bad day: Washington's Metro trains shut down. Seaport computers in New York go dark. Bloggers reveal locations of railcars with hazardous materials. Airport control towers are disrupted in Philadelphia and Chicago. Overseas, a mysterious liquid is found on London's subway.
And that's just for starters.
Those incidents were among dozens of detailed, mock disasters confronting officials rapid-fire in the U.S. government's biggest-ever "Cyber Storm" war game, according to hundreds of pages of heavily censored files obtained by The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department ran the exercise to test the nation's hacker defenses, with help from the State Department, Pentagon, Justice Department, CIA, National Security Agency and others.
The laundry list of fictional catastrophes — which include hundreds of people on "No Fly" lists suddenly arriving at airport ticket counters — is significant because it suggests what kind of real-world trouble keeps people in the White House awake at night.
Imagined villains include hackers, bloggers and even reporters. After mock electronic attacks overwhelmed computers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an unspecified "major news network" airing reports about the attackers refused to reveal its sources to the government. Other simulated reporters were duped into spreading "believable but misleading" information that worsened fallout by confusing the public and financial markets, according to the government's files.
The $3 million, invitation-only war game simulated what the U.S. described as plausible attacks over five days in February 2006 against the technology industry, transportation lines and energy utilities by anti-globalization hackers. The government is organizing another multimillion-dollar war game, Cyber Storm 2, to take place in early March.
"They point out where your expectations of your capabilities may be overstated," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the AP. "They may reveal to you things you haven't thought about. It's a good way of testing that you're going to do the job the way you think you were. It's the difference between doing drills and doing a scrimmage."
The AP obtained the Cyber Storm internal records nearly two years after it requested them under the Freedom of Information Act. The government censored most of the 328 pages it turned over, marked "For Official Use Only," citing rules preventing the disclosure of sensitive information.
"Definitely a challenging scenario," said Scott C. Algeier, who runs a cyber-defense group for leading technology companies, the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
For the participants — including government officials from the United States, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and executives from leading technology and transportation companies — the mock disasters came fast and furious: Hacker break-ins at an airline; stolen commercial software blueprints; problems with satellite navigation systems; trouble with police radios in Montana; school closures in Washington, Miami and New York; computer failures at border checkpoints.
The incidents were divided among categories: computer attacks, physical attacks or psychological operations.
"We want to stress these players," said Jeffrey Wright, the former Cyber Storm director for the Homeland Security Department. "None of the players took 100 percent of the correct, right actions. If they had, we wouldn't have done our job as planners."
How did they do? Reviews were mixed. Companies and governments worked successfully in some cases.
But key players didn't understand the role of the premier U.S. organization responsible for fending off major cyber attacks, called the National Cyber Response Coordination Group, and it didn't have enough technical experts.
Also, the sheer number of mock attacks complicated defensive efforts.
The little-known Cyber Response group, headed by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, represents the largest U.S. government departments — including law enforcement and intelligence agencies — and is the principal organization for responding to cyber attacks and recovering from them.
The exercise had no impact on the real Internet. Officials said they were careful to simulate attacks only using isolated computers, working from basement offices at the Secret Service's headquarters in downtown Washington.
However, the government's files hint at a tantalizing mystery: In the middle of the war game, someone quietly attacked the very computers used to conduct the exercise. Perplexed organizers traced the incident to overzealous players and sent everyone an urgent e-mail marked "IMPORTANT!" reminding them not to probe or attack the game computers.
"Any time you get a group of (information technology) experts together, there's always a desire, 'Let's show them what we can do,'" said George Foresman, a former senior Homeland Security official who oversaw Cyber Storm. "Whether its intent was embarrassment or a prank, we had to temper the enthusiasm of the players."




Military exercises held in Arctic sea http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/20342




ARussian strategic bombers are holding exercises in the Arctic sea. More than 40 aircraft will take part in the war games, practicing intelligence gathering, bombing enemy targets and air patrols.
Military officials say the exercises will - in accordance to international rules - take place only in neutral waters, and won't cross the borders of neighboring states.

Universal Detection Technology Inks Chinese Distribution Agreement for Counter Terrorism Detection Technologies and Services http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/industries/energy/article/universal-detection-technology-inks-chinese-distribution-agreement-counter_459033_11.html

LOS ANGELES, Jan 31, 2008 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Universal Detection Technology (www.udetection.com)(OTCBB:UDTT) (Frankfurt:PO8), a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, announced today that it has reached an agreement with Kadinuo Science and Technology Company in Beijing to market and distribute UDTT's products in China......

AreaRAE Sensor Network Deployed at Premier Terrorism Preparedness Exercise http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/industries/technology/article/arearae-sensor-network-deployed-premier-terrorism-preparedness-exercise_459335_12.html




Military Unprepared for Domestic Threats http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/31/AR2008013101833.html?hpid=moreheadlines

The U.S. military's reserves and National Guard forces are not prepared to meet catastrophic threats at home and face an "appalling" shortage of forces able to respond to chemical, biological or nuclear strikes on U.S. soil, according to a congressional commission report released today.....



Basij war games kick off in Dezful (Iran)
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=162354

Raytheon, L-3, Alliant Profits Rise on Iraq War Sales (Update)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a5rEKb2iEBG0&refer=us



Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. defense companies Raytheon Co., L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. and Alliant Techsystems Inc. said profit rose more than analysts' projected and boosted forecasts as the Iraq war lifted sales of combat systems and services....

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