Sponsored by Spectra Group
26 May 22. Allies Australia, Japan, US and India are set to work together on bolstering cyber security with initiatives aimed at strengthening protection for user data, software and supply chains after meeting in Tokyo this week.
According to a Quad Joint Leaders’ statement, the leaders committed to sharing threat information and identifying potential risks in supply chains for digitally enabled products and services aiming to improve the collective cyber security of critical infrastructure. Following the meeting, the White House revealed the countries are set to collaborate on work aimed at enhancing the “software development ecosystem”, in a statement.
“Aligning baseline software security standards for government procurement, leveraging our collective purchasing power to improve the broader software development ecosystem so that all users can benefit.
“The Quad partners will coordinate capacity building programs in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Cybersecurity Partnership, and will initiate the first-ever Quad Cybersecurity Day to help individual internet users across our nations, the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond to better protect themselves from cyber threats,” the White House said in a statement.
Chinese hackers have been linked to a range of cyber breaches in each country, particularly disruptions that targeted critical infrastructure. Last December, Chinese threat actors allegedly targeted energy provider CS Energy in Queensland, which almost fell victim to the ransomware attack, but managed to narrowly avoid the shutdown of generators that could have blacked out three million homes according to security analysts. Meanwhile, Indian officials accused China of attempting to hack their power sector, targeting seven facilities managing the electricity grid in Northern India last month according to Bloomberg. (Source: https://www.cybersecurityconnect.com.au/)
26 May 22. Department of Defense and NTIA Select Final Contestants for 5G Challenge. The DoD and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (NTIA/ITS) announced the winning contestants in the 5G Challenge’s Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability on May 19, 2022.
The following applicants will advance to Stage Two interoperability testing with the 5G Challenge host lab, CableLabs:
Distributed Unit (DU)
- Radisys Corp.
- Signal System Management
Centralized Unit (CU)
- Capgemini Engineering
- Mavenir Systems, Inc.
- Signal System Management
Radio Unit (RU)
- Fujitsu Network Communications
- Mavenir Systems, Inc.
The DoD, in collaboration with NTIA/ITS, is hosting the 5G Challenge, a multi-stage prize competition that seeks to accelerate the adoption of 5G open interfaces, interoperable subsystems, and multi-vendor solutions towards the development of an open 5G ecosystem.
The Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability is the first of two 5G Challenge contests. For the 2022 5G Challenge Preliminary Event, NTIA/ITS will award part of the total $3 million prize purse to contestants who submit winning hardware and/or software solutions for one or more of these 5G network subsystems: Distributed Unit (DU); Centralized Unit (CU); Radio Unit (RU).
The 5G Challenge Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability is now closed to entries, but you can continue to follow the event on Challenge.gov. The rules, location, and details of the second-year event will be released in 2023.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre. (Source: US DoD)
26 May 22. Details emerge on DoD waveform resiliency initiative. The US Department of Defense (DoD) is launching a new development initiative geared towards improving waveform resiliency for its growing arsenal of software-defined radios (SDRs), according to a recent departmental solicitation to industry.
Led by the DoD’s Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) and managed by the US Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR), details of the waveform resiliency programme have largely been kept under wraps. However, details on the general scope and overall goals of the effort have emerged in recently released JTNC and NAVWAR documents to industry.
The programme, as defined, will drill down into “resilient waveforms and associated technologies” either already in use within the military sector or at a high technology maturity level and explore integration options into current and future networked communication systems, according to the initial request for information (RFI).
“The purpose is to provide ready access to resilient waveform information retrievable in a timely manner to aid [US armed forces] … in planning future network architectures in support of resilient and interoperable joint communications,” the RFI added. (Source: Janes)
26 May 22. AI less about ‘killer robots,’ more about Pentagon transformation, Groen says.
A leader of the Department of Defense’s artificial intelligence efforts said discussions about the technology are less focused on futuristic death machines and more about upgrading the department and helping maintain the U.S. competitive edge.
“Inside the department, clearly there’s a question about what is AI for,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Groen, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said May 25 at an Atlantic Council event. “And, although there are conversations about killer robots and all the rest, I think the reality is much more mundane.”
“As we look at the ecosystem around us, the business environment, the production environment, the investment environment, all driven by artificial intelligence, it’s easy for us to see models for how we need to transform the department,” he said. “And this is what we’re after.”
The stakes are high. As the Defense Department bureaucracy and the military services consume increasing volumes of information and seek smart tools that process data in the most efficient and comprehensive way, so are adversaries.
Integrating AI in a correct, thoughtful manner can make all the difference, Groen said. The Pentagon as of April 2021 was juggling at least 685 AI projects, including a handful for major weapons systems, according to a Government Accountability Office report released this year. The full extent of the portfolio is undisclosed.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in education to help people understand that just like an automobile extends your capabilities in the physical domain, artificial intelligence extends your abilities within the data domain and the information domain,” the general said Wednesday.
AI and its traces can be found across the Pentagon and its many enclaves and alcoves. The department has for years recognized its value as well, describing the tech in a 2018 strategy as rapidly changing businesses, industries and military threats. More can be done, Groen said.
“Implementation in the department, of course, is always a challenge, as new technology meets legacy processes, legacy organizations and legacy technology,” he said, later adding: “We believe that a lot of the rules have to change, a lot of the thought processes have been rendered obsolete, and, maybe, the cores of how our organizational processes work have to be reevaluated through the lens of artificial intelligence and data.”
To better coordinate and expedite all things data, AI and analytics, the Pentagon in late 2021 announced a new suite: the chief digital and AI office, or CDAO.
The CDAO achieved initial operating capacity at the beginning of February — less than two months after it was unveiled — and is expected to be fully up and running in the near future. Craig Martell, the man once in charge of machine learning at ride-share company Lyft, was tapped to lead the digital-first office. It will subsume the JAIC, which Groen led for more than a year, as well as the Defense Digital Service, Breaking Defense reported May 24.
An inquiry made to the Defense Department by C4ISRNET on May 25 was not immediately answered. Groen recently announced his retirement on LinkedIn, saying he is headed for the exit with “high confidence in our innovative Marines, our innovative leaders (who do not fear thoughtful change), our mission and our Corps.” (Source: Defense News)
25 May 22. First Drone-based, Mobile Quantum Network developed. Hacked bank and Twitter accounts, malicious power outages and attempts to tamper with medical records threaten the security of the nation’s health, money, energy, society and infrastructure. Harnessing the laws of nature – namely quantum physics – a cutting-edge teleportation technology is taking cybersecurity to new, “unhackable” heights using miniscule particles of light or “beams.”
Florida Atlantic University’s Warner A. Miller, Ph.D., in concert with Qubitekk and L3Harris, is leading the United States’ efforts to deliver the first drone-based, mobile quantum network to seamlessly maneuver around buildings, inclement weather and terrain and quickly adapt to changing environments such as warfare.
Together with Qubitekk, an award-winning leader in manufacturing entangled photon sources and other hardware for networking quantum processors and sensors, FAU has been entrusted by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop the project.
The network includes a ground station, drones, lasers and fiber optics to share quantum-secured information. Today’s telecommunication networks use fiber optics, connected by laser beams from the ground and between planes and satellites — called fiber and free space optical networks. Drones are used to save lives, secure infrastructure, help the environment and thwart hostile military advances such as the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“The combination of quantum communication and unmanned aerial systems or UAS in this project represents an important advance in the Air Force’s efforts to create fieldable quantum systems for the warfighter,” said A. Matthew Smith, Ph.D., a senior research physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate. “Additionally, the potential of secure communication from a portable quantum communication UAS in contested environments represents important future capabilities for the Air Force.”
Miller is a professor of physics in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and a retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force, who served honorably for 28 years and received a Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He played a critical role in recently obtaining a $1.5 m Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal grant awarded to Qubitekk. Miller also is collaborating with L3Harris, an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator that has been involved in the project since 2019.
The team is collaborating with the U.S. Air Force to combine expertise from academia, including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, government and industry with the future potential to scale up the project for larger applications with larger aerial platforms, as well as other ground and maritime platforms.
“The contract award represents a new stage in the development of two technologies. For quantum, it’s a major step toward creating hack-proof quantum communication networks that will eventually span the globe, including in space. For drones and UAVs, it’s another milestone in their evolution as the workhorses of the Air Force for a wide range of missions and capabilities,” said Arthur Herman, Ph.D., senior fellow and director of the Quantum Alliance Initiative at Hudson Institute and one of the nation’s foremost quantum experts in defense, energy and technology issues.
Quantum distribution provides a secure communication method for exchanging information between shared parties in a way that guarantees security. This phenomenon involves a pair of particles of light or photons that are generated in such a way that the individual quantum states of each are indefinite but correlated such that the act of measuring one instantaneously determines the result of measuring the other, even when they are at a great distance from one another. This phenomenon was referred to by Albert Einstein as “Spooky Action at a Distance.” Einstein noted that quantum mechanics should allow two objects to affect each other’s behavior instantly across vast distances as if the two are connected by a mysterious communication channel.
FAU’s contribution to the project and its student involvement in the technology is analogous to threading the eye of a fine needle using fiberoptics and co-propagating wavelengths that includes a near-infrared or invisible beam at the single-photon level. The entangled single-photon sources are produced by focusing a laser on special non-linear crystals and then processing the resulting “down-conversion” beam of photons. The optical alignment system uses mirrors that tilt to steer the photons directly where they need to go. The single photons travel one-by-one from the source drone to another to communicate securely.
“In war, for example, these drones would provide one-time crypto-keys to exchange critical information, which spies and enemies would not be able to intercept,” said Miller. “Quantum protects our information using the laws of nature and not just by a clever manmade code. One of our collaborators aptly stated, ‘whoever wins the quantum race will win the war.'”
Eventually, Miller plans to incorporate quantum memory in the drones so that they can conduct error correction, relay and store information.
“We are just scratching the surface of something that is going to amplify into a lot of different applications,” said Miller. “This technology is not only going to be on drones or robots. Eventually, we will have this secure communication technology on buildings and satellites that will open up a free space optical link between them. The only limit is your imagination.”
About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu. (Source: PR Newswire)
23 May 22. Morpheus woes continue. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Morpheus Programme to replace the ageing Bowman radios is close to collapse. The EVO contract with GDUK is under review, whilst the whole structure of the management of the Programme has been found wanting. An ISD of 2026 looks as far away as ever. Given that Thales and L3Harris were both given extensive contracts by the US Army this month for new radios, is it time for the MoD to bite the bullet and admit that the current policy of the MoD becoming Prime is unworkable and that L3Harris and Thales should form a consortium to manage the programme?
25 May 22. Thales Helps Customers Secure SAP Applications in the Cloud.
- SAP-certified Tokenization solution from Thales enables organizations to seamlessly protect data in numerous SAP applications
- Solution addresses significant compliance obstacles to cloud migration by securing data with granular user access controls
- Thales CipherTrust Tokenization achieves SAP Certification through the “Co-Innovated with SAP Program”
Thales today announced its CipherTrust Tokenization is the first SAP-certified tokenization solution available to SAP customers that can be used to secure sensitive data. Available via SAP Data Custodian, Thales’s tokenization solution provides more granular levels of data protection and user access controls, dramatically accelerating time to compliance for organizations that are moving more applications and workload to the cloud.
The new availability of Thales’s CipherTrust Tokenization in the SAP Data Custodian builds on a successful, long-term relationship between the two companies for encryption, tokenization and key management solutions. The tokenization solution in the SAP Data Custodian was developed by both organisations through SAP’s Co-innovation Lab, ensuring the security of sensitive data at the most fundamental levels of the application. SAP customers can now secure their private data at rest in a database, in use, and even during development.
“The release of the SAP Data Custodian Tokenization solution powered by Thales’s CipherTrust Tokenization service further advances our commitment to secure our customers’ private data as they migrate to the public cloud,” said Dr Wasif Gilani at SAP. “This new solution builds on the strengths of both partners to create a comprehensive, trustworthy solution for our customers as they operate their applications using sensitive data.”
Maintaining compliance with demanding security regulations
Today’s enterprises must ensure the privacy and security of sensitive data, including personally identifiable information (PII) and payment card information (PCI). In particular, the Schrems II decision mandates that all European companies conduct individual assessments of each data transfer to a non-EU country to ensure compliance. The new partnership between Thales and SAP allows customers to define security on a per-field basis in the application according to templates in the Data Custodian user interface. Field-level security protects private data before it is written to databases, simplifying database access controls and ensuring compliance with PII and PCI regulations.
“Modern enterprises recognize the importance of a comprehensive cybersecurity solution, protecting sensitive data throughout its entire lifecycle, including the earliest moments of data creation,” said Todd Moore, vice president of encryption products at Thales. “This newCipherTrust Tokenization solution, co-developed with our partners at SAP, will give users the confidence that their data is secure at all times even at the most granular, field level. We will continue to partner with companies like SAP to develop highly integrated solutions that ensure data security for all cloud users.”
23 May 22. RedWave Technology Introduces the XplorIR: the Only Handheld System That Can Identify Up to 5,500 Gases in Seconds.
Homeland security company RedWave Technology is introducing the XplorIR, the most innovative gas-identification system specifically developed for today’s emergency response missions. The XplorIR can identify over 5,500 gases at low part per m (ppm) concentrations. It is the first handheld FTIR identification tool with this breadth and sensitivity. The lightweight device can be used on scene, measuring the gas at its source. The XplorIR can identify many dangerous gases, including toxic industrial compounds (TICs), flammables, corrosives, industrial gases, and many other chemicals at operationally relevant levels.
Jon Frattaroli, CEO of RedWave Technology stated, “Teams around the country told us that they needed technology that could quickly and accurately identify a wide range of toxic gases. This capability gap directly affects their ability to quickly mitigate threats. We undertook the development of the XplorIR with the simple focus of creating a chemical analyzer that could keep responders and their communities safer from dangerous gases.”
While teams have many tools to detect an unknown gas, there is no compelling technology that allows responders to quickly identify a gas with a high level of accuracy. With the XplorIR, emergency response teams can quickly identify exactly what gas they are encountering so they can develop a mitigation plan.
John Seelenbinder, Director of Product Development at Redwave added, “The core technology behind the XplorIR is FTIR spectroscopy; it has been used for more than 20 years in homeland security applications. Advancements in both optical design and computational algorithms provide unprecedented performance, allowing operation in the most rigorous conditions. The XplorIR was designed for emergency responders with significant input from emergency response teams around the country.”
Seelenbinder explained that emergency response teams never know what they are going to encounter and they need to be prepared for an unbelievably wide range of threats, whether it’s common industrial gas or even a large-scale terrorist event.
“Identification of the dangers present is a fundamental need in emergency response. The XplorIR now allows chemical identification of gases with a speed and simplicity never before achievable,” Frattaroli said.
RedWave Technology also builds the ThreatID, a portable chemical threat identifier that can identify thousands of gas, powder, and liquid threats all in one device. It has been the fastest-growing FTIR-based threat identifier for the past three years. (Source: PR Newswire)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.