Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

March 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Thursday, March 1, 2018)

North Korean cyber espionage.

North Korean missile-rattling went on a brief hiatus this month as Pyongyang conducted a charm offensive at the Winter Olympics. Politburo member and Supreme Leader's sister Kim Yo-jong wowed a number of news outlets who should have known better before returning to her customary repressive duties north of the 38th parallel. This is likely to be a temporary lull, as mutual recriminations between the DPRK and most of the rest of the world continued at a somewhat lower volume even during the Games. 

North Korean activity in cyberspace continues to concentrate on state-run criminal enterprises: Pyongyang seeks to redress sanctions' financial bite through direct theft. There are also signs that the country is stepping up its espionage with more capable approaches to an expanded target list. Western defense and aerospace firms are now being prospected by Reaper, a relatively young threat group that's emerged from the long shadow of North Korea's premier hacking unit, the Lazarus Group. 

The Olympic Games themselves did experience cyber attacks that manifested themselves as website disruptions during the opening ceremonies. There were clues in the hacks (Korean language traces, some reuse of known North Korean code, and DPRK IP addresses) that pointed to Pyongyang. But even at the time suspicion fell on Russia, which had a number of doping and disqualification bones to pick with the International Olympic Committee. That suspicion seems to have been largely confirmed: officials in the US Intelligence Community have said, anonymously but for attribution, that Russia's GRU military intelligence service (better known in cyberspace as Fancy Bear) was behind the hacks. It appears to have been a false-flag operation.

Proliferation concerns drive missile defense preparations.

Concerns about missile and nuclear weapon proliferation have driven defensive preparations in countries affected by the two states of greatest concern: North Korea and Iran. North Korea, a declared nuclear weapons state with a demonstrated long-range missile capability, is of concern in East Asia and the North America. Iran, not yet a declared nuclear weapons state, but one in possession of short- and intermediate-range missiles, has supplied such weapons to insurgents in Yemen who have used them against Saudi targets. Iran is also regarded as a drone and cruise missile proliferation threat.

Despite some recent failures of missile defense system tests, observers are generally of the belief that such systems have value, have "no choice but to succeed," as some put it. US NORTHCOM says it's confident it can stop a North Korean missile attack.

Space war in "a matter of years?"

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued its annual Worldwide Threat Report on February 8th. The ODNI's assessment is that principal US competitors, that is, Russia and China, have developed not just the doctrine and organizations necessary to wage war in space, and against essential US and allied space platforms, but that they're developing the technical capability to do so as well. A particularly interesting passage in the report says, "We assess that, if a future conflict were to occur involving Russia or China, either country would justify attacks against US and allied satellites as necessary to offset any perceived US military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems. Military reforms in both countries in the past few years indicate an increased focus on establishing operational forces designed to integrate attacks against space systems and services with military operations in other domains."

Russian sources boasted that the country had developed the ability to use lasers as anti-satellite weapons. This appears to be a developmental rather than an operational capability (if indeed it's real and not disinformation) but it offers a troubling kind of corroboration of the ODNI's threat assessment.

US Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein told participants in February's Air Force Association meetings that he saw space war as essentially inevitable, and that the US Air Force expected to fight in space "within a matter of years," presumably sooner than a matter of decades.

Some obvious targets in a space war would be C4ISR systems, including communications, blue force tracking, and GPS. These are therefore the subject not only of US Defense research projects (the US Army being particularly interested in blue force tracking) but also the subject of exercises in which operators develop their ability to operate without the capabilities they've grown accustomed to relying on.

The National Space Defense Center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado is now fully operational.

Falcon Heavy delivers.

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy, largest and most powerful launch vehicle to emerge from the commercial space industry, on February 6th. Its payload was a Tesla roadster, product of one of Elon Musk's other companies. A mannequin in the driver's seat is wearing one of SpaceX's flight suits: the company hopes to fly a crewed mission later this year. For the moment the Tesla is headed for parking in an elliptical solar orbit that will take it beyond the orbit of Mars, but not as far as the Asteroid Belt (contrary to a pardonably enthusiastic tweet by Mr. Musk, who before the launch said he gave the mission only a "50-50" chance of success).

The Falcon Heavy has been under development since at least 2011, with conceptual studies going back to 2004. SpaceX had originally hoped for first flight in 2013, but development proved more challenging than had been anticipated. The launch vehicle's competition would be, roughly, United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy, but the Falcon Heavy can lift a much larger payload--more than 140,000 pounds to low-earth orbit compared to the Delta IV's 63,700. SpaceX successfully recovered two of the system's three boosters, and expects to do better in the future.

Observers regard the Falcon Heavy as a very affordable launch vehicle. A flight in recoverable mode costs $90 million. A fully expendable version of the Falcon Heavy will fly for $150 million. By way of comparison, a Delta IV Heavy flight costs $350 million, and that's a low estimate. Depending on configuration, a Delta IV Heavy launch is estimated at between $400 million and $600 million.

As did Falcon Heavy's smaller, older sister, Falcon 9.

At the end of January a Falcon 9 put a Luxembourg-developed and flagged NATO C4ISR satellite into orbit.

At the beginning of March a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 will fly a new NOAA weather satellite, GOES-S. Later that same day, if plans hold, a SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch a Spanish communications satellite, Hispasat 30W-6. Both flights will be made from Cape Canaveral. 

Space broadband, space clouds.

IBM and Spacebelt have agreed to work together on space-based cloud services. The Internet may also be made accessible from orbital platforms: a Falcon 9 carried two SpaceX Starlink low-latency broadband satellites into orbit on February 17th.

Other commercial space ventures.

Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, continues to make progress on its plans for a commercial space station. He's announced the formation of a new company, Bigelow Space Operations, described as "the public-facing partner of Bigelow Aerospace." He sees its competition as coming from NASA and China, and discusses its orbital hotel even as rumors circulate in Washington of some form of "privatization" for the International Space Station.

And more launch systems are under development.

Japan successfully put a satellite into orbit aboard the smallest rocket ever used for such a purpose. The Number 5 vehicle of the SS-520 series launched a three-kilogram earth-observing microsatellite on February 3rd.

US university students are working on various small launch vehicles as engineering projects in a race to an altitude of 100 kilometers. They may not reach orbit soon, but they do plan to cross the Kármán line into space by the end of July 2019.

On the other end of the rocket scale is another SpaceX project, the "BFR," which in bowdlerized form stands for "Big Falcon Rocket." It would eclipse the Falcon Heavy once development is complete.

Stratolaunch Systems Corp. has been taxi-testing its Stratolaunch aircraft at the Mojave Spaceport this month, and a first flight appears to be approaching. The very large aircraft (wingspan 117 meters, maximum takeoff weight 590 metric tons) would serve in effect as a reusable first stage, carrying a smaller rocket to high altitudes where it would be released for its own motor to carry it into orbit. The Stratolaunch aircraft would carry Orbital ATK's Pegasus vehicles, at least in its earlier flights.

Another startup, SpinLaunch, founded in 2014, is working on a different first-stage alternative. The company (currently seeking $30 million is Series A funding) intends to use a powerful centrifuge to loft a smaller rocket high enough for its own motor to finish the trip to low-earth orbit. This idea has been under consideration for some time (informally called, a few years ago, a "slingotron") but it will have some challenges to overcome before if can be made successful. Engineering the payload to withstand the very great acceleration in the atmosphere the centrifuge would achieve is seen by observers as the principal problem in need of solution.



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, NATO/OTAN, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (10)

Trends (1)

Marketplace (19)

Products, Services, and Solutions (22)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (25)

Design and Innovation (3)

Research and Development (16)

Academia (1)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (14)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (1)

Events (10)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

North Korea resumes cyber attacks in desperate search for foreign currency (Nikkei Asian Review) The North Korean state-sponsored hacker group Lazarus appears to have resumed its efforts to steal desperately needed foreign currency for th

Lesser-known North Korea cyber-spy group goes international: report (Reuters) A North Korean cyber espionage group previously known only for targeting South Korea's government and private sector deepened its sophistication and hit further afield including in Japan and the Middle East in 2017, security researchers said on Tuesday.

US Spooks: Russia Hacked Pyeongchang 2018 (Infosecurity Magazine) US Spooks: Russia Hacked Pyeongchang 2018. Intelligence suggests Kremlin spies tried to frame North Korea

CSAF Predicts War In Space ‘In A Matter Of Years’ (Breaking Defense) It is only “a matter of years” before the US fights “from space,” the Air Force’s top uniformed leader said here.

US Intelligence Issues a Warning About Russian, Chinese Space And Counterspace Weapons (ScienceAlert) Every year, the Department of National Intelligence (DNI) releases its Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.

Iranian Cruise Missiles also a Proliferation Threat (Foundation for Defense of Democracies) In its new Worldwide Threat Assessment for 2018, the U.S. intelligence community warns that Iran continues to “enable” attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels against America’s Persian Gulf partners.

Iran sends drone into Israeli airspace one day before 1979 revolution anniversary (FDD's Long War Journal) In the early hours of Feb. 10, a day before the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, an Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) entered Israeli airspace from Syria.

All Eyes on North Korea (Foreign Policy) Intelligence agencies are surging resources to focus on the Korean Peninsula.

'Fancy Bear' hackers took aim at US defense contractors (Fifth Domain) The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities.

The Long Shadow of A.Q. Khan (Foreign Affairs) The Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan illegally proliferated nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea over the course of decades. What lessons does his story hold today?


Three tech problems the Navy and Marines are worried about (Fifth Domain) Leaders from the Navy and Marine Corps highlighted technical problems that could lead to long-term difficulties for the Pentagon.


America's Starmen Are Selling Space, But Who’s Buying? (Popular Mechanics) The emerging U.S. commercial manned spaceflight market may depend on foreign customers—which is a problem, given the way our laws are written.

General Dynamics Mission Systems secures $208 million contract for ongoing supply of digital modular radio (Military Embedded Systems) General Dynamics Mission Systems has won a five-year, $208 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract from the U.S. Navy for the continued procurement, testing, and delivery of the AN/USC-61(C) Digital Modular Radio (DMR).

Orbital ATK contracted for testing of drone missile targets (UPI) Orbital ATK has been awarded a $79.4 million contract by the U.S. Navy for development, testing and evaluation of the Ground Launch Drone Missile.

General Atomics enlists Boeing for its MQ-25 Stingray proposal (UPI) General Atomics announced a collaboration with Boeing, among other companies, to develop and build the MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based tanker drone for the Navy.

The Army plans to spend an additional $150 million on blue force tracking systems next year (C4ISRNET) The Army wants to make substantial investments in its friendly forces tracking system, according to the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2019.

Northrop Grumman Acquisition of Orbital ATK Approved by European Commission (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The European Commission has notified Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) that it has approved Northrop Grumman's acquisition of Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA). Northrop Grumman continues to support the U.S. Federal Trade...

Why General Dynamics' NGA protest fell short (Washington Technology) General Dynamics fell short in its bid to get the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to reconsider an $207 million award to Leidos.

Boeing Still Exploring Sigint Role For P-8 Poseidon (Aviation Week) Boeing remains committed to expanding the signals intelligence capabilities of its P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime platform.

BAE Systems to provide equipment and support services to US SPAWAR (Naval Technology) BAE Systems has been selected for the delivery of equipment and support services for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems...Read More...

Lockheed Martin Receives $524 Million Contract for PAC-3 Missiles (Government Security News) The United States and allied military forces will upgrade their missile defense capabilities under a $524 million contract modification for pr

Finland Arms Up with Missiles from Boeing and Raytheon (The Motley Fool) What's small beans for these defense contractors is a big investment for Finland.

Lockheed Martin posts satellite data online to lure space entrepreneurs ( Lockheed Martin has decided to publicly release the technical specifications of its satellite platforms.

Fulcrum buys PTR to expand R&D, intell work (Washington Technology) Fulcrum IT Services acquires The PTR Group to grow research-and-development work and services to intelligence agencies.

Elon Musk says SpaceX to focus on BFR following Falcon Heavy launch (TechCrunch) SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said at a press event for the just-launched Falcon Heavy that SpaceX will now begin focusing in earnest on "BFR," the code name for its..

Northrop Grumman to Provide Advanced Electronic Warfare Simulation Capability to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has received a $75 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract award to deliver Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) support services to the Kingdom of Saudi...

Raytheon Profits from PATRIOT-ism ( Ever since Hawaii's false alarm about a non-existent North Korean nuclear missile attack last month, missile defense has been at the top of defense investors' minds. Turns out it's on

Seoul to order new PAC-3 interceptors to counter North Korea (Defense News) The deployment of PAC-3 MSE is expected to help enhance the South Korean military’s multi-layered shield of PAC-3 interceptors, along with the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system deployed in the southern region of South Korea last year.

Mercury Systems Receives $2.0M Order for Tactical EO/IR Subsystem ( Mercury Systems, Inc. announced it has received an initial $2.0 million order for an Electro-Optic/Infra-Red image.

Ball Aerospace Teams with BAE Systems to Provide Advanced Network Communications for the U.S. Navy (PR Newswire) Ball Aerospace will deliver multi-beam phased array antenna systems as...

Products, Services, and Solutions

SpaceX’s historic Falcon Heavy successfully launches (TechCrunch) SpaceX has had a very good first test of its Falcon Heavy rocket, the heavy-lift orbital vehicle that can carry twice the weight of its closest competition in..

SpaceX's big new rocket blasts off, puts sports car in space (Defense News) SpaceX’s big new rocket blasted off Tuesday on its first test flight, carrying a red sports car aiming for an endless road trip past Mars.

Giddy Musk Celebrates SpaceX's Triumphant Falcon Heavy Launch (Sci-Tech Today) In a historic first, SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket and landed its two side boosters on the ground, a feat the company hopes will lead to future commercial and national security missions.

The Falcon Heavy is an absurdly low-cost heavy lift rocket (Ars Technica) The new SpaceX rocket seriously undercuts its competitors.

Forget the Falcon Heavy’s payload and focus on where the rocket will go (Ars Technica) We found one killer app for Musk’s rocket—if NASA embraces it.

Here’s what the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch means for the satellite industry (C4ISRNET) Elon Musk's red roadster is in orbit, but what does the Falcon Heavy launch mean for the Defense community and the satellite launch industry?

Atlas 5 launch on track for Thursday, SpaceX mission expected to slip (SpaceFlightNow) A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is set to roll to its launch pad Wednesday at Cape Canaveral, a day before liftoff with a new-generation NOAA weather satellite. The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Spanish communications satellite is expected to be shuffled after the Atlas 5 flight in a rapid-fire launch sequence at the Florida spaceport this week.

Dear Mr. Allen, please let your big bird take flight soon. Signed, everyone (Ars Technica) The Stratolaunch vehicle has a wingspan of 117 meters.

SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 launch includes stage one of its satellite internet plan (TechCrunch) SpaceX is launching a Falcon 9 on February 17 (should the current target date stick) and the rocket is carrying a primary payload of a Spanish satellite for..

New drone ship under construction for SpaceX rocket landings (Spaceflight Now) SpaceX will deploy a new rocket landing platform off Florida’s Space Coast to enter a rotation with another drone ship stationed at Cape Canaveral, company founder Elon Musk said Monday.

The Falcon Heavy backlash and the public trust (TechCrunch) I watched the Falcon Heavy launch this week. Not as an accredited journalist, from an observation tower, but as one of the masses on Alan Shepard Beach twelve miles south.

SpaceX landed two of its three Falcon Heavy first-stage boosters (TechCrunch) SpaceX has managed an incredible feat alongside its historic Falcon Heavy first test launch today -- landing two of its boosters at once, nearly..

The Best SpaceX Conspiracies About the Falcon Heavy Launch (Motherboard) Did Elon Musk pull off the perfect murder? And other things conspiracy theorists are wondering.

SpaceX Launches Satellite With More Cyber Protection (VOA) The Luxembourg-built satellite expands NATO surveillance and ability to stop cyber attacks

SpaceX hits two milestones in plan for low-latency satellite broadband (Ars Technica) SpaceX got good news from the FCC and will launch two demo satellites Saturday.

Lockheed's 'Dragon Shield' for Finland achieves operational capability (UPI) The "Dragon Shield" airborne surveillance system built for the Finnish Defense Forces has achieved final operational capability, Lockheed Martin has announced.

CommAgility LTE systems chosen by Lockheed Martin for satcom project (Markets Insider) CommAgility, a Wireless Telecom Group company (NYSE MKT: WTT), announces that it is has been selected by...

This platform wants to address cyberthreats at the edge (C4ISRNET) PacStar and Fidelis Cybersecurity have teamed to deliver a rugged tactical cyberthreat detection and response system for mobile war fighters.

Raytheon Ground System for Satellites Skewered by Research Firm ( The Pentagon and Congress can have little confidence in any estimate Raytheon Co. or the Air Force may offer on the cost and timeline for a troubled ground control system to operate new Global Positioning System satellites, according to a report from a nonprofit research firm.

Financial documents raise questions about AR1 engine’s readiness (Ars Technica) "We are committed to delivering an engine in 2019," the company said.

Mercury Systems Announces New Rugged High Density Server Form Factor ( Mercury Systems, Inc. today announced HDslim, a new sub-rack form factor for its RES High Density server product.

Thales Highlights Integrated Aviation Cybersecurity (Aviation Week) Thales is keen to emphasize the importance of integrating cybersecurity thinking across all parts of the aviation ecosystem - civil and military, in the air or on the ground.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

IBM is launching a floating, talking robotic head into space that will work with astronauts (Business Insider) European astronaut Alexander Gerst is bringing a special gift to the International Space Station: a floating, talking orb powered by IBM Watson.

Finding a tent in a satellite image is the new needle in a haystack (C4ISRNET) DoD's technology innovation branch hopes to create the largest dataset of satellite imagery.

Russia Claims It Now Has Lasers To Shoot Satellites (Defense One) A defense source tells Russian media that military engineers have advanced work on the next big anti-satellite weapon.

Eutelsat Quantum — Europe's new-generation ultra-flexible satellite (Deutsche Welle) This Monday, Eutelsat, Airbus and ESA presented the new Quantum satellite in Portsmouth, UK. A communications satellite of the latest generation, it is much more versatile than anything that came before.

As Predator drones retire, the Reapers’ mission grows (Air Force Times) With the retirement of MQ-1 Predators this month, MQ-9 Reapers are executing deliberate strikes, providing armed overwatch or close-air support, and flexing to ISR taskings — all in a single mission.

Air Force Offers Up Options While Pondering a Post-JSTARS Future (National Defense) The Air Force is proposing an array of near-term solutions to maintain the effectiveness of the joint surveillance target attack radar system after announcing it was cancelling the lucrative recapitalization program last month.

MDA to Design Optical Comms Payload for Airbus (Via Satellite) MDA announced that it has signed a contract valued at approximately CA$4 million ($3.1 million) with Airbus for design studies dedicated to the optical dat

Why it’s harder for soldiers to tell if their radios are being jammed (C4ISRNET) Already jammed full of telecom signals, the airwaves have become increasingly congested with the popularity of the Internet of Things, making it harder for soldiers to understand what's happening with their radios.

NORTHCOM Has '100 Percent Confidence' U.S. Can Repel a North Korean Missile Attack (USNI News) The top military officer charged with defending the American homeland said she had “100 percent confidence” that Northern Command could defeat a ballistic missile attack from North Korea. Air Force Gen. Lori Robison, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, said in her opening statement, “We continue to watch their developments [in ballistic …

Czechs to open satellite center to serve intelligence, NATO (C4ISRNET) The Czech Republic’s army says it is planning to open a new satellite center to serve the country’s military intelligence and NATO.

Bigelow's New Company Wants to Build a Space Station to Compete with China (Motherboard) The billionaire hotelier announced the formation of a new space company today, and why he thinks NASA and China are the biggest threats to LEO commercial space stations.

NASA spends $1 billion for a launch tower that leans, may only be used once (Ars Technica) Vice President Mike Pence may visit the launch tower today.

National Space Defense Center begins 24-hour operations (Military Times) The National Space Defense Center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado is now in full operation.

Japan and US scramble to perfect missile attack responses (Nikkei Asian Review) As North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear and missile development programs, Japan and the U.S., as well as South Korea, are left to tackl

WashPost: Sr Military Officers Questioned Procedure After False Hawaii Missile Alert (Newsmax) Senior U.S. military officers expressed concern about communication procedures following a false ballistic missile alert sent out by authorities in Hawaii in early January, emails obtained by The Washington Post show.The warning from Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency,...

The Army's next network strategy: halt, fix, pivot (C4ISRNET) The Army has submitted a report to Congress that describes the Army’s strategy for modernizing its networks.

Navy’s new weapon of choice? Information (C4ISRNET) Three Navy leaders explain how the service prepares to stitch together operational domains and train next-gen information warriors.

Images reveal progress on Japan’s C-2 intelligence-gathering variant (Defense News) The test bed of Japan’s intelligence gathering version of the Kawasaki C-2 airlifter has broken cover, with photographs emerging of the aircraft undergoing taxi tests.

NATO’s Crossed Swords exercise preps cyber warriors (Fifth Domain) NATO members are concerned their networks will be vulnerable to increasingly dynamic cyberthreats.

What we know about the secret Silent Barker space program (C4ISRNET) The Air Force is formally searching for a launch vehicle for the secret space program known as Silent Barker.

Reality check: Failures happen, even in missile defense testing (Defense News) Despite the failure, experts say that in the long run the SM-3 IIA has no choice but to succeed.

How reliable is ADS-B Out technology for military surveillance? ( DoD plans to add surveillance technology to a growing number of military planes, but GAO says that could lead to more problems.

Defense, civilian contractors laying groundwork to implement NIST information-sharing framework ( It's a long road ahead, but federal agencies and contractors are laying the groundwork to implement NIST'S latest framework to protect federal information.

A Long-Lost NASA Spacecraft Rises From the Dead ( After 13 years of silence, scientists hear a mission calling home.

DOD “Red Flag” exercise ushers in GPS jamming season across West (Ars Technica) War games in the sky, at sea, on ground block GPS to add a dose of reality.

Design and Innovation

This Company Wants to Catapult Rockets into Space (Motherboard) What we know about SpinLaunch, a company created in secret four years ago.

IBM and SpaceBelt Collaborate on Innovative Architecture for Secure Cloud Management and Storage in Space (PR Newswire) As worldwide security growth moves to more than $96 billion in 2018,...

Cyberwarfare is taking to the skies, aboard drones (MIT Technology Review) Hovering computers will make it increasingly possible to hack equipment that doesn’t connect directly to the internet.

Research and Development

Army Research Lab awards $25 million contract for Internet of Battlefield Things (Fifth Domain) An Army research lab is partnering with academia and industry to develop seamless communication between man and machine for fast-paced battlefields.

Air Force wants to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities in avionics systems (Defense News) Here's how the Air Force is investing in mitigating and detecting cyber vulnerabilities in avionics systems.

Missile Defense Agency asks for $700 million to bolster hypersonic defense (C4ISRNET) The fiscal 2019 budget for the Missile Defense Agency calls for spending $732 million on hypersonic defense in the coming years.

The Next Falcon Heavy Will Carry the Most Powerful Atomic Clock Ever Launched into Space ( A very small, very powerful atomic clock will ride the next Falcon Heavy to space.

Northrop Grumman Launches First Open Architecture Test Bed to Support DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) Program (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) as a Phase 1 Swarm Systems Integrator for the Agency’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program. As part of the...

LISA pathfinder mission a glorious success (Ars Technica) LISA pathfinder three times better than required, 10 times better than expected.

The special data device SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy sent to orbit is just the start (TechCrunch) A so-called 'Starman,' which is a life-size mannequin wearing a production version of the SpaceX crew spacesuit; a miniature car created by Hot Wheels to..

Russia Is Now Working on a Super Heavy Rocket of Its Own (Popular Mechanics) The spiritual successor to Russia's largest rockets plans to fly in 2028.

Is JSTARS the right way forward? Even Lockheed says it’s a question worth asking. (Defense News) Next week, the U.S. Air Force is expected to announce its decision on whether to continue the JSTARS recap program, but a top Lockheed Martin executive contends that an alternative to JSTARS might actually be the best approach.

Building the Future of Space Exploration (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) Since the beginning of the U.S. space program in 1958, every space system developed by this country has been manufactured, integrated and tested on Earth, then launched into space aboard a rocket. This approach has been both expensive and logistically...

Japan successfully launches world's smallest satellite-carrying rocket (The Japan Times) Japan successfully launched on Saturday the world's smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January last year, the nation's space

As space race heats up, Japan needs to find its booster (Nikkei Asian Review) On Jan. 18, Japan's space agency successfully launched its Epsilon-3 rocket, a small, solid-fuel rocket designed to carry satellites into orb

The Army wants to be able to track friendly forces during a cyber attack (C4ISRNET) The Army is working on a new Blue Force Tracking system as the service prepares for soldiers to operate in hostile cyber and electronic warfare environments.

US Losing Its Advantage in Race for Hypersonic Technology: Selva ( Did the U.S. military miss its window of opportunity to beat out adversaries in hypersonics development?

Seabed to Space: U.S. Navy Information Warfare Enriches Cyber Resiliency, Strategic Competition (DVIDS) The U.S. Navy Information Warfare (IW) pavilion concluded the three-day premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast, WEST 2018, Feb. 8.

Five questions with the head of the Space and Naval Systems Command (C4ISRNET) Rear Adm. Becker, commander of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, spoke with C4ISRNET’s Amber Corrin about recruiting cyber talent, his role in evaluating the McCain collision and the rise of data scientists, among other topics.


The race to space heats up—on college campuses (Ars Technica) One proposed rocket will have the capacity to lift 5kg to an altitude of 110km.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

New Nuke Cruise Missile Could Go on Zumwalt-Class Destroyers: StratCom ( The U.S. could put nuclear cruise missiles aboard Zumwalt-class Navy destroyers.

What the budget request explains about Cyber Command’s goals (Fifth Domain) Here are four programs and capabilities Cyber Command is looking to purchase in fiscal 2019.

The Bundeswehr, famously bureaucratic, wants to charm technology startups (Defense News) Germany’s tech companies could see new business with the military, as Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen seeks to funnel more funding toward cyber technologies under plans to grow the country’s defense budget.

Plan to modernize air and space systems takes Air Force out of its comfort zone ( Air Force leaders say changes in procurement spending are necessary for the military to ensure air and space supremacy.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel will attack Iran if necessary (Washington Examiner) 'We will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies but against Iran itself,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the Munich Security Conference.

U.S. Has No ‘Bloody Nose Strategy’ for North Korea, Senators Say ( President Donald Trump’s national security adviser told a group of senators that the U.S. doesn’t have a so-called bloody nose policy to strike North Korea.

Give ‘Maximum Pressure’ a Chance (Foreign Policy) Too much engagement with North Korea could derail the White House’s promising approach.

Length Doesn’t Matter (Foreign Policy) The United States and Europe need to get serious about limiting Iran’s missiles of all ranges — and the Missile Technology Control Regime should guide…

Op-ed: The story behind the satellite that Trump wants dead (Ars Technica) It’s difficult to describe all the ways this is stupid.

NASA Budgets for a Trip to the Moon, but Not While Trump Is President (New York Times) The administration sees a greater role for the private sector in returning to the moon and running the International Space Station, which it would stop financing in 2025.

The Trump administration is reportedly moving to privatize the International Space Station (TechCrunch) The Trump administration is planning to privatize the international space station instead of simply decommissioning the orbiting international experiment in 2024, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Why China Won’t Rescue North Korea (Foreign Affairs) American assumptions about China’s interests on the Korean Peninsula are dangerously outdated. Despite conventional wisdom, China is no longer wedded to North Korea’s survival.

French official details intelligence-sharing relationship with Five Eyes (Defense News) France joined that high-level group about a year ago, reflecting a strengthening of ties between Paris and Washington.

DOD's nuclear posture review includes tougher cyber defenses ( The Pentagon's updated Nuclear Posture Review includes steps for strengthening the military's cyber defenses, as President Trump is calling for an increase in spending to modernize the nation's nuclear arsenal, Inside Cybersecurity reports.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Report: North Korea got nuclear knowhow via Berlin embassy (Deutsche Welle) A German public broadcaster reports that North Korea used its Berlin embassy to acquire high-tech equipment. The domestic intelligence agency believes that the technology was used for missile and nuclear programs.

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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