April 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
With the National Institute of Standards and Technology expected next year to select quantum-resistant algorithms for encryption and for digital signatures, an NSA official warns that departments and agencies should begin preparing now to protect national security systems in the quantum era. Credit: sakkmesterke/Shutterstock

The national security community needs to prepare now for the possibility that U.S. adversaries could develop and deploy quantum computers, which would render useless most conventional encryption algorithms, says Adrian Stanger, senior cryptographic authority, Cybersecurity Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA).

March 25, 2020

The Boeing Co., Layton, Utah, has been awarded an $8,330,128 firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00011) to previously award contract FA8204-19-C-0001 for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Cryptography Upgrade Increment II production. The modification exercises production Lot 3, Options 2, 4, 8 and 9, and provides the government 176 A-4 drawers. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama; Huntington Beach, California; and Layton, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Feb.

June 20, 2018
By Jane Melia
Cybersecurity trends so far this year include a stern reminder that the threat of nation-sponsored cyber attacks cannot be ignored. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

With the arrival of June, we’re at the halfway point of an already busy year for the cybersecurity industry. With each passing year, our sector continues to demonstrate its evolving approach to fighting cyber threats, as cyber crime itself continues to evolve.

As both business and government move forward with digital transformation initiatives to improve processes and efficiency, the overall security attack surface continues to expand with more potential points of access for criminals to exploit. However, our industry is tackling these challenges head-on, with numerous innovative solutions continuing to come to market.

July 12, 2017
By Ray Potter

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) benchmark for encryption modules has seen recent innovation, opening the playing field for competition.

For years, NIST’s Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 validation list read like a Who’s Who of Fortune 100 technology vendors. Only those products that leverage cryptographic modules shown on the list were eligible for federal agency deployment. Until recent changes, only the deepest pockets could absorb the costs of development, testing and expensive consultants to facilitate introducing solutions into the federal marketplace.

July 10, 2017

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host two proposers’ day conferences later this month in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in anticipation of new solicitations. 

The first, for the Homomorphic Encryption Computing Techniques with Overhead Reduction (HECTOR) program, will be held on July 26. The second, for the Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program, will be held the next day. Both will begin at 9:00 a.m.

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

You might think that homomorphic cryptography, obfuscation techniques and privacy concerns have nothing in common. You would be mistaken. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Defense Department that creates breakthrough technologies, is advancing these complex but intrinsically connected concepts in a series of efforts that could alter the art of making and breaking code. 

April 4, 2017

The Boeing Co. - Defense, Space & Security, Huntington Beach, California, has been awarded a $42,573,612 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable contract for Next Generation Cryptographic Architecture on the Combat Survivor Evader Locator program. Contractor will provide development, certification, integration, testing in fielding the cryptographic modernization of the Ultra High Frequency Base Station and the Combat Survivor Evader Locator Interrogator Module. In addition, they will complete technical data package for the Combat Survivor Evader Locator system. Work will be performed at Huntington Beach, California, and is expected to be complete by July 5, 2020.

February 24, 2017

Arkham Technology Ltd.,* Irvine, California (FA8307-17-D-0001); Innoflight Inc.,* San Diego (FA8307-17-D-0002); Innove LLC,* Boerne, Texas (FA8307-17-D-0003); P E Systems Inc.,* Fairfax, Virginia (FA8307-17-D-0004); and X Technologies Inc., San Antonio (FA8307-17-D-0005), have been awarded a combined not-to-exceed $50 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Contractors will provide the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division materiel solution analysis and related efforts for cryptographic and information assurance products. Work will be performed primarily at each contractor’s location.

February 24, 2017

General Dynamics Mission Systems, Scottsdale, Arizona (FA8307-17-D-0006); Harris Corp., Rochester, New York (FA8307-17-D-0007); L-3 Systems Corp., Camden, New Jersey (FA8307-17-D-0008); Leidos Inc., Columbia, Maryland (FA8307-17-D-0009); Raytheon, El Segundo, California (FA8307-17-D-0010); Sypris Electronics LLC, Tampa, Florida (FA8307-17-D-0011); and ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, California (FA8307-17-D-0012) have been awarded a combined not-to-exceed $875 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

December 16, 2016

The Raytheon Co., Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been awarded a $458,999,839 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for VINSON/Advanced Narrowband Digital Voice Terminal (ANDVT) Cryptographic Modernization (VACM) program full-rate production. This contract is a form-fit replacement effort. The VACM End Cryptographic Unit (ECU) will maintain function and capability of the existing VINSON and ANDVT ECUs to the extent allowed by the National Security Agency. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne and in Largo, Florida, and it is expected to be completed by December 15, 2021. This contract involves foreign military sales. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

September 6, 2016

DRS Advanced ISR LLC, Beavercreek, Ohio, is being awarded a $9,330,737 indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract for Link 11 and Link 22 Data Terminal Set (DTS) development and production. The contract covers minor development, production, integration, testing, support and sustainment of a Link 11 Data Terminal and Link 22 Signal Processing Controller solution for the command and control processor family of systems. The contractor shall provide the necessary equipment, materials, software and engineering/technical services and logistics products to provide a Link 11 and Link 22 DTS.

August 24, 2016

Raytheon, Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded an $18,129,512 modification (PZ0001) to contract W31P4Q-15-C-0153 for 206 cryptographic modernization kits for Patriot missile systems. Work will be performed in Andover, Massachusetts (74 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (21 percent); and Burlington, Massachusetts (5 percent), with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2018. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $18,129,512 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

March 31, 2016

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the final version of a document outlining its process for developing cryptographic standards and guidelines. NIST Cryptographic Standards and Guidelines Development Process (NISTIR 7977) is part of NIST’s “effort to ensure a robust, widely understood and participatory process for developing cryptography,” the institute said in a written announcement.  

March 7, 2016

The Raytheon Co., Space and Airborne Systems Division, Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been awarded a $7,727,621 modification (P00038) to previously awarded contract FA8307-11-C-1000 for an engineering change on the VINSON/ANDVT Cryptographic Modernization (VACM) program. Contractor will implement hardware changes related to design issues and parts obsolescence, as well as software deficiencies identified during testing. Work will be performed at Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Largo, Florida, and is expected to be complete by March 7, 2017.

November 13, 2015
By David E. Meadows

The adage is true: What’s old is new again, and while we think the technology of today might cure the ills of yesterday, some problems persist. It might be time to explore how methods that helped isolate insider threats from history can succeed in protecting modern infrastructure.

November 4, 2015
By Justin Marston

You’re trying to break the German Enigma machine. … It’s the greatest encryption device in history, and the Germans use it for all major communications. If the Allies broke Enigma—well, this would turn into a very short war indeed. … One hundred and fifty nine million million million possible Enigma settings. All we had to do was try each one. —Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (Weinstein Company, 2014)

October 26, 2015

Raytheon Co., Space and Airborne Systems Division, Largo, Florida, has been awarded a $22,907,353 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity production contract for the ARC 234 crypto-modernized baseband input/output (BBIO) module. Contractor will provide crypto-modernized, National Security Agency Type 1-certified, cryptographic radios that will replace the legacy ARC-234 device, focused on embedded-crypto, form and fit replacements for the BBIO module. Work will be performed in Largo, Florida, and is expected to be complete by October 21, 2020. This contract involves foreign military sales. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

September 28, 2015

Raytheon IDS, Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded a $26,906,288 firm-fixed-price undefinitized contract for combined crypto modernization Phase 1 and spares supporting the Patriot system. Work will be performed in Garden Grove, California; Glendale, California; Inglewood, California; Valencia, California; Danbury, Connecticut; Wallingford, Connecticut; Hayden Lake, Idaho; Jefferson, Kentucky; Andover, Massachusetts; Attleboro, Massachusetts; Boston; Brockton, Massachusetts; Chelsea, Massachusetts; Foxboro, Massachusetts; Holyoke, Massachusetts; North Reading, Massachusetts; Saugus, Massachusetts; Nashua, New Hampshire; Andover, Massachusetts; Endicott, New Jersey; Lancaster, New Jersey; Exton, Pennsy

September 14, 2015

L-3 National Security Solutions Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $13,363,649 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost- reimbursement delivery order. Contractor will provide for contract deliverable for a certified common cryptographic core, certified portable key loader intelligence version, certified portable key loader garrison version and certified portable key loader tactical version, with 20 productions units. Work will be performed in Camden, New Jersey, and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2017. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received.

June 30, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) on June 23 identified CryptoWall as the most current and significant ransomware threat targeting U.S. individuals and businesses. In the 14 months since the malicious software first appeared, the IC3 received 992 CryptoWall-related complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling more than $18 million, according to the FBI warning.

The financial impact to victims goes beyond the ransom fee itself, which is typically between $200 and $10,000. Many victims incur additional costs associated with network mitigation, network countermeasures, loss of productivity, legal fees, IT services and/or the purchase of credit monitoring services for employees or customers.

May 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory uses the truly random spin of light particles as defined by laws of quantum mechanics to generate a random number for use in a cryptographic key. Allied Minds is commercializing the technology, which will be available soon.

Quantum encryption technology created in a national laboratory will be available this summer to government and commercial clients. The system provides faster and more cost-effective cryptographic services with long-term system security. Future iterations may be available for laptops and handheld devices, dramatically improving on-the-job communications security for first responders and other professionals who rely on communications on the go.

March 11, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, announced this week a major research initiative called HEAT (Homomorphic Encryption, Applications and Technology), which will pilot advanced cryptographic technologies that enable European citizens and businesses to process sensitive data in encrypted form.

Homomorphic encryption offers the ability to process sensitive information in encrypted form, without needing to decrypt it first, which can compromise privacy and security.

January 17, 2013

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., has been awarded a $6,886,969 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00051) to an existing contract (FA8307-06-C-0010) for design and development of a CAROUSEL Applicable Specific Integrated Circuit solution. This modification adds the design, development, and testing of CAROUSEL crypto engines. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Cryptologic Systems Contracting Division, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity.

November 2, 2012
George I. Seffers

General Dynamics C4 Systems Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., is being awarded a $15,480,494 firm fixed price contract for 24 end cryptographic units including two embeddable solutions, one special test equipment and accessory kit with 20 key fill adapters manuals, training and provisioning related to end cryptographic equipment. The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

June 20, 2012
By George Seffers

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation, Herndon, Virginia a three-year, $108 million contract to develop and implement cryptography upgrades as part of the intercontinental ballistic missile cryptography upgrade II engineering and manufacturing development program. The Northrop Grumman-led ICBM prime team is responsible for overall sustainment of the weapon system including development, production, deployment and system modifications.

June 4, 2012
By George Seffers

Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Clearfield, Utah, is being awarded a $108,098,628 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to purchase a modification to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Cryptography Upgrade II Engineering and Manufacturing Development Program. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity.