US Naval Sea Systems Command, US State Dept Face Cyber Challenges
- The US Navy’s NAVSEA command published the 2nd edition [PDF] of its 2013-18 business plan, whose 1st version was released in October last year. The main addition is the appearance of cybersecurity among mission priorities. NAVSEA accounts for about a quarter of the Navy’s budget, and at almost $30B, it is not very far in size from the entire Departments of Justice or Energy.
- The US State Department is on email lockdown [AP] after it found it was possibly the object of a hacker attack that took place last month at the same time [Defense One] as an infiltration of a White House system.
- Novetta, an analytics firm, released a report [PDF] on a coordinated effort with other security firms to mitigate the threat posed by “Axiom”, a group whose actions align well with China’s strategic interests.
- US Defense Secretary Hagel announced the “Defense Innovation Initiative” that his deputy Bob Work will head, to try and accelerate innovation throughout the department. Maybe start by adopting 21st century information sharing tools and workflows, instead of issuing memos [PDF] as stamped printouts that are then scanned as image PDFs? Bob’s got his Work cut out for him.
- China’s government-owned People’s Daily is touting the country’s armament exports. China has done well in the naval sphere, but needs to work on success with complex land equipment and aerospace. Their official mouthpiece is right, though, that the country is close to having the pieces they need.
- All eyes were on Vladimir Putin during last weekend’s G20 summit, as he left early after getting an earful [Reuters] from Western leaders over Ukraine. But Public Radio International points out that Russia is repeating its Ukraine playbook in Moldova, via the Gagauz minority and region.
- But in some ways Russia’s recent playbook in Ukraine is also a continuation of what they started [WaPo] in Transnistria (eastern Moldova alongside Ukraine) more than 20 years ago. Moldova ratified a plan to associate itself with the EU in July that the European Parliament approved last week [Deutsche Welle]. Expect Russian pressure to increase.
- Iraqi officials say [WaPo] ISIS fighters have retreated from the Baiji refinery in northern Iraq. Great Britain has put its Reapers to work in the area. Now the Iraqis will have to clean up booby traps left by ISIS.
- ISIS is trying to counter a growing narrative of their setbacks with more propaganda [The Guardian].
- Today’s video, from Al Jazeera, shows the devastation left behind by ISIS in Tuz Khormato, a town a 100 miles of Baiji that was recaptured in September: