U.S. Air Force researchers are wrapping-up a project, begun in 2015, that asks industry for new ways of using embedded computing and sensors to improve military networking.
The idea is to provide an infrastructure that can extend to all levels of the battlespace involving legacy, current, and next-generation communications technologies to improve communications network resiliency problems.
Pooling best practices from across the company’s weapons programs, the effort includes a growing database with hundreds of requirements and metrics for assessing them, a step-by-step how-to guide for Lockheed cyber staff, and a trademarked Cyber Resiliency Level framework to sum it all up.
The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act required that all weapons begin to be assessed for cyber vulnerabilities, and the 2019 bill kept pressing the effort ahead. Breaking D readers know that Raytheon won contracts to ensure cyber safety for the F-15 and C-130 fleets.
But implementing new cybersecurity standards is just the beginning of a much more complex process, Lockheed execs argue, a process in which their deep knowledge of specific weapons systems is vital.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is incorporating new cyber technologies and standards as it strives for greater interoperability among a growing number of allies and potential partners. This increased reliance on cyber is viewed by command leadership as essential for maintaining effective military capabilities in the face of a growing kinetic and cyber presence by diverse adversaries.
Readiness is the top priority for command’s J-6. This applies to command, control, communications and computers (C4) capabilities, capacities and resiliency as well as cybersecurity. Brig. Gen. Paul Fredenburgh III, USA, the outgoing director for command, control, communications and cyber, J-6, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), emphasizes that the command must be ready to respond fully to any crisis that erupts.
“It’s the evolving tactics, techniques and procedures of zero-day exploits that we really are concerned about,” he says.
The U.S. Cyber Command has released a list of 39 challenge problems fitting under 12 categories: vulnerabilities, malware, analytics, implant, situational awareness, capability development, persona, hunt, mission management, attack, security and blockchain.
The document was released by the Cyber Command deputy director for technology, Berl “Mike” Thomas.
“These Technical Challenge Problems are not requirements for which we anticipate solutions exist today. Rather, they are significant challenges which will require developers to use existing capabilities in novel ways, add new features, innovate, or drive new research,” the document says.
The Integrated Tactical Network is the name of the Army’s envisioned future network, and integration is the name of the game for one of the service’s premier research and development centers.
The mission for the newly named Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center remains largely the same, but seamless integration of those eight closely related technology areas is now a primary focus, according to Michael Monteleone, who directs the C5ISR Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.
“The biggest change right now is that we are incredibly focused on the integrated capabilities across the traditional functional areas and really looking at multidomain operations,” Monteleone offers.
For the vast majority of us, broadband has become so commonplace in our professional, personal, and social lives that we rarely think about how much we depend on it. Yet without broadband, our lives would be radically upended: Our work days would look different, we would spend our leisure time differently, and even our personal relationships would exist differently.
But if broadband is an essential part of daily American life in the 21st century, how can we be comfortable with the fact that over 19 million households do not have a mobile or in-home subscription?
The Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is central to the construction of new fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks around the world, yet its global influence has led the United States to raise concerns about whether the Chinese government could use the company to spy, or to sabotage critical infrastructure.
Washington has led a crackdown on Huawei by enforcing nationwide bans on the company’s equipment and encouraging its allies to do the same.
Some experts warn that tensions between Washington and Beijing over technology could lead to a “digital iron curtain,” which would result in governments having to decide between doing business with the United States or China.
China is serious about 5G, as demonstrated at the recent Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. If anyone thought China’s enthusiasm in 5G was more hype than reality, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in Shanghai would have been a wake-up call. The Shanghai show isn’t as big as its Barcelona sibling, but it’s much more representative of mobile directions in Asia, particularly in China and Korea.
Exhibitors were showing user equipment (UEs), connectivity from the big players but also from a lot of emerging small-cell providers, lots of Internet of things (IoT) use-cases, also xR (VR/AR/MR) demonstrating immersive streaming to a group for interactive gaming — all of this 5G-based.
Exhibitors and participants also seemed more mature in their questions and responses — no longer only early enthusiasts, but people who are planning the practicalities of deployment at scale.
Proponents frequently boast that cloud-based architectures are more secure than traditional networks, but that’s not necessarily the case for mobile apps that use lots of different cloud services all at once.
A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology looked at more than 5,000 of the most popular Android apps in the Google Play store and found that more than 20 percent had some vulnerability resulting from the way the app was using backend cloud services. With funding from the Air Force Research Lab and the National Science Foundation, they built a tool, dubbed SkyWalker, that developers can use to check their apps for such vulnerabilities.