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03 Jan 20. DHS warns of Iranian cyberattacks in wake of Soleimami strike. The US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) top cybersecurity official sounded the alarm on a possible uptick in Iranian cyberattacks against government and civilian networks, in the wake of recent US airstrikes that killed General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
Chris Krebs, head of the department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), urged vigilance among US cybersecurity officials over new network attacks and security breaches by Iranian forces in a 2 January social media post on Twitter. “Given recent developments, re-upping our statement from the summer,” Krebs wrote in the 2 January Twitter post. “Bottom line: time to brush up on Iranian TTPs [tactics, techniques, and procedures] and pay close attention to your critical systems, particularly [Industrial Control Systems]. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Jan 20. Rethinking how the US Army network can help with battlefield injuries. The Army’s network modernization efforts are helping the medical community provide better care to wounded soldiers in medical evacuations on the battlefield.
The golden hour, the first 60 minutes after a battlefield wound, is considered the most critical period for soldiers. To maximize that time, a new effort is automating the transmission of medical information of soldiers en route to the hospital. This program, known as Medical Hands-Free Unified Broadcast (MEDHUB), will allow doctors in the operating rooms to be better prepared for the patients coming in.
In many cases, when a medevac crew arrives, they discover more casualties than previously reported and the only way to communicate back to the hospital was a single channel radio.
Officials at Fort Detrick told C4ISRNET that this kind of voice transmission is not the best way to communicate. For one, the hospital staff might not accurately write down the message and two, the medic in the vehicle is on the radio and not treating patients. Together, this means the hospital might not be prepared for the increased number of patients.
To solve this problem, MEDHUB automates the process by which patients’ vitals are transmitted to the hospital. This, in turn, allows the hospital staff to have a better count of wounded soldiers coming in, which makes them better prepared for triage.
The system works by transmitting data over the blue force tracker network using existing programs and equipment. It relies on NetWarrior devices and software that is used now to provide battlefield situational awareness. The system is connected to multiple wireless patient monitors housed in the medevac vehicle — either a helicopter or a ground vehicle — and sends the patient’s condition, injury and vitals every two minutes.
Additionally, MEDHUB is designed so that if certain conditions are met — such as a certain percentage increase in blood pressure — it will immediately transmit that data back to the hospital. By automating this process, medics don’t have to log injuries and vitals by hand. In the fog of war, injuries haven’t always been logged as accurately as they could be when transporting patients, officials said.
For hospital staff, they can now take advantage of a dashboard, a repurposed artillery system running on Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS), where the new patient information is sent. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jan 20. Pentagon deploys new command cells for electromagnetic spectrum ops. The US Department of Defense has created a new cadre of forward deployed, operational teams specifically tasked with aiding combat commanders in waging war across the electromagnetic spectrum, a top US general said.
The Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operational Cells consist of uniformed and civilian contract specialists who provide technical and operational expertise in offensive and defensive measures within the electromagnetic spectrum, US Air Force Major General Lance Landrum, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team (EMSO CFT), told reporters in Arlington, Virginia. The creation of the operational cells is one element of the cross-functional team’s efforts to improve Electromagnetic Battle Management (EMBM) throughout the areas of operation where US and allied forces are deployed, Landrum said during the 19 December briefing, sponsored by the Association of Old Crows. (Source: Jane’s)
27 Dec 19. A new $5m competition to help the Pentagon detect deepfakes. Congress hopes a $5m prize competition will unlock the secret to automatically detecting deepfakes. The annual defense policy bill, which the president signed into law Dec. 20, called on the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity to start the competition as a way to stimulate the research, development, or commercialization of technologies that can automatically detect deepfakes. Congress authorized up to $5m in cash prizes for the competition.
Deepfakes are machine-manipulated media that depict events that never happened. For example, many deepfakes commonly superimpose one individual’s face onto another’s person’s head as a way to deceive viewers into thinking the first individual said or did things that they never did. But the government’s broader of deepfakes includes any digitally altered video, audio or image that depicts something that does not exist or did not happen.
With the technology becoming more advanced and widespread, the Pentagon now viewss machine-manipulated media to be a national security issue. Military leaders imagine a digitally altered video that shows a national security leader giving orders they never gave or behaving unprofessionally could cause significant problems and confusion.
In addition to the competition, the new law requires the Director of National Intelligence to produce a report on the potential national security implications of deepfakes as well as the capabilities of foreign governments to produce and disseminate that media. Lawmakers are particularly concerned about the threat posed by Russia and China and in the law specifically required information on those countries’ capabilities and intentions.
Furthermore, the law calls on the Director of National Intelligence to notify Congress whenever there is a credible attempt by a foreign entity to deploy machine-manipulated media or machine-generated text aimed at interfering with U.S. elections.
The United States has undertaken multiple efforts to develop technology that can automatically detect deepfakes — such as DARPA’s Media Forensics (MediFor) program — and the legislation requires the director to produce a report on those efforts. (Source: Defense News)
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
With over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries and private enterprises of all sizes, Spectra’s platinum and gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure the supply of best value leading-edge technology.
Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
In November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced its listing as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier by the UK Crown Commercial Services.
Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.