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Threat Intelligence Is (Still) Broken: A Cautionary Tale from the Past

There is much to be learned from the striking parallels between counter-terrorism threat analysis before 9-11 and how we handle cyber threat intelligence today.

Big US companies pull YouTube ads after extremist content sparks uncertainty

The ads might not have run over hateful videos, but they're not taking any chances.

FBI’s methods to spy on journalists should remain classified, judge rules

Reaction: "It is antithetical to a democracy that supposedly values a free press."

Don’t panic over cyber-terrorism: Daesh-bags still at script kiddie level

Medieval terror bastards not great at hacking says ex-top NSA lawyer RSA USA  There’s no need to panic about the threat of a major online terrorist attack, since ISIS and their allies are all talk and no trousers.

That's according to the former head of the US National Counterterrorism Center.…

Refugee takes Facebook to court over being featured in “fake news”

Anas Modamani says Facebook should do more to stop misuse of his image.

Doing business in Europe? Trump just screwed that up

In his first fortnight in office, President Trump has shown himself willing to upend precedents and protocols. He may also have shredded the basis for a data-sharing framework that U.S. businesses -- particularly tech companies -- rely on to facili...

Trump immigration ban means a war with tech

The decision by President Donald Trump to impose a broad immigration ban on seven countries may have an impact he didn’t foresee.The ban, a 90-day moratorium on admissions and re-entry in the United States unveiled on Friday, isn’t about H-1B visa-holders specifically.

And it doesn’t grow out of the his voiced concerns about the use of that visa to displace U.S. workers.
Instead it affects tourists, business and student visas.

Those with permanent residency, or green cards, are also affected.[ Commiserate with your fellow techies -- check out "7 hardware horror stories from the help desk." | Have a tech story to share? If we publish it, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift card -- and keep you Anonymous.
Send it to offtherecord@infoworld.com. | Follow InfoWorld's Off the Record on Twitter and subscribe to the newsletter. ]
Trump’s ban, issued through an executive order, affects all visa types in seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The action is ostensibly intended as an anti-terrorism measure.
It targets some, but not all, Muslim-majority countries; Saudi Arabia, for instance, is not on the list.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hackers Target Sundance Film Festival

Local and online box offices were temporarily knocked offline Saturday.

America's largest independent film festival became the target of a cyber attack over the weekend.

The Sundance Film Festival kicked off Friday in Park City, Utah, with movie premieres, midnight showings, and a network failure.

"Sundance Film Festival has been subject to a cyberattack, causing network outages that have shut down our box office," a spokesman told Variety, adding that "all screenings will still take place as planned."

The official Twitter account on Saturday promised that "our team is working hard to get our systems back up [as soon as possible]." Within an hour, the Salt Lake City and Gateway box offices were "back up and running," and online ticketing for future shows was quickly restored.

Update: The Salt Lake City Box Office is back up and running. #SLC #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

Update: Online ticketing for future shows is back up. #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

Update: The Festival Box Office at Gateway in #ParkCity is now up and running. #Sundance

— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) January 21, 2017

"Our artist's [sic] voices will be heard and the show will go on," the organizers tweeted.

The hack, according to Variety, occurred around noon MT (2 p.m. ET)—shortly after comedian Chelsea Handler led a Women's March in Park City in protest of Donald Trump. It was also the same day as several big premieres, including films about war, terrorism, Chinese dissonance, doping in sports, and race and class in America.

It remains unclear whether the incidents were related, or how many Festival guests were affected by the box office interruptions. The Sundance Institute did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

This month's showcase includes the premiere of Dear Angelica, the first animated experience created entirely in virtual reality, according to Oculus, whose in-house Story Studio produced the movie—available for Rift owners to download from the Oculus app store.

Head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan steps down for ‘personal reasons’

Cites demand on his family, will be replaced by 2019 The Director General of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has announced his intention to step down as leader of the signals intelligence agency. Citing "personal reasons", Hannigan informed the UK's Foreign Secretary of his decision in an exchange of letters. His departure comes at a difficult time for the agency as pro-torture President Trump is set to be on the other end of Cheltenham's phone. Hannigan said he was proud of the "relentless 24-hour operational effort against terrorism, crime and many other national security threats. While this work must remain secret, you will know how many lives have been saved in this country and overseas by the work of GCHQ." Underpinning this is our world-class technology and, above all, our brilliant people.

As you know, I have also initiated the greatest internal change within GCHQ for thirty years, and I feel that we are now well on the way to being fit for the next generation of security challenges to the UK in the digital age. GCHQ will be celebrating what it regards as its centenary in 2019, having originated as the Government Code and Cypher School, by which time Hannigan hopes a successor will be appointed. He said he was lucky to have had "some extraordinary roles in public service over the last 20 years, from Northern Ireland to Number 10, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign Office" but that such roles "demanded a great deal of my ever-patient and understanding family, and now is the right time for a change in direction". The Foreign Secretary responded by wishing Hannigan "the very best for your future career". There will now be an internal competition within government to identify candidates (our guess) to succeed Hannigan for onward recommendation to the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister.
In the meantime, the director and board will continue to oversee all the department's work. ® Sponsored: Next gen cybersecurity.
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More, cheaper, bigger, faster: The defense and cyber strategy of Donald...

Enlarge / Where's the defense and cyber-weapon procurement budget going, Mr. President-elect?Getty Images | Joe Raedle reader comments 75 Share this story Since Election Day, President-elect Donald Trump has taken an inordinate interest in some of the minutia of defense policy. His tweets (particularly about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Air Force One presidential aircraft replacement program) have sent shockwaves through the defense industry. The same is true of the cyber realm—particularly in his treatment of the intelligence community that currently dominates the US' cyber-defense capabilities. The one thing that is certain is that Trump wants more muscle in both departments, urging an increase in the number of troops, ships, planes, and weapons deployed by the Department of Defense; the end of defense budget sequestration; and an expansion of the US nuclear and ballistic missile defense arsenal. And he has also pledged a new focus on offensive "cyber" capabilities, as outlined by his campaign, "to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately." That sort of aggressive posture is not a surprise. But the policies that will drive the use of those physical and digital forces are still a bit murky. Considering the position Trump has taken regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and his attitudes toward Russia, Trump's statements may hint at a desire for a Fortress America—armed to the teeth and going it alone in every domain of conflict. Saddle up While not quite on a Reagan-esque scale, the Trump surge would (based on his statements) bring forces back above their active size during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (though less than during the 2007 "surge" period of the Iraq War). Trump declared that he'll add about 60,000 more active duty soldiers to the Army, increase the Navy's fleet to 350 ships, increase the Marine Corps' strength by over a dozen battalions (roughly 12,000 Marines), and "provide the Air Force with the 12,000 fighters they need." On the strategic front, Trump has tweeted that he wants to expand and improve the US military's nuclear capabilities, modernizing and increasing weapons to improve their deterrent value. The modernization effort had already been queued up by President Barack Obama's administration, including the new Long Range Strike Bomber program awarded to Northrop Grumman. But those investments have been at the expense of other military (particularly Air Force) programs. Trump has also proposed investment in a "serious missile defense system" based on updating the Navy's Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers' Aegis systems and building more Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. The ballistic missile defense version of Aegis and the Standard Missile 3 (RIM-161) missile it controls are currently only capable of intercepting short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, not intercontinental ballistic missiles; to have a chance at taking down a US-targeted threat from North Korea, for example, they would have to be very close to the launch site and hit it early in its launch (the boost phase). How will Trump pay for all this hardware? By "conducting a full audit of the Pentagon, eliminating incorrect payments, reducing duplicative bureaucracy, collecting unpaid taxes, and ending unwanted and unauthorized federal programs," whatever those might be. There's certainly some room in the budget to be gained through increased administrative efficiency, as a Defense Business Board report found that the DOD could save as much in $125 billion in overhead (though that number may have been slightly inflated, as it was based on corporate, and not military, business models). Cyber up On the cyber side, it appears Trump wants to put the military on point for cyber defense. The campaign platform pushed for the DOD to place a new emphasis on offensive capabilities, including making enhancements to the US Cyber Command—currently led by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers—to increase its offensive punch and turn it into an effective cyber-deterrence force. “As a deterrent against attacks on our critical resources, the United States must possess the unquestioned capacity to launch crippling cyber counter-attacks,” Trump said in a speech in October. Just exactly how that would work isn't clear. Given the difficulty of attribution—a point Trump made repeatedly in his castigation of intelligence findings of Russian interference in the election—the kind of very attributable cyber force that US Cyber Command would wield as part of the Strategic Command would likely not act as much of a deterrent to low-level intrusions, espionage, and information operations. Yet those make up the majority of what has recently been dumped into the "cyberwarfare" shopping cart. Trump's policy outline also calls for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to participate in Trump's vaunted "Cyber Review Team," contributing experts to evaluate "all US cyber defenses"—including critical infrastructure in the private sector—alongside law enforcement and experts from private industry. The Cyber Review Team, which may or may not have anything to do with the group being headed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has a big mandate: The Cyber Review Team will provide specific recommendations for safeguarding different entities with the best defense technologies tailored to the likely threats and will follow up regularly at various federal agencies and departments. The Cyber Review Team will establish detailed protocols and mandatory cyber awareness training for all government employees while remaining current on evolving methods of cyber-attack. On the domestic end, the Trump administration would seek to take the same model that has been applied to terrorism to the cyber side, creating joint task forces that put Department of Justice, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security personnel alongside state and local law enforcement to respond to "cyber threats." Nothing Trump or his proxies have said indicates any policy around shaping what "norms" in the world connecting the digital to the physical should be. If anything, Trump's position seems to be that a cyber-armed world is a polite world—or at least one that will be polite to the United States, the only confirmed state cyberwar actor to hit another nation's infrastructure (aside from squirrels). The eyes have it It will take some time to see how Trump's indifference toward the US' obligations toward allies will affect overall defense and cyber-security policy. But if reports are true regarding US intelligence officials warning allies of Trump's Russia ties and if Trump goes forward with weakening the US involvement in NATO, his views could significantly affect both—especially in the realm of digital intelligence collection. A weakened relationship with the other members of the "Five Eyes" group—the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada—on a military level could impact the National Security Agency's (and the CIA's) ability to collect intelligence from infrastructure that has up until now been widely shared. Only one thing is for certain: the defense industry should be expecting an aircraft carrier full of dollars headed in their direction.

Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence commuted by Obama

Enlargereader comments 187 Share this story Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year term for leaking a cache of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, had her sentence commuted Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

The president, with just days remaining in his presidency, said Manning can be freed on May 17 of this year instead of 2045. The 29-year-old Army private was court-martialed in 2013 for forwarding a cache of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

After being convicted of leaking more than 700,000 documents and video, Manning—then known as Bradley—announced that she is a transgender woman and would be going by the name Chelsea. Manning has been both reviled and lauded for her 2010 document dump and has been in prison longer than any other convicted US leaker.
In a military first, Manning was approved in 2015 for hormone therapy as part of transition-related care, nearly a year after she made demands for such treatment. Along the way, Manning has had several run-ins with the authorities at the military brig at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
She has tried to commit suicide twice and even took on a hunger strike in a bid to win reassignment surgery. Manning said in a petition to Obama that she "did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members." She said an early release, not a pardon, was needed so she could continue her medical treatment. The development begs the question of whether Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, will surrender to US authorities.

Assange has been living in a self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, amid fears he could be charged in the US for exposing the secrets Manning had leaked to the whistleblowing site.

Five days ago, Wikileaks tweeted: "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case." WikiLeaks did not immediately respond for comment. Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker living in Russia, urged the president last week to grant leniency to Manning. "Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency as you exit the White House, please: free Chelsea Manning. You alone can save her life." Many have also called for the departing president to show a sign of mercy toward Snowden.

But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said there was a "pretty stark difference" between the Manning and Snowden cases. "Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing," Earnest said. "Mr.
Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy." Meanwhile, in 2013, Manning described to a military courtroom why—and in precise detail, how—she sent WikiLeaks confidential diplomatic cables and "war logs," saying: I felt we were risking so much for people who seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and hatred on both sides.
I began to become depressed at the situation we found ourselves mired in year after year. [CBS News] We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and ignoring goals and missions.
I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general [that] might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day. [The Guardian] Manning was upset by a classified video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Iraq that was ultimately found to have killed civilians and a Reuters journalist. "For me that was like a child torturing an ant with a magnifying glass," Manning said, adding that the military "seemed" to have "bloodlust." Using Tor, Manning uploaded the video to WikiLeaks, and it went viral, becoming known as the infamous "collateral murder" video. Manning said that after deciding to leak the millions of war documents from Iraq and Afghanistan, she tried to give them to The New York Times and to The Washington Post. Manning said a message left at the Times was not returned and said the Post did not take the offer seriously. Manning also considered Politico, but ultimately didn't meet up with that site because of bad weather. She leaked the information to WikiLeaks from a Barnes & Noble in suburban Maryland. Manning saved the files on the memory stick of a camera and uploaded them from the bookstore during a 2010 mid-tour leave. Obama on Tuesday granted 209 sentence commutations, bringing to 1,385 the number of commutations, the most granted by any US president.

The president has also issued 212 pardons. "While the mercy the President has shown his 1,597 clemency recipients is remarkable, we must remember that clemency is an extraordinary remedy, granted only after the President has concluded that a particular individual has demonstrated a readiness to make use of his or her second chance," the White House said. A noteworthy pardon issued Tuesday benefited Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about having conversations with reporters and leaking information about the US reportedly using the Stuxnet virus to sabotage an Iranian nuclear facility nearly a decade ago.

Terrorists are winning the digital arms race

Terrorist groups are embracing a huge number of digital tools to recruit members and plan attacks, putting them a step ahead of governments trying to combat them, a group of counterterrorism experts said. Twitter removed about 250,000 accounts connected with ISIS in one year, but the terrorist group uses 90 other social media platforms, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol said Tuesday.

Terrorist groups have begun to live stream their attacks, and they are using the internet to launch “innovative crowdfunding” campaigns, he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. “The technology is advanced,” Wainwright added. “They know what to do, and they know how to use it.” It’s imperative that countries start working more closely together to combat terrorism and to develop an online counternarrative that dissuades potential members from joining groups like ISIS, said members of a panel on terrorism in the digital age. Governments need to trust each other more and be willing to share their terrorism intelligence, said Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, former director of national intelligence in Saudi Arabia. “Terrorist is a cancer,” he said. “The terrorist cell uses these online methods to metastasize.” Raheel Sharif, former chief of staff for the Pakistani army, called for a combination of tough penalties for violent terrorists and deradicalization education efforts for others. Pakistan, in recent years, has cut the number of terrorist attacks in the country dramatically, he said. But Prince Turki emphasized the need for a stronger counternarrative, on the internet and in schools, churches, and mosques.

Tough penalties for terrorists need to avoid collateral damage to innocent people, he said.

Counterterrorism efforts cannot “eliminate the terrorist and create 10 others,” said Prince Turki, now chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. Counterterrorism efforts cannot “eliminate the terrorist and create 10 others,” said Prince Turki, now chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. Some panelists suggested that a culture of free speech online complicates efforts to fight terrorism.

The international community needs to find a balance between freedom of expression and safety, said Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria. “Each person has a ... digital device, and it has tremendous power,” he said. “They don’t even require any formal agreements. [Anyone] can reach millions of people.” Europol’s Wainwright also seemed to suggest some limits on free speech. “We want to enjoy, we want to protect the freedom of the internet, but not to such an extent that there are absolutely no rules of governance,” he said. Panelists disagreed about the effectiveness of current online efforts to craft a counterterrorism message.

Efforts in the U.S. and elsewhere to counter online terrorism campaigns have been “singularly unsuccessful,” said Louise Richardson, vice chancellor at the University of Oxford. But Wainwright disagreed, saying some counternarrative efforts appear to have reduced the number of Europeans and U.S. residents joining ISIS.

But more efforts are needed to counter the “fake news” terrorist groups are putting out about themselves, he added.