SIGNAL Online Exclusives

October 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Australian, British, Japanese and U.S. ships and aircraft transit the Bay of Bengal in the northeastern portion of the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is one of the first to host advanced data analytics teams made that include personnel with data and artificial intelligence experts. Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Haydn Smith

The U.S. Defense Department is deploying teams of data and artificial intelligence experts to the various combatant commands as part of its efforts to implement the joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) vision. The combatant commands host some teams for relatively short visits—a matter of days—while others will remain onsite for three years.

Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense, launched the AI and data acceleration (ADA) initiative. The teams include both data and artificial intelligence experts. The chief data officer and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) coordinate and lead the effort.

October 13, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Army officials believe Project Convergence 2021 may help technologies emerge from the valley of death, a term commonly used to describe the fate of technologies that never put to use after being developed in a laboratory. Credit: Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

The transition plan for some of the technologies involved in the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence 2021 (PC 21) campaign of learning should be delivered to the commander of U.S. Army Futures Command by Christmas, according to his deputy commander.

Lt. Gen. James Richardson, USA, deputy commander, Army Futures Command, told the audience at the Association of United States Army (AUSA) annual conference in Washington, D.C., that PC 21 includes about 110 technologies, some of which could transition very quickly to programs of record. PC 22 began this month and will end on November 9.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Marine uses a radio during a field exercise at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017. A resilient network is a key component for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The Pentagon is developing a strategy to enable JADC2. Credit: Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carl King

Pentagon officials are developing a strategy related to the joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) concept that should be delivered soon to the combatant commands, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, the Joint Staff's chief information officer and director of command, control, communications and computers, also known as the J-6.

Gen. Crall made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

October 19, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Department of Defense has selected a mobile power program from Army Futures Command to increase the speed at which on-the-move power capabilities are delivered to the battlefield. Credit: Army photo by Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

U.S. Army researchers plan to demonstrate in December and March capabilities that could lead to a secure, mobile power grid capable of automatically providing electricity from the best available source, including batteries, vehicles or diesel generators.

September 16, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Big data will be a major disruptor for whichever country manages to gain control of it first. Credit: Artistdesign29/Shutterstock

Data in various forms supports a wide range of national security missions, and whichever country is best able to use that data will have a distinct advantage, according to intelligence agency experts speaking at the virtual 2020 Intelligence and National Security Summit.

August 24, 2020
By George I. Seffers
In recent years, the Army's Cyber Blitz experiment evolved well beyond just cyber, allowing the service to define the integration of cyberspace, electronic warfare, intelligence, space and information operations. Beginning next year, the experiment will be known as Multi-Domain Operations Live. Photo by Spc. Marcus Gresham, USA

The U.S. Army’s technology assessment experiment known as Cyber Blitz has grown beyond its cyber roots. Beginning next year, when it will be held in the Indo-Pacific region, the exercise will be known as Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) Live.

August 19, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Lori Ramirez, DISA’s director, workforce services and development, discusses the agency's efforts to recruit talented personnel by using virtual meeting and information sharing tools during the pandemic and beyond.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is searching for talented personnel in a broad array of career fields, including information technology, science and engineering, program and project management, contracting and acquisition and human resources—and the effort to recruit those personnel virtually is gaining steam.

August 12, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army wants to automate planning for primary, alternate, contingency and emergency (PACE) communications. A so-called intelligent engine will suffice in the short term, but over time, service officials expect artificial intelligence to conduct PACE planning.  (U.S. Army photo courtesy of the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical)

The U.S. Army wants an automated communications planning system. In the short term, researchers expect to use an “intelligent engine” but in the future, artificial intelligence will likely take over the task.

Planning communications for different conditions is commonly known as PACE planning. The acronym stands for “primary, alternate, contingency and emergency” communications. Different situations call for different communications systems, explains Michael Brownfield, chief of the Army Future Capabilities Office within the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s research organization formally named the Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center.

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Army specialist tracks and monitors flight hours for an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Multiple Army initiatives aim to better attract and retain a talented workforce, including those with technical skills. Credit: U.S. Army

The U.S. Army is implementing new programs aimed at attracting and retaining talented workers, including cyber and other information technology professionals.

The two initiatives fall under a program known as the Army Talent Alignment Program. Both initiatives currently focus on small groups within the officer corps and include pilot programs and prototypical processes that can then be rapidly expanded to the rest of the force.

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Among an array of activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Command supported the needs of the U.S. Navy ships Comfort and Mercy. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/Released

In response to the teleworking boom resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) dramatically increased network capacity, expanded access to virtual private networks and adopted new online collaboration tools, allowing thousands of Defense Department personnel to safely and securely work from home.  

Addressing the audience tuning into the Army’s 2020 Signal Conference, which is sponsored by AFCEA and streamed online, Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, the agency’s director, reported that the agency never shut down and never stopped working during the ongoing pandemic.

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete an initial zero trust architecture by year's end to improve cybersecurity, according to Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, Defense Information Systems Agency.

The U.S. Defense Department by the end of the calendar year will release an initial zero trust architecture to improve cybersecurity across the department, says Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, Defense Information Systems Agency, and commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network.

Norton’s agency, commonly known as DISA, is working with the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense (DOD) chief information officer and others on what she calls an initial “reference” architecture for zero trust, which essentially ensures every person wanting to use the DOD Information Network, or DODIN, is identified and every device trying to connect is authenticated.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army's concept of command-centric network operations gives commanders greater authority and responsibility for network operations and relies on big data to enable faster, more effective decision making. U.S. Army photo

Protecting critical data is paramount to the Army’s vision for command-centric network operations, which will allow commanders to more easily understand what is happening on the operational network and more rapidly make decisions for the network’s defense, says Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command.

Gen. Fogarty made the comments in a pre-recorded address as part of the virtual Army’s 2020 Signal Conference, which is hosted by AFCEA.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers stationed at Camp Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base in South Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. The Army likely will see permanent changes to tactics, techniques and procedures due to the pandemic, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the service’s retiring CIO/G-6. Credit: Sgt. Amber Smith

The U.S. Army will likely see permanent, technology-enabled changes to tactics, techniques and procedures following the COVID-19 pandemic, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the service’s retiring chief information officer and G-6.

In a keynote address on the first day of the virtual Army Signal Conference, hosted by AFCEA, the general noted that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, led to a host of changes to tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), as well as legislation and “ways of doing business.” Many of those changes remain in place.

July 6, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is adding new office director positions and hiring new program managers as well. The office directors will help recruit program managers, develop and guide research programs, and enhance relationships with key personnel within the intelligence community to help ensure technology transfers to the agencies. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Catherine Marsh, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, is hiring personnel to fill several new office director positions. The new personnel will help recruit program managers, develop and guide programs, and strengthen relationships with the intelligence community, enhancing the transition of technologies from researchers to users.

May 14, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
Czech military personnel load PPE supplies. Military personnel are conducting widespread testing in the Czech system of Smart Quarantine. Photo courtesy of NATO

Experts agree that reopening the United States requires contact tracing—working out, when someone has tested positive for COVID-19, who they might have infected already. Contact tracing, like any kind of detective work, is ultimately a very human undertaking. It’s a labor intensive, empathetic process of walking people back through the last few days of their lives and helping them remember who they might have been in close enough contact with to infect.

You can’t do that with an app—especially one that’s not downloaded by 80 percent of smartphone users, and uses Bluetooth location data that might list someone in an adjacent apartment as a “close contact.”

April 30, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in the medical industrial base, including a dependency on China, indicates Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Credit: Tumisu/Pixabay

The United States is overly dependent on foreign sources, especially China, for personal protective equipment such as the gear required during pandemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, according to Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Lord made the comments during an press April 30 press briefing that was streamed online.

May 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, outlines concerns for the defense industrial base stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downtown.

Ellen Lord, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment suggested today that foreign adversaries may take advantage of the ongoing pandemic to conduct economic warfare against the United States, that industry could see a three-month “slow down” and that smaller businesses that provide critical components could suffer.

Lord made the comments during a press conference that streamed online.  

February 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S Army soldiers assigned to the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Spartan, bound toward an objective during a rehearsal for a 2018 combined live-fire exercise near Alexandria, Egypt. Brigade Combat Teams may not be the top priority for future budgets as wars are fought over longer distances. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Lefty Larime

The U.S. Army its transforming its Department of the Army’s Management Office-Cyber (DAMO-CY) to include a wider range of joint all-domain operations capabilities.

Col. Jay Chapman, USA, division chief, Mission Command, in the Army CIO/G-6 office, revealed the change at a February 13 luncheon event in Arlington, Virginia, hosted by the AFCEA Washington, D.C. chapter.

December 11, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Department has added to new 5G-related requests for prototype proposals to its efforts with the National Spectrum Consortium. Credit: Wit Olszewski/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department has released two more draft requests for prototype proposals seeking fifth-generation (5G) wireless solutions. The newly announced projects are for smart warehousing and asset management for Naval Supply Systems Command and augmented reality and virtual reality at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

October 16, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Army paratroopers sling-load a ground mobility vehicle to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a September 2019 Saber Junction exercise in Germany. Army officials intend to invest heavily in multidomain operations in the coming years. Credit: Army Sgt. Henry Villarama

The U.S. Army is committing to the multidomain operations (MDO) concept with a $700 million budget plan for fiscal years 2021-2025. The investment includes cyber, cloud and information warfare.

“Multidomain operations is our fighting concept, and it serves as the foundation of the Army Modernization Strategy. The MDO is how the Army supports the joint force in the rapid and continuous integration across all domains of warfare—land, sea, air, space and cyberspace—to ultimately deter, and win the fight should deterrence fail,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the audience at the Association of the United States Army annual conference in Washington, D.C.

October 17, 2019
By George I. Seffers
M1A2 Abrams tanks take part in a May 2019 exercise in Poland. U.S. Army officials plan a massive exercise, Defender-Europe early next year. It will be the largest of its kind in 25 years.  Photo Credit: Sgt. Thomas Mort

Defender-Europe 2020, a massive, first-of-its-kind exercise to take place next spring, will test the Army’s ability to rapidly project power forward, effectively operate with other nations and engage in multidomain operations, service officials revealed at the Association of the United States Army annual conference in Washington, D.C.

October 30, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DISA is beginning to implement plans to build a common network infrastructure for 14 defense agencies known as the “fourth estate.” The effort could save hundreds of millions of dollars over the long term. Credit: ktsdesign/Shutterstock

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has begun the implementation phase for the Fourth Estate Network Optimization Initiative and will now begin building the network for 14 defense agencies. The endeavor will standardize equipment, enhance cybersecurity, improve interoperability and save significant money, DISA officials say.

May 21, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DISA and the Defense Security Service have awarded $75 million to Perspecta Enterprise Solutions to develop a major piece of the National Background Investigation System, which will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline the security clearance process.  Credit: Rudy Bagozzi/Shutterstock

The Defense Security Service (DSS) and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have awarded nearly $75 million to Perspecta Enterprise Solutions LLC of Herndon, Virginia, to help reform and modernize the security clearance personnel vetting processes and develop the National Background Investigation Service (NBIS) information technology system.

March 8, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Artificial intelligence-enabled radio technology developed with DARPA funding, could help manage scarce spectrum resources. Credit: Photo illustration created with images by geralt/Pixabay

A U.S. military-funded artificial intelligence (AI) contest that wraps up later this year may result in radio devices capable of autonomously and collaboratively sharing radio frequency spectrum for the next generation of mobile devices.

Fifth-generation (5G) cellular services are widely expected to hail a new era of greater speed, reduced latency and the ability to connect many more devices—think smart cities and the Internet of Things—and move vastly more data. The wireless revolution is fueling a voracious global demand for access to the radio frequency spectrum, but managing that increasing demand in a way that avoids interference is a challenge.

March 7, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Disease caused by the Ebola virus is severe and often-fatal. Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency envision artificial intelligence systems that will accelerate the rate of research in chemistry, which could offer a wide range of benefits including the rapid discovery of cures for a range of diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo by microbiologist Frederick A. Murphy, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Special Pathogens Branch

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the midst of reviewing proposals for the Make-It program, which aims to automate the discovery and synthesis of small molecules, offering a range of potential benefits, including dramatically accelerating the rate at which scientists cure diseases.

February 26, 2019
By George I. Seffers
DARPA looks to the future of artificial intelligence with its Artificial Intelligence Colloquium to be held next week. Credit: kalhh/Pixabay

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way in recent years, but the technology still has hurdles to overcome if machines are to become true partners and collaborators with humans. To help push the systems to that next level, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hosting a two-day conference aimed at spurring the next wave of AI advances.

February 13, 2019
By George I.Seffers
Adm. John Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations, speaks to the West 2019 audience via videoconference.

Adm. John Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations, theorizes that the decades to come could require a greater emphasis on maritime operations because of multiple factors, including global climate change, increased maritime traffic and the rise of megacities near coastal areas

January 29, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, released today the intelligence community’s annual threat assessment, which lists cyber, artificial intelligence and weapons of mass destruction as some of the top technological threats. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The United States faces a “toxic mix of threats,” Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, testified today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence while unveiling the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

January 10, 2019
By George I. Seffers
A new online wargame will help researchers study data associated with nuclear proliferation. Credit: Razvan Ionut Dragomirescu/Shutterstock

Later this month a team of researchers plans to release an online wargame that will use machine learning and data analytics to study nuclear conflict escalation and the strategic stability of nations in an artificial world.

August 10, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Dana Deasy, who became the U.S. Defense Department’s chief information officer nearly 100 days ago, has been charged with creating the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

The U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) will see major progress next year, says Dana Deasy, the department’s new chief information officer. The joint center will accelerate the delivery of AI-enabled capabilities and develop tools and technologies that will offer benefits across the military.

June 27, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, alongside Iraqi security forces, fire artillery at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The annual Cyber Quest experiment, which focused this year on cyber situational understanding, is designed to evaluate prototypical technologies and deliver systems to warfighters sooner. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army officials conducting the third annual Cyber Quest experiment, which ends today, will issue a report in about 30 days that will determine which of the systems involved will transfer to programs of record. The exercise consists of an array of systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, that help provide situational understanding of the cyber and electronic warfare realms.

April 25, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Air Force is extending its smart base pilot program at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

After about a year, the U.S. Air Force is extending its smart base pilot program at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. The effort takes advantage of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and applies the smart city concept to the base. The lessons learned at Maxwell likely will be applied to Air Force bases around the world.

January 29, 2018
By George I. Seffers
 IBM this summer will deliver to the Air Force Research Laboratory the 64-chip array, brain-inspired, IBM TrueNorth Neurosynaptic System, an artificial intelligence supercomputing system that will enable deep-network learning and information discovery. (Image Courtesy U.S. Air Force)

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is set to receive a neuromorphic supercomputer from IBM this summer.

January 26, 2018
By George I. Seffers
A new superconducting synapse developed by NIST researchers could mark a major step forward for neuromorphic computing, a form of artificial intelligence. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a superconducting switch that learns like a biological system and could connect processors and store memories in future computers, NIST officials intend to announce today. The switch in some ways outperforms the human brain that inspired it and offers a wide range of benefits for medical diagnoses, smart cars and intelligence analysis.

The NIST switch is called a synapse, after its biological counterpart, and it supplies a missing piece for neuromorphic computers. Envisioned as a new type of artificial intelligence, such computers could boost machine perception and decision making.

November 7, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, DISA director, addresses an AFCEA chapter event. Gen. Lynn and other DISA officials provided a forecast of contracting opportunities to industry on November 6.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is touting the potential benefits of light fidelity (Li-Fi) technology, a form of wireless, light-based communications. Li-Fi is expected to be more resistant to electronic signature detectors and therefore, less susceptible to electronic warfare techniques.

Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, the DISA director, stressed the need for the technology during the agency’s November 6 forecast to industry.

He also emphasized the need for software-defined networking, which Gen. Lynn said is inexpensive and versatile. He described a scenario in which warfighters will be able to hop from one network to the next, similar to radios that hop from one frequency to another.

May 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division conduct fast rope insertion extraction techniques with their Marine Corps and Air Force counterparts. Elements of the 25th participated in the Army’s recent Cyber Blitz exercise, which will help define the future of cyber and spectrum warfare.

The U.S. Army last week completed an exercise designed to further define how the service adapts operationally to modern threats, including cyber attacks and electromagnetic warfare. During the exercise, the Army tested the cyber-electromagnetic activities (CEMA) cell concept within a brigade combat team and introduced new, yet-to-be-fielded technologies.

March 16, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Lockheed Martin’s ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles.

Each of the U.S. military services and the Special Operations Command plan to field laser weapons in the coming years. But Lockheed Martin officials say they could deliver now a 30-kilowatt weapon system—powerful enough to bore a hole in a steel plate within seconds—if the military asks.

January 25, 2015
By George I. Seffers

MITRE Corporation officials say they expect a rush of proposals in the final days of the non-profit organization’s Countering Unauthorized Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Challenge. The deadline for submitting white papers is February 7.

January 14, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Antonio Doss (l), district director of the SBA’s Washington Metropolitan Area District Office, talks about a major rule change during AFCEA's Small Business Committee meeting.

A Small Business Administration (SBA) venture slated to kick off this summer could bring about substantial changes for all small businesses as the agency establishes a governmentwide mentor-protege program. 

SBA officials are putting the finishing touches on rule changes that essentially would clone the agency’s 8(a) Business Development mentor-protege program and offer it to the rest of the nation’s small businesses, said Antonio Doss, district director of the SBA’s Washington Metropolitan Area District Office.

November 3, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) seeks to use big data analytics to enhance network situational awareness while automating as many cybersecurity capabilities as possible, officials said during the agency’s November 2 forecast to industry in Washington, D.C.

October 29, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, director of the NSA and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, warns of an increase in number and sophistication of cyber attacks during Thursday's SAP NS2 Solution Summit.

Securing the cyberspace will get worse before it gets any better, warned Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

“The very technical foundation of the world we’ve created with the Internet of Things is going to exacerbate [security vulnerabilities], not make it easier,” he said. Now, it’s not that the Internet of Things is bad, he pointed out. “As a private citizen, I love the convenience. But I also acknowledge it brings inherent challenges when we’re trying to defend something.”

September 23, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded nearly $3.7 million for three pilot projects that seek to fortify online financial transactions and enhance privacy protections for health care, government services, transportation and the Internet of Things.

The studies, awarded by the agency's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) office, address specific cyber-based missions such as reducing tax refund theft, ensuring better protections of medical information, devising mobile ticketing solutions for use on mass transit and providing secure online data storage, according the agency.

October 13, 2015
By George I. Seffers

This blog is a followup to an article in the October issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Operation Cooperation: U.S. Defense Officials Intend to Expand Asia-Pacific Partnerships.

Although tighter budgets motivate governments to cooperate on technology development, sequestration and the budget uncertainties in the United States have negatively impacted international partnerships, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

September 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The ease at which criminals can reverse engineer software makes for lucrative transgressions with national security implications, prompting government-backed researchers to seek innovations to shore up vulnerabilities, officials say.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, turned to academia and awarded a multiyear mission to develop obfuscation technology to better safeguard software intellectual property, both for commercial and government endeavors. The aim of DARPA’s SafeWare program is to find a solution that would render the software, such as proprietary algorithms, incomprehensible to a reverse engineer.

September 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
©Axstokes/Shutterstock.com/NIST

The U.S. government wants in on the resurgence of developments in contactless biometric technology, seeing smart applications of such devices in places such as airport security. But before device deployment, officials need to make sure the scanners and sensors actually do what they say they do—safely and accurately.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with a handful of private companies to develop data format standards, best practices and methods for certification testing on new products before any can be used.

September 3, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Helicopters drop water and fire retardant on a fire near the Mexican border. AUDREY will provide tailored information to firefighters, whether in the air or on the ground.

Researchers are linking together the power of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to create a personal assistant to provide total situational awareness to first responders. The advanced program is wise enough to provide only the information necessary for each user, smart enough to ask questions and versatile enough for virtually anyone to use, including firefighters, warfighters, factory workers and home owners.

If all goes well, the system is set to begin prototype testing within the next 16 months, and an initial capability could be fielded soon.

September 2, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Ransomware soared as the preferred malware of cybercriminals, with the number of new samples rising 58 percent over the second quarter of this year, and a whopping 127 percent over this time last year, according to a new analysis by Intel Security.

The firm released a retrospective report five years after acquiring McAfee. Its researchers compared what they thought would happen beginning in 2010 to what actually happened with hardware and software security threats, noting the boom in the number of devices connected to the Internet and a general lack of cyberhygiene contributed to the increase of malware intrusions and ransomware attacks.

August 13, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Marines conduct civil-military operations and collect, process, analyze and share information using software from a smartphone.

The Defense Department’s much-anticipated capability solution to access classified voice and email up to the secret level from mobile devices finally migrated from the pilot stage and now is operational within the department and several federal agencies, says Kimberly Rice, program manger for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA's) Mobility Program Management Office.

July 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Most of the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) has received a major upgrade, providing U.S. military researchers with access to an unprecedented fast fiber optic network connecting five supercomputing centers at speeds 16 times faster than present rates.

June 24, 2015
By George I. Seffers
NSA officials intend to increase open source software releases through GitHub.

The National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) recently established GitHub presence could become a focal point for releasing new technologies into the open source community. Sharing software could benefit the nation’s cybersecurity while also benefiting businesses and economic growth, officials say.