[ISN] Dual-leadership role at NSA and Cyber Command stirs debate

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/dual-leadership-role-at-nsa-and-cyber-command-stirs-debate/2013/10/06/ffb2ac40-2c59-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html By Ellen Nakashima The Washington Post October 6, 2013 During suspected Iranian cyber­attacks on the Web sites of commercial banks last year, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who simultaneously heads the country’s largest electronic spy agency and the military’s Cyber Command, proposed a simple solution: Shut off the attacks at their source. “We had the expertise and could have done something about it,” said one U.S. official, who like others interviewed for this store spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions. “We’re sitting on their networks overseas. Why don’t we just turn it off?” But the proposal to send a simple computer “reset” command to the attacking servers was ultimately rejected by National Security Council officials this year because the attacks were not causing enough harm to warrant an offensive response. The episode shows the willingness — some say eagerness — of Alexander to use his authority to conduct offensive actions to fend off attacks against the private sector. If a similar proposal were on the table today, it would be the new cyber-teams that Alexander is creating to defend the nation that probably would do the job. […]




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[ISN] MSP airport security proves no barrier to 9-year-old stowaway

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/226665421.html By PAT PHEIFER Star Tribune October 6, 2013 The 9-year-old boy who stowed away on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas on Thursday passed through three security checkpoints at the airport without a boarding pass or identification, officials and an airline expert said Sunday. “I’ve worked at the airport for 13 years, and we have more than 33 million people go through the terminal every year, and I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before,” said Pat Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The boy got through the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) checkpoint and past a Delta gate agent, and didn’t get scrutinized by flight attendants before the plane took off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said Terry Trippler, owner of ThePlaneRules.com. “I put it more on Delta than the TSA,” said Trippler, saying that the boy blended in with a family traveling with children. If an adult handed the TSA agent six boarding passes, it would be fairly easy to miss it if there were seven people, he said. […]


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[ISN] Stratfor Hacker: FBI Entrapment Shaped My Case

http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/stratfor-hacker-fbi-entrapment-shaped-my/240162199 By Mathew J. Schwartz Information Week October 04, 2013 Is the FBI allowed to entrap suspected computer criminals? That question is at the heart of a request for leniency by Jeremy Hammond, who’s due to be sentenced on November 15 for hacking private intelligence contractor Stratfor, among other business and government sites. Hammond, appearing in a Manhattan federal courtroom in May, pleaded guilty to one related count of computer fraud and abuse, as part of a plea agreement. “For each of these hacks, I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Hammond told judge Loretta Preska, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He now faces up to 10 years in jail, and the prospect of paying up to $2.5 million in restitution to Stratfor. But in advance of his upcoming sentencing by Judge Preska, Hammond’s supporters are asking for leniency, noting that Hammond hacked for ethical reasons, rather than to make a profit. They’ve also accused the FBI of entrapment, referring to tricking someone into committing a crime for the purpose of then arresting them. Hammond, notably, has accused former LulzSec leader turned FBI informant “Sabu”


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