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Pentagon seeks 'game changer' tech to thwart hackers

The Defense Department is in the market for a secure browser to wall off its employees from the open internet, a solu...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 8:02 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 8:02 AM

The Defense Department is in the market for a secure browser to wall off its employees from the open internet, a solution that will effectively block hackers from nation states such as Russia and China from ever reaching its network.

According to a new request for information published on Tuesday, the Pentagon asked the private sector to pitch a "cloud based" product that would isolate more than 3 million Defense Department officials' internet traffic.

Typically, if a user clicks on a link in a phishing email, that malicious code is able to spread throughout the network unimpeded, stealing secrets or shutting down key functions of the device-like opening a door to a home.

But with the cloud browser, the user will only see a video representation of their internet session taking place on a remote server, as if the traffic lived in an empty room far away. If that session gets hacked, it will be sandboxed and never reach the Pentagon.

Once acquired, this type of technology would be a "game changer," Steve Wallace, the technical director at the Defense Information Systems Agency, said in a statement to CNN. "We are locked in a race against our adversaries, and we know attacks and threats are generally executed via desktop browser."

Unlike Amazon's current contracts, which provide the intelligence community and parts of the Defense Department with cloud-based storage and the ability to organize data, this product would take advantage of the cloud's remoteness for security purposes.

The browser would "provide defense against a variety of attacks that exploit Department of Defense networks and compromise end clients," according to the request.

The solution is desperately needed.

According to estimates from the Defense Information Systems Agency, the agency seeking the new solution, the Pentagon faces tens of millions of email-hacking attempts every single day.

The Director of National Intelligence's most recent annual assessment of threats facing the United States from 2018 pointed directly to sophisticated digital attacks by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, all of which make use of the "low-cost tool of statecraft" to gather information on US policy, US citizens and national security data.

In the future, according to the DNI, these attacks will likely only get more aggressive and may threaten critical infrastructure.

"The operators of the most targeted network in the world have come to the conclusion that they'd be more secure and efficient if they kept all public web code off their network," said Scott Petry, the CEO and Co-Founder of Authentic8, a private company that developed Silo, a secure virtual browser.

"Cloud browsers are now something any organization concerned with online security must consider," he said.

"Attacks that come in from nation states or any other bad actor typically exploit interfaces in the local system-a bit of code or a cookie will find its way into a browser and crawl its way across the network from there," he said.

The solution is to "never let it into the network," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
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Scott310572
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Stone179131
Clarke176876
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Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
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Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
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Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
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Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
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Marshall11957219
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St. Clair9426234
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DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
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Coosa99228
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