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Will you be joining us Mr Bond? Actually, No! Mr. Bond won’t be joining us.
The era of the James Bond-esque Spy is well and truly over.
Times have changed. In fact they changed a long time ago. In a digital sense, everyone is spying on everyone with two notable protagonists being the United States and China.
China is accused of stealing military and industrial secrets on an unprecedented scale. One example, is that (allegedly) the Chinese acquired all the design information of the US nuclear weapons currently in US inventory. From our understanding, the US Government is still unaware as to how exactly the Chinese were able to gather this information.
The 21st century has opened up a formidable new front when it comes to espionage and there is a dramatic new weapon: the Cyber Spy. In the James Bond era, military intelligence agencies around the world used to be concerned with the passing of an envelope, whilst today they are concerned about entire networks being compromised and terabytes of of information being transmitted illegally in a heartbeat across the ocean.
It seems the Cyber Spy can go anywhere and get anything. Lockheed Martin’s F35 Lightening Fighter is America’s most advanced war plane. At almost $400 million dollars it’s the US Defence Department’s most costliest weapons program ever. The F35 contains the latest stealth technology that enables it to avoid enemy radar. In 2012 the Chinese showed off their latest fighter which looks remarkably like the F35 and the Americans believe that its’ stealth technology was stolen via the Internet.
Here’s the important thing to note here: when we are talking about giving up technology and defence research we are talking about the difference between winning and losing a battle or war.
The US is also accused of spying on China and other nations – as is clearly and abundantly obvious by the entire Edward Snowdon NSA-PRISM Scandal. Cyber War is very much in full flow and has been for quite a while.
The NSA and the UK’s GCHQ are at the forefront of controlling the world’s Cyber Spies. Mostly these individuals will be using penetration testing tactics to test military and other sensitive networks such as government infrastructures etc. The techniques used will be very much within a controlled setting and their weapons of choice will be precisely the same as those available to genuine black-hat ‘Cyber-Spy Hackers’
We have had the privilege of having Winn Schwartau, founder of InfoWarCon – present a series of Hacker Hotshot web shows introducing several of the keynote speakers that will be talking at the InfoWarCon conference in Tennessee January 2014 22-24th.
With gratitude to Winn, we have had several undisputed heavy weights in the Information Security space within the US. Here’s a very brief overview of the speakers, title and links to the talks that we had with Winn.
November 8th: Winn Schwartau & Dr. Rick Forno “Understanding the Cyber Battlefield”
Brief Overview of the speaker: Dr Rick Forno
Amongst many other accolades, Dr Forno is a Lecturer & Graduate Program Director of Cybersecurity and Assistant Director at the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity. For those that don’t know UMBC is the University of Maryland Baltimore County. With over two decades of of experience in government, military, and private sector, including helping to create the first ever formal cybersecurity program for the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr Forno is a highly respected InfoSec professional. Furthermore, his contribution as serving as the first Chief Security Officer for at Network Solutions (operator of the InterNIC), and co-founding the Maryland Cyber Challenge positions Dr. Forno as one of the early thought leaders on the subject of “information warfare.”
November 1st: Winn Schwartau & Jason Healey “Cyberspace is a War Zone”
Brief Overview of the speaker: Jason Healey @Jason_Healey
Jason Healey is the Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, a national security think tank. In this role, Jason researches international competition, cooperation, and conflict in cyberspace. Jason also sits on the board for the Cyber Conflict Studies Association and director for cyber conflict education at Delta Risk. Delta Risk is a cyber defense firm that focuses in US cyber policies, training, and exercises. Jason has been very active in all areas of cyber security policy and strategy, intelligence and operations from Wall Street to the White House.
October 25th: Winn Schwartau & Dr Kuehl “How IW/IO Education Strategically Fails”
Brief Overview of the speaker: Dr Dan Kuehl
Dr. Kuehl is the Director of the Information Operations Concentration Program, a specialized curriculum that is focused on national security – offered at the iCollege of the National Defense University. The courses concentrate on subjects such as the information component of national power, information operations, cyberspace, and strategic communication. Previous to this role Dan was a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF.
October 18th: Winn Schwartau & Matt Devost “Infowar 1994 vs. 2014. Has our national defense improved or faltered?”
Brief Overview of the speaker: Matt Devost @MattDevost
Just like all the other speakers above, Matt is exceptionally experienced and talented. Specializing in cybersecurity, counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, and risk management issues, Matt, through his company FusionX, helps a global clientele identify and manage dynamic cyberthreats in complex operational environments. For a full bio please follow this link.
Cyber Spying, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Warriors are now terms and concepts that are intrinsically entwined within every nations national security. We encourage you to enjoy the above web shows since they each represent an opportunity to learn and hear from several of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts regarding Cyber Security, Warfare and Terrorism in the United States.
Here’s the link to register for InfoWarCon. All the speakers listed above will be present and speaking at the conference.
Let us know your thoughts! We’d love to have your feedback, especially regarding any thoughts that you might have about the ‘health’ of the US Cyber Infrastructure.
Finally, since we are on the subject of James Bond, it is worth mentioning that the author of this post visited the ‘Hacking Island’ that was used in the latest Bond Movie SkyFall. More on that here