Quest Weekly Meeting, Oct 9th

QUEST Topics Oct 9, 2009
1.)  We will continue our discussion on our most recent ‘think piece’ – ‘What Alan Turing meant to say – Implications for CAPTCHAs, Trust and Autism detection’.  We will start with a review of the proposed definitions of data, information and knowledge.  We will then cover the theme of the piece – the relation between code breaking (Turing’s impact on breaking the Nazi code) and the Turing Test (Imitation Game – test for whether you are interacting with a human or a computer – and its implication to ‘Trust’).
2.) Two stories related to our recent think piece on a ‘New Strategy in Fighting an Adaptable Foe – relation to Asymmetric war, Fighting Cancer and Cyber warfare – Sequencing the primary and secondary tumor – this is a story about a recent study investigating the similarities and differences in the primary and metastasized tumors – what our discussion would be is a review of the medical material and extend the discussion to our prior think piece – trying to find patterns of common strategy in fights against cancer, fights against insurgents/terrorists and cyber warfare – suggest that both primary cancers and the process of metastasis–the spread of cancer cells–are more complicated and more variable than expected, which means that successful cancer treatment might ultimately require a combination of drugs targeted to different mutations. … major questions in cancer metastasis is whether tumors start out with the ability to spread, or they evolve that capacity over time … even low-grade and medium-grade tumors can be genetically heterogeneous, which could be problematic for molecularly targeted drugs… need to use a cocktail of three different drugs, which target different bits of the pathology …*** suggest that maybe we have to have a tool set of alternative strategies across the heterogeneity of our adversary *** —— along the same think piece lines Adam found an article on ‘It’s the Tribes stupid’ – how we have missed the point on what we are facing – it isn’t a war based on religion – by Steven Pressfield – I am interested in discussing the implication on cancer treatment (or any disease that adapts to the treatment – including aids and some flu viruses) and then transfer the thoughts back to fighting a war against an adaptable foe!
3.)  Information Management – a recent article provided by Dr. M. Linderman from the AFRL Information Directorate on a model for Information Management that includes thoughts on the tie between information and mission – ‘information management is a key enabler in ensuring that commanders have access to the information they need to make optimal decisions … information management is the capability to provide the right information, in the right place, and at the right time…define information management as a set of intentional activities to maximize the value of information to support the objectives of the enterprise … activities that comprise the verbs of management. Implicit in the definition are actors that interact with the managed information environment by either managing information or by sharing managed information. Finally, there is the information itself that, together with the actors, comprise the nouns of information management… value of information is not an intrinsic quality, but dependent upon how it is used **** this is very consistent with our view of data to information ****. To effectively perform value-based management, the managers and perhaps the infrastructure must be able to estimate the value of information. To do this, it is important to understand the business processes supported by that information and the relative importance of those processes **** this is the impact we envision for QUEST ****
4.) News:
a.     Botnet hijacking – Drive-by downloading involves hacking into a legitimate site to covertly install malicious software on visitors’ machines or redirect them to another site … describe a four-month study in which they connected their servers to a collection of compromised computers known as the Mebroot botnet … Mebroot network uses compromised websites to redirect visitors to centralized download servers that attempt to infect the victim’s computer … software, named for its tactic of infecting a Windows computer’s master boot record (MBR), shows signs of professional programming, including a rapid cycle of debugging, researchers say … criminals behind Mebroot infect legitimate Web servers with Javascript code. The code redirects visitors to a different Internet domain, which changes every day, and where a malicious server attempts to compromise their computer with a program that provides the botnet’s owners with remote control over that machine …
b.    Cloud security – is preparing to bring out of beta a service that will let customers merge their own computer systems with its cloud-computing services … enables cloud-based resources to appear as part of a regular local network of servers. It uses Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) to establish a secure connection with existing data centers. Servers in the cloud can then be assigned specific network addresses and mapped onto an existing network….
c.     DHS to hire cyber security professionals – will hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity experts over the next three years to help protect U.S. computer networks … new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyberanalysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation’s defenses against cyber threats …
d.    Persistent surveillance – deploy an unmanned surveillance airship to Afghanistan are moving forward, with a contract for the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) … provide unblinking airborne surveillance to defeat the threat from roadside bombs … is required to stay aloft at 20,000 ft. for 21 days carrying a 2,500-lb. payload, a combination of either a multi-camera wide-area airborne surveillance (WAAS) sensor or a ground moving-target indication (GMTI) radar plus a signals-intelligence system and multiple electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors … Darpa is launching a program to develop the capability to process, analyze and exploit wide-area motion imagery. In forensic mode, the Persistent Stare Exploitation and Analysis System would search through imagery to identify threat indications, while in near-real-time mode it would monitor incoming video and alert the user to developing threats … Persistent Stare Exploitation and Analysis System (PerSEAS) program is a software systems development and demonstration program for automatically and interactively discovering actionable intelligence from airborne, wide area motion imagery (WAMI) of complex urban environments … forensic mode, the system will exploit hours and days of WAMI data to identify threat activities and the underlying threat indicators. Used in a near real time mode, the system will alert the user to developing threat activities in-time to interdict. In addition to the EO/IR data available from WAMI sensors, PerSEAS will receive/send information from/to other intelligence sources …

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