Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

December 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Monday, December 3, 2018)

Escalation of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine grew markedly sharper this past month. On November 25th Russian FSB guard craft fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval units that passed through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov, transiting between the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Mariupol. A Russian tanker was also positioned to impede traffic through the Strait. The three Ukrainian vessels and their crews remain in Russian custody. Moscow has discussed the possibility of preferring criminal charges against them for violation of what Russia considers its territorial waters.

The Sea of Azov is immediately to the east of the Crimean Peninsula, which, although occupied by Russia since 2014, remains internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory. A 2004 treaty between Russia and Ukraine agreed that both the Strait and the Sea of Azov would be shared Russo-Ukrainian territorial waters. The Russian attack indicates that Moscow intends to change the facts on the ground.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko declared martial law in eastern provinces regarded as susceptible to infiltration by Russian irregular units. He also moved to deny entry to Ukraine by Russian males of military age, candidates for the deniable “green men” who made up so many of the Russian semi-regular forces involved in that country’s first incursions into Ukrainian territory. Russia’s President Putin dismissed Poroshenko’s move as mere election-season ploy to shore up what Putin characterized as Poroshenko’s shaky campaign.

In the weeks prior to the naval engagement, Russia had moved a least one battery of short-to-long-range S-400 surface-to-air missiles (NATO reporting name SA-21 “Growler”) into Crimea. This appears to have been an anticipatory move, not declared, but revealed by Western overhead imagery. Since the Kerch Strait incident Russian official media have acknowledged moving short-range Pantsir-S missiles (NATO reporting name SA-22 “Greyhound”) into Crimea. This Moscow represents as a protective response to Ukrainian threats.

Rising tensions between Russia and NATO.

European and US official and unofficial opinion has run strongly against Russia. NATO has expressed concerns over what it characterizes as reckless Russian jamming of GPS signals during Exercise Trident Junction, a large NATO exercise held between October 25th and November 7th. The jamming affected GPS signals in northern Norway and Finland, and NATO charges with reason that the Russian action posed a safety risk to commercial aviation. Russian fighter aircraft are also reported to have adopted increasingly aggressive interception tactics with respect to NATO aircraft operating in international airspace.

EW modernization, convergence with cyber.

The US Department of Defense is working toward developing more effective electronic warfare capabilities. US forces have been relearning lessons about Russian electronic warfare capabilities in the course of operations in Syria (which are reported to have involved firefights between Russian and US units). Russian disruption of tactical communications is thought to have been particular troublesome in that area of operations. The US is working to field more effective defensive and offensive capabilities. These range across the usual spectrum of operations, from purely electromagnetic responses like spread spectrum processing and more powerful jammers through direct physical destruction of Russian communications infrastructure by Marine Recon units and similar forces.

Cyber operations (including information operations) are increasingly seen as representing a discipline so closely allied with electronic warfare that the fields are increasingly treated as having converged. The Air Force is concerned with how they play into air defense. The Army is pushing both cyber and EW units down into brigades, where they would be attached or OPCONed depending on mission and area of operations. Both Services thus seem committed to treating cyber and EW as tactical assets; the Navy and Marine Corps are following a similar path. Signs of this shift are beginning to show up in Army brigade rotations through the National Training Center.

US policy shifts toward more assertive cyber posture.

US policy has grown more assertive in cyberspace. There is a willingness on display to make a whole-of-Government response to cyber threats, as Justice pursues indictments of foreign individuals and organizations for cyberattacks, Treasury levels sanctions for such attacks in advance of trial and conviction, and Homeland Security takes a leading role in coordination civilian cyber defenses. US Cyber Command has also been active. JFT Ares has for some time contributed to targeting and other efforts in the Middle East, and during the recently conducted midterm elections Cyber Command is believed to have intruded into certain Russian networks to deliver pointed warnings to individual officers working on disinformation and influence campaigns. The past month has seen most such measures directed against the familiar four countries most active against US targets: China (largely industrial espionage), Russia (influence operations and battlespace preparation), Iran (espionage and battlespace preparation), and North Korea (opportunistic cybercrime aiming principally at easing the economic effect sanctions are having on the pariah state).

Acquisition reform.

The US Federal acquisition system, slow by design, having been built more for procedural equity and the suppression of fraud than for rapid fielding of new technologies, is widely perceived as an impediment to quick and agile innovation. A recent study concluded that it takes an idea seven years of gestation before it results in a contract, and an undetermined number of years after that before it yields a fielded system. This is contrasted unfavorably with the typical three-year lifecycle found in IT systems. The Department of Defense has sought with mixed success to develop new kinds of contract and grant vehicles that can speed new technology to the warfighter. Some of the Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) are receiving Government Accountability Office (GAO) scrutiny that may in effect push them back into the procurement mainstream, 

The Air Force in particular has been experimenting with novel contracting vehicles, going so far as to tout "same-day contracting" in their dealings with small businesses. Such new contracting approaches seem likely to bear earliest fruit in rapid prototyping. ACAT-1 programs are likely to remain as deliberate as ever, possibly with opportunities built into them for more rapid insertion of emerging technologies.

One such large contract is JEDI, the Defense Department's big cloud vehicle. It's widely regarded as having been prepared with Amazon in mind, and this has elicited foreseeable protests from other vendors. An Oracle protest has been shrugged off, but IBM this month filed another protest of the contract. It's not expected to be the last.

DISA is planning to issue three contracts that will cover the mobile services. The agency also offered some advice to vendors: approach DISA with a "tailored" pitch. That is, don't simply describe what you've done in the civilian market, but rather explain how your solution addresses DISA's challenges and can support mission accomplishment and assurance.

Complicating Defense acquisition are new rules (on the whole positive ones) designed to ensure that cybersecurity is designed into new systems from the start, and not appended late in the development cycle as an afterthought. Defense contractors also face newly stringent breach disclosure rules.

There are also obstacles on the civilian side. Some leading technology firms are leery of Defense work on moral or political grounds. Google affords the clearest case of this, as employees have objected to the prospect that Mountain View might deliver intelligence or combat capabilities. The Department of Defense has various initiatives under way designed to overcome such reluctance.

Three-way moon race.

We may be seeing the start of a new moon race. Russia's space agency announced its intention to put a base on the moon in 2040. NASA, not so much countering as making an announcement that seems to have been long in preparation, says it intends to establish a permanently crewed moon base by 2028. And there are suggestions that the private sector might do it cheaper and faster than either: SpaceX in particular, which will test its Dragon capsule in January with an uncrewed flight to the International Space Station, is believed by many to have the will and ability to do it even before NASA. Elon Musk has expressed his intention of personally moving to Mars even if the attempt kills him. That certainly seems an expression of strong commitment, although one must note in this context that Mr. Musk's public display of cannabis use has raised censorious eyebrows in both NASA and the Air Force.

Successful Mars landing.

NASA displayed some technical virtuosity on November 26th, successfully landing its InSight spacecraft on Mars. The lander has begun returning images and other data from the Martian surface. NASA has also placed small CubeSats in orbit around Mars, a move observers say is likely to provide a template for future planetary exploration.

Comsat and ground station news.

SpaceX plans to put a communication satellite constellation into low earth orbit. Starlink, as the constellation will be called, 4409 satellites are planned, and 1584 of those will be in orbit at 550 kilometers, very low for a comsat. But SpaceX regards this as a feature and not a bug. To be sure the satellites will decay more rapidly that those in more conventional orbits, but even so the satellites will have a usable life, and their relatively swift decay will reduce the amount of orbital junk they inflict on space. They will also offer a shorter send-and-receive cycle, with a ping time of about 15 milliseconds. On November 15th the FCC voted to approve SpaceX's plans to put up 11,943 broadband communication satellites. The company intends to begin flying the satellites as early as next year.

Inmarsat has enhanced the cybersecurity of its offerings for the maritime industry. Fleet Secure Endpoint will deploy security solutions from ESET in a form compatible with Inmarsat's Fleet Xpress, FleetBroadband, and Fleet One offerings. The company is also introducing Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness, a training app for mobile devices that's designed to increase the security awareness of maritime operators.

Amazon Web Services has introduced, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, satellite ground stations as-a-service. The new AWS offering will be built on Lockheed Martin's Verge network of ground stations. There's some concern in industry that the new offering will freeze out smaller providers of ground stations.

Space force updates.

The US Administration seems determined to push ahead with plans for a Space Force. The Center for Strategic and International Studies has outlined several forms such a force might take, and assigned what appear to be reasonable estimates of each option's cost over the first five years:

  • Option 1: Space Corps. This would be built around the existing 14th Air Force, with major components including the 21st Space Wing (Peterson AFB), 30th Space Wing (Vandenberg AFB), 45th Space Wing (Patrick AFB), 50th Space Wing (Schriever AFB), and 460th Space Wing (Buckley AFB). Annual budget $11.3 billion.
  • Option 2: Space Force-Lite. Everything in Option 1 above, plus the Army's 1st Space Brigade (Fort Carson), Navy Program Executive Office Space Systems (SPAWAR San Diego), and Navy Satellite Operations Center (Naval Air Station Point Mugu). Annual budget $13.4 billion.
  • Option 3: Space Force-Heavy. Everything in Option 2 above, with the addition of the Army’s 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Fort Greely and Vandenberg AFB), and those parts of the Missile Defense Agency that work on "space situational awareness and mid-course intercept capabilities that can be used as anti-satellite and defensive counterspace weapons." A small satcom group from DISA would also be included. Annual budget $21.5 billion.

The US Air Force is ramping up its own space-related training programs. There are comparable international moves. China, for one, has avowed its intention to extend it's air force's "reach" into space.

Nuclear proliferation.

North Korea seems to have resumed developing and testing of nuclear strike systems. The US has continued to work on reimposing sanctions against Iran for that country's nuclear program. The US is also in the process of withdrawing from the INF treaty with Russia, citing a Russian record of cheating and noncompliance. In response Russia has made noises about abandoning a no-first-strike policy that goes back to Soviet days. This is not particularly shocking, as no serious observers ever took that declared policy seriously.

The blockchain goes to the asteroid belt?

In what must count as a harmonic convergence of speculative enthusiasms, ConSensys, a blockchain company that offers solutions based on the Ethereum platform, has purchased the assets of Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining concern. Oh, Asgardia, which is a venture that represents itself as a sovereign space-based nation, has also announced plans to establish an independent data storage platform in space, whence it will trade its own cryptocurrency, the "Solar."

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Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting China, Finland, Iran, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, NATO/OTAN, Norway, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (14)

Trends (2)

Marketplace (27)

Products, Services, and Solutions (16)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (28)

Design and Innovation (2)

Research and Development (9)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (23)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (6)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

Russian intercept marks a return to Cold War behavior in Europe’s skies (Navy Times) Russian fighters buzzing U.S. Navy recon planes in Eastern Europe could lead to disaster, analysts warn.

Putin Pushes Russia-Ukraine Tensions to a Four-Year High (Foreign Policy) By firing on and seizing Ukrainian vessels, Moscow has thrown the West into a quandary: add sanctions, send in NATO, or hope for a de-escalation?

Ukraine’s New Front Is Europe's Big Challenge (Foreign Policy) There’s plenty Europe should do to push back against Russia’s latest attack on Ukraine.

Russia seizes Ukrainian naval ships (BBC News) Ukraine is set to declare martial law after saying six crew members were hurt in the naval incident.

Q&A: Russia Attacks Ukraine Again. How Should Ukraine, NATO, and the West Respond? (Atlantic Council) On November 25, Russia fired on the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea, injuring at least two Ukrainian sailors. Many experts have warned that Russia is opening a new front in its forgotten war in Ukraine on the Black and Azov Seas, illegally boarding...

Russia to deploy new missiles to Crimea as Ukraine tensions rise (Reuters) Russia said on Wednesday it would send more of its advanced S-400 surface-to-air...

Electronic Jamming Between Russia and NATO is Par for the Course in the Future, But it Has its Risky Limits (Atlantic Council) Norway says Russia jammed GPS during major NATO exercise BRUSSELS — New revelations by the Norwegian military and allied officials that Russia persistently jammed GPS signals during NATO’s recently concluded Trident Juncture exercise in Europe’s...

US would struggle to win war against Russia or China, says congressional report (Times) The US is at risk of losing a war against China or Russia, especially if it were attacked on two fronts, a bipartisan congressional report has warned. Moscow and Beijing are building up their...

Analysis: Coalition, Iraqi forces target Islamic State leaders and fighters (FDD's Long War Journal) The US-led coalition and Iraqi forces recently hunted down senior Islamic State personnel responsible for "overseeing operations conducted within Salah ad Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and northern Anbar provinces." The Islamic State claims that is men are especially prolific in these same areas. Over a six-week period from Sept. 27 to Nov. 7, the Islamic State claimed a total of 313 operations in Iraq, with more than 100 occurring in Kirkuk province.

North Korea Missile Bases Outed in Report That Undermines Trump (Bloomberg) Bases have underground facilities to hold mobile launchers. Senator Markey says Trump is ‘getting played’ by Kim Jong Un.

North Korea's Kim inspects newly developed 'tactical' weapon,... (Reuters) North Korea's leader publicly inspected a new weapon for the first time in ...

Why Did the Jihadi Cold War in Yemen End? (War on the Rocks) In April 2015, about five months after being officially established by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the new local Islamic State’s self-proclaimed province in

US-backed Syria Kurds accuse Turkey of jeopardizing ISIS fight (Military Times) The Syrian Democratic Forces said Turkey is responsible for halting the fight against

Americans and Russians have exchanged gunfire in Syria more than once (Military Times) “There have been various engagements, some involving exchange of fire, some not,” the U.S. envoy to Syria said.

Trends

Pentagon predicts a third of industrial base gaps could be addressed in one year (Defense News) There are 300 critical weak spots for the defense-industrial base, per a U.S. government report.

Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to accelerate (Help Net Security) Efforts to address the shortage of cybersecurity workers are underway on many fronts, but progress has been frustratingly slow.

Marketplace

Why cyber compounds Pentagon purchasing problems (Fifth Domain) The Pentagon's cyber acquisition process is “too slow,” a “support nightmare,” and one that “puts the warfighter at risk,” an upcoming paper argues.

There’s a better way to buy data systems (Federal Times) Show me the solutions.

US Air Force Exploring Changes to Contract Structures (Avionics) Military contract structures are changing; They need to to keep up with the pace of technology. Both government and industry are trying to figure out what the future of those contracts needs to look like as everyone tries to match the “speed of relevance” goal set by Defense Secretary James Mattis. “We can’t do software …

Air Force Reveals Same-Day Contracting Opportunity (SIGNAL) Service aims at increasing work with small businesses.

Government Contractors Face New Data Breach Disclosure and Investigation Requirements (Nextgov.com) A planned rule would require contractors to save images of breached systems and allow agencies access.

Why the Pentagon and Silicon Valley Need to Get on the Same Page (Foreign Policy) An interview with the new head of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit.

Google Cloud Executive Who Sought Pentagon Contract Steps Down (New York Times) Diane Greene, who has run Google Cloud for three years, will be replaced by a former Oracle executive.

CYBERCOM Has a Vendor In Mind For Its Big Data Platform But Is Open to Options (Nextgov.com) The military’s cyber branch plans to award a sole-source contract to manage and enhance its Big Data Platform but wants to know if other vendors are capable of bidding.

GAO shuts down Oracle’s JEDI protest, but it’s not over yet (Federal Times) One JEDI protest down ... many, many more likely to go.

IBM adds to its JEDI cloud contract protest (Federal Times) IBM filed additional materials to its protest of the potentially $10 billion single-source Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract.

DISA Only Wants Tailored Pitches from Vendors (Nextgov.com) A Pentagon official said DISA doesn’t want to hear about how your solution worked for industry. If you don’t have a unique pitch for DISA, don’t bother.

DISA Prepping Three Contracts to Manage All Its Mobility Services (Nextgov.com) The military’s IT office plans to award all three contracts for mobile services and content management—classified and unclassified—before the end of fiscal 2019.

US defense industry pushes back on White House’s proposed $33B budget cut (Defense News) The American defense industry is warning that defense cuts proposed by the Trump administration could undermine the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize the military and address threats from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and transnational terrorism.

Defense industry aggravated with progress of DoD LPTA contracts (Federal News Network) Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to talk about what's starting to annoy industry.

Army seeks Short Range Reconnaissance System solutions (Intelligence Community News) On November 5, the U.S. Army posted a call for submissions for a Short Range Reconnaissance System Platform (Solicitation Number: W15QKN-19-X-04GM). Submissions will be accepted through November 18…

Mercury Systems Receives $3.2M BuiltSECURE Memory Order for Airborne Military Computing Application (Business Insider) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) (www.mrcy.com), announced it received a $3.2M follow-on order from a...

BAE awarded $100M Army intell support contract (Washington Technology) BAE Systems Inc. books a $100 million contract for technical and functional support services to an Army intelligence brigade.

Boeing Wins $14M Air Force Deal for WGS Communication System (Zacks Investment Research) Boeing's (BA) WGS communication system is a high-capacity communication satellite that provides communication capacity, connectivity and flexibility to the U.S. military forces.

U.S. Navy Awards SAIC $597 Million Contract (BusinessWire) The U.S. Navy awarded Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for the production an

US Air Force Awards $330 Million E-8C Joint STARS Fleet Total Systems Support Responsibility Contract to Northrop Grumman for FY 2019 (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) a 12-month, $330 million contract for Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) of the E-8C Joint Surveillance...

Raytheon lands contracts from National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (UPI) Raytheon has been awarded two contracts worth as much as $600 million from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

Lockheed Martin unveils Bedfordshire innovation facility (Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine) Lockheed Martin has opened a brand new, £250,000 facility at its Bedfordshire site, designed to bring high-tech ideas to life and help solve some of the world’s most complex defence and security challenges.

Dynetics Selected To Develop Army Small Satellites (Dynetics) Dynetics has been selected to develop small satellites for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) Technical Center program named Gunsmoke-L.

Mercury Systems wins contract to supply mission computers for C2 applications (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com) confirmed that it has been awarded a multi-year contract from a leading aircraft manufacturer for advanced, safety-certifiable mission computers.

CACI Awarded $194 Million Task Order to Provide End-to-End Enterprise IT Support to the Transportation Security Administration (AP NEWS) CACI International Inc ( NYSE:CACI ) announced today that it has been awarded a $194 million task order to provide end-to-end enterprise information technology infrastructure, integration, and support to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The three-year, single-award task order falls under the Department of Homeland Security’s Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions II (EAGLE II) contract vehicle and represents new work in CACI’s Enterprise IT market.

Orbital co-founder David Thompson: We sold to Northrop for 4 reasons (Washington Business Journal) A compelling financial package was just one box he needed to check before agreeing to join forces with Northrop in a monumental aerospace and defense industry union.

Why in the universe is a blockchain company buying the assets of a formerly high-flying asteroid miner? (GeekWire) After months of uncertainty, the Planetary Resources asteroid-mining venture says its assets have been purchased by the ConsenSys blockchain venture.

Products, Services, and Solutions

Northrop Grumman Announces Next Generation Jammer-Low Band Team (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has teamed with Harris Corporation and Comtech PST for the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer–Low Band (NJG-LB) Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET). The Naval Air Systems...

Northrop Grumman Cargo Resupply Spacecraft Now Docked at International Space Station – Berthing Completed on Nov. 19 (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) With approximately 7,400 pounds of science experiments, tools and food, tightly packed inside, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft launched aboard the company’s Antares rocket and began its journey to the International Space Station on Saturday, Nov....

AWS launches a base station for satellites as a service (TechCrunch) Today at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, AWS announced a new service for satellite providers with the launch of AWS Ground Station, the first fully managed ground station as a service. With this new service, AWS will provide ground antennas through their existing network of worldwide availability zones…

Mercury Systems Receives $6.7M Integrated Subsystems Order for Naval Electronic Warfare Application (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com) announced that it received a $6.7 million follow-on order from a leading defense prime contractor for custom-engineered, high-performance subsystems with integrated radio frequency (RF) and digital microelectronics for a naval electronic warfare (EW) application.

Elon Musk just renamed SpaceX’s Big F** Rocket (TechCrunch) BFR, the monster rocket that will cost SpaceX roughly $5 billion to develop, has a new name. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Monday night that he has renamed the company’s largest (and yet to be built) BFR rocket to Starship. Or more precisely, the spaceship portion will be called Starship.…

What is going on with SpaceX and all these Big Falcon Rocket changes? (Ars Technica) "New design is very exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive."

Virgin Orbit flies its rocket into the skies for the first time (Ars Technica) “The vehicles flew like a dream today."

SpaceX ties its record for most launches in a year [Updated] (Ars Technica) Another mission success for SpaceX.

SpaceX’s Starlink aims to put over a thousand of its communications satellites in super-low orbit (TechCrunch) SpaceX's planned communication satellite constellation, known as Starlink, will now be targeting a much lower orbit than originally planned, at least for over a thousand of the satellites, the company revealed in an FCC filing. The move should help mitigate orbital debris and provide better signal …

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites (Ars Technica) Initial launch of 4,425 satellites to be followed by 7,518 closer to the ground.

Inmarsat Enhances Cyber Security Offering for Maritime Industry (The Maritime Executive) Inmarsat has introduced two new components to its maritime cyber security service, Fleet Secure, as...

Canada’s Surveillance Project Is Delayed Because a SpaceX Rocket Exploded (Motherboard) The constellation of three satellites will surveil 90 percent of the Earth from orbit, but SpaceX's backlog has delayed the launch.

The Space Shuttle Runway at Cape Canaveral Is About to Get a Second Life (Popular Mechanics) The historic “runway on the edge of tomorrow” gets FAA approval to launch spaceplanes and air-launch rockets, opening a new front in the battle for commercial spaceflight.

Raytheon military mini-satellite headed for orbit (Arizona Daily Star) A small satellite designed to beam high-resolution imagery to ground troops is expected to blast off as soon as Nov. 19.

Northrop Grumman Set to Launch Pegasus XL Rocket Carrying ICON Satellite for NASA (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced it is prepared to launch the company’s air-launched Pegasus® XL rocket aboard its Stargazer L-1011 airplane from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 7, at approximately...

The SpaceX Big Texas Spaceport Is Coming. But Will It Have Anything To Launch? (Popular Mechanics) Elon Musk captured the world's attention by launching rockets from Cape Canaveral and California air bases. But all along, his company has been trying to realize its own home base by the Mexican border.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

Enemy air defenses make electronic warfare a higher priority (C4ISRNET) The United States will need systems to counter advanced enemy air defense systems.

What will forces need in complex EW environment? (C4ISRNET) Top U.S. military officials outlined what is needed to defeat sophisticated adversaries on future battlefields.

The Army is rapidly regrowing electronic warfare (C4ISRNET) New forces and capabilities are being developed across several echelons.

The Army’s new approach for developing electronic warfare systems (C4ISRNET) The service wants more equipment at the brigade level ASAP.

Can a new DoD center cut through the electronic warfare static? (C4ISRNET) The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center could help overburdened EW analysts.

What changes will the Corps' experiments in the information environment bring? (Marine Corps Times) The infantry battalion was a previous focus, and experiments led to the adoption of new gear and the downsizing and reconfiguring of the rifle squad.

The Army’s ‘new’ network isn’t actually new (C4ISRNET) The Army has outlined a different network design based on a series of programs and systems making the Army more lethal and faster.

3 lessons the Army is taking from U.S. Cyber Command (Fifth Domain) The service has undergone a series of pilots to test what cyber capabilities brigade commanders should have at the tactical edge.

Here’s why Marine Raiders want to take down GPS, cellphones and a Russian navigation service (Marine Corps Times) The Raiders are looking to train its special operators for a fight with near-peer adversaries.

Disruptive technologies show why government needs data security standards now (Fifth Domain) Innovation could quickly turn to exasperation if a strategy to harden the increasing variety of smart devices is not implemented, according to experts.

Evolving military cyber training starts with how industry delivers software (Fifth Domain) It's clear the U.S. Army is going to have a strong requirement for software development practices such as Agile. Agile and DevOps software methodology for the Defense Department's Persistent Cyber Training Environment.

Future military satcom system puts cybersecurity first (SpaceNews.com) Electronic threats against satellite communication have rapidly escalated in the last few years and will continue to advance in the foreseeable future.

Here’s how Cyber Command’s ‘defend forward’ strategy protects the nation in cyberspace (Fifth Domain) Cyber Command is using its unique capabilities to provide important insights to civilian agencies and the private sector.

The Czech tech to overcome Russian jammers (C4ISRNET) Czech company Era is relatively unknown outside of the electronic surveillance community and civil aerospace sector, but it has a rich history in passive sensor technology.

The new way the Army will conduct information operations (Fifth Domain) A quietly released Army document provides in-depth steps and tactical guidance on how to conduct

Can Army Afford The Electronic Warfare Force It Wants? (Breaking Defense) Army planners are thrashing out how many electronic warfare specialists the service needs, not just to rebuild radio-jamming and spoofing capability in combat units, but to create a training cadre that can sustain the EW corps for the long-term.

Here’s what combatant commanders want from cyber teams (Fifth Domain) Combatant commanders are asking for this from their cyber commanders.

Navy recognizes electromagnetic battlespace, and its convergence with cyber and electronic warfare (EW) (Military & Aerospace Electronics) A new U.S. Navy policy recognizes the electromagnetic spectrum as a warfighting domain on par with sea, land, air, space and cyber

To understand autonomous weapons, think about electronic warfare (C4ISRNET) When remote piloting becomes difficult or impossible, autonomy will still let uncrewed vehicles operate.

New readiness metrics for DoD cyber force (Fifth Domain) As cyber forces and threats mature, DoD is looking at how to ensure forces can meet mission objectives.

Air Force to wrap up electronic warfare study by January (C4ISRNET) The review will help the Air Force figure out how to defeat high-end threats as far out as 2040.

Here’s why the Army needs resilient communications (C4ISRNET) Electronic warfare capabilities by near peer adversaries present communications problems for friendly forces.

Lockheed integrates Telephonics RDR-1700B on 74K aerostat system (Army Technology) Lockheed Martin has successfully fitted its 74K aerostat aircraft system, an unmanned helium-filled blimp, with RDR-1700B radar developed by Telephonics.

A Quest for Answers on Army Expeditionary Cyber Teams (SIGNAL) Officials seek to define a concept that never before existed.

The X-Band Question (SIGNAL) How the U.S. military plans to sustain satellite-based X-band capability is still unclear.

Persistent Eye in the Sky: How Commercial Satellites Can Help the Navy Achieve Superior Maritime Awareness (War on the Rocks) The world’s largest constellation of satellites is not operated by the U.S. government, but rather by Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that uses

Aegis Ashore Could Have New Role Post INF Treaty Says Former Pentagon Official (USNI News) Converting Aegis Ashore facilities in Poland and Romania into land stations for cruise missile coupled with already available sea-based and air-launched missiles would complicate Kremlin planning on how to defend itself from attack or strike targets in Europe, a former U.S. defense official on Wednesday. In a telephone conference call with reporters, Abraham Denmark, director of the …

Army’s missile defense radar ‘sense-off’ attempts to hit reset button (Defense News) Will the Army's new air and missile defense radar

Design and Innovation

Show Me The Battle: Cyber Command Needs Data Fusion, Training Sims & C2 (Breaking Defense) Until cyber operators can both train realistically and see the their digital battlespace as clearly as traditional commanders see physical battlespace, they'll be hard-pressed to defend everyone else's systems.

When is the network not really the network? (C4ISRNET) The Defense Information Systems Agency is looking for internet browsing to take place on a commercial cloud and away from Department of Defense servers.

Research and Development

Touchdown on Mars! NASA Lands Its InSight Spacecraft (WIRED) NASA's Mars lander, called InSight, landed on the red planet and sent its first image of the Mars surface.

SpaceX's 1st Crew Dragon Test Flight to Launch Jan. 7, NASA Says (Space.com) The maiden orbital flight of the Crew Dragon capsule — an uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station called Demo-1 — is scheduled to launch Jan. 7, NASA officials announced today (Nov. 21).

Russia to build Moon colony by 2040: NASA says hold my beer (The Next Web) Russia’s federal space agency intends to establish a lunar colony by the year 2040. NASA, meanwhile, announced today that it’d have a continuous human presence there within a decade. The Moon race is on y’all. Hard Fork Decentralized is our delightful new event It’s in London from December 12-14 Join us The flag of the …

The National Space Council Is Pushing for a 2028 Moon Mission (Motherboard) A potential mission to the moon in 2028 was pitched at a meeting of the National Space Council yesterday in response to pressure from President Trump.

NASA chief says US within 10 years of continuous manned presence on moon (TheHill) NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the U.S. is within 10 years of having a continuous manned presence on the moon, which will lay the groundwork for expanding space exploration to Mars.

NASA takes a tangible step back toward the Moon with commercial program (Ars Technica) NASA is betting that commercial companies are finally ready for Moon missions.

Moon Direct SpaceX Falcon Heavy Plan is 6 Years Faster and 50 times Cheaper than NASA - NextBigFuture.com (NextBigFuture.com) NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the U.S. is within 10 years of having a continuous manned presence on the moon, which will lay the groundwork for expanding space exploration to Mars. A Moon Direct plan (created by Robert Zubrin) could get continuously manned moon bases in four years. This is all better than nothing, but the NASA approach is a waste of money. However, this is part of promoting the wasteful Lunar Gateway program. Lunar Gateway is going to cost $100+ billion. It is using the International Space Station (ISS) style technology to build a space station orbiting the moon.

Raytheon tapped by DARPA for high frequency digital communications research (UPI) Raytheon has been awarded an $11.5 million contract for development work on the Millimeter-Wave Digital Arrays program launched by DARPA at the beginning of 2018.

Quantum Physicists Found a New, Safer Way to Navigate (WIRED) GPS can be hacked, so airplanes and ships need a backup system. These quantum physicists think they have an answer.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

DOD reorgs to fuel cyber, AI and space opportunities (Washington Technology) At the immixGroup's annual Government IT Sales Summit, analysts describe how several DOD reorganization efforts will fuel new opportunities in cyber, space and artificial intelligence.

U.S. Adopts New Battle Plan to Fight China’s Theft of Trade Secrets (Wall Street Journal) The Trump administration is broadening its China trade battle beyond tariffs with a plan to use export controls, indictments and other tools to counter the theft of intellectual property.

Pentagon task force not a ‘quick-fix’ to protect critical technology (Fifth Domain) A Pentagon task force to prevent the swiping of American secrets and improve supply chain cybersecurity will include representatives from at least seven agencies and is expected to have a long-term vision.

Defense officials taking advantage of new cyber authorities (Fifth Domain) New authorities allow DoD to act faster and respond quicker to activities in cyberspace.

Special Report: Is the US Ready to Escalate in Cyberspace? (Defense One) A barrage of cyber attacks have hit U.S. companies and institutions over the past decade. At long last, the United States says it’s ready to strike back.

Is the Defense Department’s entire vision of cybersecurity wrong? (Fifth Domain) One top official believes the physical world is not analogous to the cyber world.

US makes case for withdrawal from missile treaty with Russia (Military Times) Russia has for years been developing, testing and deploying a missile that violates a landmark nuclear weapons treaty, a senior White House official said Tuesday, making a case for the administration’s planned withdrawal from the accord ahead of a scheduled meeting between the leaders of the two nations.

Russia threatens to rewrite nuclear rule book to fire first (Times) President Putin would have the power to launch nuclear first strikes under plans approved by the Russian parliament. Senators in the Federation Council, the upper house, have recommended tearing up...

US lawmakers urge Trump to arm Ukraine, break silence on Russian blockade (Defense News) Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pressuring President Donald Trump to take a tougher line on Moscow after an incident at sea between Ukraine and Russia, which is ratcheting tensions between the two neighbors.

Top military officer confirms Chinese Air Force plan to 'extend reach into space' (The Japan Times) The Chinese Air Force intends to expand its presence into space as part of its plan to become a "world-class force," state-run media reported Tuesday, quot

Trump going for full-blown Space Force, White House memo reveals (POLITICO) A draft directive obtained by POLITICO spells out what the president wants in the nation's first new military branch since 1947.

Divided Congress to clash over Space Force, nuclear arsenal (TheHill) Democrats next year will control the gavels for the defense and foreign policy committees in the House for the first time since 2010.

USAF Improves Space Training to Address Space Threat Despite Ongoing Space Force Debate (Air Force Magazine) USAF will maintain ownership of the service-specific Undergraduate Space Training even if US Space Command is established as a new Combatant Command, Air Force Space Command's Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt told Air Force Magazine Friday.

Space expertise isn’t necessary to run the Space Development Agency, says Pentagon deputy (Defense News) Expect to get clarity on the Pentagon's future space structures soon.

StratCom 'front and center' in discussions of space force (Omaha World Herald) Deputy Secretary Of Defense Patrick Shanahan says the military would leverage technologies developed in the commercial sector.

Star Wars: DOD Execs and the USAF Are Already Battling Over A Non-Existent Space Force Budget (The Drive) Dueling cost estimates also distract from the reality that there's still no firm understanding of the proposed new service's structure and role.

Independent Estimate Puts Space Force Tab at Up to $21.5 Billion (AIr Force Magazine) Creating a new Space Force could cost up to $21.5 billion—or as little as $11.5 billion, according to a new analysis by Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

DoD to reorganize, create new security clearance organization (Federal News Network) The Defense Department is planning to merge the National Background Investigations Bureau, Defense Security Service and other entities within the Pentagon to form one, new security clearance entity.

If You Want Peace, Prepare for Nuclear War (Foreign Affairs) The United States must develop a modern nuclear arsenal lest it lose the ability to credibly defend its allies against potential attacks by rivals such as China and Russia.

Armed and Dangerous (Foreign Affairs) The real nuclear challenge is what to do when personalist dictatorships, such as North Korea, get the bomb. Careful handling and creative policymaking might contain the situation, but Washington is not providing either.

The Vanishing Nuclear Taboo? (Foreign Affairs) As geopolitical tensions rise and nuclear arsenals are expanded and modernized, decades of arms control agreements, security cooperation, and a growing consensus about the unacceptability of nuclear weapons are coming undone. One of the greatest security achievements of the 20th and early 21st century is thus unraveling.

The Right Way to Manage a Nuclear North Korea (Foreign Affairs) Washington needs to accept that North Korea will remain a nuclear power for the foreseeable future and manage the situation accordingly.

US-North Korea nuclear talks are cancelled; move may be pressure tactic, analysts say (Military Times) North Korea is seen as angling for a quick summit to win concessions from President Trump.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

NASA to launch safety review of SpaceX and Boeing (Along the Boards) Its primary aim is to launch American astronauts to space from USA soil for the first time ever since 2011.

NASA concerned about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX (Ars Technica) Agency will continue to rely on Russian Soyuz vehicles while reviews take place.

So we’re celebrating the Pentagon’s failed audit? (Defense News) The Pentagon completed an audit, which is good, but it failed. Which, one would think, is not.

Here’s what the Pentagon’s first-ever audit found (Defense News) 1,150 auditors worked over the last year digging through the department, but what did they find?

All Military Services Get Failing Grade in First-Ever Audit of Pentagon (Military.com) SecDef Jim Mattis said the audit identified "multiple material weaknesses" but few savings opportunities.

Space Law: A Final Frontier, Fraught With Risk (Air Force Magazine) Increased activity and competition in space risks future conflict unless the international community can define common legal norms for commercial and military activity in space, legal scholars say.

 
Compiled and published by the CyberWire editorial staff. Views and assertions in source articles are those of the authors, not CyberWire, Inc. or Cosmic AES

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