Chris Mark in AT&T Network Exchange Blog

NetworkExchangeAs the AT&T PCI National Practice Director, I write and blog on numerous topics that I hope are of interest to those who have to protect data.  Aside from the GlobalRiskInfo blog here I also publish some blog posts on the AT&T Network Exchange Blog.  Please take a spin through.  Also, there are a very large number of great writers on the AT&T Network Exchange Blog.  Take some time and look through the other authors…

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CyberEspionage (Again)…The Counter Terrorist Magazine

ctmay2012In light of the continuing attacks against companies by Eastern European organized criminal groups, I thought it appropriate to remind everyone that state sponsored attacks are still a major issue.  Here is a link to an article I wrote in The Counter Terrorist Magazine on the topic of CyberEspionage.  “The economics of cyber-theft is simple: Stealing technology is far easier and cheaper than doing original research and development. It is also far less risky to the spy than historic cloak and dagger economic espionage.”

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DARPA Counter Sniper Technology – 1996 “Bullet Ears”- Saving lives today…

DARPAWhile I was serving as a Reconnaissance Marine in 1996, I was asked if I was interested in an  opportunity to work with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) on some counter sniper technology that was being developed?  Since I was also a Marine Scout/Sniper with combat experience as a sniper, I was told I was a good fit.  I jumped at the opportunity to  make some per diem, and screw around at Ft. Benning during the Summer Olympics, which were being held in Atltanta (about an hour away).

There were numerous systems and we spent our days shooting, trying to beat the COBRAsystems, writing reports on our findings, and talking trash with all of the bearded PhD engineers who built the cool toys that we could break.  It was immensely fun.  In 1996, the technology was in its infancy and the computer processing power was not yet well enough defined to make the systems very effective.  There was one system that we evaluated that struck a chord with the snipers.  It was based upon a series of sensors that ‘heard’ the supersonic crack of the bullet as it passed between the sensors.  It would use basic time differences and triangulate the position of the shot and, using basic trigonometry, it could calculate where the shot originated, the caliber, and other factors.  Ultimately we gave it good reviews and the DARPA representative code named it “Bullet Ears” (yeah..I am not making this up)..

Today I was reading an article by Steve Reichert (the Marine Sniper with the Mile long shot and three kills with one shot) titled DARPA’s XM3 Sniper Rifle.  In the article, it references a sniper detection system named ‘Boomerange’ by Raytheon’s BBN Systems.  Imagine my surprise when I checked out the system and realized it was the actual finished version of “Bullet Ears” we had tested almost 20 years ago!…It has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan…Wow.  To think it has actually saved lives.  That is very cool to think that a technology we tested in 1996 is saving lives in 2014…

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Court Upholds 1st Amendment Rights for Bloggers! (Big Win for Bloggers!)

AppealsCourtAccording to an article in USA Today, On January 17th, 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “..bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.”  At a high level, the Appeals Court ruled that Standards set by a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., apply to everyone, not just journalists.  What does this mean?  Quite simply if you want to blog about a company, public figure, or anyone else and your blogs are in the ‘public interest’ and not driven by malice and are not negligent, then you have a right to do so without being sued for defamation.  The court said specifically: “Because Cox’s blog post addressed a matter of public concern, even assuming that Gertz is limited to such speech, the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find Cox liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently,” judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote. “We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages.”

This is a great ruling for bloggers and individuals as it protects their comments and opinions under the 1st Amendment.  

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Chris Mark in February 2014 SC Magazine “The Need & the Challenge”

2014SCMagazineChris Mark’s (this author) article “The Need and the Challenge” has been published in the February, 2014 edition of Secure Computing Magazine.  The article focuses upon the need to define the term ‘security’ and the challenge associated with denoting such a term.   Here is an intro “While used every day, the term “security” can be deceptively difficult to define and may contain various meanings to different people in divergent contexts. The industry at large seems to have adopted a stance of “I know it when I see it,” as opposed to objectively defining the concept. Unfortunately, this creates numerous problems for those who have a need to ‘secure’ data, or any other asset.”  Continue reading here! 

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