Sponsored by Spectra Group
25 Nov 22. US: Department of Defense will implement cyber security overhaul citing geopolitical tensions and espionage concerns. The Pentagon unveiled a novel plan on 22 November to protect its systems against cyber attacks. US defence agencies will have until 2027 to ensure that their networks have safeguards in place and continually check that no user is accessing data illegally. The ‘zero-trust’ specifications will require several user authentication measures to manage identity and credentials. It will also implement procedures for responding to cyber attacks and data theft incidents. The plan follows some criticism over how dependent the Department of Defense is on commercial cloud infrastructure. The new network measures must still be means-tested to ensure their strength against offensive cyber attacks designed to access the network. The plan comes amid rising risks of industrial espionage and tensions with countries such as China and Russia. The overhaul is likely to improve cyber security in the long term. (Source: Sibylline)
25 Nov 22. A £90m contract to upgrade land-based radio capabilities will improve battlefield effectiveness while supporting over 200 jobs in Hampshire.
- £90m contract boost local prosperity in Farnborough, Hampshire
- Modern radios to increase interoperability with allies and partners
- New technology to support ground-to-ground and ground-to-air communications
The new deal for 1,300 new Multi-Mode Radios (MMR), which has been awarded to L3 Harris Communications Systems, will see the portable radios operated by foot soldiers or those mounted on vehicles.
Technical advances and upgrades will allow the radios to work across a range of security classifications, with the first ones being delivered to the British Army before the end of the year, ahead of further deliveries in 2023.
Supporting multiple jobs in the UK supply chain, the contract will see the creation of 10 new jobs and the sustaining of 200 more at the L3 Harris HQ in Farnborough, Hampshire.
Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk said: “It’s vital we equip our Armed Forces personnel with modern capabilities to maintain their operational effectiveness on an ever-changing battlefield. This contract boosts our interoperability with allies and is yet another example of British companies and employees supporting British defence.
The modern radios will replace legacy systems and improve the delivery of ground-to-ground and ground-to-air communications. They will also provide our Armed Forces with increased abilities to operate with allies and partners, boosting the communications capabilities of our deployed forces.”
Colonel Elizabeth Mortimore said: “The arrival of the next generation of the multi-mode radio capability will offer significant enhancement to our Armed Forces across all three Services by delivering world-leading command and communications capability to the front line.
Vice President and Managing Director L3Harris CS UK Keith Norton said: “As lead user for this capability for Defence, the British Army has worked with Defence Digital to procure new MMR radios to add capability to deployed forces. These will enable land forces to easily communicate and interoperate with NATO and US allies as well providing a solution that can be easily tailored for each deployment.”
BATTLESPACE Comment: With the collapse of the Morpheus Programme, this move was as we forecast in our September issue ‘UK Tactical Networks – Time to Start from Scratch.’ Expect more incremental purchases of radios from L3Harris and Thales and ancillaries such as laptops and other battlefield computers from DRS and other suppliers.
24 Nov 22. Russia: Yanluowang chats leak reveal likely Russian identity; source code leak may inspire similar attacks against Western companies. On 31 October, an unknown actor with the Twitter account @yanluowangleaks leaked the chats of the Yanluowang ransomware group, with its content indicating that the threat group might actually be Russian despite its Chinese name. Yanluowang has targeted US and other Western-based firms, including Cisco and Walmart, but also attacked other global firms within the financial, manufacturing, and IT sectors. According to the cyber security firm Trellix, analysis of the leaked chat content highlights that all communications were conducted in Russian. Secondly, a user was doxed as being a network administrator at Russia’s Ministry of Defence, but its identity remains unconfirmed. Trellix also revealed that Yanluowang operated with the Russian-speaking hacking group HelloKitty, and found possible connections with other Russian-speaking ransomware groups such as Conti and Babuk. The connections with other groups are indicative of the scale and complexity of the group’s operations. While the risks associated with these groups will sustain for the foreseeable future, Yanluowang’s leaks may lead to its discontinuing or temporary halting of operations. However, Yanluowang’s source code, which was also leaked, could be used or modified by other ransomware groups seeking to fill Yanluowang’s temporary ‘gap’, sustaining the risks associated with the group. (Source: Sibylline)
23 Nov 22. During two separate tests at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) proved again the system’s modular, open architecture integrates with any networked sensor and effector from past, present or future.
The first live target engagement involved a Sentinel radar tracking a cruise missile target across the desert. IBCS then engaged the target using Lockheed Martin’s Remote Interceptor Guidance (RIG-360) prototype as the uplink to the Patriot Interceptor. This was accomplished through Northrop Grumman’s investment in internal research and development to perform the engineering necessary to integrate RIG-360 with IBCS.
The success of this test removes the dependency of the Patriot radar in IBCS’ architecture to provide the communication link to and from the interceptor and further proved IBCS’ ability to rapidly integrate with emerging technology.
“IBCS’ ability to integrate with any available networked sensor and effector provides the warfighter flexibility, time and dominance in the battlespace,” said Christine Harbison, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. “With every unique system test, the IBCS architecture has proven that the system is defining the possibilities of providing command and control across domains.”
During the second live target test, a ground launched cruise missile surrogate was effectively detected, tracked, engaged and destroyed using IBCS. Using a Patriot Interceptor, IBCS created a fire quality track and common operating picture to eliminate the threat.
IBCS implements a modular, open and scalable architecture that is foundational to integrating available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain. Its architecture enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems and extends the battlespace by disaggregating sensors and effectors. Through numerous successful tests and demonstrations, IBCS has validated the ability to connect and fuse multi-service sensor data to multi-service weapons, demonstrating JADC2 capabilities.
22 Nov 22. Smiths Detection opens new UK Biolab.
- The new lab will develop next generation biological threat detection technology
- Provide technical support in the manufacture of biosensor disks that enable the BioFlash to detect airborne threats such as SARS-CoV-2 and anthrax
Smiths Detection, a global leader in the development of threat detection and security screening equipment, opened a biolab at its centre of excellence in Hemel Hempstead, UK. The new lab will complement the research capabilities of its Baltimore, Maryland site, in developing next generation biological threat detection capabilities primarily for its BioFlash Biological Identifier.
Smiths Detection’s BioFlash is a desktop biothreat detection system that uses CANARY® technology (a cell-based biosensor) in combination with proprietary aerosol-collection techniques to rapidly identify biothreat agents from an air sample. Already the BioFlash can detect biothreats such as anthrax, ricin, botulinum toxin, black plague, tularemia, smallpox, and SARS-CoV-2. The Hemel Hempstead lab will work alongside colleagues in the US to develop new detection capabilities for known and unknown biothreats.
Producing BioDiscs out of Hemel Hempstead allows Smiths Detection to provide an even better service to its customers across Europe and nearby regions. The BioFlash received a CE marking in October opening the way for the product to be sold in the EU.
Smiths Detection’s Vice President of Technology, Matt Clark, said of the opening, “The new Biolab in Hemel Hempstead is a milestone for Smiths Detection and demonstrates our commitment to responding quickly to new and emerging threats and to supporting our customers in the region.”
Recently, Smiths Detection BioFlash was used at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to support test high-security areas for the presence of SAR-CoV-2, with the UK biolab manufacturing and supplying the necessary BioDiscs throughout the Games.
21 Nov 22. Raytheon BBN demonstrates RIPL system during US AFRL’s exercise. The RIPL system can be used to securely support multi-domain information distribution at tactical level.
Raytheon BBN has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of its Robust Information Provisioning Layer (RIPL) technology during a US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)-led recent exercise.
The exercise was held at the AFRL’s Stockbridge Test Site in Rome, New York.
As part of this effort, the company integrated advanced disruption tolerance protocols with all the advances in artificial intelligence/machine learning.
It allowed the RIPL system to impede the issue of limited and intermittent connectivity, experienced in a contested battlespace, to quickly deliver mission-critical information to the end user.
The demonstration validated that the RIPL system can provide unhindered and protected access to content for all the associated operators in a particular network.
Furthermore, the company claimed that this technology ensures that the user receives only what they have requested or what they are permitted to see.
AFRL Advanced Planning and Autonomous C2 Systems Branch programme manager Brian Holmes said: “The demonstration, which included three of the four mission divisions with AFRL/RI and two geographically separated locations was ‘executed flawlessly’.”
Raytheon is carrying out the RIPL-related work in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The company has also demonstrated this technology using various waveforms, hardware platforms and data formats.
The RIPL system can support secure tactical-level multi-domain information distribution and interoperability.
In the case of the USAF, the RIPL technology could be used for the Air Force Combat Cloud initiative, which is a crucial component of the US Department of Defense ’s Joint All Domain Command and Control and the USAF’s Advanced Battle Management System.
Recently, Raytheon announced completing a performance demonstration for its Presidential and National Voice Conferencing system for the USAF.
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.