Your mouse may no longer be a friendly. That goes for your keyboard as well. Cyber security researchers have reportedly found a way to create peripherals that can be programmed to steal and transmit data when certain actions or keystrokes are performed.
U.S. Army developers have installed in Afghanistan the first technology that permits radio communications to continue while soldiers use jammers to defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The U.S. Coast Guard is helping Mexico’s navy respond to emergencies at sea with a search and rescue system that maximizes data and resources. Computers in new maritime rescue coordination centers will feature the software that uses an animated grid model to project where floating persons or objects might be located.
Commanding generals at major U.S. Air Force commands are being briefed on a plan to provide standardized, cross-domain command and control training. Beginning this summer, the Air Force will likely begin standardized training courses on command and control of air, space and cyber resources.
It’s been talked about and in the planning stages for years. But for the first time, the “dial tone in the sky” has been advanced into use with enhanced capabilities via a software upgrade. Industry predicts that this step will lead to the ubiquitous use of communications via satellite.
Apple sold more than 45 million iPhones and iPads in the first 10 months of 2010. As many of these devices enter workplaces—and organizations’ networks—leaders must determine not only how to secure them but also how to make them increase productivity.
In the early 1970s, the music industry was transformed by the arrival of a practical solution to mobile music—the 8-track player. The world embraced this technology, which infected car stereos, home entertainment systems, portable players and lifestyles. While transformational, this technology soon was replaced by the cassette, followed by CDs and audio DVDs until Apple came out with the iPod—another game-changing technology. The market has created many forms of iPod docking stations for cars, clock radios, entertainment systems, airplane seats, pillows and every possible application. Uses include photos, FM radio, podcasts, videoconferencing and Wi-Fi. This technology is significantly smaller, faster, more comprehensive, more capable and inherently more user-friendly than its 8-track progenitor. The same lessons from this progression can be applied to command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) and government information technology.
Sweden is transforming its military across the board, beginning with its personnel makeup. The Northern European country, which has not been at war since 1814, is transitioning from a conscript military to a fully professional force. This change will reshape the military along different force lines with different emphases.
At a time when many other Western militaries are looking at deep cuts in their defense budgets, Sweden expects at worst a flat budget for the foreseeable future. Priorities for hardware expenditures may shift depending on ongoing studies, but not because of budget pressures.
The newly created U.S. Cyber Command is starting its first year of operation in a race to secure the vital infostructure before a new generation of cyberattacks causes lasting damage to military, government and commercial information assets. This potential hazard is not theoretical; it already has been realized overseas, and it may be just a matter of time before U.S. cyber assets suffer devastating attacks.
The U.S. Army took the next big step toward deploying flexible displays to soldiers on the battlefield by evaluating prototypes of a wrist-mounted form of the technology during a recent field exercise. Users accessed video feeds and information about firing on targets during the trials of the displays, marking a major shift in the progress of developing this type of tool.
To improve access to warfighters’ well-being, the military and industry are developing innovative ways to assess and treat them both inside the battlespace and when they return home. Sensors and communication technologies are evolving into capabilities that are as much about saving individual lives as they are about maintaining situational awareness for entire squads. And, in a world booming with social media, help coping with the physical and psychological effects of war now is literally at a warfighter’s fingertips.
The convergence of threats is increasing the requirements for sharing unclassified data that address maritime domain awareness and homeland defense. The U.S. Defense Department’s Executive Agent for Maritime Domain Awareness is coordinating the requirements of combatant commands, the services and the department’s four intelligence agencies to scrutinize the gaps and seams in data-sharing capabilities and technologies. Closing these gaps and tightening these seams is crucial to protecting U.S. shores from, among other dangers, weapons of mass destruction.
The public sector and industry are collaborating to catapult Sweden into becoming one of the world’s most information technology-savvy nations in the world. Contributions to this progress have been coming from all segments of the population. New government leaders are setting substantial technology goals for the country to achieve as a whole. The armed forces not only are preparing their troops with home-grown technologies but also taking part in NATO operations, which requires them to keep up with advances in other nations. And, up-and-coming small- and mid-size businesses are creating innovations that soon-to-be-renovated law will allow them to sell to a longer list of buyers.
We are seeing a global trend to provide tighter coordination of defense, intelligence, and security planning and operations. In the United States, people refer to the security function as homeland security, while in other countries around the world this function is simply called security or internal security. In many nations, the law prohibits the integration of defense and security to minimize the use of military forces within the nation’s borders except under specific circumstances. But with the growth of the global terrorism threat and asymmetric warfare, the need to achieve synergies among these assets and the need to attend carefully to the seam between defense and security has become apparent to most.
Participants in a biennial U.S. Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity exercise evaluated the relevance of the U.S. national response plan in an event that featured more players than ever before. Representatives from federal and state government, the private sector and foreign countries all worked together to examine the United States’ ability to handle cybercrises. The personnel also enjoyed the privilege of being the first to employ and review a new center dedicated to coordinating actions during a serious real-world incident.
Held in September 2010, Cyber Storm III was the primary vehicle to exercise the National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP)—the recently created blueprint for cybersecurity incident response. The plan examines the roles, responsibilities, authorities and other key elements of the nation’s cyberincident response and management capabilities. Evaluations by participants will help the government refine the document moving forward.
Combat operations in Iraq officially ended last year, but the troops of the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division continued contingency operations, working with Iraqis to overcome remaining challenges and to complete necessary missions. As other units left the battlespace, the division’s signal soldiers inherited responsibility for more geographic area, requiring them to adapt their methods and equipment accordingly, until the division, too, returned home last December.
Fueled by interoperability demands, outsourcing and exports, Sweden’s information technology market is likely to grow over the next few years, according to experts. With Sweden and many other countries increasingly focused on interoperability and outsourcing, Swedish industry is finding new opportunities both at home and abroad and looking forward to a period of surging business.
Basic science and technology research currently underway as part of the U.S. Army’s soldier-as-a-system modernization plan could lead to a wireless personal area network and other technologies that will better integrate the individual soldier into the Army’s tactical network. The Army is developing a host of technologies to improve situational awareness for dismounted platoon and squad leaders, essentially creating a tactical operations center packed on the back. The idea is to increase the knowledge—and therefore the firepower—of the individual soldier.