Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

January 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Tuesday, January 2, 2018)—Developments in Signals and Space, from December 1st through December 31st, 2017.

Cyber threats and attribution raise tensions with the DPRK.

The US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand this month joined the earlier UK attribution of WannaCry to North Korea, an allegation which the DPRK has angrily and foreseeably dismissed as provocation and warmongering. The Five Eyes see Pyongyang as increasingly involved, through its Lazarus Group and similar threat actors, in efforts to raise cash through cybercrime. WannaCry is viewed as an instance of this tendency.

The Five Eyes have been relatively coy and general in their account of the evidence of North Korean responsibility, but they're showing unusual unanimity and certainty in their attribution. North Korea's ambassador to the UN has demanded that the US in particular put up or shut up, but the US shows little disposition to do so.

North Korea continues its round of missile tests.

Western services have now had an opportunity to think over the DPRK's Hwasong-15 ICBM, tested at the end of November, and several observers have called it a "game-changer." It changes the game in at least three respects: range, payload, and launch system. It is assessed at having the range to reach any target in the continental United States. It appears to be able to deliver a 1000-kilogram payload (and North Korea is believed to have nuclear devices weighing under 700 kilometers—weights far lower than that have long been achieved by major declared nuclear powers). It's apparently launched from a mobile transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), which is likely to render it more difficult to identify and target for preemptive strikes.

Preparations against North Korean missile threats.

Japan has moved to increase both its missile defense and long-range strike capability, both of which are clear hedges against the regional threat of strikes from the DPRK.

The US and South Korea have conducted exercises with Japan and one another. China and Russia have warned that such exercises themselves could constitute provocation, but in the case of China at least there seem to be growing signs that Beijing realizes it may be nearing the limits of its ability to influence the DPRK. Chinese provinces near North Korea have begun civil defense preparations against nuclear strikes (or accidents) and there are signs that China may be readying itself to receive a large influx of refugees from North Korea should war break out on the peninsula.

Discussion of defense against a potential North Korean nuclear strike has tended to focus on deploying and using missile interceptor systems (like THAAD), but other considerations are also entering the conversation. The new US National Security Strategy features one: hardening of infrastructure against electromagnetic pulse (EMP). EMP has come to be regarded as among the likelier North Korean nuclear strike options—a very high altitude burst that could destroy critical electronics without blast, thermal, or lethal radiation effects. 

Other concerns being voiced involve frustration over the time it takes to deploy missile-launch detection satellites. And the US Air Force may have an EMP weapon of its own that could be used to disable a North Korean missile at the point of launch. Most observers have expressed skepticism that this is a real operational capability as opposed to a technical possibility, so conventional kinetic interception or preemptive strike look like the likeliest options on the table.

Missile strikes and interceptions in the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia has remained under threat of attack by missiles fired from Yemen by Houthi rebels. The Kingdom has claimed successful intercepts by its Patriot air defense missile systems. US intelligence sources claim that the Houthi forces are being supplied with surface-to-surface missiles by Iran.

Secretary of the Air Force worries about GPS security.

Space is no longer a benign environment, according to US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. The GPS constellation is essential to the military's day-to-day operations, but it's also vulnerable. The Los Angeles Times reported Wilson as saying, "We’re the strongest space-faring nation in the world, and we’re heavily dependent on space. And our adversaries and potential adversaries know it. So we need to be able to defend what we have and to be able to take a punch and keep fighting through. In some ways, we built a glass house before the invention of stones and now we have to be able to defend." 

In the near term the solution to this vulnerability is to train for operations under conditions of GPS denial, which Secretary Wilson says is the Service's policy and practice.

US Army looks to rapid acquisition for better electronic warfare capabilities.

In the throes of one of its periodic bouts of sensing inferiority to Russia in electronic warfare (a sense that Cold War veterans will find all too familiar) the US Army is turning to rapid acquisition vehicles to redress the shortfalls it perceives in its capabilities. The basic goal of such procurement policies is to transition rapidly advancing technologies into the hands of warfighters as quickly as possible. Since cyber operations and electronic warfare have converged in Army doctrine and organization, the Service will be looking for swift acquisition of cyber tools as well.

Such efforts may do well to bring their own cautions along with them. Drone technology is one example: it appears that soldiers in the field tend to mistrust drones, particularly as they become increasingly lethal. The possibility of friendly fire casualties is never far from field soldiers' minds. 

Another round in the perennial attempt at acquisition reform.

The Congressionally chartered Section 809 panel continues its efforts to identify outmoded and counterproductive regulations that cumber the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and its daughter, the appended Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). Together they run to somewhere around 3500 pages, and they're widely regarded as embodying a system designed to avoid fraud, waste, and abuse in large, long-duration contracts. (Think shipbuilding, circa 1960.) 

And of course this sort of regulatory regime is not conducive to swift acquisition and fielding of rapidly advancing technologies. Recognition of this lies behind the many rapid and alternative acquisition authorities the Army and the other Services constantly seek. 

But most observers hope for some more general reform. To that end the panel has asked people in the Defense Industrial Base and elsewhere to nominate their "50 Worst!" (emphasis in the original) acquisition regulations. It's an opportunity to let the government know what it should consider fixing.

There are some related concerns being expressed about the health of the Defense Industrial Base itself. A combination of onerous contracting, drawdowns, and budgetary uncertainty is believed responsible for the recent erosion of that Base, particularly among smaller suppliers. About 17,000 vendors left the market between 2011 and 2015, a drop of around twenty percent.

SpaceX appears to have closed out 2017 strongly.

The Falcon Heavy may not have made the company's goal of a launch in 2017, but the company's new heavy-lift system has been moved into its launch position at Cape Canaveral. 

SpaceX's successful launch, recovery, and reuse of its Falcon family of boosters seems to have proven that the company is a reliable partner in the launch business, and the Government has shown itself disposed to trust increasingly valuable payloads to the Falcons. They have, for example, not only flown classified payloads, but have conducted resupply missions to the International Space Station. SpaceX anticipates a fifty-percent increase in launches during 2018.

US National Security Strategy prioritizes cyber ops, names adversaries.

The US National Security Strategy, published earlier in December, makes a point of addressing the ability to defend the national interest in cyberspace, putting strong emphasis on the importance of securing critical infrastructure. It also names adversaries ("competitors"): China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. There is a perhaps novel emphasis on economic competition.

A return to the moon, and on to Mars?

With his Space Policy Directive 1, issued early in December, President Trump joins the last two Republican Presidents in calling for a US return to the moon. The Directive also envisions a human mission to Mars.

Of particular interest to industry is the Policy Directive's commitment to ending US dependence on Russian launch vehicles for operation in near-earth orbit. Also noteworthy is the continued revival of the National Space Council, which met this past October for the first time since its disestablishment in 1993. 



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting China, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Yemen.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (12)

Marketplace (25)

Products, Services, and Solutions (10)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (16)

Research and Development (8)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (23)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (3)

Events (7)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

Russian space agency denies programming error bungled rocket launch (TechCrunch) A failed rocket launch from Russia's new spaceport at Vostochny last month was not in fact caused by an elementary programming error, as recent reports have..

What if we lost GPS? That's one thing worrying the Air Force secretary (Los Angeles Times) Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson sits down with The Times to talk about the threat in space.

U.S. declares North Korea carried out massive WannaCry cyberattack (Washington Post) The Trump administration will call on states to implement all U.N. sanctions.

What We Really Know About North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons (Foreign Affairs) It is more important than ever to be precise about the knowns and unknowns of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Why Chinese province is warning citizens of nuclear war (Nikkei Asian Review) Newspaper's what-to-do list hints that Beijing is running out of options

China May Be Preparing Refugee Sites in Case of a Korean War (Defense One) A leaked document from a Chinese telecommunications company hints that Beijing is anticipating an influx of war refugees.

Japan, U.S. and South Korea kick off two-day missile tracking drill (The Japan Times) The United States, Japan and South Korea began a joint missile tracking drill Monday as tensions in Asia continue to rise over North Korea's fast-developin

Rebels in Yemen Fire Second Ballistic Missile at Saudi Capital (New York Times) Saudi Arabia said its air defenses had taken down a rocket aimed at residential areas, while the rebels said they had been targeting a royal palace.

US: Ballistic missiles fired on Saudi Arabia were provided by Iran (Military Times) Intelligence assessments cite manufacturer markings and other evidence that the U.S. says means Iran is not complying with terms of a nuclear deal.

Did the Saudis Shoot Down a Houthi Missile on Nov. 4? It Doesn’t Much Matter (Defense One) The Patriot has proven itself with dozens of successful intercepts. Moreover, it’s just one part of a solid anti-missile defense strategy.

Analysis: Reported link between Houthi and Iranian ballistic missiles (FDD's Long War Journal) At the strategic level, if Iran's provision of ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels is confirmed, it could be seen as an indicator Tehran's increased tolerance for risk in a distant conflict theater, one which has sought to weaken Saudi Arabia by any means possible.

Behind the Scenes: How IOActive Revealed Inmarsat Security Flaws (Via Satellite) IOActive’s process of reverse engineering satellite communications products has unveiled a range of potential vulnerabilities that have become commonplace


What SpaceX's Record-Breaking Year Means for Science (and the Rocketry Business) (Defense One) After a triumphant year, the reusable rocketeer is planning 50 percent more launches in 2018.

How Is SpaceX Doing on Its Deep Space Ambitions? (WIRED) SpaceX may have missed its deadline for launching the triple-booster Falcon Heavy, but launching deep space vehicles is only half the battle.

Why Raytheon is teaming with a Silicon Valley firm to prep modern warfighters for the battlefield of the future (Washington Business Journal) A military force that makes sense of its data faster than its adversary is going to command a battlefield, a new Raytheon partnership hopes to demonstrate.

Mercury Systems To Acquire Themis Computer (GlobeNewswire News Room) Creates platform to further penetrate C4I market

‘That’s the Worst!’: Acquisition regulations we love to hate (Federal Times) The Section 809 Panel is asking for public input on the 50 worst laws, regulations, and policies that impede the acquisition process.

DoD's vendor base shrunk by 20 percent as Defense cuts set in ( Analysis of contract data shows impacts across the Defense industrial base due to spending cuts, including indications of firms exiting industry entirely

General Dynamics wins Navy software-defined radio contract worth up to $208M (C4ISRNET) General Dynamics Mission Systems was awarded a contract worth as much as $198 million for continued work on the AN/USC-61 (C) Digital Modular Radio.

Northrop Grumman Awarded $124.7 Million Contract for Production of AN/APR-39D(V)2 Digital Radar Warning Receiver and Electronic Warfare Management Systems (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has received a $124.7 million award for production of AN/APR-39D(V)2 digital radar warning receiver and electronic warfare management systems. The award followed the...

Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) Secures $67.5M Contract to Provide GPS Engineering Expertise (Street Insider) SSC Pacific has awarded Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) a $67.5 million contract to provide systems engineering expertise over a one-year base plus four-year period, to keep pace with the demand for integrated intelligence capabilities across positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) programs.

Lockheed Martin and NEC to Enhance Satellites, Space Travel with Artificial Intelligence (AsiaOne) Lockheed Martin and NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) today announced that Lockheed Martin will use NEC's System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT) in the space domain.

Lockheed Wins Potential $78M Navy IT Security Support Contract (GovCon Wire) Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has won a potential five-year, $77.7 million contract to provide cyberse

NetCentrics awarded DISA Encore III Contract Vehicle (Business Insider) NetCentrics Corporation, a leading provider of infrastructure, cloud, mission applications and cybersecurity for the U.S. government, has won a position on the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Encore III contract vehicle for IT services across the Department of Defense (DoD).

Navy’s premier EW program exhibits poor management, says IG (C4ISRNET) The Department of Defense Inspector General has released a redacted audit of the Navy's Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program.

Asgardia Becomes the First ‘Nation’ to Have All of Its Territory In Space (Motherboard) A growing kingdom has to start somewhere—in this case, low Earth orbit works.

United Launch Alliance Selects L3 Technologies to Design Next-Generation Avionics Systems (BusinessWire) L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to become the exclusive provider of

Romania agrees to purchase Raytheon’s Patriot missile defense system (Homeland Preparedness News) Romania agreed to purchase Raytheon Co.’s Patriot integrated air and missile defense system from the U.S. Army on Wednesday, a move that sets the stage for contract negotiations between Raytheon and the U.S. government. Under the letter of offer and …

Poland has sticker shock over ‘unacceptable’ price tag for Patriot buy (Defense News) Poland has been pushing toward a purchase of a medium-range air-and-missile defense system for many years, settling on an unprecedented configuration of the Patriot system, but was surprised by the high cost presented by the U.S. State Department.

DoD spent $7.4 billion on big data, AI and the cloud last year. Is that enough? (C4ISRNET) Despite spending more than $7 billion in 2017 – a 32 percent increase over five years ago – anything short of a technological revolution could threaten the United States, according to a new report.

Pentagon Delays Deadline For Military Suppliers to Meet Cybersecurity Rules ( The goal of the new regulations is to secure sensitive data on the computers and networks at smaller companies.

The next focus for the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office (C4ISRNET) The Army's Rapid Capabilities Office is beginning to take on new efforts such as counter UAS and examining technologies under longer timelines.

Lockheed Unit Wins $154M Deal for Navigation System Upgrade ( Lockheed Martin Corp .'s LMT Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) segment recently secured a contract for providing U.S. and U.K. Trident II (D5) Strategic Weapon System Shipboard Integration Increment 8 as well as Columbia and Dreadnought efforts for the navigation subsystem. Work related to the deal is scheduled to be completed by Dec 31, 2020.

Can the Army bring position, navigation and timing tech to the battlefield faster? (C4ISRNET) With the Army's PNT office moved under its chief electronic warfare organization, the service is looking to fast-track PNT capabilities.

Will Proposed Reforms Really Make Army Acquisition Faster? (The National Interest) The Army has been working on most of its modernization priorities for at least a decade.

Mercury Systems Receives $2.3M Order for Advanced GPS SAASM Devices ( Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY), ( announced it received a $2.3M follow-on order from a leading electronics manufacturer for state-of-the-art GPS Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Modules (SAASM) devices for an undisclosed application.

Northrop Grumman to Perform Technology Maturation Work on US Army’s LTAMDS Program (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) BALTIMORE – Dec. 8, 2017 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has received a contract from the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Program Office (LTPO) to perform risk reduction for radar technology and associated mission capabilities intended to replace the...

Products, Services, and Solutions

SpaceX caps a record year with 18th successful launch of 2017 (TechCrunch) SpaceX has completed its 18th launch in 2017, marking a record year for the private space company. It's the most rockets SpaceX has launched in a single year,..

SpaceX has now successfully landed 20 rockets [Updated] (Ars Technica) This is also the company's 13th supply mission to the International Space Station.

Rocket lights sky as it carries satellites from Vandenberg AFB (Air Force Times) A reused SpaceX rocket carried 10 satellites into orbit from California on Friday, leaving behind a trail of mystery and wonder as it soared into space.

SpaceX launches a reused Dragon atop a reused Falcon 9 for the first time (TechCrunch) SpaceX has moved one step closer to its dream of affordable, efficient reusable space flight: Today for its CRS-13 resupply mission for the International..

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket sets up at Cape Canaveral ahead of launch (TechCrunch) SpaceX won't hit its 2017 target for a test flight of its new, huge Falcon Heavy rocket – but the massive launch craft is now in place at Cape Canaveral in..

Our Chips, Code Are More Secure Than Silicon Valley’s: Northrop Grumman (Breaking Defense) The Pentagon has fallen in love with Silicon Valley — though it’s largely unrequited — but traditional defense firms argue there are some things only they can do. One striking example: this Northrop Grumman factory, where the company makes its own microchips “from sand” with unique security features that are not available from commercial vendors.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare Capabilities Showcased at Association of Old Crows Symposium (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) recently showcased two milestones in the development of advanced electromagnetic maneuver warfare capabilities during the 54th Annual Association of Old Crows (AOC) International...

U.S. Air Force, Viasat Prepare to Deploy Small Form Factor Cryptographic High Value Product for Encrypted Communications (PRNewswire) The U.S. Air Force, in partnership with Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a...

Northrop Grumman, US Army Successfully Demonstrate Multi-domain, Joint Air and Missile Defense (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-developed Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS), the foundation of the U.S. Army IAMD, has successfully demonstrated extraordinary...

BAE Systems readies new data link system for USN (Jane's 360) BAE Systems is developing a new capability that will enable US Navy (USN) ships to simultaneously transmit and receive intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data from multiple sources.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

Radio Enhances Situational Awareness (SIGNAL Magazine) Capability enables users to obtain tactical information from a ground network and pass it to and from Link 16.

Russia is pushing the Army to move faster on electronic warfare (C4ISRNET) The Army believes it can accelerate the development of a key electronic warfare program, and in the process, provide a road map for how the service might improve acquisition.

Why Soldiers Don't Trust Drones (Foreign Affairs) Operators on the ground see drones as riskier and less trustworthy than manned aircraft.

USAF’s Network Gateways Changing Hands, Eliminating “Blind Spots” (null) The Air Force is changing the way it allows web traffic into and out of its networks, relinquishing general oversight and maintenance of these entryways to the Defense Information Systems Agency so it can focus its time elsewhere.

Japan buys US missile defence system to counter North Korean threat (the Guardian) Cabinet approves purchase of two Aegis Ashore land-based interceptors in face of ‘imminent’ national security threat

Making sense of CHAMP, the silver bullet miracle missile that isn’t (C4ISRNET) A weapon that can fry computers and leave people intact is bound to find a use somewhere in America’s present and future wars. I just wouldn’t expect to see it stop a North Korean nuclear weapon.

Could the Air Force disable a North Korean missile before launch? (Air Force Times) Some officials think the Air Force's CHAMP system could be outfitted to a missile and used to disable a North Korean ICBM on the launchpad or in-flight, but there are significant problems with that approach.

Dubious claim of week: Air Force’s “EMP missile” could disable N. Korean ICBMs (Ars Technica) CHAMP microwave pulse can disable electronics, but “frying” ICBMs is a long shot.

Protecting secret networks means being more open about threats (Fifth Domain) The Department of Defense is now sharing an unclassified report with industry as to better inform solutions based on threat behavior.

The solution to more jamming may be another battle management system (C4ISRNET) While the individual services have turned to battle management systems to operationalize the electromagnetic spectrum, the joint community has begun publicly discussing the need for its own electromagnetic battle management system.

North Korea’s New Missile Is a Game-Changer (Defense One) Photos show a nose cone big enough to carry multiple warheads, plus countermeasures that U.S. missile defenses have never been tested against.

STRATCOM head: Timeline to field new missile warning satellites is ‘ridiculous’ (Defense News) Gen. John Hyten recalled a recent meeting in the Pentagon where he was told that “it would be very risky” to deliver new missile satellites before 2029. That's unacceptable, he said.

New Alerting Technology Stops Airplane Hackers at System Level (Avionics) For veteran F-18 fighter pilot Brooks Cleveland, it’s not the obvious things that can go wrong in the cockpit that worry him, it’s the unseen attacks that can affect aircraft systems without being aware of them. “The threats that sci-fi novelists write about are not what I’m worried about as a pilot — of the …

Virtual battle spaces can help rapid real-world tactical decisions (C4ISRNET) Augmented reality systems enable Marines to do mission planning across a variety of changing environments and adversaries, and customized training scenarios reinforce how to think tactically, to make rapid decisions and to communicate effectively.

Army eyeing options for long-range electronic attack (C4ISRNET) Army leaders are looking at alternative approaches to meet and field electronic warfare needs.

Cyber, EW, signals and space mean realigning the Army’s force structure (C4ISRNET) The Army is beginning to change the way its formations are organized to introduce new capabilities for future operating environments.

Research and Development

The key to SPAWAR’s 10-year vision? Urgency (C4ISRNET) The head of the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has issued a strategic vision that emphasizes greater urgency throughout the organization.

MDA awards contracts for a drone-based laser design (Defense News) The Missile Defense Agency has awarded three contracts to Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin to develop preliminary designs for a UAV-based laser.

After 14 months, a new and improved New Shepard flies again (Ars Technica) The capsule carried "Mannequin Skywalker," an instrumented test dummy.

Self-healing networks and amphibious drones: Enabling the Navy’s tactical edge (C4ISRNET) At Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Atlantic, military leaders highlighted the three technologies naval forces will need against near-peer threats.

How DARPA sparked dreams of self-healing networks (C4ISRNET) DARPA's Cyber Grand Challenge showed how artificial intelligence could give the Defense Department the edge in the ongoing cat-and-mouse network battles.

US Strategic Command wants weapons to jam adversary drones (C4ISRNET) The Air Force has awarded ELTA North America a counter-UAS contract.

SPAWAR: Artificial intelligence should be the next space race (C4ISRNET) Chris Miller, executive director of SPAWAR Atlantic, said Dec. 6 that

Target glitch prompts a ‘no test’ for US-Israel Arrow-3 missile interceptor (Defense News) A target missile that “was not conforming to safety parameters” forced program officials in Israel to terminate Monday morning’s planned test of the Arrow-3 prior to launch of the exo-atmospheric intercepting missile.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

National Security Strategy of the United States of America (The White House) My fellow Americans: The American people elected me to make America great again. I promised that my Administration would put the safe , interests, and well-being of our citizens first. I pledged that we would revitalize the American economy, rebuild our military, defend our borders, protect our sovereignty, and advance our values.

The Korean Missile Crisis (Foreign Affairs) The North Korean nuclear threat is more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it is time for the U.S. government to pursue diplomatic options.

Trump signs stopgap spending bill into law to avert shutdown (Federal Times) The stopgap legislation will keep the government from closing down at midnight Friday.

South Korea urges U.S. to delay military drills in nod to North ahead of Olympics (NBC News) President Moon Jae-in said in an interview that the drills could be pushed back if Pyongyang also shows willingness to pause its nuclear and missile tests.

Japan approves introduction of Aegis Ashore missile defense system amid North Korea threat | The Japan Times (The Japan Times) Defense Ministry officials say the government plans to deploy systems in two locations by 2023 at the earliest.

US military to send cyber soldiers to the battlefield (The Straits Times) The US Army will soon send teams of cyber warriors to the battlefield, officials said Wednesday (Dec 13), as the military increasingly looks to take the offensive against enemy computer networks.. Read more at

Army Reorganizes, Accelerates EW: Synergy Or Hostile Takeover? (Breaking Defense) Outgunned in the airwaves by Russian jammers, the US Army has a new plan for electronic warfare.

Japan reacts to reports it wants ability to destroy North Korean missiles prelaunch (Defense News) Reports say Japan is seeking to acquire standoff air-launched ground-attack missiles to give it the capability to strike North Korean missiles before they are launched.

US and South Korea seek to cow the North with massive air drills (Nikkei Asian Review) Eyes on Pyongyang's response to military side of 'maximum pressure'

How to Save the Pentagon’s Innovation Insurgency (Defense One) The former chief of the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force suggests parallel tracks for innovation and execution.

The US May Add THAAD Missile Systems On The West Coast (Newsy) Two congressmen told Reuters the Pentagon was looking into new locations to deploy THAADs after North Korea's latest missile launch.

McMaster: ‘Not much time’ left to deal with North Korea (Defense News) H.R. McMaster unveiled details about the president's new national security strategy.

Why the Marine Corps needed a new deputy commandant (C4ISRNET) The Marine Corps has reorganized its leadership and forces to reflect a new reality: that information will play an outsized role in any future conflict.

Key lawmaker vows to continue Space Corps fight (Defense News) Rep. Mike Rogers, the architect of the Space Corps proposal, says he's confident it will be implemented in next few years despite strong Air Force opposition.

Here’s What the New NDAA Means for Missile Defense (Atlantic Council) The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the US Congress in November prioritizes investments in homeland missile defense. US President Donald J. Trump has called for a “state-of-the-art” missile defense system and this new defense...

Top US Air Force officer teases changes to multidomain C2 (C4ISRNET) The Air Force's multidomain command and control review has concluded. Here's what could be on the table.

The heart of Army acquisition reform? Technology (C4ISRNET) Army leaders are hedging their modernization bets on the forthcoming Army Futures Command.

Army’s new cyber requirements will be based on battlefield needs (C4ISRNET) The Army will begin to start writing requirements with the intended operational effects in mind to get capabilities out to soldiers as opposed to the existing prolonged requirements/program of record construct.

Navy swears in new acquisitions chief (Defense News) James Geurts, a long-time civilian senior executive, takes the position long occupied by former RD&A chief Sean Stackley, who started during the George W. Bush Administration.

Trump orders NASA to send American astronauts to the moon, Mars (CNBC) President Donald Trump on Monday directed NASA to return Americans to the surface of the moon and onward to Mars.

Security clearance investigations fall behind despite reforms (Federal Times) Executive agencies are getting worse at processing background investigations in a timely manner, despite reform efforts, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Could the Pentagon's new R&E head take over military space programs? (Defense News) Could the Pentagon's innovation office take over its management of space issues?

Military tech expert to lead Pentagon acquisition overhaul (C4ISRNET) Ben FitzGerald will help lead restructuring at the Pentagon's top acquisition office.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

U.S. imposes sanctions on two key figures in North Korea’s weapons program (Washington Post) The measures target a rocket scientist and an administrator considered pivotal to the nation’s development of ballistic missiles.

Sydney man charged with brokering North Korea missile sales (NBC News) A Sydney man is charged with acting as an agent for North Korea to allegedly broker sales for Pyongyang, including components used in missiles.

Pentagon Watchdog Cites Top U.S. Space Contractors for Quality-Control Lapses ( The Pentagon’s Inspector General cited key contractors in the military’s primary space launch program, including billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc., for a range of quality-control lapses which it said could result in increased costs or delays to launches.

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

Prior Issues


Sign up to get the Signals & Space monthly cybersecurity briefing - powered by the CyberWire.

Cosmic AES - Experts in Space and Communications