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May 11, 2021 | International, Aerospace

Northrop Grumman awarded $13.3 million for Blackjack payloads

The company is building position, navigation and timing payloads for DARPA's Project Blackjack, a demonstration satellite constellation that will operate in low-Earth orbit.

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  • In chaos, there’s opportunity … and that’s bad news

    April 27, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    In chaos, there’s opportunity … and that’s bad news

    James Yeager This year is only four months old and it's already one for the history books — and not in a great way. As the defense community works in tandem with the broader government to keep citizens safe and healthy, cybersecurity threats are only becoming more aggressive. If we've learned anything about cyber adversaries, it's that they will seize on any opportunity to gain an advantage in targeting their victims, including exploiting the fears of the public during a global pandemic. As COVID-19 has moved from the East to the West, adversaries have followed suit, using lures that play into people's desperation for information on the disease. In “The Art of War,” Sun-Tzu said“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” The COVID-19 virus is infecting more than just people. The pandemic has created chaos and handed adversaries an irresistible opportunity to exploit the situation to gain entry into our networks, whether that's to steal intellectual property, disrupt operations, or gain a strategic advantage if they are a nation-state actor. Already, we are seeing an increase in phishing campaigns using COVID-19 as a hook to launch malware in emails disguised as alerts. Particularly vulnerable are the thousands of remote workers — government employees and contractors alike — who are using their own home networks, which are largely less sophisticated and secure than their work environments. The stakes are high, particularly for those in defense jobs, where an errant click can have devastating consequences. Coincidently, 2020 is the year when the DoD's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification has grown teeth and will force more than 300,000 defense contractors to up their cybersecurity game or face bottom-line consequences. Now is not the time to make mistakes. In CrowdStrike's recent Global Threat Report, we captured and analyzed real-world inputs from observed trends in cyber-attacks on commercial and government enterprises. The following are some of the notable attack vectors and trends we observed across the public sector during 2019: An escalation in ransom demands, including ransomware attacks on defense supply chain providers, schools and local municipalities. Surpassing the volume of malware attacks are malware-free attacks that use code which executes from memory or stolen login credentials. Continued state-sponsored targeted intrusions aimed at the government and defense sector. In fact, we have witnessed adversaries exploiting fear around COVID-19 to socially engineer their way to user credentials and sensitive data. In the months ahead, I contend we'll see many more of the same tactics from the same bad actors: Russia, China and newer players on the block, such as Iran, which has leveraged U.S. social media platforms to develop information operations campaigns. Amidst massive change, periodic chaos and long-term disruption, the defense community — government and industry — must put a premium on speed. Speed to detect. Speed to investigate. Speed to mitigate. We recommend that agencies and companies implement cybersecurity practices that follow the 1-10-60 Rule: detect intrusions within 1 minute; investigate and gain a comprehensive understanding of the attack within 10 minutes; and contain and remove the threatening adversary from the network within 60 minutes. This benchmark will limit the damage caused by inevitable attacks. Yes, inevitable. Cyberattacks are a constant and while building a bigger, wider and thicker wall may help keep bad actors out, they are persistent and determined enough to eventually get in, and when they do, you're on the clock. This year will only get worse as the impacts of COVID-19 will be deep, damaging and long-lasting. We're all faced with loss and uncertainty as we attempt to recover from the global pandemic. For the defense community, there is no time to recover and regroup. You are already on the clock, as those who wish to do our nation harm are already hard at work.

  • Armement : la bombe incendiaire de la filière défense (GICAT) contre les banques françaises

    October 21, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security, Other Defence

    Armement : la bombe incendiaire de la filière défense (GICAT) contre les banques françaises

    Michel Cabirol Sous la pression d'éventuelles sanctions américaines et des ONG, les banques françaises, dont BNP Paribas et Société Générale, appliquent désormais des règles de conformité (compliance) excessives pour les entreprises de défense considérées comme des entreprises à risque pour un financement. Cette tendance est en train d'étrangler progressivement une industrie de souveraineté. "Même si vos solutions semblent d'avenir et votre stratégie business cohérente, vous accompagner est trop risqué pour nous compte-tenu de la part de la défense dans vos contrats à venir". "Le critère de souveraineté n'est pas notre sujet quand nous évaluons un financement". "Ce n'est pas parce que la BPI vous soutient, que vous avez des contrats déjà signés, que nous devons vous suivre aveuglément"... Les refus de financement des banques françaises se multiplient, les témoignages désespérés, notamment des PME ou start-up de la filière défense, aussi. Clairement les banques, dont BNP Paribas et Société Générale, jouent de moins en moins le jeu pour financer et/ou accompagner une industrie souveraine, la défense, qui reste pourtant soutenue par l'État français, selon une note du GICAT (Groupement des industries françaises de défense et de sécurité terrestres et aéroterrestres) envoyée aux ministères des Armées et de l'Économie et que La Tribune a pu se procurer. Consciente du danger mortel que cette situation représente pour le secteur, la commission de la défense de l'Assemblée nationale souhaite s'emparer de ce sujet en lançant d'ici à la fin de la semaine une mission flash sur ce dossier extrêmement sensible. "Depuis maintenant deux ans, notre industrie de défense est confrontée à un problème croissant : le système bancaire et financier français est de plus en plus réticent à accompagner nos entreprises du secteur de la défense tant pour leur développement qu'en soutien à l'exportation", constate cette note du GICAT. Les directions juridiques ont pris le pouvoir Les refus de financement se décident principalement dans les bureaux discrets des équipes de juristes et d'avocats (compliance et éthique) devenues très puissantes (trop ?) au sein des directions des banques françaises. Ces dernières refusent des financements dans le développement, voire l'ouverture de compte auprès de jeunes entreprises "pure player" de la défense ou duales, assure le GICAT. "Les organismes bancaires décident de manière discrétionnaire de critères de compliance très poussés, se basant sur les analyses et recommandations de prestataires privés dont il n'est pas précisé le nom ou la nationalité", regrette l'organisation professionnelle. C'est le cas entre autre de la Société Générale, citée dans le document du GICAT : "l'industrie de la défense fait l'objet d'une attention particulière compte tenu du détournement potentiel d'usage de ses produits". "Au-delà des réglementations applicables, le groupe Société Générale définit dans la présente politique des critères additionnels d'exclusion et d'évaluation, qui...

  • Army gives green light to shape vehicle electrification requirements

    September 22, 2020 | International, Land, C4ISR

    Army gives green light to shape vehicle electrification requirements

    Jen Judson WASHINGTON — Army Futures Command has given the green light to the Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate to move forward on developing a plan to equip tactical and combat vehicles with electric power, according to a Sept. 21 statement. The directorate will begin drafting a requirements document for Tactical and Combat Vehicle Electrification (TaCVE) and will host an industry day Oct. 20 to share its electrification initiatives with industry. CALSTART, an organization that focuses on clean technology transportation, and the Ground Vehicles Systems Center will cohost the event. The electrification effort aims to decrease the Army's reliance on fossil fuels. “The requirement also aims to increase operational reach across all maneuver formations through electric propulsion, which offers a variety of operational and tactical benefits,” a statement from the directorate read. “These include the potential to double operational duration, implement silent mobility, increase silent watch, and potentially reduce the Army's logistical burden by nearly half when fully implemented,” it stated. The Army launched an earnest effort into electrifying the brigade earlier this spring. Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, then-director of the Futures and Concepts Center within AFC, told Defense News at the time that the effort is easier said than done and doesn't just just focus on simply powering a vehicle electrically. Instead, it would attempt to work out how an entire enterprise that would support those electric vehicle fleets and other capabilities could work. “Let's be clear. We're behind. We're late to meet on this thing,” Wesley said. “If you look at all of the analysis, all of the various nations that we work with, they're all going to electric power with their automotive fleet, and right now, although we do [science and technology] and we've got some research and development going on and we can build prototypes, in terms of a transition plan, we are not there.” Army officials know there will likely be a time where vehicles that use fossil fuel and ones that are all-electric share the battlefield. “What is the distribution plan that enables that?” Wesley wondered. “That is much more complex when you look at the implications for an entire enterprise.” Wesley was preparing a proposal for the head of Futures Command on how the service might accomplish such an endeavor that could change the paradigm of the logistics and sustainment tails as well as enhance force mobility. The proposal was intended to make a business case for the Army electrifying the formation, discuss the technical feasibility and describe a transition process. The MCDID requirements development process gives the overall effort traction to move out quickly.

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