Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

May 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Tuesday, May 1, 2018)

Diplomatic breakthrough in Korea?

The leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, met in the treaty village of Panmunjom along the demarcation line between the two states. As has been widely noted, the meeting represented a historic first, the only time a North Korean leader has visited the South since partition. A joint declaration committed the two countries to increased exchanges (including reunification of families), reduction of military tensions, and a commitment to removing all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

How seriously the North Korean half of the undertaking may in fact be has been widely questioned, with many observers thinking the Kim is playing his opponents. But there are signs that sanctions led by the US (and tightened recently by China) have continued to bite the DPRK's already fragile economy, and that quiet meetings between North Korean leaders and US Director of Central Intelligence Pompeo may have helped open Pyongyang to more serious negotiation. A US-North Korean summit is still expected, details to be worked out later. 

Questions over DPRK capabilities and intentions.

North Korea has not, really, stopped cyber operations.  Researchers at McAfee say they tracked Operation GhostSecret, a major DPRK cyber espionage operation, through most of March. The Pyongyang-associated threat group Hidden Cobra is thought to be behind the campaign. Hidden Cobra has been implicated in both espionage and financial fraud.

North Korea's nuclear testing program may be facing a technical setback. Its underground testing site is reported to have become unstable. The country's nuclear weapons program may, observers continue to fear, be directed as much toward delivering electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks against electronic systems as it is to the more obvious nuclear effects of blast, heat, and radiation.

Heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran and the US remain at odds over Iran's compliance with international undertakings to halt development of nuclear weapons. The US Administration thinks Iran is cheating, and has made noises about ending or at least renegotiating the non-proliferation accords. Iran complains that the US is itself already out of compliance, and threatens to accelerate its weapons program should diplomacy fail. France and Germany, interested in seeing the existing agreements work, are seeking to convince the US to stay with them.

US, France, UK strike Syrian targets.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 14th (Damascus time), a combined US, French, and British task force delivered missile strikes against targets connected to Syria's chemical weapons program and deployed capabilities. Three sites were hit: a research and development facility at Barzan on the outskirts of Damascus, and two chemical weapons installations west of Homs. One of the sites near Homs was a sarin production facility (Sarin being the nerve agent apparently used against civilians in Douma early in April), the other described variously as a "bunker" or a "military command-and-control center."

US forces hit Barzan: fifty-seven ship-launched Tactical Tomahawks from US cruisers, destroyers, and submarines were joined by nineteen Joint Air-to-Service Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) cruise missiles delivered by B-1B Lancer bombers.

The Hims-Shinshar chemical weapons storage installation near Homs was targeted by the Royal Air Force and the French Navy and Air Force. RAF Tornado strike aircraft operating from Cyprus delivered eight Storm Shadow cruise missiles, a French Frigate contributed three Missiles De Croisière Naval, and the French Air Force dropped two SCALP missiles.

The French Air Force hit the third target, also at Hims-Shinsahar, with six air-launched SCALP weapons.

Some reports indicated the participation of a Royal Navy submarine in the strikes as well. The three nations' forces closely coordinated their strikes. By most accounts the ordnance was delivered to the targets within ten minutes. The strike against Barzan represented the first combat use of the JASSM-ER.

Russia protested the strikes, essentially seconding Syrian president Assad's protestations of innocence concerning chemical attacks and claiming that Western evidence of chemical weapon use by Assad was a hoax. That claim, implausible on the face of it, hasn't stood up to scrutiny: evidence of hoaxing produced by Russian media was itself a hoax. Russian authorities also claimed that their S-400 Triumph air defense system deployed to Syria shot down seventy-one of the missiles launched. US, British, and French officials dismiss these claims, saying no missiles (or aircraft) were lost. And indeed such open-source bomb damage assessment imagery as has become available shows extensive damage to the targets.

Russia also claimed to have obtained a Tomahawk, which it intends to reverse-engineer to improve its own weapons. The US dismissed the claim as "absurd."

Missile defense effectiveness remains controversial.

It's not just the Russian S-400 whose effectiveness is being called into question. Observers continue to cast doubt on how well the US Patriot air defense system has worked in combat, most recently against Houthi Scud-derivatives fired against Saudi Arabia. Lieutenant General (retired) David L. Mann, who recently commanded the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command, is among those who've come to the Patriot's defense, arguing that it has a good hit-to-kill record, and that criticism of the system derives from unreasonable perfectionism and sketchy reports of combat results.

The long-awaited US Missile Defense Review, which the Department of Defense had originally planned to publish late in 2017, has been delayed until this May. The Pentagon says it wants to produce a thorough, high-quality report of appropriate scope, and that it's worth taking their time to do so.

Russian EW operations.

US EC-130 Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft are said to be encountering "disabling" Russian electronic warfare (presumably jamming) as they operate over Syria. Army General Raymond Thomas, head of US Special Operations Command, as having made remarks to this effect at the GEOINT conference on April 24th. Compass Call has what the US Air Force calls "offensive counter-information and electronic attack capabilities." It's best known as a big jammer. Most take "disabling" to mean "effectively jammed." There's no suggestion that any of the aircraft have been lost.

There's some dispute among reporters covering GEOINT whether the general said "EC-130" or "AC-130." The EC-130 is the dedicated electronic warfare ship. The AC-130 is a gunship that's seen a lot of use in the relatively benign airspace one usually encounters in counterinsurgency and counterterror operations. While it isn't an EW platform, the AC-130 does sometimes carry an electronics warfare operator as part of its crew.

Whatever's being jammed, the Russians have long had a reputation for capable electronic warfare, and it wouldn't be surprising if Syria had indeed become the world's most aggressive EW environment, as General Thomas characterized it. 

Cyber continues to get more tactical.

All the Services are devoting increased attention to pushing cyber operations down to the tactical level. The Army is working cyber elements into task-force-level training, the Marines are moving cyber capabilities into MARSOC, and the Air Force and Navy are taking comparable steps. US Cyber Command has established a new planning cell in South Korea.

NATO's annual Locked Shields cyber exercise was also held this month in Estonia. This year's exercise also involved participation by non-NATO partners of the Atlantic Alliance. The exercise was coincidentally lent additional point this year by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg's comment early this month that under certain circumstances NATO might invoke its Article 5 (collective defense) in the face of a cyber attack.

Counterspace capabiliites.

A report by the Secure World Foundation concludes that satellites are becoming more vulnerable to a wide range of attacks, both kinetic and cyber. Russia, China, and the US are all working to develop an array of anti-satellite capabilities. Two developments arouse particular concern among the report's authors. Satellite systems are vulnerable to the same kinds of cyber attack as other connected systems, and, the report suggests, space systems may be lagging purely terrestrial systems in their resilience to such attack. The other problem is posed by an increasingly globalized supply chain. With Chinese components in particular finding their way into many electronic systems, concerns that such components may be backdoored or otherwise compromised cannot be ignored.

There's also the possibility of cyberattack by criminals or hacktivists. As the report notes, "A growing number of non-state actors are actively probing commercial satellite systems and discovering cyber vulnerabilities that are similar in nature to those found in non-space systems. This indicates that manufacturers and developers of space systems may not yet have reached the same level of cyber hardness as other sectors." This threat, however, is distinctly secondary: it's the Russian and Chinese governments the US has to watch.

Space launch market.

Orbital ATK indicates its intentions to make a push into the space launch market, challenging both SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.

Blue Origin held a test launch of its New Shepard reusable rocket and capsule at the end of April. New Shepard is generally being described as a "space tourism" play.

Supply chain security and the Defense Industrial Base.

The long-anticipated review of the Defense Industrial Base is expected to be released in mid-May. One of the more difficult issues that review will address concerns the security challenges presented by a globalized supply chain. Globalization is particularly pronounced and problematic with respect to electronics, notably computer hardware and software. The report is expected to focus on US dependance on Chinese-made components. One interesting feature of the report is that its conclusions are said to have been shaped by rounds of wargaming.

US senior leadership changes.

The Senate has confirmed Army Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone as the next Director, National Security Agency, and Commander, US Cyber Command. John Bolton has replaced H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor. He's brought in Mira Ricardel from her post as Undersecretary of Commerce for Export Administration as his deputy, and is making other weeping changes in the National Security Council staff.

Mike Pompeo, former Director of Central Intelligence, has been confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of State. Gina Haspel, nominated to succeed Pompeo as DCI, is undergoing her own confirmation process.



Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting China, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (20)

Trends (2)

Marketplace (16)

Products, Services, and Solutions (8)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (12)

Design and Innovation (2)

Research and Development (13)

Academia (1)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (38)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (1)

Events (25)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

U.S., Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack (New York Times) The strikes sought to punish the Syrian government after what Western officials said was a deadly chemical attack in a Damascus suburb that had been held by rebels.

How a Syrian Airstrike Got Help From Space (Popular Mechanics) A glimpse at the early days of a new kind of space war, where 30-somethings are rewriting the rules from a command center in Qatar.

Pentagon: No Civilians Killed in Syria Attack ( But officials said Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad still maintains chemical weapons capabilities.

Douma chemical attack draws international outrage (Al Jazeera) US President Trump tells Russia and Iran there would be a 'big price to pay' for backing 'animal Assad'.

Pentagon: Sarin likely at Syria sites, but questions remain (Military Times) The Pentagon said Thursday a “preponderance of the evidence” indicates there were chemical weapons, including “elements” of sarin nerve gas, at the three Syrian sites bombed by the U.S. and its allies last week.

Chemical weapons inspectors collect samples from Syria site ( Global chemical weapons watchdog says it has collected samples from Douma, Syria, two weeks after suspected chemical weapons attack.

Russia Widens EW War, ‘Disabling’ EC-130s In Syria (Breaking Defense) The Compass Call is supposed to be one of America’s foremost electronic warfare weapons, but the EC-130s flying near Syria are being attacked and disabled “in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet,” the head of Special Operations Command said here today.

Russia claims it has a US Tomahawk cruise missile and will use it to improve its own weapons (CNBC) Russia has gotten its hands on an U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile and it's going to study it to improve its own weapon systems, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

CIA Director: 'Couple Hundred Russians' Killed In February U.S. Assault In Syria (RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty) CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said that a "couple hundred Russians" were killed in eastern Syria during U.S. artillery and air strikes in early February, an attack that remains shrouded in mystery.

North Korea’s Secret Weapon: An Electromagnetic Storm (Bloomberg Quint) The likelihood of Kim actually surrendering his nuclear weapons is extremely low, no matter what he says publicly.

North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site Is Largely Unusable, Chinese Scientists Say (Wall Street Journal) A large part of North Korea’s underground nuclear test facility is unusable due to the collapse of a cavity inside the mountain after the latest test-detonation occurred, according to Chinese seismologists.

Analyzing Operation GhostSecret: Attack Seeks to Steal Data Worldwide (McAfee Blogs) McAfee Advanced Threat Research analysts have uncovered a global data reconnaissance campaign assaulting a wide number of industries.

North Korean Destructive Malware Is Back, Says DHS Report (Foreign Policy) Malware not seen since the 2014 attack on Sony has returned, raising the possibility of future destructive attacks.

UK launched cyber-attack on Islamic State (BBC News) The attack suppressed IS propaganda and hindered their ability to plan attacks, GCHQ says.

Yemen's Houthi rebels fire ballistic missile at Saudi capital (Al Jazeera) Saudi air defences intercept missile fired at Riyadh, videos published on social media purportedly show.

How the UAE’s Chinese-Made Drone Is Changing the War in Yemen (Foreign Policy) An airstrike that killed a senior Houthi leader shows that the Emirates is growing more assertive in its military operations.

Misleading Missile Defense Claims are Inaccurate and Dangerous (Real Clear Defense) This week rebels in Yemen again launched missiles against U.S. allies in the Middle East.

Global Counterspace Capabilities (Secure World) Space security has become an increasingly salient policy issue.

"Impregnable" radar breached in simulated cyber attack (Marine Electronics and Communications) The nightmare scenario cannot be ignored, says editor Martyn Wingrove. Ethical hackers have now proven radar and other bridge systems are vulnerable

Thales Exec: Connected Aircraft and the New Cyber Vulnerabilities (Via Satellite) As commercial aircraft increasingly become connected to the larger Internet of Things (IOT), the potential for safety risks also rise, the head of Thales’ business operations in the United States said on Wednesday.


‘A Computer That Happens To Fly’: USAF, RAF Chiefs On Multi-Domain Future (Breaking Defense) “I grew up flying fighters,” says Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force Chief of Staff, "and I will tell you, when I see the F-35, I don’t see a fighter. I see a computer that happens to fly."

Space war is coming — and the U.S. is not ready (POLITICO) “We are now approaching a point where ‘Star Wars’ is not just a movie,” one government adviser warns.


NASA to pay more for less cargo delivery to the space station (Ars Technica) SpaceX price increase is a big factor in the rising costs.

How a Pentagon Contract Sparked a Cloud War ( Amazon and Google are taking on defense contractors in a heated battle for billions in government contracts.

After Boeing drops out, Lockheed more likely to keep building Air Force GPS satellites (Denver Business Journal) The Air Force won't say who else is bidding on a space project worth billions; Boeing bowed out suggesting requirements were stacked against it.

To keep foothold in government market, satellite imaging companies have to gain trust ( NGA Director Cardillo: “I want the market to work … but government shouldn’t be their first customer. We should be their second customer.”

Orbital ATK poised to 'upset' SpaceX, ULA in race for Air Force contracts, Jefferies says (CNBC) Once a monopoly, the market to launch Air Force equipment to space is getting crowded.

Boeing, Lockheed, ULA corner the government-funded space market. SpaceX moving up ( Within the top five space contractors, from 2011 to 2017, ULA surpassed Boeing and became the top overall vendor.

General Dynamics freshens 40-year Army relationship with another win (Washington Technology) General Dynamics IT maintains 40-year relationship with the Army Intelligence and Security Command with a new contract win to support IT networks.

BRIEF-Mercury Systems Inc Receives a $4.8 Million Order (Reuters) Mercury Systems receives $4.8m order for high-performance digital signal processing modules for synthetic aperture radar application

Orbital ATK selects Aerojet Rocketdyne's RL10C for newly christened OmegA rocket ( Orbital ATK on Monday revealed new details about the rocket it has been developing over the last three years in an effort to take U.S. Air Force launch contracts away from United Launch Alliance and SpaceX.

Mercury Systems Receives $5.7M BuiltSECURE Memory Order for Airborne AESA Radar Application (Mercury Systems) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) ( announced it received a $5.7 million follow-on order from a leading defense prime contractor for ultra-compact, high-speed memory devices featuring BuiltSECURE™ technology.

SpaceX’s President is Thinking Even Bigger Than Elon Musk (WIRED) Gwynne Shotwell tells the TED conference that plans to take humans to Mars are "risk reduction for the human species."

Army Cyber Command gets limited acquisition authority (Fifth Domain) The deputy to the commander of ARCYBER now has the ability to get capability into the hands of operators faster.

Deal done: General Dynamics closes CSRA buy (Washington Technology) General Dynamics closes its mega acquisition of CSRA to create a true 'top two' player in government IT.

Qbase Awarded DISA Encore III Contract with $17.5 Billion Ceiling Value (Qbase) Qbase, LLC, a leading provider of essential information technology and data analytics services to federal and commercial clients announced today that it that it has been awarded a Defense Information System Agency (DISA) Encore III Full & Open Contract.

Mercury Systems Awarded AS9100D Certification at Multiple Sites (Nasdaq) Latest Certifications Reinforce Company's Commitment to Quality

A test for Air Force space technology buyers: Fast prototyping ( "Other transactions authorities" allow the Air Force to go faster to prototyping.

Products, Services, and Solutions

Watch Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launch its space tourism rocket (Quartz) The world's richest man took his favorite toy out for a spin this weekend.

How Raytheon's Technology Targets Evolving Missile Attacks (WBUR) Waltham-based Raytheon is the largest producer of guided missiles in the world. And its plant in Andover is Raytheon's largest facility.

Raytheon Creates Prototype Satellite Data Processing Tech (GovCon Wire) Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) has built a ground-based satellite data pro

Raytheon builds small satellites for Department of Homeland Security (PR Newswire) Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has built two small, Polar Scout...

Raytheon to Demomstrate Army Mobile Intelligence Platform (Aerotech News) Raytheon has been awarded a U.S. Army contract to demonstrate the company’s commercially available mobile intelligence platform that will allow soldiers to quickly collect and access information on the battlefield.

Extension alert of Boeing`s first crewed flight to the International Space Station (Spaceflight News) NASA seems interested in extending the space time of the first crewed flight of Boeing to the International Space Station.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signs first Saudi satellite at Lockheed Martin (Al Arabiya) During his visit to Seattle in the United States, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin

Mercury Systems Demonstrates Safety-Certifiable Multicore Graphics Rendering Optimized for Next-Generation Army Aviation Mission Displays (Nasdaq) BuiltSAFE™ ROCK-2 subsystem features FACE-conformant Green Hills Software's INTEGRITY-178 tuMP running Harris's FliteScene® Digital Moving Map Software

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

UK may have to start new satellite system post-Brexit (MercoPress) The UK might have to set up its own satellite navigation system if it is thrown out of the Galileo project after Brexit, according to British officials.

No ISIS targets is no longer a problem for Central Command (C4ISRNET) CENTCOM has established a new process that prioritizes the exploitation of intelligence data collected.

Coast Guard begins transition to joint regional security stacks (FCW) The Coast Guard has recently embarked on DOD-wide initiative to increase security by 2019.

China deploys new missile seen as 'Guam Express' (Nikkei Asian Review) Beijing projects power as Washington strengthens ties with Taipei

Mysterious Iranian missile on display in Army Day parade (Defense News) Iran held its annual Army Day parade with missiles on display to illustrate the country's commitment to developing systems it believes are critical for its national security.

In the move to multi-domain operations, what gets lost? (C4ISRNET) As the services debate the future of so-called multi-domain operations, some fear current service-specifics could be at risk in favor of a more joint concept.

New Army, Navy Cyber Mission teams deploy ahead of schedule ( The Army and Navy have begun releasing these Cyber Mission Forces (CMF) into the wilds of their network protection efforts.

The first tests for the Marines’ information warfare teams (C4ISRNET) Through a variety of exercises, the Marine Corps continues to integrate the Marine Expeditionary Force Information Groups and information-related capabilities with traditional forces.

4 ways to deliver tactical cyber to the battlefield (Fifth Domain) The pace of network-centric warfighting on the battlefield is increasing and the DoD needs to keep pace by adopting new technologies.

In Army’s newest unit, everyone learns cyber skills (Fifth Domain) The Army's newest unit received cyber and electronic warfare prep from members of Army Cyber Command before their deployment to Afghanistan in March.

Why DoD is starting a new cyber cell on the Korean Peninsula (Fifth Domain) Cyber Command is standing up a cyber planning cell within U.S. Forces Korea aimed at integrating cyber operations with traditional military plans.

New threats mean new training for the Navy (C4ISRNET) The Navy's new Norfolk, Virginia-based group targets information warfare training.

Design and Innovation

Here’s how AI can act as a deterrent in future conflicts (C4ISRNET) The leader of SOCOM believes the military has to adopt AI to keep up with competitors.

Pentagon Eyes `Tiny’ Rockets for Small Reconnaissance Satellites (Bloomberg Government) The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) released a draft request for proposal for the Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket, or RASR, program to boost “tiny” spy satellites into orbit.

Research and Development

New NASA leader faces an early test on his commitment to Moon landings (Ars Technica) "This action is viewed with both incredulity and dismay by our community."

The Army wants help turning down the electronic warfare noise (C4ISRNET) The Army is launching a public competition to find AI that can help electronic warfare officers with signal detection.

How Raytheon Aims To Detect And Fight Nuclear Weapon Threats On The Horizon (WBUR) Federal spending on space-based defensive weapons could really take off, with locally based Raytheon hoping to lead the way.

Dedrone News - Dedrone to Test its Technology Protecting Military Installations from Adversarial Drones (Dedrone) Dedrone’s leading drone detection and mitigation platform is the leading airspace security solution, automatically protecting against drone threats 24/7.

NASA’s new planet finder is in space. Now what? (Ars Technica) No spacecraft has ever used a lunar resonant orbit. Until now.

The Pentagon Is Building an AI Product Factory (Defense One) Job One for the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center will be delivering solutions for services’ specific problems.

Dynetics to develop Gremlins UAV system for DARPA (UPI) Dynetics Inc. was awarded a $32 million contract for phase III of the Gremlins program, small unmanned aerial systems used for combat and non-combat roles.

Is that the right terrorist? This new tech IDs faces in the dark (Army Times) Troops could use facial recognition to find their intended target.

Air Force launches experiment to boost satellite communications (C4ISRNET) The Air Force sent a package of innovative and secretive satellites to orbit Saturday night.

How the Army plans to improve its friendly force tracking (C4ISRNET) The Army is accelerating its Joint Battle Command-Platform, which provides friendly forces awareness information known as blue force tracking.

DARPA official: To build trust in AI, machines must explain themselves (Defense News) A DARPA official described the the inexplicable algorithms powering artificial intelligence as a strain on human-machine relationships.

Army missile defense systems Patriot and THAAD talk in test (Army Times) The Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Army successfully tested THAAD's and Patriot's ability to communicate at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, April 6.

Here’s what the Army wants in future radios (C4ISRNET) Army leaders say future radios need to be more resilient and flexible in the face of advanced jamming capabilities.


More universities to offer Hacking for Defense program (Fifth Domain) The Hacking 4 Defense program is preparing the next generation of technologists and policy experts to solve the Pentagon's toughest problems.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

Kim and Moon agree to end war and denuclearise peninsula (Times) North Korea and South Korea have vowed to work together to achieve a “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong-un today became the first North Korean leader to step foot in...

Yes, Trump and Kim Can Make a Deal That's Good for Everyone (Foreign Policy) If both sides agree on the answers to these three questions, a successful summit just might be possible.

Trump says North Korea has made major nuclear concessions (Military Times) President Donald Trump said Thursday that North Korea has made concessions to the U.S. in advance of a potential summit with Kim Jong Un in the coming months, while the U.S. hasn’t given up anything.

The Right Way to Coerce North Korea (Foreign Affairs) The Trump administration must ground its summit diplomacy and overall approach to North Korea in a strategy of comprehensive coercion that clearly defines U.S. objectives, leverages Washington’s most effective diplomatic and military tools, and aligns its Korea policy with the broader U.S. strategy in Asia.

Pyongyang Is Playing Washington and Seoul (Foreign Policy) Hollow summits between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States only serve to benefit the North.

Macron urges new curbs on Iran as he tries to save nuclear deal at Trump meeting (Times) President Macron of France called yesterday for “a new Iran deal” to be negotiated as western allies urged President Trump not to abandon the pact that curbs Tehran’s nuclear programme. Mr Macron...

Can Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron save the Iran nuclear deal? (Deutsche Welle) During separate talks with President Donald Trump this week, Macron and Merkel will urge the US to stick to the Iran nuclear deal. In an interview with Fox News, the French leader warned there is no "Plan B."

Iran warns Trump it might withdraw from Non-Proliferation Treaty (Reuters) A senior Iranian official said on Tuesday that Tehran might quit a treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons if U.S. President Donald Trump scraps the nuclear accord Iran signed with world powers in 2015.

America struck flawlessly, but the big question is what comes next (TheHill) The United States must decide what to do in Syria now that the successful airstrikes are over.

Mike Pompeo’s Secret Mission to Pyongyang (Atlantic Council) The remarkable news that CIA Director and US Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo made a secret trip to North Korea where he met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a measure both of the head-spinning pace of diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula...

China Widens Ban on Exports of Items Potentially Used in Weapons to North Korea (Wall Street Journal) China has tightened restrictions on exports to North Korea of items with potential dual use in weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms.

NATO could invoke collective defence if attacked in cyberspace, Stoltenberg warns (RCI | English) NATO could trigger its collective defence mechanism if faced with a devastating cyberattack, the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday. “NATO takes cyberthreats very seriously because we have seen more and more cyberattacks,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Ottawa during a jo

How Obama’s drone playbook could influence future cyber operations (C4ISRNET) The head of U.S. Cyber Command said the government is currently working through how to use cyber capabilities in areas where U.S. forces are not engaged in active combat.

H.R. McMaster: US has 'failed to impose sufficient costs' on Russia (Washington Examiner) Outgoing national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the U.S. has “failed to impose sufficient costs” on Russia, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin was mistaken to believe his county’s actions would avoid consequences.

Top diplomats of Russia and China assail US 'unilateralism' (Military Times) The foreign ministers of Russia and China jointly denounced what they described Thursday as the unilateralism of the United States, criticism that underlined their growing rapport on global issues.

Why the Missile Defense Review is taking so long to complete (Defense News) The Pentagon's new strategy for missile defense was due months ago. Why hasn't it come out yet?

Trump's space push needs cash to soar (POLITICO) Reviving the National Space Council is just one of many steps required for goals like a $1 trillion mission to Mars.

Trump NASA chief choice rescued in last-minute vote switch (Federal Times) President Donald Trump’s nomination of firebrand Republican congressman James Bridenstine to run NASA almost aborted on the launch pad, but was rescued by a last-minute vote switch.

'Space Force' Idea Isn't Dead, Intel Chief Says ( The U.S. is still mulling creation of a "Space Force," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Wednesday.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson in conversation with SpaceNews ( Wilson sat down with SpaceNews at the recent Space Symposium in Colorado Springs to discuss the ongoing reorganization of the Space and Missile Systems Center, space investment priorities and her plans to secure congressional support for budgets and management reforms.

Air Force and NRO forge close ties overall and for SSA ( Air Force and NRO leaders emphasized their close ties at the 34th Space Symposium here and offered proof the relationship is helping them share capabilities.

Air Force space acquisition center to undergo major reorg this fall (Defense News) One of the biggest and most important changes is the establishment of a “office of the senior architect” responsible for synchronizing efforts across the Space and Missile Systems Center.

Cyber Command has a role, but Pentagon leaders struggle to define it (Fifth Domain) DoD is still contemplating policy and employment of cyber forces several years after the stand up of Cyber Command.

Marines cyber forces to grow (Fifth Domain) The Marine Corps is building up its proficiency and talent in the cyber career field to be better postured to fight and win in an increasingly modern battlefield.

Sands are shifting among Army Futures Command leadership (Defense News) The Army is already choosing new leaders for its Army Futures Command Cross Functional Teams as it prepares to officially stand up the command this summer.

Why Washington’s New Drone Export Policy Is Good For National Security (War on the Rocks) Last Thursday, the State Department announced its updated export policy for unmanned aerial systems, popularly known as drones. While the White House framed the new plan as a means to promote American industry, the guidelines — which make it easier for the United States to sell drones to foreign allies — will almost

Forget the Trade War. China Wants to Win Computing Arms Race ( As the U.S. and China threaten to impose tariffs on goods from aluminum to wine, the two nations are waging a separate economic battle that could determine who owns the next wave of computing.

Trump administration considering major changes to security clearance program ( In addition to the security clearance process, the Trump administration is also considering a move of another Office of Personnel Management program, HR Solutions.

Air Force working with NBIB, OPM to speed security clearance process ( The Air Force is using interview hubs and other tactics to cut back on security clearance wait times.

Is The Direct Commissioning Of Cyber Warriors Actually Working? (Task & Purpose) Direct commissioning of information warfare officers, smooth cyber operators, and such has been going on for awhile. Does anyone know how it is going?

Trump’s defense-industrial base review coming mid-May (Defense News) The in-depth review will reveal where America’s supply chain relies on Russia or China, the two other great powers in the world.

New CTO to help NGA better leverage technology trends (C4ISRNET) NGA has created a new chief technology officer position that will act as an evangelist for innovation inside and outside the agency.

Gina Haspel’s agenda for the CIA (TheHill) Expect Haspel to guide the CIA back to basics, realign its workforce, emphasize foreign language fluency, and bring new energy to partnerships.

Inside ODNI’s plans to ‘transform’ through reorg (C4ISRNET) Shakeups are afoot at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Bolton names Commerce official as his national security deputy (POLITICO) During the 2016 presidential campaign, Ricardel served as a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team.

Thornberry's plan to cut defense agencies met with skepticism ( House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry wants to cut the Fourth Estate by 25 percent. But lawmakers and former DoD officials aren't sure it can happen.

House committee explores ending Strategic Capabilities Office (Defense News) The future of the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office is in doubt.

With proposed cuts, what happens to DISA’s mission? (C4ISRNET) If DISA gets eliminated, where will its functions go? The answer isn't clear.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Northrop Grumman, not SpaceX, reported to be at fault for loss of top-secret Zuma satellite (CNBC) Northrop Grumman built and operated the components that failed during the controversial January launch of the U.S. spy satellite known as Zuma, according to a Wall Street Journal report Sunday.

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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