Sponsored by Spectra Cyber Security Solutions
26 Jan 18. France increases number of ‘cyber warriors.’ France plans to increase the number of “cyber warriors” to 4,000 by 2025, the defence minister has said.
Visiting the 10th International Cyber Security Forum in Lille on 23 January, Florence Parly said this would be “1,000 more than now”. France’s Loi de Programmation Militaire (LPM) 2019–25 military funding programme has earmarked EUR1.6bn (USD2bn) to cyber, she added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jan 18. DOT&E report highlights ongoing cyber concerns. US Department of Defense (DoD) network defences contain exploitable problems that give adversaries opportunities to access its networks, according to the FY17 Annual Report from The Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). While network defences have improved, almost all the tests and assessments that were conducted highlighted the continuing existence of such vulnerabilities, the report stated.
“Some adversarial teams had longer periods to plan and execute attacks, which was more representative of the time an actual cyber adversary has,” it said. “These teams often found more vulnerabilities and gained a better appreciation of the operational implications of these vulnerabilities.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jan 18. The next cyber arms race is in artificial intelligence. In theory, the only technology capable of hacking a system run by artificial intelligence is another, more powerful AI system. That’s one reason why the U.S. Army incorporated powerful AI capabilities into its drone systems that is expected to provide the ultimate cybersecurity — at least, for now.
“It’s an arms race,” said Walter O’Brien, CEO of Scorpion Computer Services, whose AI system runs and protects the Army’s UAV operations. “Now I have an AI protecting the data center, and now the enemy would have to have an AI to attack my AI, and now it’s which AI is smarter.”
The Army’s drone operations got its AI upgrade after the military contracted with Stryke Industries and their sub-contractor Scorpion Computer Services, the Army announced this month. By adding the AI system to the Universal Ground Control Station, the idea is that it will help run drone operations and will provide the most robust cybersecurity possible. But the arms race to great bigger, better AI systems has only just begun.
DARPA made artificial intelligence and how it could improve cybersecurity a key tenet of a 2016 event, when it tried to find and repair flaws in software at machine speeds.
The addition of Scorpion’s artificial intelligence system Scenario Generator, also called ScenGen, will give operators at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, the ability to control groups of predator drones, like the MQ-1C Gray Eagle at once, to form protective or offensive swarms, O’Brien said.
ScenGen can be used for war planning, testing internal systems and automating regression testing — which basically makes sure adding additional code won’t break the code currently in place. And it works at a breakneck speed by “thinking” of 250 years of human work every 90 minutes, O’Brien said.
“ScenGen basically thinks of everything that could happen,” he said. “Imagine two chess computers playing each other.”
But it’s possible ScenGen’s biggest impact is cybersecurity. AI systems’ complexity and ability to adapt mean they react quickly to cyber attacks and can identify and protect every potential point of entry into the system its protecting.
If a smarter AI — perhaps one using quantum computing — were to hack a system like ScenGen, the results would be catastrophic, he said. Those type of systems don’t exist yet, but he said it’s only a matter of time until they are developed in the coming decades. “[ScenGen is] kind of like the ultimate skeleton key. Nobody outside of scorpion has the source code to