Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

September 2017

Prepared by the CyberWire (Friday, September 1, 2017)—Developments in Signals and Space, from August 1st through August 31st.

Rising tensions over North Korean missile tests.

July ended with North Korean missile tests that indicated the country had developed systems with sufficient range to reach American targets—certainly Guam, probably the West Coast of the Continental United States. August saw sharper diplomatic talk from both sides of the dispute (the sides being, essentially, North Korea and the rest of the world) increasingly tough sanctions, and heightened readiness on the part of the US, South Korea, and Japan. The situation now amounts to a war scare.

The month ended with the most provocative test yet. On the morning of August 29th, North Korea fired a test shot over Japan and into the Pacific. Japan and South Korea have both begun moving to deploy more extensive missile defense systems, with the US contributing both Aegis ashore and THAAD systems into the theater. There has been some domestic controversy over the deployments in all the countries involved.

It's easy to regard North Korea's leadership as irrational, the country as a whole as more cult than polity. It would be facile to accept that presentation at face value, however. Recorded Future offers an assessment of Kim's motivations, and those of his regime, based on observation of the DPRK's behavior online. The study offers an interesting take on what Kim values and how his regime sees its place in the region and the world.

Joint US and South Korean exercises proceeded as planned. South Korea is reported to have exercised a decapitation strike that would destroy North Korea's leadership. The exercise is as much (if not more) a demonstration to signal a possibility to Pyongyang as it is practice for an operation.

Hopes that US cyberattacks might be able to cripple North Korean missile launches appear to have faded. At the very least, if such capabilities offer realistic options, those options haven't been exercised to disrupt this month's series of increasingly aggressive and provocative tests. The US has instead concentrated on good-cop/bad-cop diplomacy (which represents more continuity with past Administrations than it does departure), tighter sanctions (including sanctions against third-parties, mostly in China, caught trading with North Korea), and military preparations (both missile defense and strike capability).

State of North Korean missile development.

Observers have long suspected that North Korean engineers had foreign assistance in developing their missiles. Most suspicion had been directed toward Russia, but this month saw allegations that the DPRK's program was helped by a Ukrainian rocket manufacturer, KB Yuzhnoye. The firm has denied, with some heat, that it's had any dealings with North Korea.

The missiles seem to have the range and throw-weight to justify the international concern they've attracted. They don't, however, have solid propellant. The missiles use liquids, inherently more difficult to handle. Observers think it unlikely the North Koreans are close to fielding solid propellant long-range systems.

Cyber conflict follows international conflict.

The Lazarus Group, cyber threat actors generally regarded as associated with North Korea's government, have stepped up the pace of their operations. The Group's has lately concentrated on US defense and aerospace targets.

Pinched as it finds itself by tighter sanctions, Pyongyang also appears to have increased its attempts to generate revenue through cybercrime. Bitcoin and other currencies are receiving the attentions of North Korean hackers.

North Korea's adversaries have for their part increased their cyber offensive and defensive capabilities in what's being characterized as a cyber arms race. That race is not prompted solely or even primarily by North Korean activities—Russian hybrid warfare, particularly against Ukraine, remains a principal driver of Western scrambling to increase cyber capabilities.

Japan's government has begun to increase its own cyber capability, and that move is prompted by fear of North Korea. North Korea has denounced Japanese attempts at capacity building as "aggressive" and an unwarranted threat.

Questions about North Korean nuclear capabilities.

North Korea has long had a nuclear program, and has tested several devices. It's long been thought that the DPRK had not yet been able to engineer a weapon that could be reliably delivered to a target by missile—its devices were too large, and it seemed unlikely they would be able to withstand the stress of reentry. That may no longer be the case. There are reports that North Korea has been able to develop weapons light and compact enough to be fitted to a missile. Whether they could withstand reentry is not yet known. (They may not need to be able to withstand reentry. If Pyongyang wants to disrupt electronic devices with electromagnetic pulse, observers note that a high-altitude burst would suffice.)

Teheran may be following Pyongyang's template.

Iran is also considering stepping up its missile development program. The US suspects that Tehran is cheating on existing nuclear non-proliferation agreements and wants more extensive inspection of potential weapons development sites. Iran has refused, and accused the US of violating its own undertakings under those agreements. Should the agreements end, Iran says, it would be capable of very rapidly producing sufficient fissile material for nuclear weapon production.

GPS security.

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant tanker off Singapore. Speculation immediately turned to cyber attack as at least a partial cause of the collision—it was the fourth collision or grounding in the US 7th Fleet over the course of less than a year. Those speculations appear to have proven groundless, as a US Navy investigation has so far found no indication of a cyber attack. 

Worries about what happened to the USS McCain were also shaped by a June incident, little noticed at the time, in which Russian GPS spoofing was observed to affect ship navigation systems in the Black Sea. The spoofing looked more like a demonstration and a proof-of-concept than an attack mounted for any specific operational purpose, but it did show a disturbing capability. GPS jamming is no novelty, but the Black Sea incident showed that more insidious and hitherto unremarked meaconing was now a realistic possibility. 

Concerns about GPS vulnerability are reviving terrestrial alternatives, essentially modernized LORAN systems.

Commercial space operations.

SpaceX had another good month. It's succeeded in delivering cargo to the International Space Station, in recovering a launch vehicle to its seaborne platform, and in achieving mission rates that are comparable to, if not better than, Russia's.

International satellite operations and onboard spacecraft computing.

BAE has announced a radiation-hardened computer designed for spacecraft use. HPE and NASA are also experimenting with a supercomputer in the International Space Station. That one is being flown without its hardware being specially hardened: NASA and HPE want to see whether "software hardening" could be sufficient to permit reliable deep space computation.

One of this month's successful SpaceX missions placed a Taiwanese earth-observation satellite into orbit.

Brazil's new military communications satellite is operational, and Italy's Ministry of Defense launched an optical observation satellite from the EU's facility in French Guiana. 

Ghana has placed a cubesat into orbit: Ghana's first foray into space.

Blockstream says it's solved the last mile problem, for Bitcoin, anyway: the company is now delivering the cryptocurrency from a satellite network, thereby reaching people who otherwise wouldn't have reliable Internet connectivity. Given Bitcoin's utility in remittances and other international funds transfers, the delivery system may have more point than the "Well, OK then" ledes in the media might suggest.

Satellogic announced plans to provide hyperspectral imaging worldwide.

Opinions differ on quantum computing.

China's demonstration that it can maintain quantum entanglement from earth orbit prompts debate over just how soon this breakthrough will result in "unhackable computation" or "unbreakable encryption" as the promise (or bugaboo, depending on the commenter's point-of-view) is described. Skeptics don't doubt the ultimate potential the experiment represents, but they do think very significant scientific and engineering problems need to be solved before the technology reaches anything remotely approaching its hype.

US Government policy notes.

Some churn this month in senior Defense cyber, intelligence, and IT leaders, with both arrivals and departures.

The most significant development was the President's decision to elevate US Cyber Command to the status of a Unified Combatant Command. This separates the organization from US Strategic Command, where it had formerly been housed. It does not, yet, remove the dual-hatted leadership the Director, NSA, exercises over Cyber Command, but it's generally believed that an organizational break with NSA is the next step.

Congressional interest in creating a Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force (the analogy would be to the Marine Corps' status as a distinct service within the Department of the Navy) appears to be waning. Neither the Air Force nor the Administration really liked the idea anyway.

Best job ever.

Interested in a job with one of the best titles ever? NASA has an opening for Planetary Protection Officer. The pay's not bad, either, for a government job.



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting China, Ghana, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, the United Nations, Russia, and the United States.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (16)

Trends (1)

Marketplace (20)

Products, Services, and Solutions (19)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (13)

Design and Innovation (2)

Research and Development (11)

Academia (1)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (37)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (3)

Events (23)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

North Korea fires ballistic missile over northern Japan (Times) North Korea fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan this morning, provoking anger from Tokyo and dashing tentative efforts by the United States to engage Kim Jong-un in dialogue. According to...

North Korean launch could be target practice for Guam strike (Nikkei Asian Review) Isolated regime seen reaching for advantage without crossing US 'red line'

Why the US and Japan didn’t shoot down latest North Korean missile (Ars Technica) Ballistic missile passes over Hokkaido as US, South Korea hold military exercise.

South Korea holds live-fire drills that simulate destroying North Korea's leadership (CNN) South Korea's air force has staged a live-fire drill simulating the destruction of North Korea's leadership, hours after Pyongyang launched a missile over Japan.

Missile Defense Agency: U.S. warship successfully shoots down missile in test off Hawaii (USA TODAY) It marked the second time an SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile in a test.

N. Korea's nuke development hits tipping point: Ban (Korea Herald) Former United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday that North Korea's nuclear development is now at a "tipping point," calling on the international community to keep up pressure to stop its provocations...

Can North Korea Actually Hit the United States With a Nuclear Weapon? (New York Times) Six systems that North Korea needs to master to achieve a long-sought goal: being able to reliably hit the United States.

North Korean Cyberspies Target US Defense Contractors Following Nuclear Threats (BleepingComputer) The North Korean cyber-espionage group known as the Lazarus Group has been busy hacking US defense contractors, according to a report published on Monday by security research firm Palo Alto Networks.

North Korea Accused of Stealing Bitcoin to Bolster Finances (Security Week) North Korea (DPRK) appears to be targeting bitcoin (both users and exchanges) as a means to counter the increasing effect of international sanctions.

Cyberspace aggression adds to North Korea's threat to global security (The Conversation) Reports of North Korea's capability of firing nuclear weapons are not the only serious threat to global security. North Korea has also become an aggressive cyber power.

North Korea believes Japan is building a cyberspace attack force under the pretext of self defence (Tech2) The Japanese Defence Ministry was mulling to have a new working group to study cyber warfare techniques to be established.

Return to sender: military will send malware right back to you (Naked Security) ‘The threat could be a large nation-state or a 12-year-old’ – so is weaponizing malware and sending it back the right tactic?

Ships fooled in GPS spoofing attack suggest Russian cyberweapon (New Scientist) A hack that manipulated the location of 20 ships in the Black Sea may be the first use of GPS spoofing, a form of cyberwarfare capable of widespread disruption

North Korea says it's studying a plan to attack Guam (PBS NewsHour) North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain U.S. bases there.

North Korea Just Took the Nuclear Step Experts Have Dreaded (WIRED) Now that North Korea can miniaturize a nuke, it's time to tread very, very carefully.

US detects 'highly unusual' North Korean submarine activity (CNN) The US military has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of North Korean submarine activity and evidence of an "ejection test" in the days following Pyongyang's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month, a defense official told CNN on Monday.


Software and Hard Consequences, Review: 'The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace' by Alexander Klimburg (Washington Free Beacon) World War III has started on the internet, and almost no one seems to have noticed. Or perhaps the Cold War is a better analogy.


United Technologies' acquisition of Rockwell Collins could set off new M&A wave (Defense News) United Technologies Corp. is reportedly nearing a more than $20 billion deal to buy Rockwell Collins, a merger of two major defense firms that experts said would make UTC an even more dominant supplier in the aerospace business.

CACI International (CACI) Seccures $51M Task Order from U.S. Air Force Cyberspace Operations for Software Development Support (Street Insider) CACI International Inc (NYSE:CACI) announced today it has been awarded a $51 million task order to provide software development support to the 90th Cyberspace Operations Squadron (90th COS), a subordinate unit of the 24th Air Force, the Air Force’s component to U.S. Cyber Command.

Australian military cuts deal with DigitalGlobe for satellite imagery (C4ISRNET) DigitalGlobe has been awarded an $83 million Australian military contract to provide commercial satellite imagery.

SpaceX Will Lose Millions on Its Taiwanese Satellite Launch (WIRED) With a contract signed in 2010, Taiwan paid less than half the going rate for a SpaceX launch.

Pentagon narrows competition for the next big U.S. nuclear missile deterrent (Washington Post) Boeing, Northrop Grumman win contracts to continue, as Lockheed Martin is left on the sideline.

Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Moon Express to hire 800-plus for high-tech jobs (Orlando Business Journal) With all of the rocket, missile and spacecraft development activity happening in Central Florida, high-tech and advanced manufacturing jobs are not in short supply.

Booz Allen wins $91M Missile Defense cyber contract (Washington Technology) Booz Allen Hamilton wins a five-year, $91.5 million contract for cybersecurity and computer network defense support services to the Missile Defense Agency.

DIUx, SCO given special hiring and contracting authorities (Defense News) Two of the Pentagon’s innovation offices have been granted special authorities to help speed the hiring of staff and awarding of contracts in a move that could allow the groups to flow commercial technology into the department quicker.

Trump’s space leader says SpaceX is outstanding, but... (Ars Technica) "I think this is somewhat dangerous," Scott Pace has said of commercial crew.

Small rockets, big dreams: The race to space heats up (Ars Technica) "The diversity of ideas being pursued bodes well for operation of one or more."

Mercury Systems Receives $8.5M Order from US Navy for DRFM Jammers ( Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) (, announced that it received an $8.5 million follow-on order against its recently announced $152 million 5 year sole source basic ordering agreement (BOA) to deliver advanced Digital RF Memory (DRFM) jammers to the U.S. Navy.

NAO wins Navy cyber contract (C4ISRNET) If all options are exercised, the contract is scheduled to be completed by August 2023.

Northrop to upgrade JSTARS radio terminals (Shephard) Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the US Air Force to upgrade radio terminals aboard the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) fleet, the company announced on 8 August.

Lockheed Martin Stocks Rise as Trump Threatens 'Fire and Fury' (Telesur) U.S. government demand for Lockheed Martin weapons and intelligence systems accounts for roughly 70 percent of its total revenue.

Lockheed Martin begins building $350 million satellite facility (Washington Business Journal) Lockheed Martin Corp. has started construction on a new $350 million satellite manufacturing facility at its Waterton Canyon campus in Jefferson County, Colorado.

How America’s two greatest rocket companies battled from the beginning (Ars Technica) SpaceX has brought competition into US aerospace. And it only gets hotter from here.

NASA job opening to protect Earth from aliens has 6-figure salary (New York Post) If you’re looking for a job that’s out of this world, there’s a position that just opened at NASA to fight aliens. The gig, which comes with a six-figure salary, would involve pro…

Lockheed Martin wins M-Code satellite contract (C4ISRNET) “The contract will enable M-Code tasking, monitoring, and signal in space for current and future global positioning system satellites,” according to the DoD.

USAF Picks Lockheed, Raytheon For LRSO (Aviation Week) In its second major decision on the future of the nuclear triad in two days, the U.S. Air Force has selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to mature technologies for the next-generation nuclear-capable cruise ...

BAE Systems Inc. Plays Unique, Critical Role In Sustaining U.S. Nuclear Deterrent (Forbes) This week the U.S. Air Force announced contract awards for the development of two key systems in the future nuclear force.

Products, Services, and Solutions

BAE's most powerful space computer yet (Electronics Weekly) BAE Systems has announced a radiation-hardened single-board space computer. Called RAD5545, it has a quad-core 32/64bit QorlQ Power Architecture processor

Falcon 9 rocket fired up for launch of military mini-shuttle (Spaceflight Now) Running through a practice countdown and hold-down engine firing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket passed a key checkpoint Thursday ahead of liftoff next week with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth X-37B spaceplane flight, a mission that will come with several firsts.

After a month off, SpaceX makes a triumphant return to flight [Updated] (Ars Technica) The rocket and Dragon went up, and 10 minutes later the booster safely returned.

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule successfully attached to ISS (TechCrunch) SpaceX's latest International Space Station Resupply mission has completed its latest step, with the Dragon capsule launched on Monday loaded with over 6,400..

SpaceX goes for a dozen today, to surpass Russia in launches (Ars Technica) The US-based company could conceivably launch 20 rockets this year.

SpaceX Launches Earth-Observing Satellite, Lands Rocket on Ship at Sea ( A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a Taiwanese Earth-observation satellite today (Aug. 24), then came back down for a pinpoint landing on a ship at sea.

SpaceX Launches Its 12th Resupply Mission to the ISS (WIRED) On board: more than 6,400 pounds of supplies.

Harris delivers GPS III navigation payload (C4ISRNET) Harris Corp. has delivered the navigation payload to GPS III manufacturer Lockheed Martin to be integrated into the SV-03 satellite this summer.

Lockheed debuts next-gen missile defense radar ahead of Army competition (Defense News) Lockheed Martin brought a brand-new next-generation air-and-missile defense radar to the Space and Missile Defense Symposium this week that it hopes will help the U.S. Army finalize its requirements for a new 360-degree radar for the service’s future Integrated Air-and-Missile Defense system.

US-Israel teams ramp up interceptor builds (Defense News) Two U.S.-Israeli industrial teams working on jointly funded missile defense programs are ramping up production of three distinct interceptors.

Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review for Inmarsat 6’s L-band Reflectors (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) business, completed a successful Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the nine meter L-band reflectors for two Airbus Inmarsat-6 series satellites.

Raytheon’s new GPS ground stations delayed again (Defense News) The Air Force’s OCX program to procure new ground control stations for the service’s next-generation GPS satellites has been delayed by another nine months, meaning the technology will not be ready until April 2022, the Air Force confirmed Monday.

General Dynamics releases new, NSA-certified encryptor (C4ISRNET) TACLANE-FLEX is the first “multi-speed, user-customizable High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptor (HAIPE),” according to a news release.

NASA's Smartest Satellite Is Gone. Can Private Space Replace It? (WIRED) A private company called Satellogic wants to give Earth scientists hyperspectral data from a fleet of satellites for free.

Harris pivots from hosted payloads to small satellite ( The company that played a leading role in promoting hosted payloads and sold excess space on Iridium Communications satellites, is turning its attention to small satellites “because that’s where the market is."

Lockheed delivers GPS signal receivers (Shephard) Lockheed Martin has delivered three of six satellite signal receivers to the US Air Force as part of efforts to update the service's GPS ground control system, the company announced on 7 August.

Lockheed Sees New Uses For Thaad, Patriot Interceptors (Aerospace Daily and Defense Report) Lockheed Martin remains committed to the development of its dual-stage Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) endoatmospheric interceptor, saying an extended-range version of Thaad has applications against maneuvering hypersonic glide ...

US Air Force Hires Two Firms to Start Developing America's Next ICBM (Defense One) Boeing and Northrop Grumman have each received deals to start developing a replacement for the Minuteman III.

Lockheed completes integration of new satellite for ME (Trade Arabia) Lockheed Martin, a leading security and aerospace company, has revealed that a team of its engineers and technicians have completed the integration of the company's first modernised A2100 satellite.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

It looks like yet another satellite is breaking apart at GEO (Ars Technica) "They could be solar panels, fuel, or other debris. We don’t really know."

(LEAD) N. Korea unlikely to field solid-fuel ICBM within decade (Yonhap News Agency) North Korea is unlikely to field a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) within a decade given its relative inexperience, an expert has said amid growing concerns over Pyongyang's fast-paced weapons development.

Ukraine rocket maker denies leaking know-how to North Korea (Defense News) The head of Ukraine’s top rocket-making company on Tuesday rejected claims that its technologies might have been shipped to North Korea, helping the pariah nation achieve a quantum leap in its missile program.

Iran Says Can Produce Highly Enriched Uranium in Days if U.S. Quits Deal (US News & World Report) Iran can resume production of highly enriched uranium within five days if the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 is revoked, Iran's atomic chief was quoted by state media as saying on Tuesday.

GAO: Nuclear command and control improving, but need long-term view (Defense News) The U.S. Air Force has done a good job fixing near-term issues with the nuclear command and control structure but is still struggling to get a handle on long-term issues, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

US Army microsatellite heads to space to aid warfighters on the ground (Defense News) A U.S. Army microsatellite demonstrator is hitching a ride aboard a SpaceX Dragon on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Radio navigation set to make global return as GPS backup, because cyber (Ars Technica) GPS killed the radio nav in 2010, but a high-def version is set to return.

OPTSAT-3000 gives Italy key space intelligence capability (Jane's) The Italian ministry of defence's (MoD) first optical reconnaissance satellite was launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, on a Vega European launcher on 2 August.

DoD beefing up missile systems’ cyber defenses (Fifth Domain) A tenant of the internet of things industry is that anything connected to the internet is connected to hackers. But when you’re talking about a trillion-dollar ballistic missile system, that possibility is unacceptable.

First Brazilian Satellite Now in Operation (Dialogo Americas) The Brazilian Air Force has assumed responsibility for control of the equipment that should guarantee the security of military communications.

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth (TechCrunch) The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends. The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering..

Navy applies a layered defense approach in cyberspace (Fifth Domain) This is part five of a series exploring the differences between military cyber forces, capabilities, mission sets and needs.

New tech paves way for ballistic missile defense (C4ISRNET) Successful test intercepts demonstrate new sensor technologies.

Design and Innovation

Bitcoin Now Comes From Satellites In Space (Motherboard) Well OK then.

Calling the Moon: Startup to Put Cellphone Tower on the Moon ( The German startup Part Time Scientists plans to put mobile phone communications tech on the moon to help the company's moon rover keep in touch.

Research and Development

OMB: Pentagon should emphasize dual-use R&D spending (Defense News) The White House wants the Pentagon to emphasize technology developments with both military and civil uses in its next budget, according to a new guidance from the Office of Management and Budget.

Why the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Just Might Work (Popular Mechanics) If Elon Musk wants to get to Mars, SpaceX will have to combine three rockets into one mammoth engine. Will it work? An expert weighs in.

NASA's Rocket to Nowhere Finally Has a Destination (WIRED) With a lunar orbit mission on the docket, NASA's contractors for the Space Launch System continue testing with new focus.

The first quantum-cryptographic satellite network will be Chinese (The Economist) Quantum cryptography’s early birds

Why China’s quantum satellites do not herald ‘unhackable’ networks (Naked Security) Don’t believe the hype – it’s a much trickier engineering and physics challenge than the headlines would have you believe

Chinese quantum satellite sends 'unbreakable' code (Reuters) China has sent an "unbreakable" code from a satellite to the Earth, marking the first time space-to-ground quantum key distribution technology has been realized, state media said on Thursday.

Why HPE is sending a supercomputer to the ISS on SpaceX’s next rocket (TechCrunch) Officially named the "Spaceborne Computer," the Linux-based supercomputer is designed to serve in a one year experiment conducted by NASA and HPE to find out..

SSL and NASA move closer to creating a service spacecraft for LEO satellites (TechCrunch) Satellite provider Space Systems Loral (SSL) and NASA have completed a key step towards building a spacecraft that can service satellites in low Earth orbit..

NHK video casts doubt on North Korean ICBM re-entry capabilities and effectiveness (The Japan Times) Video captured Friday of North Korea's latest test of a powerful long-range missile appears to show the weapon's re-entry vehicle "breaking up" over waters

DIUx reports surge in pilot program funding (Defense News) The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx) awarded $71 million in funding for 37 pilot programs over the last year, and the group expects to transition its first demonstrator program to higher-rate production.

ICF wins cybersecurity contract (Fifth Domain) Under the contract, valued at up to $93 million, ICF will support Army Research Laboratory’s Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) and Defensive Cybersecurity Research.


U.S. Space & Rocket Center gets $10M grant for cyber camp (null) Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a $10 million economic development grant to expand the campus at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and establish a U.S. Cyber Camp.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

UN Security Council condemns North Korea’s missile launch (South China Morning Post) While supporting the statement, China called on the US and South Korea to dismantle a missile defence system they have deployed in South Korea

Trump: 'All options are on table' after North Korea missile launch (Military Times) President Donald Trump said Tuesday that “all options are on the table” in terms of a U.S. response to North Korea’s launch of a missile over Japan.

New US sanctions on Chinese firms aim to halt Pyongyang support (South China Morning Post) The sanctions affect Dandong Rich Earth Trading Company, which the US accused of buying vanadium ore from Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation

Japan seeks new missile defense ‘assets,’ increased cyber cooperation (Defense News) Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, speaking Thursday at the State Department, said that the threat from Pyongyang is driving Japan to look to accelerate certain defense decisions.

US Gearing Up for Digital Arms Race (VOA) Key intelligence agency looking to artificial intelligence to maintain eroding edge

North Korea’s Not So Crazy After All (Recorded Future) In this episode we explore unique insights into how North Korean leadership and ruling elite use the internet and what that tells us about their intentions.

Why didn't sanctions stop North Korea’s missile program? [Commentary] (Defense News) Have sanctions on North Korea failed? It might be more useful to consider what the effects of sanctions have been.

(LEAD) China to begin implementing new U.N. sanctions on N. Korea Tuesday (Yonhap News Agency) China said Monday it will enforce the latest United Nations sanctions on North Korea this week, banning the imports of resources and seafood from the country.

Iran could quit nuclear deal in 'hours' if new U.S. sanctions imposed: Rouhani (Reuters) Iran could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers "within hours" if the United States imposes any more new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.

The worse North Korea acts, the more cash aid it gets (CNBC) North Korea's nuclear aggression buys the country billions in aid money, according to Tufts University professor Sung-Yoon Lee.

McMaster declines to rule out military response to North Korea threats (POLITICO) "As you know, we have been prepared for an escalation on the Korean peninsula since the armistice in 1953."

Bill Entails Coordinated Response to US Anti-Iran Measures (Tasnim News Agency) An anti-US bill Iran’s lawmakers turned into law on Sunday urges the country’s military, diplomatic and security organizations to devise plans on countering the United States’ terrorist measures in the region and its threats against Iran.

Iran's parliament votes to increase spending on missile program (UPI) Iran's parliament has voted to funnel more funds to the nation's ballistic missile program.

China says North Korea tensions have reached ‘tipping point’ (South China Morning Post) Beijing says there is an opportunity to reopen peace talks after Pyongyang fires missile over Japan

China warns North Korea: You’re on your own if you go after the United States (Washington Post) Beijing would still defend North Korea if Washington attacked first or tried regime change.

Trump pledges 'billions' increase in missile defense spending (Defense News) U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to increase defense spending by “billions of dollars,” while hinting that a plan to increase spending on missile defense may come as soon as next week.

South Korea's military says prepared to act immediately against North Korean provocation (Reuters) South Korea's military said on Thursday North Korea's recent statements regarding striking the U.S. territory of Guam are a challenge against Seoul and the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

The Wolf of Pyongyang (Foreign Affairs) Kim Jong Un is no buffoon. A better way to view him is as a new CEO taking over a company—call it North Korea, Inc.

North Korea says nuclear arms aimed only at US (Nikkei Asian Review) Pyongyang 'will not negotiate' on weapons, despite toughening of sanctions

Trump warns North Korea threats 'will be met with fire and fury' (CNBC) President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea about facing "fire and fury" if it makes more threats to the U.S.

Japan, South Korea and U.S. plan international push to denuclearize North (The Japan Times) Fresh off the adoption of new U.N. sanctions, the foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and South Korea agree to build international pressure against Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

Trump’s North Korea strategy: A lot like Obama’s (POLITICO) Despite warning that U.S. patience with Kim Jong Un 'is over,' the president is so far relying on sanctions and diplomatic pressure to try to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Time to End Wishful Thinking on China's North Korea Policy (The Diplomat) Donald Trump has gotten the message: the Chinese are not going to help. What does the U.S. do now?

Politics, both home and abroad, drive South Korea THAAD deployment (Defense News) Following North Korea’s July 28 launch of what the Pentagon has termed an ICBM, the South Korean government has had an apparent change of heart about the THAAD system.

Russia downplays North Korea's saber-rattling, tells US to be 'prudent' (Washington Examiner) Sergey Lavrov emphasized that North Korea always complains about sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Air Force names space operations officials ( The U.S. Air Force has named Shawn Barnes to be assistant deputy chief of staff for space operations directorate, and Maj. Gen. Pamela Lincoln to be mobilization assistant to the deputy chief of staff for space operations.

Iran ridicules US push for inspecting its military sites (ABC News) Iran has mocked the U.S. push for inspections of the country's military sites, calling it a "ridiculous dream that will never come true." This comes after U.S. officials said last month that the Trump administration is pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to...

Congress may mandate 'information warfare' plan for Russia (Washington Examiner) 'Russia is not America's friend,' Rep. Eliot Engel wrote. 'While we, too, would ultimately like to see better relations with Russia, the Kre...

1st Federal CISO offers Trump administration cyber advice (Fifth Domain) Chatting live with Gen. Gregory Touhill, the first federal CISO, on the state of federal cybersecurity and his new role with Cyxtera and Bay Dynamics.

As the Moon landing anniversary nears, Buzz Aldrin wants to shake NASA up (Ars Technica) "We’re not going anywhere if we don’t do something about these issues."

Foster to leave as Department of Navy CIO ( Rob Foster will join the National Credit Union Administration as its deputy chief information officer after stepping down as the Navy CIO.

Army gets a new, long-awaited CIO (C4ISRNET) Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford arrives at Pentagon after months in waiting.

DIA gets new director (C4ISRNET) Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley was confirmed as the new head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Aerospace Combat Command Instead of Space Force? (Breaking Defense) Over the past two years, America’s near-peer competitors have reorganized and integrated their air, deterrent, missile defense, cyber and space forces to make them more effective.

NASA may finally be getting a leader—Oklahoma pilot Jim Bridenstine (Ars Technica) In previous comments, Bridenstine has supported a human return to the Moon.

China, US military chiefs vow to patch up differences (South China Morning Post) Both sides pledge to strengthen ties between defence forces as top US and Chinese military brass meet in Beijing

Opinion: Iran's risky nuclear deal threat (Deutsche Welle) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is under pressure from Washington and conservative forces in Tehran. Threats of revitalizing the nuclear problem actually diverge from his interests, says DW's Matthias von Hein.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

FBI: Chinese man supplied rare malware used in OPM breach (Fifth Domain) Defendant Yu Pingan, 36, knew the rare malware known as “Sakula” would be used to hack U.S. companies, the FBI said in court documents.

To make North Korean sanctions stick, the 'gloves are off' for U.S. in fight against Chinese smugglers (Los Angeles Times) Lawsuits and sanctions — a safer course than military action — play a key role in U.S. efforts to slow the North Koreans’ completion of a weapon that can reach the U.S.

Plano man admits illegally smuggling U.S. space technology to China, Russia (Dallas News) A Plano businessman whose eyeglass lens coating companies were mired in financial troubles pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to trying to...

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

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