Sponsored by Spectra Group
19 May 22. QuSecure Announces Company Launch With Industry’s First End-to-End Post-Quantum Cybersecurity Solution.
QuSecure™, Inc., an innovator in post-quantum cryptography (PQC), today formally launched as the first company to offer an end-to-end, quantum resilient orchestration platform. QuSecure’s solution, QuProtect™, is the industry’s first PQC software-based platform uniquely designed to protect encrypted communications and data using a quantum secure channel and standardized PQC algorithms. It addresses present classical attacks and future quantum computing threats for commercial enterprises and government agencies.
QuSecure’s novel approach, as outlined in a separate QuSecure Product Launch press release issued today, had previously enabled the company to secure a triple-oversubscribed seed round from investor groups including Band of Angels, and has garnered significant interest for future funding activities from an A-list of investors. The company is led by CEO Dave Krauthamer, Silicon Valley CEO, CIO, CTO, CRO, CMO; COO Skip Sanzeri, long-time Silicon Valley Executive and author of “The Quantum Design Sprint” who has engineered five successful exits; CTO Greg Bullard, former VP of Engineering and head of Hardware Security at Qualcomm; Pete Ford, Head of Federal Operations, formerly a United States Air Force F-15 fighter pilot with five combat tours and former executive in Raytheon’s Missile and Defense Group; and Chief Product Officer Rebecca Krauthamer, who graduated with a degree in symbolic systems from Stanford, and is a Forbes 30 under 30 and 12 Women Pioneering the World of Quantum Computing honoree, quantum board member at the World Economic Forum, and formerly served as CEO of quantum computing venture studio Quantum Thought.
“QuSecure’s mission is to provide enterprises and government organizations with a comprehensive cryptographic orchestration platform that addresses today’s classical and future quantum threats,” said QuSecure CEO Krauthamer. “Our QuProtect solution secures networks from current vulnerabilities using zero trust, next-generation standardized encryption, active monitoring, and attack remediation – all cloud-delivered in software to existing devices, over existing infrastructure. We are creating an exceptionally secure future using a unique and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that gives organizations a practical encryption solution for resilience to cyberattacks. Early customers tell us that a SaaS end-to-end PQC approach is optimal to address their critical needs for a practical post-quantum cybersecurity solution. QuProtect is the ‘easy button’ for this critical PQC upgrade.”
While quantum computing is an emerging field, leading experts such as Arthur Herman, senior fellow and director of the Quantum Alliance Initiative at The Hudson Institute, believe that a Cryptographically Relevant Quantum Computer (CRQC), which is a quantum computer that can break current cryptography and will expose the world’s encrypted communications and data, will be available within the next 3-5 years. Additionally, nation-state attackers are currently stealing encrypted data which will be retroactively decrypted once a CRQC is available. This is a style of hacking known as “Steal Now, Decrypt Later” (SNDL), which is especially important to consider in the case of sensitive data – bank account information, electronic health records, national security information, etc. – that needs to remain secret for decades. As a result, on May 4, the White House mandated PQC compliance via the National Security Memorandum “Promoting United States Leadership in Quantum Computing While Mitigating Risks to Vulnerable Cryptographic Systems.” Additionally, the bipartisan Endless Frontiers Act would establish a Technology and Innovation Directorate at the National Science Foundation, which would use $100 bn in federal funds over five years to research emerging technologies including quantum computing, and specifically PQC. Organizations will need to follow suit to protect their data and communications from post-quantum cyberthreats.
“National Security, Public Safety and Privacy have all collided in the past several years,” said United States Navy (Retired) Rear Admiral Mike Brown, a senior cybersecurity specialist formerly with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. “Quantum security with quantum computing and encryption is foundational to public and private sector efforts to counter nation states, rogue actors, criminals and others. We must counter serious threats with advanced technologies that can be easily deployed and are successful. QuSecure is leading in this field, and I’m thrilled to be part of their advisory team.”
QuSecure, with focus on adoption, easy upgrade, and modern cyber-protection practices, architected QuProtect as a more resilient PQC platform that works anytime, anywhere and on any device. The company provides an end-to-end quantum security as a service (QSaaS) architecture that addresses the digital ecosystem’s most vulnerable aspects, uniquely combining zero-trust, next-generation post-quantum-cryptography, quantum-strength keys, high availability, easy deployment, and active defense into a comprehensive and interoperable cybersecurity suite. The comprehensive approach is designed around the entire data lifecycle as data is stored, communicated, and used.
In addition to its expert team of founders and employees, QuSecure has collected an all-star quantum and cryptography advisory team. Advisors (partial list) include Rene Haas, CEO of Arm Ltd., a Fortune 500 leader in designing, securing and managing all areas of AI-enhanced connected compute; United States Navy (Retired) Rear Admiral Mike Brown, a senior cybersecurity specialist formerly with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security; Paul Touw, formerly Chief Strategist for the US Department of State and founder of Ariba Networks (now SAP Ariba); Dr. Sarah McCarthy, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Waterloo and specialist in post-quantum cryptography; Laura Thomas, former CIA Chief of Base with more than 17 years in various national security and leadership roles and currently VP of Corporate Strategy at ColdQuanta, a quantum computing and sensing company; John Cosgriff, CEO at UnitedHealthOne, part of UnitedHealth Group, the world’s largest healthcare company; Louie Gasparini, former CTO & VP of Product Management at RSA; and Moshe Ben Simon, VP of Products at Fortinet.
“The security community is facing a crucial time where cutting-edge research needs to be accelerated to the stage of product deployment,” added Dr. McCarthy. “With its diverse team of experts, determination and resources, QuSecure is well-equipped for this challenge.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
19 May 22. Spain: Organised cyber criminal threat will persist indefinitely despite law enforcement agencies’ crackdown efforts. On 18 May, the Spanish National Police (PN) arrested 13 alleged hackers and are investigating at least seven other individuals for operating a phishing campaign to steal online banking credentials. The suspects utilised phishing emails to steal their victims’ bank login credentials. Following this, the hackers then made online purchases, bank transfers to “money mules”, or requested personal loans via the compromised accounts. The PN estimates that these individuals stole more than USD 466,000 from approximately 146 victims since at least 2018. The incident underscores global law enforcement agencies’ continued crackdown efforts against criminal activity and is one of the latest since the City of London Police charged two alleged members of the Lapsus$ hacking group in April (see Sibylline Cyber Daily Analytical Update – 4 April 2022). While further such takedown operations are highly likely to emerge in the coming year, such actions are unlikely to significantly alter the overall cyber threat landscape. Indeed, high-profile organised crime groups, such as Conti, are expected to increasingly exploit ongoing geopolitical events, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to continue targeting industries of interest, such as finance, manufacturing, or energy. (Source: Sibylline)
17 May 22. Special ops leader issues warning over information warfare capabilities, funding. Special operations forces had one hell of a February. In the span of the year’s shortest month, operators from across U.S. Special Operations Command killed the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, in northwest Syria with mebers of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
That was a more complex raid than the 2012 operation that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, according to Gen. Richard Clarke, the head of SOCOM, who spoke Tuesday at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference.
And much of that month represents existing and future priorities for the operation-loaded command. The force faces a range of challenges, including pulling together data and sensor feedback, hiring personnel, and improving information gathering beyond aerial drones, Clarke said.
Later that month, operators were simultaneously conducting training in Alaska and Norway above the Arctic Circle. Navy SEALs dropped in a freefall parachute jump onto ice 200 miles offshore via a U.S. Navy submarine that broke ice to reach them.
That SEAL unit linked up with U.S. Army Green Berets who had trekked and skied across the frozen tundra.
Before February ended, Clarke visited his troops during the exercise Flintlock, which involved more than 10 African and other allied nations to train organizations dedicated to countering violent extremism. But Clarke didn’t get much of a break; at about 4 a.m. local time on Feb. 24, he got a call from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, notifying him that Russia had invaded Ukraine.
That’s a lot packed into 28 days, but any given month from this year would highlight the work of SOCOM’s 70,000 personnel, Clarke said.
Though operational commitments keep the force moving and present their own hurdles, progress comes down to affordability.
Clarke fielded audience questions for half of the hourlong speaking event before 4,000 participants at SOFIC, an event expected to have 14,000 attendees this week. The general highlighted work his command must do to improve maritime capabilities, sensing and intelligence gathering. But the classic “what keeps you up at night” question centered on one area: information.
“I still don’t think we have all the tools that we need to develop and continue to develop at speed [to help] push back inside the information space,” Clarke said.
To fight disinformation and own the information environment, the force needs funding, he said, noting that if his command’s budget doesn’t see 3-5% budget growth over the next five years, then it will struggle to develop, continue its counterterrorism role, and shift to peer and near-peer competition.
Clarke called the current budget “flat” in his remarks. A May 11 report from the Congressional Research Service noted that SOCOM’s fiscal 2022 budget request was for $12.6 bn — a 4% decrease from the fiscal 2021-enacted budget of $13.1bn.
SOCOM’s vision and strategy, the most recent version of which was published in April, notes these challenges and risks the command faces, including a loss of access to areas, budget shortfalls, degradation of agreements with partners and allies, insufficient investment, and more.
At a granular level, the CRS report highlighted recent events in Ukraine as another factor for SOCOM to consider. The report noted training assistance from special operations forces for Ukraine’s military after Russian annexed Crimea in 2014, among subsequent incursions into eastern Ukraine.
“With some predicting a long conflict in Ukraine, and others suggesting that the conflict might spread, U.S. SOF’s role in the region could potentially increase not only in duration but in scope as well,” the report read. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
16 May 22. Thales Awarded US Army Contract for Combat Net Radio Program.
- Delivers a key component of the US Army’s Integrated Tactical Network modernization initiative.
- Provides a software-defined and secure solution to upgrade the current US Army radio fleet.
- Extends successful partnership with the US Army to deliver battle ready communications.
Thales was one of two (2) vendors that the US Army has awarded a $6 bn-ceiling Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to deliver advanced tactical radios under the U.S. Army’s Combat Net Radio (CNR) modernization program. The competitive 10-year contract for the Combat Net Radio (CNR) program includes a five-year base ordering period and an additional five-year optional ordering period. This contract was awarded as part of an effort to retire its outdated Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).
Under the Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, Thales will deliver a CNR that is based on the AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio System Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (IMBITR) – the latest evolution of a family of battle-proven, tactical voice and data radios.
The flexible, software-defined and secure CNR will empower the US Army to seamlessly replace the legacy R/T1523 fleet of radios. It will continue to be compatible with the existing SINCGARS waveform but allow the Army to add new waveforms and enhanced capabilities to address evolving requirements.
The Thales CNR provides the Army’s unified network with a critical component that delivers robust and secure communications capabilities to the tactical edge of the future battlefield.
“The Combat Net Radio continues Thales’ tradition of being responsive to emerging needs in support of the warfighter,” said Mike Sheehan, CEO, Thales Defense and Security, Inc. “The Thales CNR embraces the non-developmental-Item approach to delivering capabilities into the Army architecture, ensuring connectivity to the tactical edge. Designed with soldier systems in mind, the Thales CNR is a tailored fit for the Army’s Integrated Tactical Network.”
The CNR contract follows delivery orders the US Army placed in October 2021 for the Thales two-channel AN/PRC-148D Leader Radio and the new single-channel AN/PRC-170 Javelin Radio. Both radios deliver portable voice and data communication to warfighters under the most extreme battlefield conditions.
With core expertise spanning more than 40 years, Thales is a global leader in the development, manufacture, and support of combat-proven, software-defined radio (SDR) equipment – meeting the critical challenges of size, weight, and power (SWAP) constrained battlespace environments.
16 May 22. Digitalisation of the Armed Forces: Rheinmetall, 4iG and HM EI to set up a joint venture in Hungary.
- Rheinmetall AG (51%), 4iG Plc (39%) and the HM Electronics, Logistics and Property Management PCLS (10%) signed a preliminary agreement on the establishment of a joint defence industrial company.
- The company aims to participate in the digitalisation of the armed forces in Hungary and selected NATO member states in Central and Eastern Europe by developing digital combat system solutions as well as ground and flight simulation systems for the provision of most modern soldier training
- The joint venture’s market entry is supported by a significant increase in demand for defence industrial products.
- The joint venture created by the partners will be a central element of the digital development strategies of Rheinmetall and 4iG.
Rheinmetall AG (51%), 4iG Plc (39%) and the HM Electronics, Logistics and Property Management PCLS (HM EI Zrt.) (10%) have signed a preliminary agreement to establish a joint venture, 4iG announced on the Budapest Stock Exchange. The founders’ aim is for the joint venture to participate in the digitalisation of the Hungarian Armed Forces and to develop and market digital equipment for Hungary and NATO member states in Central and Eastern Europe to cope with the todays and future battlefield requirements.
According to the preliminary agreement, the company is expected to start operations in the second half of 2022 and will be established to develop and sell digitalization solutions, land and airborne simulation systems for the provision of soldier training within all combat areas and command levels and equipment based on C4ISTAR capabilities. The joint venture will bring together the expertise of the three founding companies to produce military equipment of international excellence.
Rheinmetall’s international military expertise is a unique asset in this cooperation. The company will act as a technology provider for components, products, military capabilities, and know-how (military simulation training, command, and control systems). The expertise of HM EI Zrt. covers defence IT and infrastructure services, tactical combat management and systems integration. 4iG will support the work of the joint venture with its strong IT and telecommunications background, cyber defence and development expertise, and its own significant infrastructure and capabilities to provide the appropriate software development environment.
Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG: “The joint venture, majority owned by Rheinmetall, will be an integral part of our future digitalisation strategy for the defence industry. The main objective of the cooperation is to support the strategic efforts of Hungary and the Central and Eastern European countries in the digitisation of their armed forces and the achievement of the highest level of NATO compatibility. The location of the company also represents our special commitment to Hungary as a business location.”
Gellért Jászai, Chairman and CEO of 4iG Plc.: “The creation of the joint venture marks another milestone for 4iG. Thanks to the partnership with Rheinmetall, we are able to strategically enter a new business area, the technology and digitalisation part of the defence industry. The cooperation will also greatly support our international market entry and sales activities. The cooperation will facilitate technology and knowledge transfer between the companies, and the jointly developed military solutions could play a key role in attracting further development and manufacturing capacities to Hungary in the future. In developing the joint company’s products, we also rely on the decades of expertise of HM EI to serve the specific military needs in line with regional requirements.”
“The joint venture, led by Rheinmetall, will bring a number of benefits to Hungary and the companies involved in the project. The establishment of the company will bring one of the world’s leading defence digitisation developments to Hungary, making the development of the Hungarian defence industry unique in our region. In addition, the systems and similar development competencies existing at HM EI will be able to connect to international defence markets much more easily thanks to the cooperation”, pointed out Gáspár Maróth, President of HM EI Zrt. and National Armaments Director, and also added: “With the joint platform company, we are creating a protected industrial and knowledge base of the most modern IT-based command and control technologies in our country, which is of strategic importance from a defence perspective due to the geopolitical situation”.
Rheinmetall AG and 4iG Plc signed an agreement in January 2022, whereby the Düsseldorf-based defence industrial company acquired a 25 percent stake in the Budapest-based info-communications company. The parties agreed not only to make a financial investment, but also to lay the foundations for a long-term professional cooperation by acquiring the stake and raising capital, which will be further strengthened by the establishment of the joint venture.
13 May 22. Iran: Tehran-linked cyber espionage will increase as Iran’s Covid-induced economic woes persist. On 12 May, industry reports claimed that the Iranian state-linked Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group 34 (also known as Oilrig) was discovered targeting a Jordanian diplomat. APT 34 sent the target a spear phishing email purporting to be from a colleague with a malicious Excel attachment that, once opened, downloaded code and allowed APT 34 to maintain presence on the victim’s system and monitor activities. Further details about this campaign are limited, including whether any sensitive data was exfiltrated. However, OilRig is known to engage in reconnaissance activities that align with Tehran’s strategic interests. Therefore, this latest campaign could be aimed at monitoring strategically important developments such as Amman’s sentiment towards Tehran’s ongoing attempts to mend bilateral relations in a bid to mitigate the two countries’ ongoing Covid-related economic challenges. However, with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s aggressive rhetoric towards other states such as Israel likely to dampen regional governments’ willingness to engage with Iran, further Tehran-linked cyber espionage campaigns are highly likely to be launched in the coming months. Middle Eastern government agencies and their personnel will remain the most at-risk for such activity. (Source: Sibylline)
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.