Frontier Technology Inc., Beavercreek, Ohio, has been awarded a $47,246,679 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for supporting the enterprise ground system and defensive cyber operations. The contract award provides for cross-domain solutions, design, integration and rapid delivery team services. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Beverly, Massachusetts; and Los Angeles, California, and is expected to be completed by July 19, 2024. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $1,876,545 are being obligated at the time of award. The contract was the result of a sole-source acquisition.
Soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3/1 CD) recently tried out a cyber-based prototype that complements electronic warfare systems designed to combat enemy drones, the Army has revealed in an online article.
Using the Army's enhanced cyber-enabled Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) capability, soldiers were able to detect and counter common, small drones during their training. The new prototype alerted soldiers to the presence of a drone and provided a means to target it, for protection across the brigade.
The May 7th ransomware attack against Baltimore has crippled much of the local government’s IT infrastructure while holding its network hostage. Not since the March 2018 attacks against Atlanta has a major U.S. city been so digitally impaired.
The subsequent media coverage of Baltimore’s struggle has generated some misplaced criticism of the U.S. government. Initial news reports erroneously claimed that the ransomware leveraged an NSA-developed exploit to compromise Baltimore’s municipal systems. Unfortunately, this snowballed into numerous sources placing blame on the NSA, claiming that they mismanaged their cyber weaponry.
This is grossly incorrect.
NCI Information Systems, Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $27,956,232 modification (P00005) to contract W91RUS-18-C-0017 for information technology services for cyber network operations and security support. Work will be performed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2020. Fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $10,251,101 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
The U.S. Army is building a tighter relationship with industry to tap commercial expertise and avoid long procurement delays that often render new information technologies obsolete before they are fielded.
At the heart of this effort is Cherie A. Smith, program executive officer for enterprise information systems (PEO EIS), U.S. Army. After she assumed her position last year, Smith relates, she focused on making promises and seeking help. Since then, she has emphasized a shared relationship with industry.
The fight to secure microelectronic chips is becoming as basic as the chip itself. With chips facing a myriad of threats throughout their life cycle, experts are incorporating security measures into the development of the chip from the foundry to assembly. Other approaches safeguard against threats that could appear as the chip moves through the supply chain. The bottom line for microelectronics security is that necessary measures cannot wait until the device is in the hands of the user.
Global, asymmetrical threats now dominate attacks on nations and businesses alike, and the enemy is not always immediately knowable, identifiable or even seen. These realities are forcing leaders to invest more resources into analytics, as well as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and other 21st century responses to cyber bombardments today.
Adversaries are exploiting the inherent vulnerabilities of U.S. military supply chains that involve tens of thousands of private sector providers from all over the globe. Attack operations include stealing valuable technical data; striking critical infrastructure, manufacturing and weapon systems control systems; corrupting the quality and assurance across a broad range of product types and categories; and manipulating software to access connected systems and to degrade systems operation integrity.
As emerging technologies and capabilities permeate and dominate the military and critical infrastructure, a different skill set is required to secure the increasingly complex cyberspace realm. The Internet of Things will be both an asset and a liability in the future when the military incorporates it into operations, and urban environments will complicate these efforts.
Cyber warfare continues to evolve with ever-changing innovation and technology, increasing critical infrastructure defense. In addition, with the onset of smart cities, the U.S. military in general, and the U.S. Army in particular, is exploring gaps in training and education related to operating in dense, super-connected urban areas.
Members of the Missouri National Guard Cyber Team are launching a nonprofit organization to share RockNSM, a system initially built by cyber warriors for cyber warriors.
RockNSM is a network security monitoring platform that uses open source technologies, such as CentOS, which is an operating system derived from the RedHat enterprise-level open source system. RockNSM formed the basis for a Task Force Echo network anomaly detection system used for real-world cyber operations.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques could help information and network defenders recognize patterns of potential attackers so their next moves can be proactively blocked. In addition, cyber tools enhanced with these capabilities could provide a much more detailed picture of the cyber battlefield and increase the potential of success in a cyber campaign. This knowledge would complement the kinetic battlefield and could permit war planners to choose the appropriate mix of cyber and kinetic operations.
National Guard members conducting cyber operations found themselves poorly equipped to meet some of the real-world challenges they faced, so they banded together and built the system they needed on a shoestring budget. That system detects anomalous behavior on the network, reduces the number of analysts and enriches network data provided to data scientists.
Cyber is fundamentally changing the national security landscape. David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon, used his keynote address on day two of the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium not to explain what is happening, but why this is happening.
To illustrate the new age of weaponizing information, Sanger described the differences between Watergate and the hack of the DNC in December 2016. The Russians didn’t have to do anything the Watergate hackers did.
If cyber is the ultimate team sport, as many in the U.S. Defense Department like to say, then artificial intelligence (AI) would likely be the number one draft pick for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
Anthony “Tony” Montemarano, DISA’s executive deputy director, stressed the importance of AI during a luncheon plenary on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore. “We’ve heard about it time and again. Artificial intelligence is probably the most significant technology we have to come to grips with.”
Personnel working in cyber must continually look for opportunities to learn, say cyber professionals from across government.
During a morning panel discussion on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, high-ranking officials from the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency discussed a wide range of issues concerning the cyber workforce today and tomorrow.
In an effort to secure the digital supply chain for the United States, President Trump issued a policy on May 15 prohibiting the trade of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured or supplied by adversaries.
The Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain states that the risk of using such technology and services constitutes a national emergency.
Atlanta-based Envistacom announced on May 14 at AFCEA's TechNetCyber event that the company would be supporting the Department of Defense's Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO) Cyber Analytics Systems Threat Lab Environments 2 (CASTLE 2) Task Order 20. As a subcontractor, the company will provide engineering, test and evaluation, and management services to the Threat Systems Management Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) assessment program. The effort includes providing threat and information operations network support. The $1 million contract runs from January 18, 2019, to January 18, 2020.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is increasing its focus on innovation and rapid acquisition through the use of other transactional authority (OTA) contracts.
Organizations across the Department of Defense and military services have begun using OTA contracts, which help cut much of the time and costs of developing technologies and acquiring systems. They also allow the military to work more closely with smaller, more agile startups and small businesses that may have creative products but don’t traditionally work with the government.
Discussions about data may need to become as integral to military operational planning as kinetic weapons and physical targets, say two of the top cyber leaders in the U.S. Defense Department.
Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, and Dana Deasy, Defense Department chief information officer, stressed the importance of data during a fireside chat on the first day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is challenged with a significant personnel shortage, including information technology, spectrum and cybersecurity experts.
Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton, DISA director and commander of the Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN), told the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore that the agency is seeking to hire personnel in a number of areas.