Friday, August 27, 2021

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco Announces Creation of New Cyber Fellows Positions

 Today, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the creation of a new Cyber Fellowship program, designed to develop a new generation of prosecutors and attorneys equipped to handle emerging national security threats.

“As we have witnessed this past year, cyber threats pose a significant and increasing risk to our national security, our economic security, and our personal security,” said Deputy Attorney General Monaco. “We need to develop the next generation of prosecutors with the training and experience necessary to combat the next generation of cyber threats. This Fellowship gives attorneys a unique opportunity to gain the well-rounded experience they need to tackle the full range of those threats.”

The creation of the Fellowship, which will be coordinated through the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, is a recommendation from the department’s ongoing comprehensive cyber review, ordered by Deputy Attorney General Monaco this past May. The review is aimed at developing actionable recommendations to enhance and expand the Justice Department’s efforts against cyber threats.

Cyber Fellowship Details

The three-year Cyber Fellowship will provide selected attorneys experience combatting emerging national security and criminal cyber threats, while rotating through multiple department components that protect the nation from cyber threats — including the Criminal Division, the National Security Division and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. Through this unique opportunity, Fellows will handle a broad range of the cyber cases performed by the department and gain a comprehensive understanding of the department’s response to emerging and critical threats. Fellows can expect to investigate and prosecute state-sponsored cyber threats; transnational criminal groups; infrastructure and ransomware attacks; and the use of cryptocurrency and money laundering to finance and profit from cyber-based crimes.

Incoming Fellows must agree to a three-year commitment to the program and be able to secure a Top Secret security clearance. All Fellows will be based in the Washington, D.C. area. Fellows may be extended or converted to permanent positions without further competition or may reapply to the Honors Program in a subsequent year provided they meet eligibility criteria. Alternatively, as they approach the end of their three-year term, Fellows may apply to permanent positions within the department that align with their interest.

Application Details 

The first track of Cyber Fellowship applications will be accepted through the Justice Department’s Honors Program application portal, which can be found here. Applicants who have applied to or are in the process of applying to this year’s Honors Program should indicate that they would also like to be considered for the Cyber Fellowship. Candidates must meet Honors Program eligibility criteria to apply through the Honors application portal. The deadline for this first round is Sept. 8. Information regarding deadlines and eligibility to submit applications to the Cyber Fellowship through subsequent tracks is forthcoming.

Inquiries about the Cyber Fellowship can be submitted to

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Spacecom Attains Initial Operational Capability, Commander Says

 Aug. 24, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

The U.S. Space Command reached initial operational capability today and is on the path to meeting full operational capability in the near future, its commander said.

Army Gen. James H. Dickinson spoke today at the U.S. Space Foundation's 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A man in a military uniform speaks.

"We were absolutely ready since day one," he said, meaning the date it was established, Aug. 29, 2019, as the Defense Department's 11th and newest combatant command.

IOC is an inflection point for Spacecom, he said. "United States Space Command has matured to the point where we have strategic effects."

Now, Spacecom can expand its structural, functional and organizational gains made since its establishment. "It's where we can credibly claim to be organized and effective for employing our enduring, no-fail supporting functions to the joint force," he said.

Dickinson stressed the important role allies and partners play in Spacecom's mission and that of the entire department.

A photo compilation of service members is shown.

Spacecom has more than 100 data sharing agreements with allies, inter-governmental teammates and commercial partners, he said. These agreements exchange information, enhance space domain awareness, increase the safety of spaceflight operations, and lay the foundation for future collaboration in space operations.

The general added that Spacecom has established command and control capabilities, and has participated in 24 tier-one war games and exercises, which are governmental-wide events to test the United States' collective response to real world contingencies. 

"Our participation helps test and refine space warfighting command and control relationships," he said.

A graphic showing a U.S. and Russian satellite depicts them just above the curvature of the Earth.

Today, threats from China and Russia are even more pronounced than they were when Spacecom was established, he said. The value of Spacecom to protect and defend U.S. and allied interests in space is even more significant. 

"One of our most important sources of American strength is free and open access to the benefits of space-based capabilities," he said. "Free and open access requires a peaceful domain. That's why U.S. Space Command's fundamental objective is to deter a conflict in space. And if deterrence fails, we will defeat aggression, through delivering space combat power for the joint and combined force. … So having reached IOC, we're even more capable now of doing all of that."

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

What is an Alternate Light Source?


In forensic science, an alternate light source uses monochromatic light to detect and identify physical evidence, including bruises, body fluids, hair, clothing fibers, and other trace materials. This technology takes advantage of a material’s inherent luminescent properties that cause it to glow when struck with a specific wavelength of light. 

NIJ’s Term of the Month promotes research-based definitions of criminal justice terms. 


Webinar: Best Practices for Digital Image Processing


Webinar Date: August 5, 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Eastern

In the criminal justice community, digital images are used for scientific analysis and comparison. Unfortunately, many digital images are not always captured with the necessary clarity required for the proper visualization of minute details. Furthermore, there may be issues with background noise and patterns that may interfere with the accurate and reliable analysis, comparison, and evaluation of the images. Since these images are frequently used in court, they must be processed to ensure the highest level of clarity and detail possible. In addition, there are proper procedures that must be followed to ensure their integrity and admissibility in court.

Adobe Photoshop provides a variety of tools for image processing. Many of these tools are considered “creative” and should not be used for digitally processing forensic evidentiary photographs. For example, using Levels to eliminate grayscale values should be avoided as it may result in the loss of crucial image detail. Furthermore, some of the techniques used in forensic digital imaging must be utilized in a specific sequence or the desired results will not be achieved. The bottom line is that processing forensic digital images with probative value is not an art. It is a science based on sound, proven, reliable practices.


Monday, August 2, 2021

DHS Partners with Girl Scouts of the USA to Launch the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge

 WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge, a new initiative to encourage girls across the country to learn about cybersecurity and increase related awareness within their own communities, particularly around the growing threat of ransomware.  Developed in partnership with CYBER.ORG and DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will help develop the next generation of diverse cybersecurity talent and strengthen our Nation’s cybersecurity resilience. 

“I am tremendously proud to partner with Girl Scouts of the USA to inspire girls to learn more about cybersecurity and become leaders in their communities,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “I hope the unique opportunity presented by the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will spark a life-long interest in the cutting-edge field of cybersecurity among girls across our Nation.”

“The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge gives girls in every zip code across the country direct access to fun activities that will strengthen their skill and interest in cyber,” shared GSUSA’s Interim CEO Judith Batty.  “Women hold only a quarter of cybersecurity jobs in the United States, yet we make up more than 47 percent of the workforce.  GSUSA is continuously working to close this gender gap through programming that inspires girls in grades K-12 to explore their interest in a field that is so critical to the safety and security of our country.  By combining Girl Scouts’ reach and girl-focused programming with expertise from DHS and CYBER.ORG, we will motivate a new generation of girls to become confident cybersecurity leaders.” 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Homeland Security and Girl Scouts to launch the Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge,” said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach at CYBER.ORG.  “This initiative is critical to introducing more girls to cybersecurity and helping grow a more diverse cybersecurity talent pipeline.  This effort is key to promoting student cybersecurity literacy and ensuring that girls can explore the possibility of cybersecurity careers.”

In March, Secretary Mayorkas and GSUSA’s Interim CEO Judith Batty discussed the importance of developing the next generation of diverse talent to tackle the monumental cybersecurity challenges facing our Nation.  During this conversation, Secretary Mayorkas and Ms. Batty announced that DHS and Girl Scouts would partner on these efforts.  The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge builds on this commitment. 

The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will provide girls in grades 6-12 with opportunities to learn more about cybersecurity, practice key concepts, and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they develop during this program.  At the end of the Challenge, participants will be encouraged to publish an article about ransomware to raise cybersecurity awareness in their respective communities.  Participants who complete the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement and an invitation to attend a capstone virtual event hosted by DHS during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.  Both Girl Scouts and non-members are welcome to participate and encouraged to learn more by visiting

The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge is part of the Secretary’s 60-Day Cybersecurity Sprints, which were announced in March.  During the recently completed Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint, DHS achieved the largest and most successful cybersecurity hiring initiative in the Department’s history, hiring nearly 300 new cybersecurity professionals and extending an additional 500 tentative job offers.  The previous sprint focused on elevating the Department’s efforts to help prevent and protect against ransomware across the United States. 

To learn more about the Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge, visit and