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25 Oct 18. DOD Expands Tech Talent Initiative to Develop Critical Cyber Capabilities. Defense Digital Service Opens ‘Tatooine’ Workspace in Augusta Ga. to Support Growing Partnership with Army Cyber Command.
Today, the Defense Digital Service (DDS) announced the expansion of an initiative to cultivate and engage technical talent in the Army by bringing together skilled cyber soldiers and top civilian technologists to rapidly build cyber capabilities. The program expansion is marked by the opening of ‘Tatooine’- a new DDS workspace launching in downtown Augusta, Ga. The workspace is designed to house tech teams, cultivate talent, and promote innovative ways to solve mission challenges.
“Technology has become the new domain for warfare. It has never been more important for the U.S. military to rapidly evolve technical capabilities to outpace adversarial threats,” said DDS Director Chris Lynch. “Recruiting, supporting, and retaining technical talent in the military can present unique challenges from training, to compensation, to ensuring opportunities for growth and engagement in a quickly evolving field.”
DDS is a team at the Department of Defense (DOD) charged with transforming the way the DOD approaches technology by bringing in private sector tech talent and best practices. The DDS team includes top technologists, engineers, designers, and other experts with private sector expertise on one-to-two-year tours of duty at the Pentagon. DDS is an agency team of the United States Digital Service.
“To help the Army resolve its toughest talent management and technical challenges, DDS and U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) have partnered to bring technically-gifted Soldiers together with private sector civilian talent to rapidly develop immediate-need cyber capabilities,” said Lt. Gen. Fogarty. “This innovative partnership will solve tough problems and serve as a powerful retention and recruitment tool.”
“Tatooine will be a beacon for technical talent across the military-a place to write code and solve problems of impact,” said Lynch. “Through this partnership, we are setting our best technical warfighters against our toughest problems with support and training from our DDS software engineers and experts. Together, men and women in uniform and tech nerds are finding new ways to rapidly solve high-impact challenges.”
Tech Talent Program
Last year, DDS launched a pilot program to help cultivate, support and best utilize technical talent within ARCYBER. The program deploys tech teams of DDS tech experts and cyber soldiers to rapidly produce cyber capabilities. These highly-trained Army officers and soldiers work side-by-side with DDS civilians in unclassified, collaborative, startup-like spaces using technology and tools found in the private sector. For instance, project teams are using concepts of continuous software iteration and user-centered design, which are common in the tech sector, but not in the military.
After a series of successful pilot projects, DDS in scaling up efforts to bring its entrepreneurial culture and technical expertise to the Fort Gordon and Augusta, Ga. area, the Army’s center of gravity for cyber operations and training. Through the expanded program, the Army is working to increase opportunities for soldiers to participate in pilot programs directly related to mission priorities and receive specialized on-the-job technical training.
- Building drone detection technologies: The first pilot program developed, produced, and rapidly deployed a capability that combats commercial drones used by adversaries. The team developed a low-cost software system that is flexible enough to adapt to newly identified targets and easy for operators to use and transport in austere conditions.
- Hunting for adversaries on DOD networks: One team developed a streaming data analytics tool to more effectively detects adversaries on friendly networks. The tool automates the analysis of huge amounts of data to quickly identify and prioritize threats.
- Redesigning training for cyber soldiers: DDS and the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) launched a training pilot to compress and streamline cyber training courses. Through this program, DDS and the CCOE are working to cut down training time, leverage private sector vendors, and use soldiers to help implement and design the curriculum. The first pilot iteration accelerated the training time for a subset of Army soldiers at Fort Gordon from six months to just 12 weeks.
DDS is currently working with ARCYBER to build and empower additional teams. The creation of the new workspace for the program will allow for more teams to be created without the need to relocate soldiers to the DDS headquarters in Washington, D.C. Additionally, operational requirements can better flow from the customer at nearby Fort Gordon. Support by DDS and ARCYBER leadership reaffirms their dedication to address the talent management challenges across the Army.
‘Tatooine’ Augusta Workspace
The unique, startup-like workspace is housed in the Georgia Cyber Center, a state-owned facility designed to promote modernization in cybersecurity technology among government, industry, and educational institutions. Located in Augusta near Fort Gordon, home of the CCOE, this workplace provides an environment with the tools, technology, and DDS mentorship that enables top technical talent from within the ranks to hone their skills and contribute to mission.
ARCYBER and the CCOE are supporting the program by providing the technical soldiers to staff teams, as well as constructive credit towards Professional Military Education (PME) for time technical soldiers spend on the teams. The CCOE and the Army Cyber Institute have provided senior officers to oversee day-to-day operations in Tatooine and report to DDS.
The Tatooine space will provide space for pilot teams to develop cyber capabilities, as well as continue to support additional technical partnership programs including the ‘Hack the Army’ bug bounty programs to strengthen Army digital assets, a Civilian Hiring as a Service Pilot to streamline the hiring process for technical talent and better leverage hiring authorities and incentives, software modernization projects, and more.
DDS is launching the new space today with an open house, speaker series, and day-long hackathon event for cyber soldiers and the local tech community. In honor of the opening, the State of Georgia today issued a proclamation recognizing October 25, 2018 as “Defense Digital Service Day.”
25 Oct 18. Modernisation Of Robust Laptops. Dell has redesigned its notebooks for extreme conditions. The new robust models Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme, Latitude 5424 Rugged and Latitude 5420 Rugged now offer even more performance and convenience, according to the company, including the use of the latest generation of quad-core Intel CPUs and graphics cards. The dual battery configuration of the notebooks also enables zero downtime. The devices are supplied with two rechargeable batteries that can be exchanged during operation, increasing the notebook‘s battery life to over 14 hours.
In addition, all new notebooks are equipped with brighter and sharper FHD displays that cover an even wider colour spectrum. This ensures good display and legibility even in unfavourable lighting conditions. Users can therefore see everything clearly, whether they are in a dim hall or in an open field, and regardless of whether it is raining or they are in bright sunlight. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Encrypted Mobile Phone For NATO. Swedish Sectra AB provides the NATO with Tiger/S 7401 mobile telephones with which strictly confidential information up to the NATO SECRET level can be ex-changed in encrypted form. The phones were developed in cooperation with the Netherlands National Communications Security Agency (NL-NCSA) and certified in February 2017. Sectra Tiger/S 7401 also enables secure communication between different security areas. This means that a user can communicate securely with colleagues in NATO, the EU and their respective national networks via a single telephone. The phone is also approved for communication on mobile and fixed devices. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Cooperation For Safety And Security. Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity and Panasonic Business announced their cooperation to jointly offer mobile IT solutions for the highest security requirements. As part of the cooperation, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity is selling the latest Panasonic Android devices – 5“ handheld FZ-T1 with barcode scanner and 7“ tablet FZ-L1 – and equipping them with R&S Trusted Mobile, a secure (hardened) operating system based on Android. With this cooperation, Panasonic and Rohde & Schwarz are addressing cybersecurity customers who require hardware security in the form of robust, long-lasting end devices with maximum operational availability, while at the same time placing particularly high demands on cyber security, like armed forces, police, disaster relief organisations or businesses with corresponding needs. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. New Cloud-To-Cloud High-Speed Solution. At NIAS18 Owl Cyber Defense Solutions (Owl) announced the release of the new Owl Cloud-to-Cloud (C2C) cross domain solution. C2C is a proprietary, data diode-based cybersecurity solution, designed for secure, extremely high-volume, high-bandwidth file transfers from one cloud repository to another. Typical cloud-to-cloud transfers involve a long and labour-intensive process wherein cloud repositories are downloaded to numerous hard drives and physically transferred to the new cloud repository, where they are uploaded. The C2C solu-tion is designed to significantly reduce transfer times, by transferring data one-way directly from cloud to cloud, while also greatly increasing the security on the transfer process by eliminating potential attack vectors.
“We’re extremely excited to unveil the Cloud-to-Cloud to the government, intelligence, and defence markets,” said Mike Timan, Owl President & CEO. “This solution represents the new industry standard for maximum security and throughput in cross domain solutions for the cloud, and could potentially save our clients hours or days of transfer time in a single job.” (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Ruggedised DataDiodes. At Nias18 Fox-IT and its partner Nexor showed their ruggedised 1G and 10G DataDiodes. Both have received the Common Criteria Certification at Evaluation Level (EAL) 7+ for Information Technology Security Evaluation. By meeting this security certification the Fox-IT DataDiode guarantees the unidirectional flow of data at a physical level by enforcing a one-way network connection. By using these devices information is derected into the agency, company or other entity, but really no data can be retrieved in the opposite direction.
The DataDiodes do not contain software or firmware, therefore they cannot be exploited or misconfigured.Due to the ruggedised design the diodes can also be used in demanding environments with extreme high or low temperature and humidity levels, dust, movement etc. and are there-fore suited for military use.
The ruggedised DataDIODEs provide the following key features: Industry standard fibre optic lc connectors; Rugged coated steel and anodised aluminum casing; Extended temperature and humidity range; TEMPEST level-A compliant by default; Suitable for transport; Shock and vibration resistant: truck, rail, air (non-operational) ASMT D 4728. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Secure WhatsApp. One trend in IT security is building up functions, only in a secure and safe way. The German company Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity now presented a messenger that corresponds to WhatsApp in terms of appearance, functions and use. But in-stead of trusting in Facebook (that now owns WhatsApp) with data probably being read by several interested parties, the R&S Trusted Communicator − the official name of the messenger − offers secure encryption that does not even allow the manufacturer to view the conversation. The app itself is already in a secure container, so that its security is guaranteed regardless of the device and the software on it. End-to-end encryption to the other communicators takes place from this estimated area. The user can chat just like with WhatsApp, share photos, set up groups, add contacts, but in contrast to WhatsApp everything is secure. Secure voice, i.e. encrypted telephone calls, are also possible. The Messenger can be run on all modern Apple and Android devices, but with a cryptography that meets the NATO SCIP standard. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Optical Communication System. The optical communication system developed by STM Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş. and Bahçeşehir University (BAU), which provides a link between submarines and divers, is intended to be integrated with the optical surveillance system of HENSOLDT, the companies announced at Euronaval. The joint project undertaken by STM with BAU for the development of optical communication systems aims to secure military communication. STM-BAU has already developed a prototype optical communication systems that can provide communication between underwater units/ platforms, underwater-air vehicles, naval surface-surface vehicles and stationary land platforms. Once serial production of the prototypes begins and it is used in the field, it will complement RF (radio frequency) communication systems in terms of security and redundancy. The Optical Communication System will eliminate certain disadvantages of the RF system in areas such as interception, eavesdropping, and communication jamming, making communications more secure. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Infodas Launches Novelty At NIAS18. Infodas took the NIAS18 as an opportunity to present its new network interface controller to an international military audience for the first time. This is a piece of hardware that has not actually existed anywhere in the world before, as it is a network interface controller that cannot be manipulated. It will probably receive approval for GEHEIM (SECRET) from the German IT security testing authority BSI before the end of this year.
The need for such a secure network interface controller already arose after the evaluation of the Snowden documents, in which the BSI found out that the network interface controllers represented a major weak point. In addition, there were more recent reports about the so-called espionage microchips from China. A corresponding hardware approved for SECRET was therefore necessary, which was now presented by Infodas. All future Infodas devices are to be equipped with this new component in future. In addition, the secure network interface controller has standard interfaces so that it can also be used by other manufacturers for their products.(Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Oct 18. Indra signs agreement to join Nato’s cyber defence coalition. Indra has signed an industrial collaboration agreement with the Nato Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) to join its cyber defence coalition. Under the deal, the company will join the NCIA network of companies that exchange intelligence on cybersecurity in order to increase mutual situational awareness, and detect, prevent and respond to any cyber attack.
NCIA general director Kevin J Scheid said: “We are strengthening international cybersecurity alliances and optimising Nato’s collective defence missions. Only by working together will we be able to cope with the host of digital threats that we face.”
With the signing of the agreement, the company serves as the first Spanish firm to form part of Nato’s cyber defence coalition.
Indra security director Miguel Angel Acitores said this contract is evidence of “the pride that this milestone represents for Indra and the company’s desire to support the agency with all its knowledge and experience as a leading company in cybersecurity in Europe”.
Acitores added: “At Indra, we are convinced that public-private cooperation in this area is essential. We need to optimise our cyber forces in the most efficient and consistent manner possible.”
The collaboration agreement highlights the leadership position and knowledge that the company maintains to ensure security and defence of the countries and their economies. Indra develops its own cybersecurity solutions and has a network of advanced cyber security centres (i-CSOC) all across the world. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Oct 18. ST Engineering Joins Hands with Cisco and IBM to Safeguard Cyber Landscapes. ST Engineering’s Electronics sector today announced that it has partnered with Cisco Security and IBM to develop integrated cybersecurity solutions that safeguard information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security networks of Industrial Control Systems, to enhance the safe operations of critical infrastructures that deliver essential services such as energy, aviation, maritime and land transport. The three-party collaboration will combine proven engineering capabilities, technical expertise in the network security space, and advanced analytics capabilities of the three technology powerhouses to develop an integrated and secure reference solution architecture.
The architecture, a solution guide to help companies design their cybersecurity infrastructure, will help companies and owners of critical information infrastructures counter cybersecurity challenges by integrating capabilities to secure both IT and OT networks. It will also provide a consolidated overview and analysis of cyber events to enable security teams to address cyber incidents more collaboratively.
The collaboration will see the integration of Cisco Security’s solutions, IBM’s QRadar platform as well as ST Engineering’s technology and engineering expertise, to deliver best-of-breed solutions. The three partners will also explore building a Centre of Excellence to demonstrate and promote the integrated cybersecurity offerings developed through the collaboration, including cybersecurity training and industry certification.
“We are very honoured to partner with Cisco Security and IBM. This demonstrates the confidence leading industry players have in ST Engineering as a proven technology partner capable of delivering integrated and efficient solutions that meet customers’ needs. In this fast-evolving threat landscape, cybersecurity needs to be an intricate part of any system or network design. We are confident that this unique and dynamic collaboration will develop robust solutions to help
companies secure their networks,” said Mr Goh Eng Choon, General Manager of Info-Security, Electronics, ST Engineering.
According to a recent report by Cisco, companies across Asia Pacific do not address half of the legitimate cyber threat alerts they receive. Titled Cisco 2018 Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, the study highlights that among those surveyed, 53 percent of companies receive more than 10,000 alerts each day. With the number of cyber threats increasing rapidly, the real challenge lies in what comes after the alert is received, and how many are actually investigated. The study shows that on average only half of the alerts received are investigated.
Cyber-attacks are having far-reaching ramifications that include financial and reputational losses to companies. In Southeast Asia, 51% of all cyber-attacks resulted in a loss of more than USD$1m. Nearly 10% of respondents said that cyber-attacks cost them more than USD$5m. 33% of respondents in the study said a security breach can cost them anywhere between USD$1 – 5m.
“Digital innovation and adoption is taking place at a rapid pace across Southeast Asia. However, the success of digitisation hinges in a large part on the region’s ability to tackle the cybersecurity challenge and develop local capability, especially the talent pool. We need to remember that cyber criminals are constantly working together and are relentless in their pursuits of hacking networks and inflicting damage on their targets. Defenders need to take a similar approach by collaborating more, sharing intelligence and ensuring they stay a step ahead of the attackers. Cisco is excited to be working with ST Engineering and IBM to offer new security solutions that will leverage our integrated architectural approach to cybersecurity,” said Stephen Dane, Managing Director of Security for Asia Pacific, Japan and China at Cisco.
“Security is a top priority for every company. At IBM, we believe that open co-operation between different vendors in the security space is essential to design integrated ready-to use solutions combining intelligence with the latest technologies. This is why we are expanding our existing relationship with ST Engineering, built on IBM QRadar and Watson for Cognitive Cyber Security solutions, to also include Cisco, one of our key global partners. Together we will focus on
developing industry tailored solutions that put data security and privacy first,” said Jean-Claude Broido, Vice President of IBM Security, Asia Pacific.
24 Oct 18. Department of Defense Expands ‘Hack the Pentagon’ Crowdsourced Digital Defense Program. U.S. Government’s First Bug Bounty Initiative Turns Two; Issues Awards to Further Strengthen Internal DOD Assets. The Department of Defense announced today efforts to expand its successful ‘Hack the Pentagon’ crowdsourced security program. DOD awarded contracts to three private-sector Silicon Valley firms to boost the Department’s capacity to run bug bounties aimed at strengthening security for internal DOD assets. Hack the Pentagon bug bounties are designed to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities across targeted DOD websites and assets and pay cash to highly vetted security researchers or ‘ethical hackers’ to discover and disclose bugs. DOD will continue to build out bug bounties for public-facing websites and pursue other crowdsourced security tactics. As cyber threats persist, the Defense Department is working to identify innovative approaches to bolster security, combat malicious activities, and build trusted private sector partnerships to counter threats. Many of the nation’s largest technology firms and Fortune 500 companies use crowdsourced hacking programs as a low-cost tool to augment and strengthen the security and delivery of digital services.
“Finding innovative ways to identify vulnerabilities and strengthen security has never been more important,” said Chris Lynch, Director of the Defense Digital Service. “When our adversaries carry out malicious attacks, they don’t hold back and aren’t afraid to be creative. Expanding our crowdsourced security work allows up to build a deeper bench of tech talent and bring more diverse perspectives to protect and defend our assets. We’re excited to see the program continue to grow and deliver value across the Department.”
The Defense Department launched Hack the Pentagon in 2016 as the federal government’s first bug bounty program. Several months later, as part of the crowdsourced security initiative, DOD launched its Vulnerability Disclosure Policy, which provides a legal avenue for security researchers to find and disclosure vulnerabilities in any DOD public facing systems. The Hack the Pentagon program has since enabled DOD to identify and remedy thousands of security vulnerabilities.
New Private Sector Partnerships to Enhance Bug Bounties Targeting Internal Assets
In 2016, Hack the Pentagon established two contract vehicles that allow the department to run bug bounty assessments: one is aimed at public-facing web sites and applications, while the other focuses on more sensitive, internal systems. The contract awards announced today will expand the program scope and capacity for bounties targeting private DOD assets which include the tailored and bespoke products and systems for meeting defense mission needs.
The private sector partnerships will allow DOD to leverage the collective hacking communities and platforms of three Silicon Valley crowdsourced security firms: Bugcrowd, HackerOne and Synack. Including the three firms on the new contract enables the Department to tap into a wide variety of expertise and technical specialization as security assessments scale in type and complexity. The contract will enable vetted hackers to simulate real and insider threats to certain systems, bringing in valuable new security perspectives to emulate combat adversaries and mitigate risk.
New features of the enhanced program will enable DOD components to run continuous, year-long assessments of high-value assets. Through this model, DOD can maintain an open dialogue with vetted hacker participants throughout the development lifecycle of a system, which is particularly valuable as software and other assets are regularly updated. The expanded program will also allow the DOD to run assessments on broader range of assets such as hardware and physical systems.
Hack the Pentagon
Hack the Pentagon is spearheaded by the Defense Digital Service (DDS), a DOD team charged with bringing in private sector talent and best practices to transform the way the Department approaches technology. Through Hack the Pentagon, DDS works with DOD components and external government agencies to advise on bug bounties, crowdsourced security, vulnerability disclosure policies, and private sector best practices and approaches. Since the launch of the crowdsourced security program, thousands of talented ethical hackers have engaged with the DOD, and more than 8,000 valid vulnerabilities have been reported.
Promoting Crowdsourced Digital Defense
DOD’s Cyber Strategy emphasizes the importance of identifying crowdsourcing opportunities to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities more effectively: “The Department will continue to identify crowdsourcing opportunities, such as hack-a-thons and bug-bounties, in order to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities more effectively and to foster innovation.”
In addition to expanding and enhancing DOD’s private bug bounties, the DDS is working to bring the benefits of crowdsourced security approaches across the DOD and build on the success of Hack the Pentagon as a valuable tool for enhancing security. DDS has promoted a strong dialogue among ethical hackers, the security researcher community, and cyber experts across the DOD to exchange ideas, share perspectives and security approaches, and identify new training opportunities for military cyber talent. DDS has also begun to focus recruitment efforts toward the security research community with the aim of bringing in technical talent with unique security perspectives.
DDS continues to serve as a resource to other government agencies tasked with developing and launching their own disclosure policies and bug bounty programs. DOD agencies, services or other interested parties can send contract inquiries to email@example.com.
23 Oct 18. The US Army turns its attention to aerial electronic warfare. The Army’s rapid procurers are turning their focus to aerial electronic warfare solutions in response to ongoing needs in the European theater. The Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office has been working to deliver EW capabilities to Europe in phases that build upon each other, providing deployed forces with needed capabilities against a real threat now while also informing longer-term programs of potential requirements.
A new effort “includes an aerial capability that extends the range of signal detection and will be used to inform the program of record, [Multifunction Electronic Warfare] Air Large,” Pete Manternach, EW lead for the RCO, said in written responses to C4ISRNET.
“We are starting to get at the aerial EW capabilities, that is probably one of the biggest focuses we have,” Manternach told C4SIRNET sister site Defense News in an interview during the annual Association of the United States Army conference in early October, adding they are working with the entire community of interest to architect them into the current systems and prototypes.
To date, the RCO, working with the program office, has been developing prototype solutions for Phase 2 capabilities that build on original EW capabilities delivered to Europe earlier this year, the RCO said in written responses. The original capabilities included ground-based systems that can sense the signals in the environment and also provide a limited electronic attack capability.
The RCO and program office plan on fielding the Phase 2 capabilities to Europe — including ground-based systems that will bring improved sensors, upgraded software and new antennas — beginning in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, the RCO said.
While the aerial systems described by Manternach will be part of the Phase 2 efforts, he said they won’t be fielded to Europe with the Phase 2 capabilities.
The aerial prototypes will also be able to work on both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Manternach said while these capabilities are aimed at the ongoing needs in Europe, they will be extended to other theaters if needed.
In another effort, Manternach pointed to a request for information posted to the FedBizOpps website in August 2018 for a tactical signals intelligence payload to be mounted on an unmanned MQ-1C Gray Eagle, which would include EW capabilities in support of an ongoing program within Program Executive Office Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors’ Sensors-Aerial Intelligence office.
Responses to the request are currently being reviewed with a request for proposals expected to be released in the December 2018 to January 2019 time frame. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
24 Oct 18. Czech Army introduces new mobile ELINT system. The Czech Army has unveiled a prototype of a new mobile electronic intelligence (ELINT) system called the (Direction Finding and Measuring Radar Searcher SRTP). The fully passive system, developed by military research institute VVÚ Brno, provides broadband seeking, detection, and identification of electronic and radio sources. It was revealed during the Future Forces Exhibition held in Prague in October.
SRTP uses a phase interferometer for monitoring and direction-finding of signal sources, and can analyse other data, for example, type of detected radar and its current operating mode. One receiving station can determine the signal’s direction of arrival, and two stations can be used to determine the position of origin. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Oct 18. French Navy’s surface fleet now equipped with RIFAN 2 secure intranet system. More than sixty vessels in the French Navy are now equipped with the ‘Réseau Intranet de la Force Aéronavale étape 2’ (RIFAN 2) system, ranging from aircraft carriers and front-line frigates to support ships, patrol craft based overseas, and submarines. Thanks to the system, all ships at sea can now establish secure broadband links with each other and with the onshore command centre.
The RIFAN 2 programme contract, worth around € 160m, was awarded to an industrial group headed by Airbus as the prime contractor and comprising the Naval Group and Rohde & Schwarz as co-contractors. The purpose of the programme is to equip the French Navy’s surface ships and submarines with a truly secure intranet system. It is designed to transmit data with various classification levels, ranging from ‘unprotected’ to ‘secret’ and ‘NATO secret’ This network transmits data produced by the various applications, both to coordinate operations and for daily and logistical management of life on board, as well as to exchange data between information systems of theatre chiefs of staff on board a vessel for the duration of an operation.
Whether it’s a ship sailing alone, a carrier group, or an amphibious group on operations, the various vessels are equipped to meet their respective connectivity requirements. The system is capable of combining several communication streams in order to optimise the use of the transmission capacity available at sea, which is, by nature, limited. It therefore utilises satellite connections, such as Comcept or Syracuse, as well as radio communication resources. Existing radio systems have been refurbished, and a new UHF network has been deployed, which now allows all-IP (Internet Protocol) voice and data exchanges between ships, with a range of several tens of kilometres.
RIFAN 2 also provides overall network management and cybersecurity incident monitoring capability. This monitoring can take place both from an onshore management and control centre, or locally on board the ships, thus providing the crews with a degree of independence, so that they can make the best use of the network according to the operational situation.
The network will become increasingly dense with installation planned for the Barracuda submarines under construction, for medium-size frigates (FTI programme), which are to be the French Navy’s future front-line vessels, as well as for the future replenishment tankers (FLOTLOG programme).
The RIFAN 2 system is regularly adapted and upgraded, whether in terms of its central architecture or the integration of new means of satellite broadband communications. Similarly, the cybersecurity incident monitoring and detection system will also be upgraded.
22 Oct 18. The US Army successfully tests EW, SIGINT on the battlefield. Through its recent Cyber Blitz exercise, the Army learned lessons regarding how well electronic warfare personnel can conduct cyber planning and how integrating electronic warfare and signal intelligence would work on the battlefield. On Oct. 1, 2018, all the functional electronic warfare personnel transferred into the cyber branch becoming cyber planners. Despite questions whether these electronic warfare personnel will be able to plan cyber operations within the cyber and electromagnetic activities (CEMA) cells across echelons, one official noted that their job overall is not changing.
“Being the only [EW career field warrant officer] in the room, the one thing I wanted to emphasize is we are converting to the cyber branch; however, we are still electronic warfare professionals,” Chief Warrant 2 James Gill, Cyber Center of Excellence electronic warfare assessor at Cyber Blitz, told C4ISRNET during a visit to the experiment.
The EW job is not changing, he added. Rather, they will have a foundational understanding of cyber and EW that will allow them to conduct the planning, the integration and the synchronization, just like the definition of CEMA says.
The Army has defined an approach in which everyone will have this foundation of EW and cyber, enabling a tactical cyber force that can also conduct electronic warfare. The high-end folks will feed into the cyber mission force, with the cyber warriors provided by the services to U.S. Cyber Command to conduct strategic level cyber operations.
(Signals) Intelligence versus electronic warfare
Despite friction in the past over what constitutes intelligence and what is necessary for battlefield commanders, the Army is now looking to converge signals intelligence and electronic warfare, both of which rest on similar scientific principles.
Cyber Blitz helped leaders assess this realization, test its integration in operations and allowed assessors to take valuable lessons back.
Cyber Blitz Director Richard Wittstruck told C4ISRNET that the Army published its military intelligence-electronic warfare concept of operations, which was designed to bring the two closer together. For example, from the SIGINT perspective, how can SIGINT support the electronic support/electronic attack mission and vice versa, how does that mission help and intelligence collector refine their SIGINT collection?
Such concepts were gamed during Cyber Blitz with live teams and live capabilities on the base’s range. There were intelligence and electronic warfare personnel rolling to an objective together, doing their respective mission essential tasks, but having a basic understanding of what the other one needed in order to make the objective happen, Wittstruck said.
With this convergence, the Army is now pushing integrated capability for these two forces to use called the Terrestrial Layer System, which is still in the works. Despite the push for integrated capability, Gill noted that the focus of assessors at Cyber Blitz wasn’t on such an integrated system or capabilities in general, but rather the concepts for how these forces can operate together. Overall, the integration worked fantastic, Gill said, adding it was the best he’d ever seen. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
22 Oct 18. How the US Army is improving tactical cyber operations. The Army is experimenting with new concepts, capabilities and forces that will be needed within traditional formations as cyber, electronic warfare and information operations become the new normal. The service’s Cyber Blitz exercise wrapped up its third iteration at the end of September. Launched in 2016 to help the Army learn how to mature cyber operations within traditional units, the experiment serves as a chance for the Army’s cyber community to be the main training audience.
The most recent Cyber Blitz, hosted at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, set out to explore how cyber forces and capabilities that traditionally belong to a division work with a brigade during a campaign. It also aimed to help prototype new cyber, intelligence and electronic warfare units the Army is standing up.
The Army is looking to stand up a variety of forces with varying degrees of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities to better align related capabilities and create a more lethal force in a modern battlefield.
These forces included:
- Expeditionary cyber teams — typically a division asset — to bring more cyber capabilities to bear for the brigade commander.
- Cyber Warfare Support Battalion — a unit already approved by the Army that will fall under Army Cyber Command and serve Army-specific missions, not U.S. Cyber Command joint missions — to integrate intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare, signals, information operations and fires into one formation.
- Intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare and space (ICEWS, pronounced IQs) detachment — an experimental detachment (part of the Army’s multidomain taskforce in the Pacific) that will integrate all the capabilities of its namesake plus signal, information operations and targeting to support the multidomain task force counter-anti-access/area denial mission, which will be piloted in the fall.
Officials described to Fifth Domain how the Cyber Blitz scenario involved a fight against a near-peer enemy. In this case, the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division — the actual brigade that was participating and integrating the cyber capabilities within its normal schemes of maneuver — had to move into a country, push out a near-peer threat and reestablish the boarder. This included an air assault at the beginning of the operation.
“We looked at how can we utilize cyber and EW to help set conditions for that air assault to happen,” Lt. Col. John Newman, the deputy commander of the brigade at Cyber Blitz, said.
“Maybe we need to affect some of the communications that are on the ground there to prevent the enemy from realizing that we’re coming in or getting the word out that we are in the process of doing our air assault.”
Cyber Blitz took place as Army leaders consider some radical force structure changes in the cyber and EW space to compete with near-peer nations.
Richard Wittstruck, the Cyber Blitz director, described the campaign plan the Army is evolving, which begins with laboratory demonstrations for emerging technologies then demonstrating those emerging technologies in experiments such as Cyber Quest at the Cyber Center of Excellence.
Some of these emerging technologies are fed into Cyber Blitz, along with programs of record, to test how soldiers like them and how they might help operations.
Cyber Blitz works as the first true integration phase for putting these emerging technologies, concepts and forces together before they are integrated with real brigades during combat training center rotations Officials also described to Fifth Domain how the Army is looking to capture lessons from the experiment that will go toward information and updating Army doctrine.
‘Seize the objective’
The Army is learning that all aspects of cyberspace — most of which had been previously reserved for the highest and most strategic levels of the military and government — will be part of the brigade commander’s purview.
“First and foremost a lot of what’s been described in the cyber domain has to be set by Col. Newman in timing and tempo for the first time,” Wittstruck said. He added that the brigade had to take an active leadership role in articulating a maneuver plan and charging cyber personnel to support it.
For the first time, Wittstruck said, the Army broke down some previous barriers. For example, the brigade must tell the expeditionary cyber and electromagnetic activities (CEMA) team commander what they need, when they need it and why they need it as it integrates into the maneuver plan at the brigade level.
Part of this discussion is the notion of a commander needs to dominate in what’s called gray space — space that is not owned by either friendly forces or the enemy — to seize certain objectives as part of their overall campaign. This could manifest itself in the seizing of an oil pumping station due to its importance on the national economy. In the future, Army leaders believe it won’t be enough to physically control the pumping station and surrounding territory, but forces must control the virtual network as well.
“What good is it to win the terrain if the enemy can simply by computer network turn off the pumping,” Wittstruck asked.
Moreover, one of the other additions planners introduced to this year’s Cyber Blitz was the inclusion of split-based operations with a Special Forces detachment that operated from Muscatatuck urban training site in Indiana, more than 1,000 miles away.
These Special Forces units worked with the new multidomain detachment to perform cyber reconnaissance from a remote location during early phases of the operation. Once completed, the special forces units moved to support the ICEWS to establish the cyber objective of the target such as the pumping station.
“In that regard it’s been a very good split-based op,” Wittstruck said.(Source: C4ISR & Networks)
22 Oct 18. Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) Intelligence, Information and Services business is bringing its global Cyber Academy program to the United Kingdom and Kuwait through partnerships with the University of Gloucestershire, Lancaster University, and Kuwait University. Through these cybersecurity skills-building workshops, Raytheon is focusing on the growing worldwide cyber talent gap. These educational programs give students the hands-on experience with cybersecurity techniques and methods to identify and address network vulnerabilities.
“The cyber threat crosses boundaries and borders and is a global security imperative,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon IIS. “We’re working side by side with distinguished universities and our allies around the globe to prepare the next generation of cyber defenders to combat real-world cyber attacks.”
Raytheon’s Cyber Academy, first launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2016, is being offered domestically and in international markets strategically important to Raytheon’s business.
19 Oct 18. DARPA wants AI with common sense. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is planning to release a broad agency announcement for the Machine Common Sense program, part of its $2bn AI Next campaign. Common sense “has been a big problem in AI for decades,” according to Dave Gunning, a program manager within the Information Innovation Office at DARPA. “This is one of the biggest barriers between narrow AI, which is what we have plenty of today, and kind of more-general AI we’d like to have more of in the future.”
Common sense is, well, common among people. It’s always operating in the background, helping to fill in gaps in everyday conversations and experiences and helping humans relate to the world around them.
“If I ask you if an elephant fits through a doorway, you immediately say no,” Gunning told GCN. “You don’t have to calculate the size and volume of the elephant, you just know that automatically.”
Without the insights provided by common sense, an intelligent system may not understand its world, communicate clearly with people, behave reasonably in unforeseen situations or learn from new experiences, Gunning said in an agency release.
DARPA plans to research three main areas of common sense over the course of the four-year project. First, intuitive physics — the knowledge of spaces, objects and places that explains why an elephant won’t fit through a doorway. Second, intuitive psychology — a general understanding of people and their goals that explains why two people yelling at each other are probably arguing or that people walking into a restaurant are likely hungry. Finally, basic facts, the information an average adult should know.
The research agency is tackling this problem by advancing machine learning and compiling a large crowdsourced repository of common sense knowledge that machines can plug into. But it is also plans to look at the latest research in developmental psychology to get a better idea of how humans learn at a young age
A one-year-old child has a basic understanding of people, object permanence, change, causation and spatial reasoning. “And that actually develops at some point, they learn that,” Gunning said. “There’s some foundation there that we really need to do a better job of capturing.’
But how will we know when a machine actually has common sense? That’s something that the Allen Institute for AI is already exploring. The Institute developed a test with 113,000 multiple-choice questions about situations that an AI model with common sense should be able to answer, such as this example from an Allen Institute research paper:
On stage, a woman takes a seat at the piano. She
- a) sits on a bench as her sister plays with the doll.
- b) smiles with someone as the music plays.
- c) is in the crowd, watching the dancers.
- d) nervously sets her fingers on the keys.
Humans can easily infer that when a woman sits down to play the piano on stage, she’s probably nervous when she sets her fingers on the keys. AI models, however, struggle to get the correct answer, especially when the other choices are stylistically and contextually similar to the correct answer. The researchers recruited humans to take the test and used those responses as a benchmark for machine performance.
“Despite the recent AI successes, common sense — which is trivially easy for people — is remarkably difficult for AI,” Oren Etzioni, the CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, said in a statement earlier this year. “No AI system currently deployed can reliably answer a broad range of simple questions such as: ‘If I put my socks in a drawer, will they still be in there tomorrow?’ or ‘How can you tell if a milk carton is full?'”
Right now, the Institute has put the best machine learning models up against the test, and they are able to correctly answer about 55 percent of the questions. Around 90 percent would be a desirable rate, Gunning said.
“I don’t know if we will get to 90 percent, to tell you the truth, because I think that would be pretty hard. I would hope by the end of the program we’re halfway there” to around 70 to 75 percent, he said.
“I’ve worked in AI for more years than I can count …and have at different times worked on this problem in different variations of the technology,” Gunning said. “My deep belief is the magic answer is somehow buried in what human children know at one year old.” (Source: Defense Systems)
18 Oct 18. US Navy publishes part two of major IT project. Following the September part-one release of one of the most-anticipated IT programs in the military, the Navy issued part two of the request for proposals on the Next Generation Enterprise Network Re-Complete (NGEN-R) Service Management, Integration and Transport (SMIT) Oct. 18. NGEN-R, as it’s known, will provide IT and support services to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, the Marine Corps Enterprise Network and the Outside of the Continental United States Navy Enterprise Network.
SMIT is one of two NGEN-R contracts, which will provide network services to include print services, service integration, software core build services, service desk and computer network defense.
The Navy released the first portion of the contract, End User Hardware (EUHW) contract, in mid-September, which will provide end user hardware-as-a-service and hardware for purchase.
“Today’s successful release of the NGEN-R SMIT RFP is a major achievement in implementing the Navy’s IT acquisition strategy to segment network services for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet and the Marine Corps Enterprise Network into multiple contracts,” said Capt. Ben McNeal, Naval Enterprise Networks program manager. “Separating IT services into multiple contract segments makes management, financial and competitive sense for the Navy.”
As C4ISRNET sister publication Federal Times previously reported, splitting the contract in two was intentional and aimed to provide the Navy with greater flexibility as technology and solutions evolve.
“In the current contract, it was directed, ‘Here are the things we want you to achieve.’ In the new contract that we’ve written for SMIT, it is very much a, ‘Here are the eight or ten big-ticket objective outcomes that we’re looking for from the network,’” Capt. Don Harder, deputy program executive officer for Navy Enterprise Information Systems, told Federal Times. “We recognize that the network infrastructure today will not allow for those capabilities to be met without any kind of drastic decrease in efficiency or effectiveness of the network.”
The Navy is seeking to incorporate the best-in-breed solutions industry has to offer, Harder said, noting that the big drivers are achieving faster solutions and utilizing technically acceptable solutions to modern network problems.
“This will be a continuous process that allows the government to come in and ask the vendor questions. ‘There’s a new capability government wants to implement. We’re in a budget-constrained environment. So, what are the options available to us?’ Let’s sit down and have that conversation,” he said.
Harder also noted that the SMIT portion of NGEN-R will incorporate flexible options for hybrid cloud solutions that eventually could be peeled away from NGEN-R to a separate contract vehicle.
“The inclusion of hybrid cloud solutions to ensure that we’re achieving the objectives that we want to achieve, that is definitely a part of the contract. In fact, that’s one of the things that we’re asking definitely be incorporated in their planning process,” Harder said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen three years from now. … We’re building in that flexibility that allows the government the ability in the future to find components of services that can be done in a more effective or efficient way for the government, and either sever them or modify them separately, as opposed to having to break apart the entire contract to do something.”
Proposals for EUHW are due Nov. 19, 2018, while proposals for SMIT are due Jan. 10, 2019. (Source: C4ISR magazine)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering secure communications and cybersecurity solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes.
As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Spectra’s SlingShot® is a unique low SWaP system that enables in-service U/VHF tactical radios to utilise Inmarsat’s commercial satellite network for BLOS COTM. Including omnidirectional antenna for the man, vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, the tactical net can broadcast over 1000s miles between forward units and a rear HQ, no matter how or where the deployment. Unlike many BLOS options, SlingShot maintains full COTM (Communications On The Move) capability and low size and weight
On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 BATTLESPACE Businessman of the Year by BATTLESPACE magazine and is a finalist in the inaugural British Ex-Forces In Business Awards in the Innovator Of The Year category.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.