Government planning scenarios to prevent cyber-terrorist attacks,legal elements of cyber warfare and future cyber challenges will beamong the key topics of discussion at a training conference titledthe Cyber Warfare & Security Summit on June 25-27 in Arlington,Virginia. The speakers' panel at the summit, presented by The Institute forDefense and Government Advancement (IDGA), will include: Brigadier Gen. Michael Stone of the Michigan National Guard Mark J. Morrison, defense intelligence officer at the CyberDirectorate for Analysis, DIA Kevin Highfield, U.S. Army electronic warfare analyst Scott Borg, CEO of the Cyber Consequences Unit Randy Bachman, cyber security technical lead at the FederalCommunications Commission Curtis Levinson, cyber defense subject matter expert and U.S.liaison to NATO, and Roger W. |
Kuhn, science adviser, Fleet Cyber Command/Commander, 10thFleet. Day One of the summit will focus on what IDGA calls "The HumanCapital Crisis in Cyber Security" -- the competition amongmilitaries around the globe to "recruit the best computerspecialists." "If the U.S. gets the best people for its Cyber and StrategicCommands and all other institutions currently working within thefield, then the cyber threat can only be transformed to an economicadvantage and to a cyber opportunity," IDGA says. In addition to 20 keynote and training sessions, there are a numberof topics related to the transformation of warfare from physical tocyber space. A presentation by Scott Borg is titled, "Replacingindustrial defense thinking with cyber defense thinking." In an interview with IDGA's Chris Archer, Borg says the prospect ofcyberwar means the U.S.
needs to "rethink every aspect of defense."Our current weapons and defense systems will still be needed, butthe way we use them will become very different. As other cybersecurity experts have noted, Borg says, "A majorcyber assault could completely bypass our military forces. It wouldnot require incoming airplanes, missiles, ships, or troops. Theattack could suddenly appear inside the computerized equipment ofour major industries." "The identity of the country or organization that was responsiblecould be impossible to determine quickly or with completeconfidence. ]It] could cause almost any kind of damage that couldbe produced by the human operators of computerized equipment," Borgsays.
The targets of such attacks have also been under discussion in thecybersecurity community and are the focus of about a half-dozenbills pending in Congress. Borg notes that a cyberattack "couldphysically destroy or sabotage electrical generation stations,refineries, pipelines, banking systems, railroad switches, flightcontrol centers, chemical plants, hospital equipment, and water andsanitation facilities." And the economic and physical damage, he says, "could surpass anyother kind of assault, except for a nuclear one." "Thousands of people could be killed immediately by explosions,leaks of toxic chemicals, airplane crashes, train crashes, andwrong medical treatments," Borg says. "Hundreds of thousands couldbe caused to die over the months to come as a result of famine,disease, loss of heating or cooling, and the general deprivationsand social breakdowns resulting from people no longer beingsupplied with the necessities of life." The biggest challenge, Borg says, is keeping up with the rapidlyevolving threats. "Extrapolating a past cyberattack trend into thefuture is of little use," he says, adding that this makesgovernment-mandated security standards of little use.
"By the timecybersecurity standards have been defined and are being imposed,they will not only be obsolete; they will often be an impediment toimplementing the security measures that are most necessary," hesays. Among other sessions: A data-driven approach to detecting advancedpersistent threats; Enhancing the security of the networkinfrastructure; Convergence of cyber warfare and electronicwarfare; The attribution problem with cyber attacks and; Thechallenge of international law frameworks in response to the threatof cyber warfare. To register, go to bit.ly/KIFNce . Read more about malware/cybercrime in CSOonline's Malware/Cybercrime section.
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