Cyber Command leadership up in the air

President Donald Trump’s decision to raise U.S. Cyber Command to its own unified military command has stirred speculation about who might lead organization next, Martin reports. When ordering the Pentagon to place Cyber Command shoulder-to-shoulder with the military’s nine other combatant commands, the president directed the Pentagon to nominate a new Cyber Command leader, who must be confirmed by the Senate.

While the pick hasn’t been made yet, the new chief will oversee the process of moving Cyber Command — first established in 2009 — out from under the umbrella of U.S. Strategic Command. Last week a senior Defense Department official stressed that there is no “timeline” for making the choice. But possible names have already begun to crop up, including Navy Adm. Mike Rogers, who currently runs Cyber Command as a “dual-hat” leader who also oversees the intelligence-gathering National Security Agency.

Other top candidates include the digital chiefs of various military branches, a combat-hardened leader from the traditional combat realm and the military’s top spy. Pros can read about the potential nominees, and their attributes and drawbacks, here.

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THAT OLD BEAR The tale of a hacker in Ukraine who turned into an FBI witness has thrown the government’s controversial “GRIZZLY STEPPE” technical report — released in January alongside U.S. penalties for Russia’s alleged election hacking — back into the spotlight. The New York Times apparently relied on the GRIZZLY STEP report, which was shared as part of an effort to alert users when they might be compromised by Russian hackers, to falsely conclude that a technique the Ukraine hacker developed was used in the Democratic National Committee hack, which it was not, according to experts who examined the breach. The original story, since corrected, was titled “In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking.” The headline drew fire from cyber experts. “Spoiler alert: he can’t,” responded Robert M. Lee, founder of the cybersecurity firm Dragos. The GRIZZLY STEPPE report encountered criticism of its own upon being released because it led to misunderstandings about when the DNC hackers might have attacked elsewhere.

INTEL COMMUNITY GETS NEW CIO — President Trump on Friday tapped John Sherman to be the chief information officer for the intelligence community. The post — based in the Office of the Director for National Intelligence — was established in 2015 in an attempt to better manage the sprawling intelligence community’s information technology efforts. Sherman is a 20-year veteran of the intelligence community, moving to ODNI from the CIA, where he served as deputy director of the Open Source Enterprise, a project focused on collecting, analyzing and distributing public information of intelligence value. Sherman has also served as the principal deputy national intelligence officer for military issues on the National Intelligence Council and at the ultra-secretive National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

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