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22 Apr 22. Netherlands to modernise electronic warfare capabilities. The Royal Netherlands Army is modernising it mobile electronic warfare (EW) capabilities under the Joint Electronic Attack project. According to the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD), the in-service Fuchs-EOV EW vehicles are technically and operationally obsolete, with several components either no repairable or available. This leads to higher operating costs and reduces deployability, the MoD noted. Boxer armoured vehicles will be acquired and fitted with new electronic attack (EA) equipment to replace the Fuchs-based capability. The army operates 200 Boxers in other roles. The Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation is to lead the ‘Joint Electronic Attack project, which is expected to cost EUR100–250m (USD108-270m). Beginning this year, the project will be completed in 2029, with the first systems planned to be delivered to the Dutch Army Command from 2027, the MoD said. (Source: Janes)
22 Apr 22. PT Len, Thales partner to advance Indonesia’s C5ISR capabilities. Bandung-based state-owned defence electronics firm PT Len Industri has signed an agreement with Thales to strengthen collaboration in defence technology developments to support Indonesia’s defence modernisation plans. In a joint media release on 21 April, the companies said they “will jointly explore and further develop solutions on topics including radars, command-and-control systems (C2), military satellites, C5ISR (command, control, computers, communications, cyber, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), electronic warfare (EW), UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), and combat management systems (CMS)”. The companies said the collaboration will involve transfer of technology for military and civilian radars. This includes local maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities, and the co-development of a national C2 radar. Under the agreement, the companies intend to co-develop a ‘national’ CMS based on Thales’ TACTICOS CMS that is deployed on the Indonesian Navy’s KRI Usman-Harun multirole light frigate (MRLF), the companies added. (Source: Janes)
20 Apr 22. Stamus Networks Supports NATO Cyber Defense Exercises. The company to provide advanced technology and experts to support the international live-fire exercise. Stamus Networks, a global provider of high-performance network-based threat detection and response systems, today announced it is once again participating in Exercise Locked Shields (LS22), organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn, Estonia.
Stamus Networks Supports NATO Cyber Defense (Locked Shields) Exercises
Exercise Locked Shields is the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defense exercise in the world. An annual event, Exercise Locked Shields has been organized by the CCDCOE since 2010 and is a red team (attackers) vs. blue team (defenders) exercise with teams formed by member nations and partners of CCDCOE. This year there are 24 blue teams participating with an average of 50 experts in each team. The blue teams take on the role of national cyber rapid reaction teams that are deployed to assist a fictional country in handling a large-scale cyber incident.
Locked Shields uses realistic technologies to train national defense teams in an exercise environment based on a fictional scenario. According to the CCDCOE, the need for collaborative exercises such as LS22 has become even more evident during the current global pandemic and current European geopolitical situation. Societies have become more dependent on virtual solutions to ensure continuity of societal functions during the pandemic. This has greatly increased the attack surface for malicious actors and requires effective collaboration between public and private entities to ensure the systems we depend on can be protected.
“Many of our long-term partners have contributed substantially to the success of the Exercise over the years” said Colonel Jaak Tarien, director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE). “These partners include NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, the Estonian Ministry of Defence, the Estonian Defence Forces and several private companies such as Stamus Networks. We are incredibly grateful for all their contributions.”
Since 2016, Stamus Networks has worked with the CCDCOE in multiple exercises by contributing expert personnel and its network security solutions, including its advanced network detection and response (NDR) system – the Stamus Security Platform.
“We partner with the CCDCOE for these exercises which are designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of our NATO allies because we have made it our mission to develop and support tools that make the job of cyber defenders easier and more impactful,” said Ken Gramley, CEO of Stamus Networks. “In addition, Locked Shield gives us a world-class proving ground for the new capabilities we incorporate in our network-based threat detection and response solutions.”
To learn more about the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) and the Exercise Locked Shields, visit the website: https://ccdcoe.org/exercises/locked-shields/.
About Stamus Networks
Stamus Networks believes in a world where defenders are heroes, and a future where those they protect remain safe. As organizations face threats from well-funded adversaries, we relentlessly pursue solutions that make the defender’s job easier and more impactful. A global provider of high-performance network-based threat detection and response systems, Stamus Networks helps enterprise security teams know more, respond sooner and mitigate their risk with insights gathered from cloud and on-premise network activity. Our solutions are advanced network detection and response systems that expose serious and imminent threats to critical assets and empower rapid response. For more information visit: stamus-networks.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
21 Apr 22. Barrett Releases New Range of Automatic HF Antenna Tuning Units. Barrett Communications announced the release of its new range of Automatic HF Antenna Tuners (ATUs). The 4045 Automatic HF Antenna Tuner, the 4049 Automatic Tuning Mobile HF Antenna and the 411 Automatic HF Antenna Tuner have been specifically designed to interface with Barrett 4000 series transceivers.
Available in both black and NATO green, the 4045 ATUs are housed in a compact, rugged Nylon-66 glass-filled casing with a powder-coated stainless-steel base. Suitable for land-mobile, marine and base station installations, this versatile ATU can be optioned with anti-vibration mounting to ensure its suitability for even the toughest of terrain. Equipped with a built-in GPS, the 4045 is suitable for ALE 2G and 3G operations, simplifying the installation of tracking networks. Like all Barrett ATUs, the 4045 typically tunes a frequency in less than 1.5 seconds and tunes from memory – when paired with a Barrett 4000 series transceiver – in less than 100ms.
The 4049 Automatic Tuning Mobile HF Antenna has been designed from the same rugged material as the 4045 but to attach perfectly to a vehicle. The antenna comes standard with a two-section fibreglass whip or can be paired with the Barrett NVIS Whip antenna which can greatly improve communications in hilly or mountainous terrain. The Integrated Anti-vibration mounting system and integrated GPS come as standard for this model.
With an aluminium base rather than stainless steel, the 411 ATU enters the market at a lower price point. Although it does not have the in-built GPS capability of the 4045, the 411 is perfect for the professional, amateur or hobbyist markets, lending itself to bespoke installations with OEM transceivers.
All Barrett ATUs provide continuous coverage over 1.5 to 30MHz, subject to wire or whip antenna length, and full 150 W PEP (digital, voice and data) performance.
19 Apr 22. 5G deemed a ‘great enabler’ for US Navy. The chief digital innovation officer for the U.S. Navy this week hailed 5G as a “great enabler” of future operations, as the service experiments with the technology and focuses on greater connectivity through Project Overmatch.
Fifth-generation wireless gear is being considered for a range of applications, Michael Galbraith suggested April 19, from pier-side and shipboard links to smart warehouses and other logistical feats.
“Think of a ship, think of a carrier group — we need to work in the run quiet, run deep kind of thing, can’t use SATCOM,” Galbraith said at the Cloudera Government Forum. “I still need to communicate from the first deck to the third deck, I still need to communicate from that carrier to the destroyer, and 5G and other millimeter wave technologies allow that to happen.”
Exactly how 5G, the so-called internet of things and data collection interact with the Navy’s major networks is an “issue that we are actively working on,” Galbraith said. “You hear about Project Overmatch, communication as a service. That is a part of that work that the team that” Rear Adm. Doug Small’s “group is doing. That is vitally important.”
Project Overmatch is the Navy’s clandestine contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, a broader Pentagon effort to better connect sensors and shooters and dissolve communication barriers between the services. Small is the leader of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, a key JADC2 player.
Small in early April told C4ISRNET his team was “working across systems commands, warfare centers, services and with industry to provide the architecture, or framework, for how the various components are stitched together, including the networks, infrastructure, data architecture, tools and analytics to improve on our decision advantage.”
“Ultimately,” Small said at the time, “this will aid our ability to provide synchronized effects near and far in all domains, ensuring a more lethal and better-connected fleet now and far into the future.”
Fifth-generation wireless technology promises faster speeds, lower latency and other improvements compared with its predecessors. Alone, 5G is “more, better, faster,” Galbraith said. But when synced with other capabilities, he added, the potential really shines.
“We in the Navy, you know, we work at the edge, have been working at the edge since the 1700s,” he said. “In that information domain, there are other network capabilities, and 5G just is, again, a great enabler.”
The Department of Defense has selected a dozen military installations as test beds for 5G, including sites in California, Georgia and Virginia. This month, the department unveiled a multim-dollar challenge to accelerate the growth and adoption of a fifth-generation open ecosystem.
AT&T Inc. this year claimed initial success in setting up a 5G network experiment that could realize smart warehouses for the Navy, Defense News reported. The service believes smart warehouses could boost the efficiency and fidelity of its logistics.
“When we first started experimenting and piloting in 5G,” Galbraith said Tuesday, “we looked at what our priorities were.”
The Defense Department received nearly $338m for 5G and microelectronics in fiscal year 2022. It requested $250m for fiscal year 2023, budget documents show. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Apr 22. Spain: Exposure of Pegasus spyware campaign against Catalan independence movement will fuel diplomatic tensions. On 18 April, Canadian cyber security research centre Citizen Lab discovered a new zero-click exploit used to install Pegasus or Candiru spyware on iOS devices belonging to politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists linked to the Catalan independence movement. The attacks using the zero-click security flaw dubbed HOMAGE, targeted at least 65 individuals between 2017 and 2020. The Pegasus spyware is developed by Israeli firm NSO Group. In 2021, an international investigative journalism initiative exposed that the Pegasus spyware had targeted over 50,000 phone numbers across the globe (see Sibylline Situation Update Brief – 9 August 2021). The use of a zero-click exploit through Apple’s iMessage makes it particularly difficult to defend against this type of attack as devices can become infected without any action from the victim. Although Citizen Lab did not attribute the campaign to a specific entity, it pointed to circumstantial evidence suggesting links to the Spanish government. The latest revelation on Pegasus, which also included targets such as the EU Commission, the UK Prime Minister’s Office, and the US State Department by other government-linked operators, is likely to fuel diplomatic friction given the likely involvement of state actors. Entities with business ties to Israel’s security surveillance industry will also like face notable reputational risk as a result. (Source: Sibylline)
19 Apr 22. FS-ISAC Leads Financial Sector in Global Live-Fire Cyber Exercise Locked Shields. FS-ISAC, the only global cyber intelligence sharing community solely focused on financial services, announced today that it will lead the financial services sector scenario in NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) Exercise Locked Shields this year, the world’s largest and most complex live-fire cyber exercise, taking place 19-22 April, 2022.
Locked Shields facilitates systematic, multinational, multi-sector, public-private cyber defense cooperation and coordination to prepare against nation-state threats. The exercise, held annually since 2010, tests national, civilian, and military IT systems’ ability to protect vital services and critical infrastructure by simulating a series of realistic, large-scale cyber attacks against a fictional country.
“Cooperation at this scale reflects the interdependencies of all critical infrastructure sectors and the public sector,” said Steven Silberstein, CEO of FS-ISAC. “Leading the financial sector scenario is a natural extension of our role in promoting information sharing and collective defense to strengthen the resiliency of the global financial system.”
“Exercises like Locked Shields help build the muscle memory to respond to real-world cyber attacks,” said Teresa Walsh, Global Head of Intelligence at FS-ISAC. “While the scenarios are not specifically tied to the current conflict, exercise planners look to integrate recent geopolitical circumstances and cyber threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures, so that teams continually upgrade their response capabilities.”
FS-ISAC convened a Scenario Expert Planning Group comprised of member firms including Mastercard and Santander, among others, to develop and inform the financial services sector scenario.
“In cybersecurity, you don’t want to invent something new in the middle of a crisis. That’s the value of large-scale, cross-border exercises like Locked Shields. They give both the public and private sectors an opportunity to test, analyze, and enhance our response capabilities in a real-world environment,” said Ron Green, Chief Security Officer, Mastercard. “We’re able to see how collaboration and information sharing can help us to address cyber threats more efficiently. Together, we are stronger.”
“Locked Shields continually strives to address the most pressing needs of our nations by emulating current challenges faced by leaders in the cyber domain,” said Colonel Jaak Tarien, Director of the CCDCOE, a NATO-affiliated cyber defense hub. “Partnerships, such as with FS-ISAC, allow us to include not only technical but strategic decision-making elements to better prepare national leadership for large-scale incident response.”
Locked Shields is the largest and most complex international, live-fire cyber defense exercise in the world. It includes nearly 2000 participants from 32 countries, with over 5000 virtualized systems subject to more than 8000 attacks. In addition to securing complex IT systems, participating teams must also be effective in reporting incidents, strategic decision making, and solving forensic, legal, media, and information operations challenges. (Source: PR Newswire)
19 Apr 22. US: OFAC expands sanctions against Lazarus Group as regional tensions sustain risk of North Korean hostilities. On 14 April, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published new sanctions targeting several crypto wallet addresses owned by Lazarus Group entities, a North Korean state-sponsored hacking group. The organisation performed a USD 540m Ronin Bridge crypto asset heist in March 2022, the second largest crypto theft on record. The announcement coincides with the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) warning directive to blockchain companies about the ‘TraderTraitor’, a series of infiltrations and attacks via fake cryptocurrency and mobile game apps attributed to Lazarus Group since 2020. This latest exploit highlights a shift in the organisation’s primary target activity, away from centralised exchanges in Asia and towards decentralised finance (DeFi) capabilities since 2021. Furthermore, geopolitical tensions such as the heightened diplomatic exchanges between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s ballistic missile testing schedule will likely constitute further trigger points that could provoke a surge in activity by North Korean-affiliated cyber threat actors. (Source: Sibylline)
15 Apr 22. US and India launch talks about military AI. The U.S. and India have agreed to engage in new talks about artificial intelligence and its use in matters of national security, an outgrowth of the nations’ deepening relationship at a time of sharpened Indo-Pacific focus.
News of the inaugural Defense Artificial Intelligence Dialogue came after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their Indian counterparts, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, April 11.
Both the Defense and State departments acknowledged the topic in their accounts of the international get-together.
“The United States and India signed a Space Situational Awareness arrangement, which lays the groundwork for more advanced cooperation in space,” the Pentagon said in a readout. “They also agreed to launch an inaugural Defense Artificial Intelligence Dialogue, while expanding joint cyber training and exercises.”
Jack Shanahan, the first director of the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, described the prospective talks as a “very significant event,” one that is “a logical extension” of the flagship U.S.-India Artificial Intelligence initiative, or USIAI, launched around this time last year.
“It’s clear India has got an interest in bringing AI into national security,” the retired Air Force lieutenant general told C4ISRNET April 14. “So, this is a good chance for the two defense departments to work together.”
On April 12, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Austin had the chance this week to speak with Singh about “working with them on AI” and other advanced technologies, like 5G.
“All that was part of it,” Kirby said. “I’ll leave it to you to decide whether those are ‘breakthroughs’ or not. But, clearly what we saw yesterday was more concrete examples of the ways we’re going to continue to work with India to strengthen this defense partnership.”
Few additional details were immediately available.
“It seems to me what you’re going to see is an agreement just to, sort of, move forward and talk about potential projects that they can work on together,” Shanahan said. “And what I would expect is that it will not involve war-fighting operations, at least not initially.”
The Defense Department has for years recognized artificial intelligence as a crucial technology, one that can accelerate decision making, enhance data consumption and, more broadly, offer a leg up on the battlefield. As of April 2021, the department was juggling at least 685 artificial intelligence projects, including more than a dozen for major weapons systems.
For decades the Indian community has helped shape artificial intelligence research and development in the U.S., according to Cleo Paskal, a non-resident senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“At that level, there has been an enormous amount of collaboration and trust building and cross fertilization, if you put it that way, informally,” she told C4ISRNET April 14. The new dialogue, she suggested, brings things to a higher echelon.
“If you look at the leadership in some of the biggest tech companies in the U.S., you’ll see a lot of people who grew up and did their training in India and then flourished in the U.S. in the sector,” Paskal said. “So, it’s a very natural compatibility that is now going much deeper, and in areas that are going to help the defense of both countries against some common enemies.”
The Times of India in February reported the country was “finally taking some steps towards ensuring effective use of artificial intelligence” in its fighting forces. An AI council, led by the defense minister, had been established, the paper noted, as had an AI projects agency.
India’s Ministry of Defense in January 2019 said the process of preparing its forces “for use of artificial intelligence” had begun. AI-based tools, officials added, would improve military decision making, predictive maintenance, situational awareness and security.
Shanahan foresees an artificial intelligence boom in India.
“It has all the elements already in place: an incredibly talented workforce, it’s got a remarkable research community, it’s got a technology ecosystem,” he said. “It just has not really moved as fast as, say, the United States or China or the U.K., or other countries. But I think that explosion’s coming.”
The Defense Department’s 2018 artificial intelligence strategy warned China and Russia are investing significantly in AI for military purposes. Three years later, a report to Congress on Chinese military power advised the country would increasingly leverage big data, cloud computing and automation while pursuing what it called “intelligentized warfare,” defined by the expanded use of AI and other bleeding-edge tech at all levels.
Advancements in adversarial countries threaten to “erode our technological and operational advantages” and destabilize “the free and open international order,” the Defense Department said in its 2018 AI stratagem. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks on April 12 described China as the premier international challenge, whereas Russia poses an “acute threat.”
“Again,” Hicks said at a Defense Writers Group event, “very consistent with the last few strategies in that sense.”
India is obviously aware of the security hazards China imposes, Paskal noted, as the two powers share a border recently bloodied.
“India is literally on the front line with China,” she said. “China killed 20 Indian soldiers in June of 2020, and India is very, very clear that its primary threat is the People’s Republic of China.” (Source: Defense News)
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.