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20 Feb 20. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Guardtime Federal are working together to mitigate cyber threats across Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ software supply chain by integrating immutable digital integrity into architecture supporting research, design, development, manufacturing, integration and sustainment of its advanced products and services.
Through the long-term agreement, the team envisions integrating the aerospace community’s first mathematically verifiable end-to-end integrity check from the external software supply chain, through the development process and all the way to verification on delivered military systems. This digital transformation initiative will mitigate cyber threats across the software supply chain using KSI® blockchain signatures.
“Lockheed Martin is committed to continuous Agile development of secure software,” said Ron Bessire, vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “This collaboration with Guardtime Federal assures the highest level of digital security and enhances the integrity of our aircraft, further enabling pilots to achieve mission success in hostile cyber environments.”
Beyond the software development supply chain, the agreement also enables KSI® integration into the architecture of large-scale digitally directed manufacturing equipment to deter and detect any unauthorized residuals from third party routine maintenance actions. The desired end state is an advanced high integrity aerospace digital supply chain.
“Whether the operation is land, sea, air, space, or cyber space, the control flow of digital data and processes is key to mission success,” said David Hamilton, president of Guardtime Federal. “Our collaboration with Lockheed Martin is delivering a mathematically provable process for data integrity to the customer to assure that the software envisioned, developed, tested and certified is what makes it onto the platform every time.”
18 Feb 20. Pentagon to Adopt Detailed Principles for Using AI. Sources say the list will closely follow an October report from a defense advisory board. The Defense Department will soon adopt a detailed set of rules to govern how it develops and uses artificial intelligence, officials familiar with the matter told Defense One.
A draft of the rules was released by the Defense Innovation Board, or DIB, in October as “Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence.” Sources indicated that the Department’s policy will follow the draft closely.
“The Department of Defense is in the final stages of adopting AI principles that will be implemented across the U.S. military. An announcement will be made soon with further details,” said Lt. Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
The draft recommendations emphasized human control of AI systems. “Human beings should exercise appropriate levels of judgment and remain responsible for the development, deployment, use, and outcomes of DoD AI systems,” it reads.
The DIB guidelines and the accompanying implementation documentation, go well beyond the brief and largely superficial vision statements on AI issued by tech giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft. For instance, the recommendations describe key dangers and pitfalls in AI development, like bias in datasets, that commercial players have only begun to grapple with.
Because the Department of Defense is adopting the principals now, at the beginning of a process of moving AI into far more activities, the hope is that good practices and design will become the norm in the way the U.S. military uses AI, rather than an afterthought that the Department has to retrofit into already existing ways of doing things.
The DIB also recommended that DoD rely on tools that are transparent, meaning, unlike some types of so-called “black box” neural networks, a technical expert (with permission) could describe the process by which the software reached a specific decision or action.
The board also recommended that such tools be used only within an “explicit, well-defined domain of use,” a codicil intended to keep software developed for noncombat activities from finding its way into lethal operations.
Heather Roff, who helped draft the DIB recommendations, said, “I’m very pleased to see that [Defense Secretary Mark Esper] has adopted the principles and is implementing them department-wide, and securing our national security through responsible research and innovation in artificial intelligence.”
Other ethicists and academics in artificial intelligence and weapons applauded the news of the DoD’s adoption but added that there was further to go, and that risks and and concerns about military use of AI would remain.
Rebecca Crootof, a law professor who specializes in technology and armed conflict at the University of Richmond School of Law, said, “I have little doubt that the process of working towards these principles was influential within the DoD. In learning about the different kinds of risks posed by AI, in working through how they might manifest in various military scenarios, and in thinking about what policies might minimize their manifestation or impact, participants in this process undoubtedly internalized why having and abiding by ethical principles for AI is critically important.” But Crootof said DoD still needs to follow the map provided to actually implement the principles.
She also said she hopes that DoD’s example would help establish international norms for the military use of AI.
“While it’s great that the DIB principles affirm the import of international law, there are a number of areas where it is still unclear what international law requires for AI systems or weapon systems with increasingly autonomous capabilities,” she said.
Crootof added that Defense officials could make the DoD more accountable to the public and improve the safety of AI in the military by publishing standards or guidelines for holding individuals accountable for accidents caused by AI weapons. She recommended that DoD publish information about how it reviews standards for weapons with AI features. Further, the DoD or the White House, could state “a U.S. commitment to taking international state responsibility for accidents caused by weapon systems with AI and autonomous capabilities.”
Frank Sauer, a member of the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons and the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, called DoD’s adoption of principles a good step, but said that adding automation to warfare could yet have destabilizing effects. “The DIB report is a very well thought-out document. But what has people like myself and the arms control community in general very concerned is the uncontrollable risk of escalation accompanying fully automated kill chains,” he said — meaning AI and automation creeping into the processes by which the military collects information on a target, dispatches a weapon to attack and ultimately kills it.
Michael C. Horowitz, a political-science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said that “the ultimate impact will depend not just on how the principles actually shape DoD investments in AI, but in how the broader AI community perceives DoD actions.” However, he said, “Taking AI ethics seriously could increase the chances that some skeptics in the broader AI community are willing to work with DoD while also potentially improving the reliability and effectiveness of military uses of algorithms.” (Source: Defense One)
18 Feb 20. The US Army awards a contract for manned-unmanned teaming comms. The U.S. Army has selected Persistent Systems to develop a secure communications network that can transmit information in real time and can help coordinate Manned and Unmanned Teaming operations, according to a Feb. 11 press release from the company.
Under the 14-month-long contract, Persistent Systems will provide “a robust, secure, and high-throughput communications network” for robotic and other autonomous systems during Manned-Unmanned Teaming operations (MUM-T), which combine intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions with traditional combat support operations.
The contract was worth $5m. Brian Soles, vice president of business development for Persistent Systems said “it’s very plausible for [the U.S. Army] to have these manned-unmanned teaming relationships in the future.”
Such a network will allow the Army to continue with its next-generation Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle that can link up with as many as four unmanned remote combat vehicles, according to the release.
Persistent Systems has already developed a computer-like network, the MPU5, able to create secure networks anywhere without relying on a vulnerable central node, while keeping teams connected in real time, according to the company. The Army has been evaluating the MPU5 for over a year while testing it with remote combat vehicles. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
18 Feb 20. A new cyber group to help Marines – and they don’t have purple hair. The newly established Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary has been working on a series of projects since it was created in May, one being an automation task force. (Lance Cpl. Jose Villalobosrocha/U.S. Marine Corps)
A new pool of subject matter experts of who can be called in to help on cyber or IT issues for the Marine Corps has begun its work, including for a project on defensive cyber operations and another to improve automated tasks on networks.
Officials told Fifth Domain the members of the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary aren’t hackers with tattoos and purple hair, as was thought, when the program was activated in May. Instead, they are industry, academic, technical and project management experts.
“It is a pool of highly qualified individuals who want to help the Marine Corps and increase their effectiveness and readiness in the cyberspace domain,” Maj. Stephen Magee, the auxiliary’s program manager within the Deputy Commandant for Information, told Fifth Domain in an interview. He added the program is entirely voluntary.
In early 2018, the Marine Corps’ previous commandant wanted to bring in highly qualified experts who could link up with the Marine Corps and volunteer their time, Magee said. The result was the Cyber Auxiliary.
Organizations within the Marine Corps that require help on a particular project or program can fill out paperwork for a specific requirement. The Cyber Auxiliary team will then weigh those requirements against the pool of volunteers and choose who might be best to help. For example, it may be a one-time advisory session or a longer effort that offers guidance periodically throughout.
One of the first areas of focus for the auxiliary was the defensive cyber operations-internal defensive measures companies that reside within the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Groups (MIG). These are be specialized and tactically focused defensive cyber teams.
Magee said the auxiliary has volunteers with expertise in digital forensics and industrial control systems that can assist in this realm.
include a requirement for agile development, a service-wide capture the flag event and automation.
Automation task force
One of the first projects undertaken by the auxiliary was the creation of an automation task force in response to a requirement from Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command.
It started when Maj. John Schreiner, G6 project officer within the command, was looking for help with a network modernization project.
“Think about it like you’re putting in a sewer system. You could never have laid any pipe before, never understood about water flows … read a couple of books and try it,” he said. “Or you can engage with subject matter experts who’d actually done it before and remind you like ‘hey make sure you don’t cut power cables or fiber optic cables when you’re putting those pipes down.’ Talking to somebody who’s done it before makes a pretty big difference.”
Magee explained that when Schreiner approached the auxiliary, the team was certain others had faced the problems he but instead could offer suggestions on how they might do it differently.
At first, a small group of experts attended a question-and-answer session with the Schreiner’s team. The experts made him aware of problem sets he should be aware of that he initially didn’t consider.
Schreiner said modern networks are complicated and IT personnel are beginning to realize they must start automating tasks or be overrun by a to-do list. As a result, the meeting led to an automation task force.
“It’s highly focused on not making initial mistakes that stop or impede the group from progress,” Schreiner said.
Magee added that the auxiliary will ensure Schreiner’s team takes “an extremely informed first step. As he continues to progress, that’s what this task force automation is there for.” (Source: Fifth Domain)
14 Feb 20. US Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). The US Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) has been and will continue to be one of the largest C4I programs in the world.
WIN-T and Increments (Legacy WIN-T). The Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) has been the U.S. Army’s overarching strategy to establish a single integrating framework to create a joint expeditionary (on the move) network of networks for communications and C4I. In both wars in Iraq, in 1990-91 and 2003, U.S. forces outran their own communications networks, and today’s increasing dependence on C4ISR information has made a high-rate-of-movement mobile broadband communications network even more important.
Teal Group’s forecast is for almost $10bn in funding for WIN-T and follow-on programs over the next ten years.
Although restructured with considerably less funding for FY09 following a massive Nunn-McCurdy breach (WIN-T programs garnered at least $3.2bn in procurement funding alone in FY08), and with reduced RDT&E funding again in FY11 and FY12, “due to realignment to higher priority requirements” (restored in the February 2011 budget), and reduced procurement funding in FY14 as well as WIN-T Increment (Inc) 3 being de-scoped to a software-only program in February 2015, WIN-T was still planned as the U.S. Army’s future data linked network communication solution. Hundreds of millions – or billions – of dollars were still being spent each year.
Teal Group’s WIN-T forecasts have been based as much as possible on Army and DoD plans, but there have been major gaps in unclassified budget funding – such as a lack of significant future RDT&E programming. So far, WIN-T seems to have remained mostly unclassified, which is becoming something of a rarity for a major electronics program in the DoD. It has been possible that future Increments would go classified (at least the funding), or it was possible the Army had just not programmed later Inc 3 and future Increment funding and programs.
But as WIN-T has long been planned as The Big One for Army C4I for the next decade(s), major funding has been likely to continue, and this has continued in our speculative forecasts. At “only” $700-800m per year in procurement, our forecasts could have proven conservative – compared to the $3+bn years of the recent past.
(Legacy) WIN-T Forecasts
In May 2017, the Army’s FY18 budget requested significantly less funding in FY18 than was requested the year before. This amount – $420.5m requested for FY18 rather than the $601.5m requested in 2016 for FY18 (for WIN-T Inc 2 procurement) – was more typical for Inc 2 procurement, but before FY18 there had always been about $250-300m additional procurement for WIN-T Inc 1 and ACUS-Mod. Teal Group suspected much funding would be added back, either to Inc 2 or to other WIN-T procurement lines.
On the other hand, in 2018 the Army was finally considering moving away from WIN-T to a more commercially based C4I network. Nonetheless, hundreds of millions of dollars of WIN-T contracts continued to be awarded….
Thus, our last year’s forecast split the difference between the typical $700-900m total procurement and the $400-450m budgeted annually going forward in the FY18 budget (which could also reflect more funding going classified). Our forecast thus became more speculative.
As we have forecast since 2017, even if WIN-T is replaced by a more commercially-based concept or system(s), Teal Group expected probably the same scale of funding; it would just become available to new, perhaps more commercially-oriented suppliers.
Today’s WIN-T and Future U.S. Army Ground Forces Tactical Networks Forecasts
Then, in March 2019 the U.S. Army finally laid out (and funded) its plan to replace (or at least continue upgrading with new programs) WIN-T. According to the FY20 Army procurement budget, WIN-T Increment 2 is currently fielded to sixteen BCTs and nine Divisions. From FY19-23, WIN-T Increment 2 procurement funding is being realigned into two new and separate (but related) funding lines – Situational Information Transport (SIT) (B27201) and Tactical Network Technology Mod in Service (TNT MIS) (B07110) – as part of the new Army Network Modernization Strategy.
The new Tactical Network Technology Mod in Service (TNTMIS) program will essentially replace many aspects of WIN-T – by introducing new capabilities and new technologies through engineering changes to the tactical network baseline. Funding will support the Army’s Network Modernization Strategy Line of Effort #1, Unified Network, and Integrated Tactical Network. The purpose of TNT MIS funding is to modernize the Army’s Tactical Network (comprised of WIN-T Increment 1 and WIN-T Increment 2 and Tactical Network equipped units). The Tactical Network provides both Networking At-The-Halt and Networking On-The-Move, keeping highly mobile and dispersed forces connected to one another and to the Army’s global information network. It connects all users to each other to allow information sharing from theater down to the maneuver battalion and to select Company-level roles, to joint and multinational elements, and the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN). With essential voice, video and data services, at all levels of security, commanders can make decisions faster than ever before and from anywhere on the battlefield.
In March 2019, the FY20 U.S. Army procurement budget also discussed the related Situational Information Transport (SIT) program, which funds the continued fielding of WIN-T Increment 2 to active component Infantry Brigade Combat Teams and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, to complete fielding by the end of FY21.
Thus, by late 2019 the overarching WIN-T program seemed to finally be breaking into probably more efficient commercially related programs, to hopefully fulfill the same missions with more capability, more rapid upgrades and improvements, and (possibly, but unlikely) less cost. Thus, Teal Group has switched our out-years WIN-T forecasts and funding to a Future U.S. Army Ground Forces Tactical C4INetworks line, which includes much funding and likely much more availability to new suppliers than the previous General Dynamics-led WIN-T Increments 1 and 2.
Our forecasts are speculative and include what we feel is a conservative estimate of almost $10bn in funding over the next decade. We include funding in our WIN-T lines if (especially in the near-term) it is almost certain to go to General Dynamics, rather than toward future – Available – upgrades and systems. Much out-years Future funding will also likely go to General Dynamics, but only after competitions. (Source: Teal Group)
14 Feb 20. Germany moves to protect its military-cyber industry. A new German strategy document declares defense-related cyber technologies as key national assets, affording the domestic sector some protection from international competition.
Government officials made the move with the publication of a paper this week outlining the types of technology Berlin wants to buy at home, in Europe or from global vendors. The designation of a key technology means the government can sidestep European Union rules requiring public acquisitions be open to companies throughout the bloc.
The areas of artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, networked operations and cryptology, and defense-related information and communications technology are in the category deemed so crucial to national security that the government wants to keep the sector healthy.
“A technological challenge for our security and defense lies in the area of digitalization and artificial intelligence,” read the strategy document, issued by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
“Maintaining cybersecurity is the prerequisite for the digital advancement of the state, the economy and society, and it is equally important for the sovereignty of Germany and Europe,” it added.
The new designation of cyber technologies as worthy of special protection sets up a delicate dance between maintaining a national industrial ecosystem while remaining true to the idea of a European Union with a single market.
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said her agency remains focused on cyber capabilities from a European perspective. For example, officials are working to ensure the relevant U.K. authorities remain plugged into EU networks after Brexit.
The bloc, she said, must increase its cooperation on cyber issues, or risk falling behind China and the United States, Kramp-Karrenbauer said at the Munich Security Conference on Thursday.
Germany’s contributions to the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force drives the country’s plans for fielding a new information backbone for the land forces of the Bundeswehr, she said. In that context, officials have begun studying new approaches to managing the electricity required to power new communications kit on the battlefield, the minister added.
It remains to be seen how the government will use the new strategy document on key national technologies to make investment decisions, said Matthias Wachter, a defense analyst with the Federation of German Industries, or BDI.
For example, the stated domestic preference in electronic-warfare technology will be put to the test with the Air Force’s upcoming buy of new aircraft for electronic warfare, Wachter said. In the running are the Airbus-made Eurofighter as a local option and the Boeing F-18 Growler from the United States.
“There is nothing legally binding” in the new document, the analyst said, which means the decision could go either way. “But if you take the paper seriously, the Growler would be out.” (Source: Defense News)
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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.
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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.
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