February 25, 2013 at 5:17am

Notes from AFCEA Cybersecurity Symposium 2013 (Feb 22, Washington DC)


Opening Keynote I
    Maj. Gen. Brett Williams - Director of Operations (J-3), U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)

  • From a planning & execution perspective we need to treat operations in cyber in the same way as we do in land & air.
  • Three basic CYBERCOM missions: (1) Defend the homeland (2) Secure the GIG (3) Supporting combatant commanders.
  • To align capacity and capability to each of those missions we had to understand: ‘What is a unit of action in cyber?’
  • Three lines of CYBERCOM operation: (1) Networks (firewalls, HPSS,..) (2) Defense (hunt on our own networks) (3) Offense (outside our own networks)
  • There is no such thing as cyber conflict - there is only conflict. Cyber is another medium to exercise national power.
  • Tactical, operational & strategic very interwoven in cyber. You can’t isolate civilian & commercial - everyone has access to the space.
  • On the technology - there is a disconnect in development life-cycle: from operational (the military commander) -> requirement gathering -> engineer (the contractor delivering). We need a more coordinated, integrated & synchronized approach.
  • Cyber is the only man made domain - we can make it as we want to make it.
  • What I need to be able to do in the JIE: (1) Take different levels of risk, in different parts of GIG, based on mission requirements (2) Establish command & control mission network to satisfy mission requirements. We’re not there yet. But the best approach I’ve seen to date >
  • [33:20] discussing DARPA’s 'Plan X'

Opening Keynote II
    Mr. Eric Rosenbach -  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

  • The problem: growing market for destructive zero-day [attack technologies] across the world.
  • Loose nukes' bare little analogy to destructive malware: can be produced by an individual, are non-physical & can pass over borders without tracking.
  • [15:00] Audience discussion: What makes attribution so difficult for zero-day industrial control system attacks?
  • Congress must nudge private sector through legislation. [On exploits for industrial control systems] most CEOs don’t understand the magnitude of problem & given tough economic environment are reluctant to act.
  • Solutions? criminalise production of destructive malware, export control - both domestically and internationally, cyber version of  proliferation security initiative (create a coalition of like minded countries).

February 21, 2013 at 4:42pm

Better CCTV is required at Paddington Station

——-Original Message——-
To: <Paddington Station Police>
Subject: Re: Theft of your laptop at Paddington Station Friday 14/12/2012

Morning <Paddington Station Police> —

Thank you for your time looking into the case.

I’m a little disappointed in this outcome. It materiaslised that after
the bag was stolen from Café Nero it was taken directly to the gents
toilets at Paddington Station. The bag was then dumped in a cubicle
and discovered by staff later on evening of Friday 14th. Myself and
Sonia subsequently recovered the bag but the majority of the contents
(laptop, ipad, sunglasses,..) had been taken - I’ve just forwarded you
the original mail from <Station Manager> prior to our telephone
conversation and meeting with him. I updated national police enquiries
line with this new information (summarised above) following the
recovery on Monday 17th December.

Based on the original description of the bag, is it not possible to
identify a culprit walking from Café Nero to the gents toilets at the
time of the incident? Then exiting from the toilets with no bag?

If there is *no* CCTV recording of a burglary which was conducted
at/between several open, public spaces at the station - permit me to
share my own opinion that the present CCTV configuration is not fit
for purpose.

Best Wishes, Jonathan


——-Reply From: <Paddington Station Police>——-
Subject: RE: Theft of your laptop at Paddington Station Friday 14/12/2012

Thank you for your e-mail. The CCTV coverage and picture quality at
Paddington Station could be a lot better. There is a problem after
dark under the Station artificial lighting when the CCTV images
deteriorate considerably. I can assure you that I did my very best for
you but the downloaded CCTV images from Café Nero and platform one
were not good enough to be able to identify any offenders. I shall
keep a copy of your e-mail to support the British Transport Police
case for a better CCTV system at Paddington. I apologise for the
disappointing outcome.

<Paddington Station Police>

September 27, 2012 at 11:46am

Transatlantic Trends 2012: A Survey of Opinion in the US, Europe, Turkey and Russia

Chatham House, London 

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Dr Constanze Stelzenmüller, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund

Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, Senior Lecturer, International Relations, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Chair: James Robbins, Diplomatic Correspondent, BBC News

September 10, 2012 at 3:04pm

Knaresborough Town Crier


I read with a certain degree of sadness the news that Simon Shaw has been suspended from the post of Knaresborough town crier pending an investigation by the council authorities. I appreciate that for legal reasons the circumstances relating to the alleged offences have not as yet been placed in the public domain. Simon recently disclosed that he suffers from bi-polar, a mental condition. The symptoms of this disorder can often lead to alternating periods of extreme elation and depression. I would imagine that sufferers do share common behavioural traits such as eccentricity, unreliability (such as good timekeeping, ignoring others) and extreme enthusiasm in tackling tasks. Unfortunately these traits can be interpreted as somewhat difficult to manage and are perhaps requiring a degree of empathy to understand and appreciate by onlookers. I have observed Simon at various events performing his market day duties and in my opinion he is an asset to the town.

One of the nation’s greatest statesman of the 20th Century, Sir Winston Churchill, suffered from bi-polar disorder also and displayed many of the characteristics described earlier. Thankfully at a critical time in our history Churchill was able to lead the nation from the threat of Nazi tyranny, and the doubters as to his suitability based on his past, were thankfully sidelined. I do hope that the council will consider the case very carefully.

David Algar (Abbey Road, Knaresborough)

UPDATE: Response from Andrew Jones MP, 12th September 2012:

Andrew Jones Letter

UPDATE: Hear Ye, Hear Ye, town crier returns, 23th October 2012.

Reproduced with permission.

July 15, 2012 at 1:29pm

Silicon Roundabout: W11 meets E1

Hop off the overground at Shoreditch High Street. Take a right. As you wonder up the A1202 you’ll be struck by much of what captures the millennial spirit of ‘East London hip’ - young gentlemen with the Hoxton Fin haircut, coffee shops selling as much contemporary art as caffeine, and dark rimmed spectacles by the dozen.

The alternative creative arts industry has thrived in Shoreditch since the turn of the 17th Century. Historically, this was in large part due to its proximity to the City of London, where Elizabethan theatre was subject to strict censorship and decency laws. Following the Second World War, the postmodern movement lay the ideological foundation for the avant-garde creative and advertising industries that have become so synonymous with the area today.

Continue up the A1202 and peek into the coffee shops - groups sitting clustered around laptops deep in conversation dominate the trendy interiors. The Shoreditch of the 21st Century is a window on some of the most exciting economic growth policy themes of Cameron’s premiership. The ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area, as it is so affectionately known, today plays host to some 774 technology SMEs, in addition to the established creative industries. Since an original 15 in 2008, this ecosystem has grown so fast that the community organisation, Tech City, hasn’t yet calculated a combined equity valuation.

Charlotte Leslie MP, a former editor of Crossbow, has argued that the Big Society does not just operate on a organisation-to-individual level. Google’s recently opened ‘enterprise incubator campus’ demonstrates how titans of the tech industry are partnering with budding startups in the area, adding real value through provision of cheap desk space and mentoring. Academic institutions are keen to get a slice of the action too - UCL has paired up with Imperial College to craft plans for a ‘Research and Innovation Centre’ to serve as a hub for connecting cutting edge academic research from the West with idea-hungry entrepreneurs in the East.

A misguided critique of the coalition coming from the Labour benches is that the ‘UK has no state-backed investment institution’. They should visit E1. It demonstrates the best in growth thinking - how combining public and private capital, for the right projects, can be a potent combination. The £1.3bn Enterprise Loan Guarantee Scheme has provided working capital and investment financing for some of the most innovative and fastest growing names on the roundabout. As located in the shadow of the gates to one of the primary custodians of the world’s capital markets, The City, the global investor community is beginning to pay attention to the potential. California’s Silicon Valley Bank has recently opened an office on the doorstep, offering a full suite of products tailored to innovation businesses.

Perhaps the most exciting and ‘Cameroonian’ aspect of Silicon Roundabout is the community spirit and supporting social infrastructure that binds the businesses together. When planning priorities for the year ahead, Tech City organised a ‘town hall’ session to get real-time feedback from members. Key conclusions were that, although Silicon Valley Bank is a step in the right direction, the London tech cluster still lags significantly behind her Tel Aviv and San Francisco counterparts for attracting and retaining international equity investment to early stage companies. The Government is playing a key role in building the strong bilateral trade relations with growth markets on which future foreign direct investment depends, but whether this will achieve meaningful results is yet to be seen.

With the London Olympics now just around the corner, and the Olympic Park’s geographical proximity just up the road, this Magic Roundabout will be on the world stage. New money will be watching.

Jonathan Algar has a background in Investment Banking and is an Executive Member of Bright Blue. He tweets @jonathanalgar.

Article featured in Summer 2012 Edition of The Bow Group’s Crossbow Magazine.

May 20, 2012 at 8:28pm

Think of the American economy as a large apartment block.. A century ago - even 30 years ago - it was the object of envy. But in the last generation its character has changed. The penthouses at the top keep getting larger and larger. The apartments in the middle are feeling more and more squeezed and the basement has flooded. To round it off, the elevator is no longer working. That broken elevator is what gets people down the most.


Lawrence Katz, Harvard University Department of Economics

Quoted in Henry Jackson Initative Towards a More Inclusive Capitalism

May 9, 2012 at 7:09pm

What do America’s Generation Y want from their foreign policy?

Chatham House, London 

Tuesday 1 May 2012

John Zogby, Senior Analyst, JZ Analytics; Pollster, Author and Commentator 
Chair: Xenia Dormandy, Senior Fellow, US International Role, Chatham House