Weekly Briefing – December 28-January 2, 2014/15

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 @ 1:25AM

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Cybersecurity and the 114th Congress Rachel Ehrenfeld – The Sony hacking served as a national reminder that cybersecurity should be taken more seriously…In May 2010, former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander lamented, “The scale of compromise, including the loss of sensitive and unclassified data, is staggering,” Miller said. “We’re talking about terabytes of data, equivalent to multiple libraries of Congress.” Since then it has only gotten worse. Yet, the general attitude, even now, is that ‘cyberattacks are a fact of life.’ Not necessarily.  Better security, however, means a different mindset.   Protection against cyberattacks should be among the U.S. government’s highest and most urgent priorities. Since hackers break into government and private systems threatening the economy, the public and national security, the brightest cyber experts in the nation should be invited to participate in a highly secluded “Manhattan Project”-like group.,,, Better organization and less bureaucracy could be provided by the private sector and funding should be allocated by Congress, as well as the private sector. Meanwhile, with the latest news being that “the ISC site, home to the world’s most popular Domain Name System program BIND, appears to have been infected with malware,” the minimally prudent thing to do for individuals, companies and certainly most government offices, is to use computers not connected to the Internet.…more

No State – For Now. Meanwhile, PA Security Forces Work with Hamas –  ACD & The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – For now, the Arabs living in Judea and  Samaria and Arab coalition bid for a Palestinian State was defeated at the United Nations Security Council. Australia and the United States opposed the bid and five other members abstained, including the United Kingdom. However, eight other members, including France, China, Russia, Luxembourg  and Jordan supported the bid. Why? Why support the establishment of a terrorist state? The French apparently experienced an “urgent need to act,” and were disappointed when their hazardous action failed and urged the Council “to try again, before it’s too late.” US Ambassador Samantha Power’s explanation of the U.S. “no” vote failed to acknowledge the Palestinian terrorism against Israel. “We voted against it because…peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table.” Perhaps she missed the latest report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center on the Palestinian national security forces’ cooperation with Hamas. The report explains…more

Hamas Trains to Attack the IDF Rachel Ehrenfeld – Careful examination of the list of Gazans killed last summer during Operation Protective Edge, uncovered 50 Hamas terrorists whose names were missing from lists published by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA).  “We believe that the 50 names, identified by us, represent a partial list and that there many other terrorists whose names are not included in the various casualty lists,” said Dr. Reuven Erlich, who heads the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. The deliberate concealment, or lying about the number of dead terrorists has long been a strategy used by the PA and Hamas to falsely accuse Israel of killing innocent civilians. On August 5, 2014, shortly after Israel begun to retaliate against the barrage of rockets fired on the country from Gaza, the ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip issued a warning, which it also posted on its Facebook page, urging the Palestinians not to divulge information about terrorist operatives (“resistance” casualties) killed during Operation Protective Edge.” This information was exposed the following morning by the Center, but received little, if any, coverage in the Western media. Instead of denouncing the PA and its jihadi terrorist subsidiaries, the media as well as the international donor community has been eager to join their anti-Israeli propaganda campaign. This, of course, requires turning a blind eye to advanced terrorism training that is taking place in Gaza. But …more

Obama Losing War on America’s EconomySol W. Sanders – Whether the fourth quarter 5% growth of the U.S. gross development product [GDP] is a fluke, another wave of the troubled sea of the longest recovery in recent American history, it is evidence of the miraculous strength of the U.S. economy. Some are predicting it means a return to 3% annual growth rates next year, still not what is required to reduce both cyclical and the new digital revolution induced structural unemployment, but back to “normal” trends. The war the Obama Administration has been waging against business, private initiative, and historical American innovation hasn’t been able to stifle the basic American entrepreneurial spirit. Nowhere is that more apparent, of course, than in energy. For the energy revolution, which has come about as a result of the private sector pursuing new technologies to develop shale gas and oil, of course, are at the center of the miniboom. And, the chutzpah of the Obama Administration’s claiming credit for something it fought as vigorously as its amateur planners could – promoting higher energy costs to encourage their vaunted shift to new fuels — is even by the standards of this Administration, outrageous.…more

The Dangers of Bad TradecraftRobert D. Chapman – Review of Kai Bird: The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames. Crown Publishers, New York, 2014, 430 p., $26.00 Kai Bird’s The Good Spy, The Life and Death of Robert Ames is more than a book about Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Robert Ames. It is about the Near East with all of its intrigues and bloodshed and the entrapment of men and women to do its bidding. There is also the lesson of what intelligence is and what it is not. And, finally, we are left to wonder to what end?…more

News & Analysis

Expert: High Cost Prevents Automated Airplane TrackingGeorge Putic

Braced for all-out cyber warfare in the year of the hackRichard Waters

Countering Hate on the Internet Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Mt. Gox losses likely 99% fraud. How bitcoins disappearedThe Yomiuri Shimbun

Can Diagnostics Companies Afford to Provide Ebola Testing?Brian R. Stanton, Ph.D.

‘Cyber warfare may have similar impact on security as nukes’RT

A Ukraine-Russia peace deal: Crimea must have a cost In Moscow’s Shadows

US Investigation Topples Kremlin Propaganda ChiefVladimir Kara-Murza

Who are the ‘Moskals’ and Why Are They a Threat?Paul Goble

GAO Reports

Improper Payments: DOE’s Risk Assessments Should Be Strengthened, GAO 15-36: Published: Dec 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 23, 2014.

Anthrax: Agency Approaches to Validation and Statistical Analyses Could Be Improved, GAO-15-80: Published: Dec 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2014.

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