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The Cognitive Early Warning Predictive System (CEWPS™)

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On August 24th, 2005, The North Eastern region of the United States was hit by an unusual type of a massive cyber attack that is called “The Virus Rain®”. The attack caught the region and the country by surprise, and hundreds of incident response teams scrambled to catch up with the attack. 


Systematically with a progression of 1-minute interval, the heavy Virus Rain® spread out very fast and hit the whole region like a hurricane bringing down the electrical grid, followed by the metro rail system, the hospital systems, Government systems, the ATMs and banking systems, the metropolitan traffic control systems, bridge tolls systems, even airport control tower systems. The National Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) estimates that over 500,000 different types of “mutating” virii have been unleashed to paralyze the region.  Later, the attack was referred to as “The Electronic Pearl Harbor 2!  



The Virus Rain® is a fictitious massive cyber attack, but it may become reality soon.  All the technologies of the attack are present today; but more importantly, it will be fueled with anti-American sentiment. The Virus Rain® was designed, and launched from several remote stealth cyber launch pads. It hit the heart of New England with its payload of Remote-control viruses, mutating stealth-smart bombs, backdoor hemorrhoid zombies, and autonomic heart-attack, and kamikaze agents. It was like the four horsemen of Apocalypse, or the final battle of Armageddon. All this will be done on Internet!

The global malware market is maturing and is phenomenally open-ended, globelized, and virtually real. It is a sleeping giant ready to wake up anytime. There are 1500 virus supermarkets in the world, selling underground custom-made packaged attacks for different purposes.  In fact, some governments have already built their cyber war labs to fabricate their own cyber weapons.  The US is aware of such labs and has the capability to neutralize most attacks. The Pentagon plans to build several "cyber bunkers"  to counter attack such invasion. Most westernized nations have started to build defensive cyber bunkers, while other South East Asian countries have already built offensive cyber "launch pads" that will be used for cyber invasions.  The rest of the world, including the rich nations of the Gulf region, is way behind the curve, and has to count its blessings and pray hard. They have not been paying much attention to this new phenomenon. Eventually they will become victim of the modern information warfare.

 Now, there’s only one bright light at the end of the tunnel.  Human extinction from diseases has been eradicated by a phenomenal biological process that is called “immunity”. We acquire immunity through two fundamental ways: the first method, innate immunity that comes with birth. It is passive and inherited from the mother. However, passive immunity evolves to become active immunity, when the body starts to develop immunological memories. The second method is through Vaccination, which has been one of the greatest milestones in the history of man. Vaccination is injecting a “diluted” pathogen (microbe) in the body. The divine biological miracle is achieved when human cells memorize the properties of the pathogen (microbe), and get smarter for subsequent viral attack.  Vaccination is in fact, the Cognitive Early Warning Protective System (CEWPS).

 Now, here’s the intellectual spark: why can’t we build a similar immunological CEWPS in computers?  Why couldn't Department of Homeland deploy the Smart Vaccine to protect the country’s critical infrastructures?  Do we really need another Internet Pearl Harbor before we wake up?  I guess the answer is: let’s do it.

 Historically, Microsoft has never been a security elite company and that’s why the Anti-Virus Technology (AVT) providers have been under the gravitation of Microsoft, in order to survive. Most of them survived because they did not challenge Microsoft and marched to its drum beat. Consumers were forced to buy anti-virus software with their new PCs, and laptops as the ultimate “life jacket”.  AVT stagnated, and did not offer any innovative solution to address the escalating cyber-crime and terrorism. Zero-Day attacks were big time and it was party time for the Black Hat community. AVT was two cycles behind Zero-day attacks.  Up to now, we have not conquered cyber malware. We need to look at the solution with a holistic vision. We cannot rely on post-mortem forensic techniques to recover damage and endure emotional distress.  Rather than thinking tactically and reacting to new threats, we need to think strategically by building a smarter environment to alert and quickly defend our critical infrastructures and systems. 

Our mission-critical systems are still vulnerable, and do not have the proper “autonomic” immunity to protect themselves.  We need to develop an intelligent computing environment using artificial intelligence technology which will offer a timely immune response to all mission-critical systems.  This is what The Smart Vaccine® is all about.

The Cognitive Early Warning Protective System (CEWPS) is a three-tier environment that replicates immunity in the human body.  The green grid (the top layer) is the skin which acts as an early warning radar system. The brown grid (the middle layer) represents the inoculation headquarters that controls the launch of the Smart Vaccine® prior to the attack. Pre-fabricated autonomic (self-guiding, self repair, self navigating) software organisms like the B-cells and T-cells are assembled and dispatched toward the blue grid of the Mission-Critical systems. (Refer to The technical paper “The Smart Vaccine” published in September 2005).

 The Smart Vaccine® is the brain of the Cognitive Early Warning Predictive System (CEWPS).  It is the most effective approach to mitigating premeditated cyber terrorism and deterring Pearl Harbor scenarios. The CEWPS redefines cyber security with the concept of immunity.  It is the right solution to protect the critical infrastructure systems.



 Dr. Rocky Termanini is the CEO of MERIT Cyber Security Consulting and domain expert in cyber security. He brings 46 years of multi-industry real-world experience to his classes.  He is a Professional Electrical Engineer and member of IEEE. He is a certified IT security professional, and member of the American College of Forensic Examiners.

 Dr. Termanini is a senior advisor to Law Enforcement on Cyber-terrorism.  He was an expert witness in court on cases related to Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud. He advises companies on Information espionage and Business Intelligence. As a certified Forensics expert, he helps companies resolve internet crimes. He is the designer of the Smart Vaccine® and the Digital Immune Grid. He has lectured in several international conferences and taught the practical aspects of technology at several universities. He worked on several forensics projects in the US, and presented evidence in court.

 Professor Termanini taught Information Systems classes at Connecticut State University, New York University, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and Connecticut State University. Also abroad, he taught at The University of Bahrain, and University College of Bahrain, and presently he is an adjunct professor at Abu Dhabi University. Dr. Termanini holds a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from Yale University.


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