US Government Denies Heartbleed Prior Knowledge, Confirms It Might Keep Exploits to Itself

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* An article first published by Bloomberg last Friday claiming that the NSA was aware of the Heartbleed [PDF] vulnerability for years was promptly denied by the White House. * However the National Security Council’s rebuttal implies that the Administration may not disclose all vulnerabilities its agencies discover. Bloomberg’s report is based on the claims […]

* An article first published by Bloomberg last Friday claiming that the NSA was aware of the Heartbleed [PDF] vulnerability for years was promptly denied by the White House.

* However the National Security Council’s rebuttal implies that the Administration may not disclose all vulnerabilities its agencies discover. Bloomberg’s report is based on the claims of two anonymous people “close to the matter.” It sounds unlikely that the NSC would blatantly lie in this specific instance, but they confirmed that in principle the government may withhold knowledge of a similar exploit.

Worldwide Military Stays About Flat

* The latest data update [PDF] from the SIPRI nonprofit shows global defense spending very slightly decreased for the 2nd year in a row, in what is really a 5-year plateau after a decade of sustained growth. This average growth rate hides significant discrepancies between decreases in Western countries vs. marked increases in the developing world.

Better AWACS on Track towards IOC

* The US Air Force has received Block 40/45 upgrades [PDF] on 5 of its AWACS aircraft so far, as the overhaul program moves towards its initial operational capability milestone.

Difficult Prospects, from California to Louisiana

* A report by AT Kearney explains how California is undermining its current leading position in the US and global aerospace markets.

* Huntington Ingalls Industries announced it will conduct a 6-month study with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to figure out an energy-focused reinvention of the Avondale shipyard, which otherwise is on a path to closure. HII had been looking for such an out for years, but it’s too early to tell whether this new attempt will prove more fruitful than previous ones.

Eastern Europe

* The Czech Republic’s army wants to buy up to 16 multipurpose helicopters by 2020, for transport and MEDEVAC purposes.

* (Pro-)Russian separatists have continued their attacks on government buildings in Eastern Ukraine throughout the weekend: Kyiv Post | WSJ.

East Asia

* Gloating continues unabated at China’s Ministry of Defense: South Korea, Japan, U.S. intelligence sharing not to be on defense talks agenda.

Blown up in Translation

* Despite the fuss about “Human Terrain,” a Pashto-speaking British ex-officer who served in Afghanistan makes the case in his book that the allies never really understood the dynamics involved – to the point that many Afghans saw the allies as Taliban supporters.

Sea-Air-Space 2014

* Today’s video from Navy Recognition gives a tour of last week’s Sea-Air-Space 2014 tradeshow, featuring a dozen ships and weapon systems:

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