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DougF (1117261) writes "The Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel is calling for several initiatives in dealing with threats to U.S. domains, including the.mil,.gov, and.com. From page 65 (of 158):
Today, the U.S. military can defend its networks within and at their perimeter, yet it is less able to prevent attacks before they occur. The military is essentially limited to a reactive and forensic posture as opposed to a dynamic and preventive one. The Panel believes the United States must have the ability to defend its critical networks beyond the boundaries of its own infrastructure to forestall catastrophic cyber threats before our networks or the information they contain are damaged or destroyed. We need an active immune system with the capacity and authority to shut down an attack instantaneously at the point of origin. However, this defensive footing is more a matter of the proper authorities than of technology. We need to identify the kinds of attacks we can treat diplomatically as acts of war, and eliminate them.
An active immune system—an automatic, self-healing network—that protects our networks is in some ways a whole new paradigm. The capability should be predicated on a set of standing rules of engagement (SROE) that is sufficiently flexible to respond to myriad threats. These SROEs must account for the expanded event horizon and compressed timeline that characterize operations in cyberspace. The mechanisms, means, and modes the Department uses to render assistance to other departments, agencies, or branches of government is unclear. The Department of Defense should be responsible for cyber security of the.mil domain, and it should be given clear authority to support the DHS for cyber security of both the.gov and.com domains so that DHS does not have to replicate the capabilities now resident in U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA).
It will be interesting to see what kinds of hacks and attacks will be classified as "acts of war", and how the U.S. plans on a) pre-identifying such kinds of attacks based on either the nature of the instrument used (trojan horse, virus, etc), or possibly on the effect of the attack; b) timely justification an active "immune system" response when the attack originates on foreign soil or in foreign servers that allows for a credible response yet denies the attacker time to escape retribution, and the level of the response to eliminate the threat; and c) the prevention of collateral damage (e.g. how do you take out just portions of a critical server that may be an unsuspecting host to the attack. The QDR Independent Panel report can be found here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/100728_QDR%20Ind.%20Review%20Rept.%207.27.10.pdf" Link to Original Source
DougF (1117261) writes "As we push forward with interconnectivity and the benefits that brings, we also offer those who can hack the system even more opportunities to not only endanger our checkbooks and privacy, but increasingly our lives as well. Should we insist that before a new technology be brought on board that it is 100% secure? Aren't we just swapping one danger (human-controlled vehicles and resultant deaths on the highways) for a more modern one (hacked traffic incidents)?" Link to Original Source top
DougF writes "With the introduction of gunpowder, modern weaponry has been a refinement of the projectile (cannon, artillery, muskets, rifles, etc). We are now on the threshold of a new paradigm in weaponry where if you can see it, you can kill it at the speed of light. No recoil, smoke, shells, ballistics, etc. Just a big ol' power unit and some daisy-chained laser generation units. Northrop Grumman is offering Firestrike: 400lb LRUs (line replaceable units) capable of continuous 15KW fire, 1/2 second response from zero to full power, ethernet connectivity, and daisy-chainable in a cabinet to achieve up to a 100KW beam." Link to Original Source top
Material Improves Ionic Conductivity in Fuel Cells
DougF writes "Researchers in Spain have devised a new material with a huge increase in ionic conductivity. Theoretically, it could mean fuel cells that operate at near room temperature, solving a huge problem with waste heat in current fuel cells. Oak Ridge National Laboratory studied the material with their 300 kilovolt Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscope. The super-lattice's larger vacant spaces allow ions to move much more quickly than they can through current materials." Link to Original Source