Monthly Archives: December 2011
Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellowships support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here.
Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here.
Boren Fellowships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their projects, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
To view the Program Basics of the Boren Fellowships, click here.
Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here.
Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here.
Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
To view the Program Basics for the Boren Scholarship, click here.
PASADENA, CA /PRNewswire/ ~~ Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC) announced today that it received a follow-on contract to provide advisory and assistance services for the Air Armament Center (AAC) at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla. through the Technical and Engineering Acquisition Support (TEAS) 6 contract.
The contract contains a ceiling of $662 million. The contract has a total ordering period of 3 years, with task order execution commencing December 11.
Jacobs’ support of the Air Force on this program dates back to its inception in 1986. With a staff of nearly 600 personnel, Jacobs provides technical expertise to help AAC develop, acquire, test, deploy and sustain air delivered munitions. The scope of work includes systems engineering and integration support of virtually all USAF air-launched weapon systems; test and training range systems; and numerous air combat support systems.
The Jacobs team includes subcontractors Qualis Corporation and Bevilacqua Research Corporation (BRC).
In making the announcement, Jacobs President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Martin stated, “We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with the USAF’s Air Armament Center. We look forward to supporting the integrated research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation activities necessary to assist AAC in delivering state of the art weapons to the warfighters.”
Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services.
SOURCE Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Web Site: http://www.jacobs.com
COLLEGE PARK, MD /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ~~ In a unique collaboration, an engineer and a criminologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, are applying criminological concepts and research methods in the study of cybercrime, leading to recommendations for IT managers to use in the prevention of cyber attacks on their networks.
Michel Cukier, associate professor of reliability engineering at the A. James Clark School of Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, and David Maimon, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, are studying cyberattacks from two different angles – that of the user and that of the attacker. Both are members of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.
Their work is the first look at the relationship between computer-network activity patterns and computer-focused crime trends. “We believe that criminological insights in the study of cybercrime are important, since they may support the development of concrete security policies that consider not only the technical element of cybercrime but also the human component,” Maimon said.
In one study that focused on the victims of cyberattacks, the researchers analyzed data made available by the university’s Office of Information Technology, which included instances of computer exploits, illegal computer port scans and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Applying criminological rationale proposed by the “Routine Activities Perspective,” Maimon and Cukier analyzed computer focused crime trends between the years 2007-2009 against the university network.
According to this perspective, which is designed to understand criminal victimization trends, successful criminal incidents are the consequence of the convergence in space and time of motivated offenders, suitable victims, and the absence of capable guardians. The researchers hypothesized that the campus would be more likely to be cyberattacked during business hours than during down times like after midnight and on weekends. Their study of the campus data confirmed their theories.
“Our analysis demonstrates that computer-focused crimes are more frequent during times of day that computer users are using their networked computers to engage in their daily working and studying routines,” Maimon said. “Users expose the network to attacks,” Cukier said. Simply by browsing sites on the Web, Internet users make their computers’ IP addresses and ports visible to possible attackers. So, “the users’ behavior does reflect on the entire organization’s security.”
Maimon, a sociologist, takes the study a step further. “Your computer network’s social composition will determine where your attacks come from,” he said. In a similar vein, “the kinds of places you go influence the types of attacks you get. Our study demonstrates that, indeed, network users are clearly linked to observed network attacks and that efficient security solutions should include the human element.”
Cukier adds, “The study shows that the human aspect needs to be included in security studies, where humans are already referred as the ‘weakest link.’”
Cukier and Maimon said the results of their research point to the following potential solutions:
1. Increased education and awareness of the risks associated with computer-assisted and computer-focused crimes among network users could prevent future attacks; 2. Further defense strategies should rely on predictions regarding the sources of attacks, based on the network users’ social backgrounds and online routines.
“Michel and David’s research exemplifies the interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center,” noted Michael Hicks, director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center. “Resources are not unlimited, so true solutions must consider the motivations of the actors, both attackers and defenders, as well as the technological means to thwart an attack. Michel, an engineer, and David, a criminologist, are considering both sides of this equation, with the potential for game-changing results.”
Maryland Cybersecurity Center: www.cyber.umd.edu
Michel Cukier Profile Page: www.enme.umd.edu/facstaff/fac-profiles/cukier.html
David Maimon Profile Page: www.ccjs.umd.edu/faculty/faculty.asp?p=209
About the Maryland Cybersecurity Center
Launched in 2010, the Maryland Cybersecurity Center was created as an interdisciplinary research center to bring together experts from computer science, engineering, business, public policy, economics, and the social and behavioral sciences to address our nation’s growing needs in cybersecurity. Maryland researchers will apply their unique expertise in wireless and network security, cryptography, secure software, cyber supply chain security & cybersecurity policy to generate ground-breaking, innovative solutions to current and future cybersecurity threats.
SOURCE University of Maryland
CONTACT: Missy Corley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.eng.umd.edu/
CyberPatriot IV Prepares for Second Round of National High School Cyber Defense Competition, Virginia
ARLINGTON, VA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ~~ The Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot is preparing for another round of competition this weekend, with the All Service Division entering its second of three online rounds.
CyberPatriot is the nation’s largest high school cyber security challenge. This unique competition was designed to give students a hands-on learning experience in cybersecurity and inspire students to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in their studies.
In this two-track competition, teams have registered from public, private, parochial and home schools in the Open Division and JROTC units of all Services and Civil Air Patrol squadrons filled the All Service Division. In all, more than 1,000 teams registered to participate this year.
The All Service Division teams will undergo another round of computer defense, with each team having to compete for six hours during the allotted 36-hour window of competition (starting noon EST on December 2 and closing at midnight EST on December 3). However, the teams will have to fortify and secure two systems this round, versus the one in the first preliminary round. The composite score of the first and second preliminary rounds will determine which teams advance to Round 3 (the Round of 36 teams).
Following that, the top 12 qualifying teams then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition held in the Washington, D.C. area, in March 2012.
In the meantime, the CyberPatriot staff has been working even harder to expand the educational reach of the competition, which includes the addition of a forensics element in the national finals competition and the completion of a pre-competition survey.
During the National Finals Competition of CyberPatriot IV, 24 teams of finalists will compete in a new forensics exercise, teaching about and testing high school competitors on the exciting field of cyber forensics through the application of crime scene analysis, evidence gathering and critical thinking. The expansion to the competition has been made possible by the Defense Cyber Crime Center.
And after distribution to 1,000-plus student competitors, CyberPatriot IV’s pre-competition survey was completed earlier this month, gathering information on participants’ general knowledge of all things cyber. The survey asked questions addressing students’ overall understanding of cyber security and their likeliness to pursue a career in STEM. Results will be compared with a similar survey after the completion of this year’s competition.
“This competition is about academic growth and teaching beyond the fundamental curriculum found in schools,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. “This survey is an analytical effort to measure the effect CyberPatriot is having on the students who participate in the competition. And the addition of cyber forensics adds an exciting element of education to the competition and allows these high school students to get exposure to another fascinating aspect of cyber security.”
The AFA is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members. Visit www.afa.org.
SOURCE Air Force Association
CONTACT: Merri Shaffer, email@example.com
Web Site: http://www.afa.org
WASHINGTON, DC /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ~~ NASA has selected 300 small business proposals to enter into negotiations for possible contract awards through the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
These competitive awards-based programs encourage U.S. small businesses and research institutions to engage in federal research, development and commercialization. The programs enable teams to explore technological potential while providing the incentive to profit from new commercial products and services.
The SBIR program selected 260 proposals, which have a combined value of approximately $33 million, for negotiation of Phase I feasibility study contracts. The STTR program selected 40 proposals, with a combined value of approximately $5 million, for negotiation of Phase I contracts.
“NASA’s partnerships with small businesses and universities through these programs brings space technologies to the marketplace, helping start-ups and small businesses create new jobs and grow our economy while meeting NASA’s current and future mission needs,” said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA’s Space Technology. “Breakthroughs in technology for space exploration create the foundation for new industries. We’re excited to work with these new partners and look forward to seeing their technologies mature into commercially viable products.”
The SBIR and STTR programs address specific technology gaps in NASA missions, while striving to complement other agency research investments. Program results have benefited many NASA efforts, including modern air traffic control systems, Earth-observing spacecraft, the International Space Station and the Mars rovers.
Innovative research areas among proposals include:
~~ Innovative research in the areas of positioning, navigation and timing that will enable accurate and precise determination of location and orientation of spacecraft to allow corrections to course, orientation and velocity to attain a desired destination
~~ Development of small, low-cost remote sensing and in situ instruments to enable science measurement capabilities with smaller or more affordable spacecraft that meet multiple mission needs while making the best use of limited resources
~~ Design of electronics, hardened for radiation and thermal cycling, which are capable of enduring the extreme temperature and radiation environments of deep space, and the lunar and Martian surfaces
~~ Improved technologies related to in-flight airframe and engine icing hazards for piloted and drone vehicles to prevent encounters with hazardous conditions and mitigation of their effects when they occur The highly competitive programs are based on a three-phase award system. Phase I is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards are typically for six months for the SBIR contracts and 12 months for the STTR contracts, in amounts up to $125,000. Firms successfully completing Phase I are eligible to submit Phase II proposals, expanding on the results of Phase I. Phase III includes commercialization of the results of Phase II, and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR federal funding as innovations move from the laboratory to the marketplace.
The selected SBIR proposals were submitted by 196 small, high technology firms in 37 states. The selected STTR proposals were submitted by 36 small high technology firms in 13 states. As part of the STTR program, the firms proposed to partner with 34 universities or research institutions in 16 states.
NASA received 1,878 qualified Phase I proposals. The criteria used to choose these selected proposals included technical merit and feasibility; experience, qualifications and facilities; effectiveness of the work plan; and, commercial potential and feasibility.
NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SBIR program for the agency’s Space Technology Program. NASA’s 10 field centers manage individual projects.
For a complete list of selected companies, visit:
For more information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist and the agency’s Space Technology Program, visit:
Holidays and suicides ~~ this can be a depressing time for many.
Sad to say but there is one group that bears special attention: military veterans.
Vets now make up half of all suicides, at the rate of 18 suicides per day.
The VA’s suicide hotline receives about 10,000 calls a month from current and former service members. The number is 1-800-273-8255. Service members and veterans should push 1 for veterans’ services.
The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation awards program is now accepting submissions for 2012 awards. Each year, the Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilians, to recognize their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history. Individuals are honored at the Foundation’s annual Awards Ceremony on April 21, 2012.
All winners receive a $1,000 cash prize, a medallion and a commemorative brick along the Semper Fi Memorial Park pathway at the Marine Corps Heritage Center.
Applicants may self-nominate or nominate another individual for his/her work. If the piece is selected for an award, the awards committee will contact the applicant for any additional information needed to get in touch with the author/creator of the original work.
Applicants who are nominating someone else’s work must indicate this in the overview that is part of each submission detailed below. Submissions must be submitted electronically in PDF form, by website URL (in the case of blogs/dispatch reporting) or mailed on a DVD. All video submissions should include three copies on DVD format, mailed in a case, along with the category for the submission and the applicant’s name and contact number. All parts of the submission including overview must be sent electronically or by mail together, rather than in multiple parts. Electronic submissions are preferred but the Foundation understands that not all submissions can be sent in electronic format.
The deadline for this year’s awards submissions is December 31, 2011. Be sure to fill out the 2012 Awards Program Submission Form and include it with all submissions.
All award submissions should be sent to Susan Hodges at the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and must include the 2012 Awards Program Submission Form.
|Mail to:||Susan Hodges
Vice President of Administration
Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
c/o Awards Program
3800 Fettler Park Drive, #104
Dumfries, VA 22025
See submission requirements below for each award. Contact Susan Hodges at 703-640-7961 with all submission queries.
An engineering Ph.D. students wins prizes for the design of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ~~ dubbed Green Falcon II ~~ which would be powered by the sun and wind; “While all airplanes mimic the shape of birds, the Green Falcon II will literally use the wind to power its movement, just as a bird would,” the young inventor says …
PISCATAWAY, NJ /PRNewswire/
“Free Isn’t Necessarily Free,” Warns IEEE Fellow Jeffrey Voas
Experts at IEEE – the world’s largest technical professional association – say smartphone owners are increasingly paying a high price for free mobile applications, with 2012 set to be a disruptive year of widespread mobile hacking. Research by IEEE Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Voas in the US has so far uncovered malware in more than 2,000 free smartphone apps. Voas says free, rogue applications like this will be the most common access-point for hackers over the next year.
“The issue with free apps is that you’re paying a price you don’t know about,” says Voas, who is also a computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Of free mobile applications, approximately 1 in 100 now visibly contain malware – and that doesn’t even account for the ones where the malware is so hidden it’s impossible to spot. This number is growing by the day and with most of these rogue apps offering good functionality for free, it’s easy to be victimized.”
Adds Voas, “Smartphone users need to remember that free isn’t necessarily free. It can lead to hackers accessing all of the information stored on your phone and transmitting it within two to three seconds.”
Dr. Madjid Merabti, an IEEE Senior Member and Professor of Networked Systems at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, says while the public has been trained to recognize cyber-security threats associated with their PCs and laptops, they do not see their smart phones as computers and subject to the same threats. And in some ways those threats are even worse.
“Unlike on a PC, where web browsers often give plenty of warning about dodgy websites with warning lights and alerts, the screens on smart phones are too small to display this protection,” Merabti says. “These devices contain identifying information, potentially saved passwords, and authentication details, and are much more likely to be misplaced or stolen than other larger portable computing equipment.”
Kevin Curran, a Senior Member of the IEEE and Head of the School of Computing and Intelligence Systems at the University of Ulster, UK, says businesses will be the main victims in 2012. “With more people using the same phone for business and personal reasons, the upsurge in smartphone hacking presents a real issue for businesses as well as consumers,” he says. “A company can have all appropriate firewalls in place, but it takes just one employee to download malware onto their phone. In fact, with more senior employees using phones for work, it is likely to be C-suite executives exposing businesses to vulnerabilities.”
According to Curran, a “trusted app” approach is needed to combat hackers, something he hopes can be in place by 2013. He says he expects an increased number of people hacked via mobile phones in 2012 will motivate the industry and governments to define and implement such a system.
IEEE and its members are responding to the growing cyber-security threats by sharing knowledge and understanding through publications such as IEEE Security & Privacy as well as the Silver Bullet Security Podcast with Gary McGraw. You can subscribe to the security podcast here. IEEE also holds an annual IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, with the next one being held 20-23 May 2012 in San Francisco. The full proceedings of the 2011 conference are available free online . In addition, IEEE’s 2012 International Conference on Information Security and Intelligence Control will be held 14-16 August 2012 in Yunlin, Taiwan.
Other resources from IEEE:
- IEEE Spectrum recently reported that there were approximately one million cyber crime victims each day last year across 24 countries. – Watch an IEEE.tv video interview with McAfee Vice President of Strategy Vimal Solanki on current threats from the 2011 NIKSUN World Wide Security and Mobility Conference. – The IEEE Xplore Digital Library provides subscribers with both conference proceedings and peer-reviewed, research, including a proposal for an “application lockbox” for mobile device security outlined at the 2011 International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations.
Curran said the numbers game is working to attract hacker attention. “We saw 2011 as the year of the social network attack,” he says. “But with the number of smartphone users now representing approximately 20 percent of the mobile market, we will now see an explosion in smartphone attacks, both by technical experts and by novices buying tools from dark websites and conducting low-tech but effective scams. It only takes a couple seconds to steal personal information.”
For more information on IEEE, or to speak with a member about cyber security, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more: http://www.ieee.org.