China threatens to “blind” Five Eyes

Canada and its partners in the Five Eyes security alliance – Australia, Britain, New Sealand and the U.S. ­ – have been threatened by a Chinese foreign ministry official. Accusing the allies of accusing Beijing of silencing critics in Hong Kong, Zhao Lijian says that countries which “dared harm China's sovereignty . . . should beware that their eyes could be blinded” and it did not “matter if they have five or 10 eyes.” [node:read-more:link]

Espionage alleged at U.S. bases

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio wants the Department of Defense to look into reports that Chinese surveillance technologies are in use at U.S. military facilities. In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Rubio says “every day that passes only provides our adversaries additional time to infiltrate and exploit our national security.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. firm in legal trouble

Aventura Technologies Inc. of Long Island, N.Y., is alleged to have sold some $20 million in Chinese surveillance and other sensitive security equipment to U.S. customers after claiming they were manufactured in the U.S. Its customers included the Defense and Energy departments. U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the situation, which has led to a criminal complaint, raises “a grave concern” about cybersecurity. [node:read-more:link]

A frightening “what if” scenario

A commentary published in a Washington newspaper speculates about what would have happened if last month’s drone attacks on Saudi petroleum filters had targeted nuclear reactors. Calling them “radioactive sitting ducks”, the authors point out that Saudi Arabia plans to build several nuclear power plants, following the example of the neighbouring United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt and Turkey. [node:read-more:link]

Secret military spending grows

U.S. Department of Defense spending on classified projects has continued to rise, accounting for some $756 billion or nearly 11 per cent of its 2019 budget request of $718 billion. Critics say excessive hidden spending hinders congressional oversight, leads to waste and undermines public trust. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity certification

The U.S. Department of Defense Department is close to finalizing a new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework for assessing suppliers’ protection of sensitive data. After extensive feedback since the first draft was released six weeks ago, Ellen Lord, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, says the next iteration should be published in the first week of November, setting the stage for a final version in January after further comment. [node:read-more:link]

Alleged spy granted bail

Cameron Ortis, a senior RCMP official charged with violating the Security of Information Act and breach of trust for allegedly disclosing secrets to an unknown recipient and planning to reveal additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity, has been granted bail. The terms of his release include having to live with his parents, reporting to RCMP weekly, and being prohibited from using any Internet-connected devices. [node:read-more:link]

Military bug-hunting fruitful

Ethical hackers apparently have found critical vulnerabilities in Department of Defense systems through a “hack the proxy” program which probed the DoD’s virtual private networks. Of the 312 vulnerabilities identified, nine were considered “high severity.” An Army secure file-sharing site was taken offline last year after a similar exercise disclosed a critical weakness. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. intelligence official arrested

Henry Kyle Frese, a Defense Intelligence Agency official in Virginia, has been charged ith leaking classified information to two journalists. Arrested by the FBI Oct. 9 when he arrived for work, the 30-year-old is alleged to have accessed at least five classified reports and provided information about another country’s weaponry to one of the journalists with whom he had a relationship. [node:read-more:link]

China shows off hardware

The People’s Republic of China celebrated its 70thanniversary by showing off an array of new missiles and unmanned platforms in a massive parade in Beijing. The unmanned technologies included a large underwater vehicle and a high-speed unmanned aircraft believed to be capable of supersonic flight. [node:read-more:link]

U.S.-North Korea standoff

North Korea is decrying the impasse with the U.S. over nuclear weapons. Its ambassador to the United Nations faults Washington’s “political and military provocations”, saying the prospect of resuming talks depends on “a window of opportunity or an occasion that will hasten the crisis.” [node:read-more:link]

Defence Security University

The Department of Defense has finally inaugurated its Defense Security Cooperation University in the hope of improving how it supports allies and other partners against threats. The project was proposed two years ago. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberskill shortage predicted.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington think-tank, is predicting a 1.8-million shortfall in cybersecurity positions by 2022. While acknowledging efforts by key agencies, universities and technical schools to fill the growing gap, the center says more effort is needed.  [node:read-more:link]

The promise and threat of 5G

While the U.S. government and the private sector are excited about the potential of 5G telecommunications, they also worry about its potential use as a weapon against networks. Among those expressing concern are former Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler, current FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, and former National Security Council Senior Director for Strategic Planning Robert Spalding. [node:read-more:link]


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