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  • The rising importance of data as a weapon of war

    4 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The rising importance of data as a weapon of war

    By: Adam Stone As Navy Cyber Security Division director, Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett casts a wary eye over the rising importance of data as a weapon of war. Data is an ever-more-critical battlefield asset, given the rising internet of things, including a rapidly growing inventory of unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets across the Navy. Protecting all that data from enemy exploitation represents a potentially massive cyber challenge. This spring, the Navy announced “Compile to Combat in 24 Hours,” a pilot project to leverage web services and a new cloud architecture in the service of data security. C4ISRNET’s Adam Stone spoke to Barrett about the potential there, and about the emerging IT security landscape in a data-centric military. C4ISRNET: Data has become increasingly valuable, especially in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. How valuable is it? How do you describe the significance of data these days? REAR ADM. DANELLE BARRETT: If you look at what goes on in industry and how they use big data for decision making, to be predictive and proactive: that’s exactly the kind of environment that we want to get to. Being able to trust those data, to access the data, expose the data, reuse the data — that becomes actually the hardest part. C4ISRNET: Let’s talk about that. Sharing data involves risk. Talk about that risk landscape. BARRETT: The more data that you have out there and the more places you have it, obviously you have an increased attack surface. Adversaries will go after your data to try to get an advantage. So, you want to protect data down to the lowest layer and you want to make sure that you have defense in depth built in, and resiliency to be able to work through any kind of attack or interruption in your data flow. We build our architectures around being resilient using the NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] model of “detect, react and restore.” You build in as much resiliency as you can. C4ISRNET: Can you say, specifically, how that’s done? BARRETT: I’ll give you an example of something that we’re testing in our architecture to try to improve the data down to the data element layer. We have an effort called “Compile to Combat in 24 Hours.” We’re looking at modernizing our afloat architecture and, as we do that, we’re decomposing big monolithic applications, if you will, into web services similar to what you’d get on an iPhone: smaller capabilities, smaller web services as opposed to these big monolithic applications. As you do that, you can ensure that you’re using standard ports and protocols, so you don’t have applications on the ship that are reaching back over nonstandard ports, which would present an increased attack surface. If you can standardize on your ports, you can sense those better and monitor those better. Then you then go down to the data element layer. Say you standardize on extensible markup language, XML, you can then apply the SAML protocol that is inherent to that to protect your data at that lowest layer. We’re testing that concept in an architecture now. Full article:

  • New military drone roadmap ambivalent on killer robots

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    New military drone roadmap ambivalent on killer robots

    By: Kelsey Atherton Drones are everywhere in the Pentagon today. While unpeopled vehicles are most closely associated with the Air Force and targeted killing campaigns, remotely controlled robots are in every branch of the military and used across all combatant commands. The fiscal year 2018 defense authorization contained the largest budget for drones and robots across the services ever, a sign of just how much of modern warfare involves these machines. Which is perhaps why, when the Department of Defense released its latest roadmap for unmanned systems, the map came in at a punchy 60 pages, far shy of the 160-page tome released in 2013. This is a document less about a military imagining a future of flying robots and more about managing a present that includes them. The normalization of battlefield robots Promised since at least spring 2017, the new roadmap focuses on interoperability, autonomy, network security and human-machine collaboration. The future of drones, and of unpeopled ground vehicles or water vehicles, is as tools that anyone can use, that can do most of what is asked of them on their own, that communicate without giving away the information they are sharing, and that will work to make the humans using the machines function as more-than-human. This is about a normalization of battlefield robots, the same way that mechanized warfare moved from a theoretical approach to the standard style of fighting by nations a few generations ago. Network security isn’t as flashy a highlight as “unprecedented battlefield surveillance by flying robot,” but it’s part of making sure that those flying cameras don’t, say, transmit easily intercepted data over an open channel. “Future warfare will hinge on critical and efficient interactions between war-fighting systems,” states the roadmap. “This interoperable foundation will transmit timely information between information gatherers, decision makers, planners and war fighters.” A network is nothing without its nodes, and the nodes that need to be interoperable here are a vast web of sensors and weapons, distributed among people and machines, that will have to work in concert in order to be worth the networking at all. The very nature of war trends toward pulling apart networks, toward isolation. Those nodes each become a point at which a network can be broken, unless they are redundant or autonomous. Where will the lethal decision lie? Nestled in the section on autonomy, the other signpost feature of the Pentagon’s roadmap, is a small chart about the way forward. In that chart is a little box labeled “weaponization,” and in that box it says the near-term goals are DoD strategy assessment and lethal autonomous weapon systems assessment. Lethal autonomous weapon systems are of such international concern that there is a meeting of state dignitaries and humanitarian officials in Geneva happening at the exact moment this roadmap was released. That intergovernmental body is hoping to decide whether or not militaries will develop robots that can kill of their own volition, according to however they’ve been programmed. The Pentagon, at least in the roadmap, seems content to wait for its own assessment and the verdict of the international community before developing thinking weapons. Hedging on this, the same chart lists “Armed Wingman/Teammate (Human decision to engage)” as the goal for somewhere between 2029 and 2042. “Unmanned systems with integrated AI, acting as a wingman or teammate with lethal armament could perform the vast majority of the actions associated with target identification,tracking, threat prioritization, and post-attack assessment," reads the report. "This level of automation will alleviate the human operator of task-level activities associated with the engagement of a target, allowing the operator to focus on the identified threat and the decision to engage.” The roadmap sketches out a vision of future war that hands off many decisions to autonomous machines, everything from detection to targeting, then loops the lethal decision back to a human responsible for making the call on whether or not the robot should use its weapons on the targets it selected. Humans as battlefield bot-shepards, guiding autonomous machines into combat and signing off on the exact attacks, is a possible future for robots in war, one that likely skirts within the boundaries of still-unsettled international law. Like its predecessor, this drone roadmap is plotting a rough path through newly charted territory. While it leans heavily on the lessons of the present, the roadmap doesn’t attempt to answer on its own the biggest questions of what robots will be doing on the battlefields of tomorrow. That is, fundamentally, a political question, and one that much of the American public itself doesn’t yet have strong feelings about.

  • Russia, U.S. Are In a Military Exoskeleton Race

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Russia, U.S. Are In a Military Exoskeleton Race

    By Patrick Tucker A look at the Iron Man-like dreams and power-starved realities of dueling technology programs. The Russian suit, Ratnik-3, is an imposing web of hexagonal armor plates, black webbing, and small joint motors called actuators. Oleg Faustov, an engineer working with weapons maker TsNiiTochMash, told Russian media outlet TASS this week that the government had already tested a prototype. “It really enhances a serviceman’s physical abilities. For example, the tester was able to shoot from a machine-gun only with one hand and accurately hit targets,” he said at Russia’s recent Army-2018 weapons show. As part of the Army-2018 publicity push, the makers of the suit also made vague and unverifiable claims that it had seen actual combat, according to Sam Bendett, an associate research analyst at CNA and a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council. “It was interesting that the Russian announcement during Army-2018 stated that the exoskeleton was ‘tested in combat,’ though without any specific details. It’s likely that it was tried in Syria, though the press and media did not cover that development,” he said. While the statement came from the suit’s maker, Bendett said he assumes the claim “had to be approved by the state given the combat claims.” The suit is supposed be officially released in 2025. In addition to an almost comically Black Manta-esque helmet, the Ratnik-3 features “40 life-saving elements,” Russian media says. In many ways, it  resembles some of the more recent concept images of the TALOS suit that U.S. Special Operations Forces Command, or SOCOM, is attempting to develop. In both, all those bells and whistles seem to be an obstacle to the suit reaching full utility. Both the Ratnik-3 and TALOS efforts seem constrained by available power. “There are issues with the battery and energy sources for this exoskeleton, as Russia—along with other nations working on this—are trying to create  a compact energy source that would allow the soldiers to act independent of any stationary or vehicle-borne sources of energy,” Bendett said. Even Russian media have noted the suit’s power constraints, noting that a battery life of less than four hours isn’t super practical for a day of marching. A forthcoming series of reports from the Center for New American Security, or CNA, takes a deep dive into the issue of soldier augmentation and reaches a similar conclusion. “The current state of technology still does not have sufficient power to manage the intense load-carrying capacity that the SOCOM TALOS suit concept requires…and development is needed before full-body exoskeletons will be feasible for infantry combat away from a reliable power source. Still, these advances represent a major step forward in the necessary technology for dismounted soldier exoskeletons,” notes the report. While size and power constraints are hindering the realization of militaries’ most ambitious Iron Man dreams, more modest exoskeleton suits are moving closer to real-world use. The U.S.Army is experimenting with two exoskeleton designs at the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts. These won’t protect soldiers from enemy fire but they will help soldiers carry more stuff for longer. And they’ll likely be on the battlefield far sooner.   “Exoskeletons with more modest goals, such as lower-body exoskeletons that are designed simply to increase mobility, reduce energy expenditure, and reduce musculoskeletal injuries, may show more promise in the near-term,” according to the CNAS report. The larger of the two is the ONYX from Lockheed Martin. At a Pentagon event in May, Defense One caught up with Keith Maxwell, a product manager from Lockheed Martin, who described the results of initial tests in November, 2016. “We did an evaluation with some soldiers. They were doing 185-pound squats with the barbell. At the beginning of the day, fresh, Johnny comes in and does 26 reps at 185, puts it down. hat’s as many as he can do. We put this on; over the course of the day, he’s doing casualty evacuations, carrying people up five flights of stairs and down, going through subterranean tunnels. At the end of the day, we put him back in the gym, ask him, ‘How many squats can you do?’ He knocks out 72.” Full article:

  • Five Eyes Intel Alliance Urges Big Tech to Help Break Encrypted Messages

    4 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Five Eyes Intel Alliance Urges Big Tech to Help Break Encrypted Messages

    By Joseph Marks The U.S. and four major allies warn new legislation might be necessary to ensure law enforcement can access communications. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen joined leaders of the U.S.’s four major intelligence sharing partners Thursday in a statement urging tech companies to help law enforcement access otherwise-encrypted communications from criminals and terrorists. The joint statement stopped short of urging new laws to mandate that cooperation but warned that “should governments continue to encounter impediments to lawful access to information necessary to aid the protection of the citizens of our countries, we may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions.” The statement from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, collectively known as the Five Eyes, describes law enforcement’s inability to access encrypted communications as “a pressing international concern that requires urgent, sustained attention.” While “governments should recognize that the nature of encryption is such that there will be situations where access to information is not possible,” the statement notes, “such situations should be rare.” Obama and Trump administration officials have warned since 2014 that end-to-end encryption systems, which shield the content of communications even from the communications provider, are allowing criminals and terrorists to plan operations outside law enforcement’s reach. Legislative proposals that would make it easier for police to access those communications have failed to gain traction, however, even after a 2015 showdown between the FBI and Apple over an encrypted iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. An inspector general’s investigation in March found the FBI rushed to court in that case, seeking to compel Apple’s assistance without exploring other options for cracking into the phone. Thursday’s statement notes that: “Providers of information and communications technology and services … are subject to the law, which can include requirements to assist authorities to lawfully access data, including the content of communications.” The statement does not go into detail, however, about what laws would justify those requirements and how they should be interpreted. The San Bernardino case was never decided in court because an unknown third party sold the FBI a method for breaking through the phone’s passcode and accessing its encrypted contents. U.S. tech companies, for the most part, have resisted calls to cooperate with law enforcement. They argue that any effort to weaken encryption would be found and exploited by criminal hackers or foreign spies. Technologists, civil libertarians and many members of Congress have urged police to use other methods to break through encrypted communications without forcing companies to help or installing government backdoors into encryption systems. Those methods include obtaining a warrant to hack into the communications and building a case using unencrypted metadata. During the summit, Nielsen and other Five Eyes officials also agreed to strengthen cooperation between their nations’ cyber centers and to cooperate on improving the cybersecurity of supply chains for critical infrastructure such as energy plants and airports.

  • Air Force innovation hub launches in Alabama

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Air Force innovation hub launches in Alabama

    By: The Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Air Force innovation hub has opened in Alabama to harness research and technology for the military. “Mission Launch 2018” was meant to introduce the hub’s mission to defense and regional leaders, reported. MGMWERX will be operating out of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce building. MGMWERX is a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory. The facility is part of a network of WERX hubs and will take ideas generated from nearby Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base to solve technological or efficiency problems faced by the military. Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, Air University president, said the hub will take concepts and "incubate them" to solve difficult Air Force and Department of Defense issues. “This is a direct link to the Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy developing a lethal force through evolving innovative operational concepts,” Cotton said. “That critical thinking happens right up the street at Maxwell Air Force Base and will blossom right here.” MGMWERX Director Bill Martin said a team of five will integrate concepts and technology "from the public sector with the broad spectrum of Air Force proposals brought forward by some of the brightest minds in the service." Anna Buckalew, executive vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce said MGMWERX “will be a model for communities around the world, fueling innovation and collaboration that creates solutions for some of the most critical issues the Air Force and our nation faces today.”

  • The US Air Force is asking for hypersonic weapon ideas as a new arms race with China and Russia heats up

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    The US Air Force is asking for hypersonic weapon ideas as a new arms race with China and Russia heats up

    Ryan Pickrell The US Air Force put out an open-ended request Thursday for hypersonic weapon concepts and development programs from qualified vendors with experience related to hypersonic platforms. The call comes amid an escalating arms race with China and Russia, both of whom have been actively testing new hypersonic systems. A hypersonic weapon is decidedly dangerous because its speed coupled with its unpredictable flight patterns make it almost impossible for existing air and missile defense systems to effectively intercept. "The homeland is no longer a sanctuary," Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of US North Command, saidrecently. With rivals China and Russia rapidly developing hypersonic weapons able to penetrate defenses to deliver devastating strikes on their enemies, the US Air Force is preparing to enter the arms race in a big way, signaling that the US is not yet ready to cede its competitive advantage in advanced weaponry to adversarial competitors. The Air Force posted a contracting announcement online Thursday calling for qualified vendors experienced in hypersonic aerodynamics, aerothermal protection systems, advanced hypersonic guidance, navigation and control, solid rocket motors, and so on to assist the service in research on "hypersonic weapon rapid development, production and sustainment." The multi-award contract, as The Drive first reported, appears to be an open-ended request for any and all hypersonic concepts and development programs. The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in August for an Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), a hypersonic weapon and the second such contract offered by the Air Force this year. The service awarded a contract to Lockheed in April for a Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). The Air Force reportedly has four different hypersonic weapons programs in the works for the B-52, according to The Drive, as well as submarine-launched and ground-launched systems in development. And, there could certainly be more. The newfound interest in hypersonic weaponry comes after repeated warnings from senior military officers suggesting that the US was losing its edge to peer competitors. "China's hypersonic weapons development outpaces ours… we're falling behind," Adm. Harry Harris, the former head of US Pacific Command (now called Indo-Pacific Command), said in February. The head of US Strategic Command warned in March that the US needs to bolster its defenses, explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US does not "have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us." The recently-signed 2019 National Defense Authorization Act approves investments in America's missile defense capabilities in the face of certain emerging threats from US rivals. "The homeland is no longer a sanctuary," Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, head of US North Command, said recently. "We're in a changing security environment. We used to think about the sanctuary we had with oceans and friendly countries to our north and south, but that's changing with adversaries that are actually able to reach out and touch us now." In the beginning of August, China tested the Xingkong-2 (Stary Sky-2) hypersonic experimental waverider vehicle able to fly at speeds as high as Mach 6. The hypersonic aircraft reportedly has the potential to be used as a hypersonic strike platform capable of carrying conventional and nuclear payloads and evading modern air and missile defenses. China, which has made the development of hypersonic systems a national priority, called the test a "huge success." Russia has also been experimenting with advanced hypersonic systems. For instance, Russia is expected to deploy its Avangard hypersonic boost-glide vehicle on the country's Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile within the next year or so. The Russians are also developing the hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) cruise missile, which could be ready for combat by 2020. While the weapon has only been tested on a MiG-31 fighter, Russia reportedly intendsto mount the weapon on a strategic bomber.

  • Defense Department Seeks ‘Rapid Cloud Migration’ Ideas for MilCloud

    4 septembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Defense Department Seeks ‘Rapid Cloud Migration’ Ideas for MilCloud

    BY FRANK KONKEL MilCloud 2.0 is about to host a lot more data, and the Defense Department wants ideas for how to get it there faster. The Defense Department’s technical arm wants to see what capabilities exist in the marketplace to improve the migration of data and applications to milCloud 2.0, the Pentagon’s on-premise cloud. On Wednesday, the Defense Information Systems Agency issued a request for informationto industry seeking input on “rapid cloud migration” as it aims to understand capabilities relevant to “automated cloud migration techniques.” The RFI, which does not constitute a solicitation but could lead to one-on-one discussions with vendors, comes three months after Pentagon memo directed all “fourth-estate” defense agencies to migrate all data and applications to milCloud 2.0 by 2020. In the interim, the Office of the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer had planned to coordinate with affected agencies, including DISA, to plan their cloud migrations. MilCloud 2.0 went live earlier this year as part of a three-year, $500 million contract won by CSRA, which has since been purchased by defense contractor General Dynamics. The RFI makes clear the Pentagon’s current migration strategy, which includes “manual cloning and conversion of server images, which are then provisioned, into the new cloud environment, or provisioning, building and configuring applications on virtual servers from scratch,” is not sufficient. “This RFI seeks migration solutions that can accurately duplicate the suite of servers used with an application from their current environment into a cloud environment built on Apache CloudStack technology and KVM hypervisor,” the RFI states. “The scope of duplication includes all applications used with the system, configuration of network and network security controls when proper APIs are exposed, and identification of interactions within the application system and to external systems when needed network traffic is made available for analysis.” Options, the RFI says, could include the “use of vendor-provided tools or analytic capabilities if packet captures, or other network monitoring information.” Industry responses must be received by Sept. 10.

  • Le missilier MBDA et Soitec reprennent Dolphin Integration, un spécialiste français des circuits intégrés

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Le missilier MBDA et Soitec reprennent Dolphin Integration, un spécialiste français des circuits intégrés

    Posté dans Technologie par Laurent Lagneau Alors que l’industrie française de l’armement cherche à limiter autant que possible le recours à des composantes relevant de la Réglementation américaine sur le trafic d’armes au niveau international [ITAR] afin d’éviter toute restriction à l’exportation, il aurait été dommage de voir l’entreprise iséroise Dolphin Integration, spécialisée, avec ses 130 ingénieurs, dans la conception de circuits intégrés et de composants dits virtuels analogiques et numériques, fermer ses portes. D’autant plus que cette PME, créée en 1985, avait été sélectionnée par l’Agence européenne de défense [AED] dans le cadre du programme SOC – System on Chip [.pdf], visant à permettre aux industriels européens de l’armement d’accéder à des technologies « ITAR Free » pour « des petits et moyens volumes à des prix compétitifs. » En outre, elle a mené des projetspour le compte de la Direction générale de l’armement [DGA], via le dispositif RAPID Or, en juillet, faisant face à d’importants problèmes de trésorerie et à un chiffre d’affaires en recul, Dolphin Integration a été placé en redressement judiciaire. Et l’entreprise avait jusqu’à la mi-janvier 2019 pour trouver une solution pour assurer la poursuite de ses activités. Cette mésaventure lui est arrivée alors qu’elle avait l’ambition de devenir un acteur mondial de « la conception et de l’optimisation de circuits intégrés dédiés à la très faible consommation d’énergie » et de s’intéresser aux marchés de l’Internet des objets (IoT), de l’automobile et de la défense. Mais il n’aura pas fallu attendre bien longtemps pour voir la situation de Dolphin Integration s’éclaircir étant donné que le missilier MBDA et Soitec, le spécialiste français de la production de matériaux semi-conducteurs, se sont associés pour reprendre la PME iséroise. Dans le détail, le capital de Dolphin Integration sera détenu à hauteur de 40% par MBDA et de 60% par Soitec. Les deux industriels ont pris l’engagement d’investir 6 millions d’euros ensemble. De quoi permettre d’acquérir « la plupart des actifs de Dolphin Integration », de payer « certaines dettes » et d’opérer une « importante injection de liquidités destinée à financer les besoins en fond de roulement. » Étant déjà un client « stratégique » de Dolphin Integration pour les « applications liées à l’armement depuis 2004 », MBDA va accentuer la coopération industriel avec la PME tout en lui « offrant une perspective commerciale à long terme en matière de circuits ASIC (circuits intégrés propres à une application spécifique) et systèmes sur puces. » « L’investissement de MBDA va renforcer la base industrielle de Dolphin Integration dédiée à l’armement français. Il va en effet lui apporter une source plus stable de revenus liés à la défense ainsi qu’une coopération technologique plus étroite ouvrant à son offre microélectronique spécialisée l’accès à l’ensemble de l’industrie de l’armement française et européenne », a expliqué Antoine Bouvier, le Pdg du missilier.

  • Inde: conclu il y a deux ans, l'achat de «Rafale» à la France fait polémique

    4 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Inde: conclu il y a deux ans, l'achat de «Rafale» à la France fait polémique

    L'accord sur la vente de 36 avions de chasse français « Rafale » à l'Inde fait polémique dans le pays, deux ans après sa conclusion. Le principal parti d'opposition accuse le gouvernement Modi d'avoir payé trop cher pour l'achat des « Rafale » et d'avoir favorisé un industriel réputé proche du Premier ministre. Le gouvernement accuse à son tour l'opposition de compromettre la sécurité nationale en cherchant à rendre public des détails précis sur l'accord. Avec notre correspondant à New Delhi, Antoine Guinard « Une corruption mondialisée ». C'est en ces termes que Rahul Gandhi, président du Congrès, le principal parti d'opposition, a décrit vendredi l'accord sur les Rafale. Une députée appartenant elle aussi au parti du Congrès a également fustigé les termes de l'accord dans la presse, accusant le gouvernement de Narendra Modi de « copinage », aux dépens du secteur public. Le Congrès affirme en effet que l'Inde a conclu l'achat des 36 Rafale à la France à un prix par avion trois fois supérieur au prix négocié en 2012, lorsque le parti de Rahul Gandhi était encore au pouvoir. La raison de cette différence, selon ce dernier : le gouvernement Modi a choisi le conglomérat Reliance, dont le PDG est réputé proche du Premier ministre, comme partenaire indien avec l'avionneur français Dassault dans l'accord. A la place du groupe aéronautique public indien HAL prévu au départ. Selon la presse indienne, le groupe Reliance aurait également signé en janvier 2016 accord pour co-produire le film Tout là-haut avec l'actrice et productrice Julie Gayet, compagne de Francois Hollande à l'époque. Deux jours plus tard, le président Français signait à New Delhi un protocole d'accord sur la vente des 36 Rafale à l'Inde.

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