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FCW : August 30, 2016
After repeated hacks of Democratic National Committee systems by attack- ers who might be associated with the Russian government, the Obama administration is considering bolster- ing cyber protections for the U.S. elec- tion systems by putting them under the critical infrastructure classification the Department of Homeland Security is charged to protect. “We have to carefully consider whether our election system is critical infrastructure, like the financial system or the power grid,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said at an Aug. 3 press break- fast sponsored by the Christian Sci- ence Monitor. “There is a vital national interest in our election process.” A week earlier, Lisa Monaco, assis- tant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said big cyberattacks must be thorough- ly investigated before any scaled response is made. She pointed out that the U.S. gov- ernment has hit North Korea with sanctions for its hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, prosecuted Chinese military personnel who hacked into U.S. companies’ systems to steal data and recently indicted Iranian hackers for a series of cyberattacks. Monaco said responses to big cyber- attacks are made on a case-by-case basis. Vishal Gupta, CEO of cybersecu- rity technology company Seclore, told FCW that if election systems are designated critical infrastructure and Russia is found to be responsible for the attacks on the Democratic com- mittee, the attacks would be consid- ered a threat to national security and could lead to the determination that they constitute an act of war. However, he added that “the real problem here is that regardless of the designation, the organizations respon- sible for the systems being breached need to do a better job of prioritizing cybersecurity.” — Mark Rockwell Trending of “lost” USB sticks were picked up in a recent experiment, and finders accessed files on 45 percent of them 98% 6 August 30, 2016 FCW.COM A new publication from the National Institute of Standards and Technol- ogy seeks to define the building blocks of the Internet of Things with an eye toward security and scalability. “There isn’t a formal, analytic or descriptive set of building blocks that oversee the operation, trustworthiness and life cycle of IoT components,” said Jeffrey Voas, a computer scientist at NIST and author of Special Publi- cation 800-183 “Net- works of ‘Things.’” Voas based his IoT building blocks on the elements of the familiar dis- tributed computing model, in which computer compo- nents are connect- ed via local-area networks and share information among themselves. His Network of Things serves as the underlying model for larger IoT net- works. NoT’s four fundamentals are sensing, computing, communication and actuation. Its five building blocks, called “primitives,” are core components of distributed systems. For example, the primitives in a home’s motion-activated lighting system begin with the motion sen- sors and include the communications channel and software that process the sensor’s data and turn off lights in the room if no one is present. NIST said the NoT model will give researchers a common language to use in solving security and other problems that arise as the IoT bur- rows deeper into the devices and net- works we use every day. Voas encourages others to use the model to delve into security, reliability, pedigree and trust concerns. — Mark Rockwell USU.EDU NIST takes a stab at defining IoT Jeffrey Voas DHS, White House mull election systems protections INK TANK 0830fcw_003-008.indd 6 8/9/16 1:23 PM
August 15, 2016
September 15, 2016