NAVY DECIDES TO DEAL WITH CYBER-THREATS!

Air Force Cyber Command online for future operations

The US Navy has decided to act in stopping further cyber-attacks. Considering the amount that they are behind, it may take a while. They are still using Windows XP and that is even behind on upgrades service wide. There is also the fact that Iran hacked them last year and they still haven’t fixed the problem.

Upgrading from their version of Windows XP

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Here, via Next Gov, is what the Navy has to deal with by upgrading their basic operating system that they use on a daily basis.

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“There’s a discussion and probably a press to do XP massive upgrades now: ‘Upgrade everything. It’s the No. 1 priority,'”he said. “But I think what some would say is, as we’re starting to evaluate all the cyber things we need to do, across the enterprise, XP upgrades may not be the No. 1 thing.” 

The problem is the ripple effect of such changes.

“For the Navy, it’s very difficult to do massive operating system upgrades — that’s bigger than just doing a software upgrade,” Swartz said. “It requires doing some infrastructure changes as well,” and alterations must wait until ships comes ashore for regular maintenance. The growing number of connections between onboard systems and land-based systems also generates concern.

“It’s not only the interconnectedness of what’s on the ship,” Swartz said. “We’re starting to also evaluate the interconnectedness of our float platforms to the shore to make sure that we have the right connections in place and that we’re providing the right security.”

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Why they woke up

Here is why the Navy finally decided to do this.

“Are Adm. Rogers’ fingerprints all over this? Without a doubt, and he probably doesn’t even know it.” Swartz said. “If you look at what we did for Operation Rolling Tide — Adm. Rogers was the hero of that. He was the one that realized that we need the ability to fight the network, we need the ability to maneuver the network [if] we are going to fight through a cyber incident.” 

That approach will cover not only business computers but all networked capabilities, including combat and control systems.

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“We’re taking what he did when he was at 10th Fleet, and we’re actually taking that and broadening it to other parts of our enterprise,” Swartz said.

And none too soon. Military officials and researchers expect threats one day will be able to jump the “air gap” between a ship’s networked speaker system and, for example, malicious sound waves to derail a boat’s control systems.

“This is where you talk about fleets coming to a stop. Our ships are floating SCADA systems,” retired Capt. Mark Hagerott, deputy director of cybersecurity for the U.S. Naval Academy, has said. He was referring to supervisory control and data acquisition systems that run industrial operations. “That would disrupt the world balance of power if you could begin to jump the air gap,” he said.

The Navy and the rest of government keeps getting told to fix the problem, but they are being slow. The security of the nation is at risk while they move slowly.

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