Sponsored by Spectra Group
07 Nov 23. Luftwaffe maps out vision for electronic warfare ‘loyal wingman.’ The German Luftwaffe intends to operate its Eurofighter Elektronischer Kampf (EK) electronic warfare (EW) aircraft alongside a dedicated unmanned ‘loyal wingman’, it was disclosed on 6 November. Commanding General of Air Force Forces Command, Lieutenant General Günter Katz, revealed the Electronic Combat Wingman (ECW) in a briefing slide presented at the IQPC International Fighter Conference (IFC) 2023 in Madrid. As represented in the slide, the ECW is the unmanned adjunct of the Eurofighter EK as part of the wider Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) system of systems (SoS).
“The ECW is currently just a vision for the Luftwaffe, we would need to first sit down with our industry partners to work out requirements,” Lt Gen Katz said, adding that, while the slide showed the ECW tied specifically to the Eurofighter EK with other remote carrier (RC) ‘loyal wingman’ unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) tied to other legacy and future airframes, it could complement any platform with an EW mission set. (Source: Janes)
09 Nov 23. Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) Receives Order to Deliver MANET Soldier Solutions to Korean Forces and Signs MoU With Huneed Technologies.
Domo Tactical Communications (DTC), the leading provider of wireless mesh technology, today announced it received an order to deliver its MANET mobile radio solution to Korean forces. The Company also announced it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huneed Technologies, a global developer of airborne and defense communication systems.
Together, DTC and Huneed plan to develop a cutting edge, ad-hoc network solution that can enhance warfighter survivability and operational performance in future battlefield situations for militaries around the world. This global partnership will rapidly advance this state-of-the-art technology in environments and terrain where communications might be restricted.
Currently, DTC supplies a wide range of communication systems to military and police forces in over 18 NATO countries, including the United States. Huneed is a supplier of High Capacity Trunk Radio System (HCTRS) to the Korean Army.
Ad-hoc technology can maintain a self-contained mesh network by utilizing the equipment carried by warfighters and unmanned aircrafts as nodes. This instantaneous network can provide a variety of tactical advantages in rugged terrain and environments. It also eliminates the need to set up or move fixed communications infrastructure, saving time, money, and manpower.
“Modern combat zones are becoming increasingly dynamic and require advanced operational capabilities to ensure enhanced situational awareness and connectivity in challenging operational environments,” said DTC President Paul Sangster. “We see this collaboration with Huneed as an opportunity to bring our technology together to enhance battlefield operations and connectivity for the warfighter, and we look forward to working with the company that has been advancing tactical communications within Korea for more than half a century.”
Huneed’s airborne drone assets will work alongside its future network solutions to provide both manned and unmanned combat systems. Under shared situational awareness, Huneed’s solutions will enable the effective application of ISR information gathered by drone systems to mission performance.
“Huneed has strived to ensure the survivability of our soldiers in modern battlefields since its foundation, and it will continue to do so in the present. We look forward to working with DTC to develop and bring to market an advanced ad-hoc system that will be ideal for a wide range of military and defense situations,” said Huneed Chairman Eugene Kim.
Additionally, Huneed was recently selected as a contractor to provide video transmission equipment to the Army Special Forces for counterterror and CWMD operations. It will provide network solutions with ad-hoc technology to the Korean military. The next-gen network technology is expected to be available for Korean military operations in the near future.
About Codan Communications
Codan Communications is a global technology company that develops robust technology solutions to solve customers’ communications, safety, security and productivity problems in some of the harshest environments around the world.
We provide tactical communications solutions that enable our customers to be connected, ultimately to support critical missions worldwide. With almost 60 years in the business, we have garnered a reputation for quality, reliability and customer satisfaction, producing innovative and industry-leading technology solutions.
Codan Communications is a member of the Codan group of companies.
About Domo Tactical Communications
DTC is the leading MIMO MESH provider in the world. DTC radio solutions provide short range high bandwidth communications suitable for the wireless transmission of video and other data applications. DTC is an established provider to customers including Military and Special Forces, Intelligence Agencies, Border Control and First Responders. DTC is headquartered in the US with locations in the UK and Denmark, with over 150 employees.
09 Nov 23. Comtech (NASDAQ: CMTL), a global technology leader, announced today, the receipt of a $20.0m order from the company’s UK-based partners, Spectra Group. The order will allow Spectra Group, the appointed regional distributor of Comtech’s Compact Over-the-Horizon Transportable Terminal (COMET), to service multiple orders already received, and several expected follow-on orders from undisclosed customers in the NATO and European regions.
Comtech’s feature-rich, network agnostic COMET system is designed to be easily integrated with other Department of Defense (DoD) and coalition tactical, mobile, and fixed communications systems to provide resilient, secure beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) capabilities in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Each Comtech COMET is an end-to-end, rapidly deployable BLOS system that utilizes a single fully integrated Troposcatter hub, which includes the company’s CS67PLUS Troposcatter radio. The CS67PLUS is also embedded across each of Comtech’s next generation Family of Systems (FoS).
“Through this order from Spectra Group, Comtech is helping expand network agnostic, secure, and interoperable BLOS communications capabilities for our NATO and EU regional partners,” said Ken Peterman, President and CEO, Comtech. “As the DoD looks to enhance interoperable communications capabilities for coalition operations, Comtech’s Troposcatter FoS are uniquely designed to bring forward blended BLOS capabilities needed to enhance mission effectiveness and deter near-peer threats in all-domain environments.”
“These multiple customers for whom we’ve placed this order for stock, prove the confidence in Comtech’s COMET Troposcatter system and underline Comtech as being a world leader in this technology,” said Simon Davies, CEO, Spectra Group. “The COMET Troposcatter system provides low latency, high throughput BLOS communications in austere environments in what is a challenging satellite denied environment against a sophisticated enemy with a high electronic warfare capability. I’m delighted to be working with Comtech as their appointed distributor helping them to reach new customers with COMET.”
Comtech’s next generation Troposcatter FoS, which includes the company’s market leading COMET systems, provide military operators and other end users with innovative BLOS capabilities by scattering microwave radio signals off the upper layers of the troposphere. Today, we believe Comtech has the most deployed next generation Troposcatter systems in the world, which will help the DoD and coalition nations move to blended networks that can support Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) operations.
In September 2023, Spectra Group announced the receipt of a $8.0 m order from UK MoD to equip 3 (UK) Division with Comtech’s COMET systems. Spectra Group is now close to receiving additional orders for large quantities of Comtech’s COMET systems from other key NATO and European regional customers.
09 Nov 23. Future European C2 System Tested in Amphibious Landing with 3,000 Troops from 19 Countries. The Development of the Future European Strategic Command and Control System Led by Indra Passes its Toughest Test: An Amphibious Landing Involving 3,000 Troops from 19 Countries. Indra, Leonardo, Eviden, LuxGovSat, and Thales Edisoft have demonstrated the capabilities of the future European command and control system during the first real military exercises carried out by the EU
The system was deployed on the Spanish Navy’s Juan Carlos I aircraft carrier and it exchanged real-time data with the command center set up in Brussels to demonstrate the benefits that this technology can bring to the planning of a mission as large as MILEX-23
The first real military maneuvers of the new EU Rapid Deployment Capacity carried out under the command of the Spanish Armed Forces during the MILEX-23 exercise enabled Indra and its industrial partners to demonstrate the capabilities of the future European Command and Control Systems by reproducing the planning of a major mission such as the one being carried out off the coast of Cadiz and mobilizing no fewer than 3,000 troops from 19 countries.
The core team members of the EC2 (European Command and Control) European Defence Fund project, made up of Leonardo, Eviden, LuxGovSat, and Thales Edisoft and coordinated by Indra, were transferred to the Juan Carlos I aircraft carrier to deploy a command and control center connected to the main HQ set up in Brussels and work on the concurrent planning of a large-scale amphibious landing such as the one taking place off the coast of Cadiz.
On the ground, the actions of the MILEX-23 exercise unfolded as planned in an operation designed to restore security to a country outside Europe that was being destabilized by the actions of a major terrorist group. In parallel to the commanders leading the operation, the industrial group led by Indra displayed the benefits that the future system will bring, enabling a group of officers to concurrently plan a mission with the complexity of the one that was being carried out, without the need to be physically in the same place, requiring the mobilization of the air, land, and naval means deployed in a perfectly synchronized manner.
The Command and Control System being developed under Indra’s management by Leonardo, Eviden, LuxGovSat, and Thales Edisoft, and 17 other companies demonstrated the flexibility and accuracy with which a mission of these characteristics can be prepared over a whole week, from 16 to 22 October.
Indra’s Land and Command and Control Systems Director, Antonio Hernández, declared that this recreation has made it possible to “display some of the capabilities set to form part of the future European Command and Control System (EC2) and undergo development in subsequent phases, and confirm which of them can be deployed at this early stage”.
In particular, the exercise tested the maturity of the planning system, as well as the so-called “day zero” system, which permits the immediate deployment of command and control capabilities in the area of operations. Capabilities in satellite communications and security systems allowing work in a multidomain environment (land, sea, air, cyber) via a single position were also demonstrated.
The development of the European Command and Control System (EC2), which is part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project named EUMILCON and leaded by Spain together with France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal, began in 2019 after it was selected as one of the initial projects of the European Defence Industrial Development Program (EDIDP). In 2022 the project received additional financial support from the European Defence Fund (EDF). Its development will be completed by 2025 and its aim is to provide the European External Action Service (EEAS) with the capabilities required to coordinate missions abroad that involve several EU countries, thus complying with the European Strategic Compass promoted by the EU Council, which defines the plan to be followed to reinforce the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
Indra is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and the technological partner for core business operations of its clients worldwide. It is a world leader in providing proprietary solutions in specific segments of the transport and defence markets and a leading firm in digital transformation and information technology in Spain and Latin America through its affiliate Minsait. In the 2022 fiscal year, Indra achieved revenue totaling €3.851 bn, with almost 57,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and business operations in over 140 countries. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/Indra)
09 Nov 23. Cambodia: Diplomatic, economic ties to China elevates cyber espionage risks to government entities. On 7 November, security firm Palo Alto Unit 42 reported that a Chinese state-sponsored threat actor has been targeting Cambodian government entities in a cyber espionage operation since September 2023. The actors used malicious infrastructure disguised as legitimate cloud backup services to inject into at least 24 Cambodian government organisations including defence, election oversight, human rights, commerce, politics and telecommunications. It is highly likely that these organisations remain compromised, underscoring the latent data exfiltration risk posed by this campaign. Cambodia and China have had strong diplomatic and economic relations since Cambodia signed onto China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. Beijing’s recent investment into Cambodia’s Ream naval base will provide China with its first overseas outpost in Southeast Asia, strengthening China’s maritime power in the region. As a result, Beijing will likely sustain cyber espionage operations against allies to maintain visibility on this project and observe ongoing sentiment within governments relating to China. (Source: Sibylline)
09 Nov 23. Viper Shield EW Suite Soars Through Integration Test with F-16 Advanced Radar. L3Harris’ advanced Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) suite is proving it’s more than up to the challenge.
During the recent Drop 2 integration event at Lockheed Martin’s Systems Integration Lab, Viper Shield demonstrated full radio frequency compatibility with the F-16’s on-board APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The testing included continuously exposing Viper Shield with APG-83 energy for more than 12 hours to test whether the radar pulses would interfere with EW functionality. The test proved Viper Shield’s ability to filter out signal processing streams from the APG-83 radar pulses without any performance compromise.
In short, Viper Shield passed the test and demonstrated seamless interoperability, which means the customer will enter the battlespace protected by most advanced EW and radar capabilities available.
“Situational awareness is essential to mission success, especially in highly dynamic and unpredictable situations,” said Patrick Creighton, Vice President and General Manager, of L3Harris Electronic Defensive Solutions. “When these two systems work in concert, they’re able to effectively detect and protect against threats like never before.”
The Drop 2 event marked the second interoperability test for the two systems; the first took place in mid-2022, with similarly successful results.
“These tests continue to highlight Viper Shield’s advanced capabilities and ability to integrate smoothly with the F-16’s on-board systems,” Creighton said. “That all adds up to more effective missions for decades to come.”
Viper Shield’s success is already spreading worldwide, with multiple international partners already committed to the system with many more air services around the globe engaged in discussions on Viper Shield as well.
Detect and protect: More on the Viper Shield
Introduced in 2021, Viper Shield EW is custom-designed to provide protection and offensive EW capabilities on the fourth-generation Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72 multirole aircraft. Software-defined technology components create a virtual electronic shield around the aircraft, revealing digital radar threats and providing robust countermeasure capabilities in a fully integrated, internally mounted system.
With lower lifecycle costs, easier upgrades, increased reliability and reduced weight, Viper Shield sets a new industry standard as the highest-performing, lowest-risk and most cost-effective EW system for advanced F-16s.
The Viper Shield capability is also available to be configured in a pod solution for roll-on/roll-off capabilities. All Viper Shield configurations, internal and pod, use identical Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) and therefore provide the same level of advanced performance on all platforms. The common LRUs also help to ensure fleet logistics and operational availability. The common hardware solution set reduces program life-cycle costs and improves operational availability since all LRUs can be interchanged across all platforms, including pod platforms.
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ L3Harris)
08 Nov 23. Pentagon CIO takes 5G reins amid focus on future networking tech. The shift of 5G workloads away from the U.S. Department of Defense’s research and engineering arm to its chief information officer signals a change in thinking, according to an official involved in the handoff.
The Pentagon considers the development and uptake of fifth-generation wireless technologies critical to international competition and future military connectivity. Its deployment has been incremental, however, and global jostling with China’s Huawei and ZTE, among other players, remains fierce.
The 5G portfolio transition coincided with the start of the government’s fiscal 2024. The move was also in line with the wishes of lawmakers, who in legislation sought the change as well as a road map for the tech’s widespread adoption.
“We’re working closely together with [the CIO] to complete the research aspects of 5G that we’ve been running for the past three years, while they’re taking over the mature technologies that are ready for that scaling, implementation and transition to the services,” Thomas Rondeau, the Pentagon’s principal director for FutureG, said at an event moderated by C4ISRNET at the Washington-based Atlantic Council think tank. “This was part of the plan.”
The shift frees up Rondeau and others to examine what lies beyond 5G.
“There’s certainly a FutureG for as far as I can fathom. This is a moving sidewalk,” he said. “Roughly every 10 years, they’re coming out with another generation of technologies. What is 6G going to look like?”
The 5G takeover was teased earlier this year by CIO John Sherman, who said he and his team were working “left seat, right seat” with Heidi Shyu, the Pentagon’s chief technology officer, to ensure things went smoothly.
More than $600 m has been committed to 5G experimentation at military installations across the U.S. The fifth generation fueled smart-warehousing and augmented-reality trials at Naval Base San Diego in California and distributed command-and-control testing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
Sherman has said the experiments were fruitful. He also said he would like to see follow-ups, particularly regarding open radio access networks.
“This is something that we, at DoD, can help catalyze,” Sherman said in May. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
06 Nov 23. MITRE and Microsoft Collaborate to Address Generative AI Security Risks. MITRE and Microsoft have added a data-driven generative AI focus to MITRE ATLAS™, a community knowledge base that security professionals, AI developers, and AI operators can use as they protect artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled systems. This new framework update and associated new case studies directly address unique vulnerabilities of systems that incorporate generative AI and large language models (LLM) like ChatGPT and Bard.
The updates to MITRE ATLAS—which stands for Adversarial Threat Landscape for Artificial-Intelligence Systems—are intended to realistically describe the rapidly increasing number and type of attack pathways in LLM-enabled systems that consumers and organizations are rapidly adopting. Such characterizations of realistic AI-enabled system attack pathways can be used to strengthen defenses against malicious attacks across a variety of consequential applications of AI, including in healthcare, finance, and transportation.
“Many are concerned about security of AI-enabled systems beyond cybersecurity alone, including large language models,” said Ozgur Eris, managing director of MITRE’s AI and Autonomy Innovation Center. “Our collaborative efforts with Microsoft and others are critical to advancing ATLAS as a resource for the nation.”
“Microsoft and MITRE worked with the ATLAS community to launch the first version of the ATLAS framework for tabulating attacks on AI systems in 2020, and ever since, it has become the de facto Rosetta Stone for security professionals to make sense of this ever-shifting AI security space,” said Ram Shankar Siva Kumar, Microsoft data cowboy. “Today’s latest ATLAS evolution to include more LLM attacks and case studies underscores the framework’s incredible relevance and utility.”
MITRE ATLAS is a globally accessible, living knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world attack observations and realistic demonstrations from AI red teams and security groups. The ATLAS project involves global collaboration with well over 100 government, academic, and industry organizations. Under that collaboration umbrella, MITRE and Microsoft have worked together to expand ATLAS and develop tools based on the framework to enable industry, government, and academia as we all work to increase the security of our AI-enabled systems.
These new ATLAS tactics and techniques are grounded in case studies from incidents users or security researchers discovered that occurred in 2023 including:
- ChatGPT Plugin Privacy Leak: Uncovered an indirect prompt injection vulnerability within ChatGPT, where an attacker can feed malicious websites through ChatGPT plugins to take control of a chat session and exfiltrate the history of the conversation.
- PoisonGPT: Demonstrated how to successfully modify a pre-trained LLM to return false facts. As part of this demonstration, the poisoned model was uploaded to the largest publicly-accessible model hub to illustrate the consequences posed to the LLM’s supply chain. As a result, users who downloaded the poisoned model were at risk of receiving and spreading misinformation.
- MathGPT Code Execution: Exposed a vulnerability within MathGPT—which uses GPT-3 to answer math questions—to prompt injection attacks, allowing an actor to gain access to the host system’s environment variables and the app’s GPT-3 API key. This could enable a malicious actor to charge MathGPT’s GPT account for its own use, causing financial harm, or cause a denial-of-service attack that could hurt MathGPT’s performance and reputation. The vulnerabilities were mitigated after disclosure.
The broader ATLAS community of industry, government, academia, and other security researchers also provided feedback to shape and inform these new tactics and techniques.
The ATLAS community collaboration will now focus on incident and vulnerability sharing to continue to grow the community’s anonymized dataset of real-world attacks and vulnerabilities observed in the wild. The incident and vulnerability sharing work has also expanded to incorporate incidents in the broader AI assurance space, including AI equitability, interpretability, reliability, robustness, safety, and privacy enhancement.
The ATLAS community is also sharing information on addressing supply chain issues, including AI bill of materials (BOM) and model signing, and provenance best practices through the ATLAS GitHub page and Slack channel, which are open to the public. The community will be using the Slack and GitHub forums to share what is currently working in their organizations so that current AI supply chain risk mitigation practices and techniques can be better aligned. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
06 Nov 23. Cryptocurrency theft operations pose persistent financial, security risks to firms. On 1 November, Elastic Security Labs reported that the North Korean threat group Lazarus was observed using a new macOS malware (‘KandyKorn’) in a recent campaign. Lazarus used the malware to target cryptocurrency users and blockchain engineers. The malware was distributed via fake user accounts in a public Discord channel and phishing emails posing as legitimate companies. The malware is capable of stealing data from cryptocurrency wallets, uploading files, terminating device processes, evading detection, and using the infected devices to launch attacks on other users. It targets macOS devices, indicating the group’s evolution of its malware arsenal to include Apple-operating systems. North Korean threat actors have increased operations, as observed in H2 2023, underscoring the persistent risk posed to global organisations. Security and financial risks for firms will likely endure in the long term as North Korean threat groups continue to collaborate and develop their toolsets and techniques for espionage and cryptocurrency theft. (Source: Sibylline)
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd
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.