Signals & Space Monthly Cyber Security Briefing

July 2018

Prepared by the CyberWire (Monday, July 2, 2018)

Summitry: US-DPRK summit is in the books. US-Russian summit coming in July.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met as planned in Singapore on June 12th. Their meeting was brief (and much spied upon, with security companies noting a lot of Russian cyberespionage attempts, and many dodgy USB drives handed out to journalists as swag) and issued in an agreement marked by four general points:

1. "The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity."

2. "The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula."

3. "Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

4. "The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified."

These are general agreements, short of specifics. The outcome of the summit is believed to have been generally popular in South Korea, where people both approve of a commitment to denuclearize the peninsula and are reassured by recent tough talk by the US President with respect to the DPRK. President Trump did place joint US-Republic of Korea military exercises on hold, which has attracted negative comment in the US and apparently aroused concerns in Japan. He also said that North Korea remained a threat to peace, and that relaxation of sanctions would have to await some good behavior from Pyongyang. 

The summit as expected concentrated on nuclear issues, with cybersecurity not significantly touched on, and North Korea's familiar campaign of state-directed cyber threat resumed quickly after the meetings concluded. A modus vivendi in cyberspace will await further talks. In the meantime optimists are getting a bit ahead of themselves by imagining the economic development opportunities a reformed North Korea might present. It's nice to be hopeful, but this is very premature.

Having finished with Kim, President Trump will move on to a summit with Russia's President Putin, scheduled for July in Helsinki, Finland. NATO members (whose antennae are already quivering from President Trump's signals that he intends to come down hard on alliance members at a NATO summit for not meeting their defense spending commitments) are expressing concern that the US will be rolled by Russia, and conclude some unwise peace agreements. Still, NATO doesn't want a return to the full-on Cold War, at least according to Secretary General Stoltenberg, as close as the Atlantic Alliance and Russia seem to have approached that condition. Warnings at month's end of apparent Russian staging of attacks on infrastructure abroad would seem to make a general relaxation of tensions unlikely.

Cyber and kinetic threats to satellites.

A report by Symantec suggests that Chinese intelligence services have worked hard to make inroads into Western satellite communications systems, establishing persistent modes of cyberespionage that affect commercial and government spaceborne comms backbones. This discovery coincides with an observed increase in Chinese espionage, both cyber and traditional, directed at US targets.

Development of satellites capable of approaching and manipulating other spacecraft has also increasingly come to be seen as threatening. While such work in several countries is generally described as being directed toward developing an in-orbit repair or recovery capability, it hasn't gone unnoticed that a satellite able to approach, touch, and manipulate another satellite could just as easily be used to kill as it could be used to cure.

US Space Force moves closer to reality.

President Trump, evidently impatient with the slow pace of action on space matters, announced at a National Space Council meeting on June 18th that the US would form a Space Force. As he put it while signing Space Policy Directive 3, "We are going to have the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal. It is going to be something. So important." Details, of course remain to be worked out, but in outline the projected Space Force would be responsible for defending US space assets, whether government or commercial.

There are a variety of models to choose from, most of which have been considered by Congress, which has run ahead of the Pentagon in seeing the need for a new service. Since any such Force would draw personnel and assets from the existing military services, the least disruptive model would be a new Combatant Command, formed much the way US Cyber Command was. Or (and much Congressional speculation has run along these lines) the Space Force could be formed as a distinct Service within the Department of the Air Force. In this case the model would be the Marine Corps's status within the Department of the Navy. Or, most ambitiously, a Space Force might get its own Service Department, co-equal within the Department of Defense to the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Or there may be some other sort of arrangement. 

The Department of Defense (especially the Air Force part of it) has been cool to the notion of a Space Force. Defense sees the prospect of a new Service as likely simply to add an expensive layer of administrative overhead, and the Air Force thinks it's done quite well with space on its own, thank you very much. What form the new Space Force will take remains to be seen, but as an Ars Technica essay points out, it's not necessarily an otiose notion. There are real missions it could be assigned, and no one is really contemplating Space Marines or Starship Troopers.

The most benign and science-fictive of those would be planetary protection—tracking near-earth objects and fending off collisions. Another benign mission, and one called out in Space Policy Directive 3, although not there explicitly assigned to a Space Force, would be traffic management in an increasingly crowded orbital zone: tracking, situational awareness, and information sharing. This mission is likely to be the most significant in the near term. And of course there's an incipient space race and potential space arms race brewing with China and Russia. China especially has shown interest in developing effective orbital weapons, and there's talk of a new competition to return to the moon.

In any case both Russia and China have expressed displeasure over the notion of an American Space Force.

Concerns about Chinese espionage.

Relations between China and at least two of the Five Eyes (the US and Australia) are currently strained by trade disputes and concerns over the security risks Chinese firms may pose should they continue to be allowed to assume important roles as technology providers. The two companies most cited as security concerns are Huawei and ZTE. It's widely believed that both are so close to the Chinese military and intelligence establishment as to constitute reliably cooperating auxiliaries. US sanctions against ZTE, based on the company's evasion of sanctions against rogue states including Iran and North Korea, brought the company to the brink of collapse until it was offered a tentative "lifeline" by the US Administration that's enabled it to retain precarious status as a going concern. The action against ZTE would have prevented it from gaining access to US technology it depends on, especially Qualcomm chipsets and Google's Android OS. Congress is less forgiving than the President, however, and may well withdraw the lifeline by legislation.

Huawei is receiving similar scrutiny. US Federal agencies are said to be quietly briefing government and commercial customers of both Huawei and ZTE on the potential threat those companies' products pose to their security. Huawei has been receiving intense and mostly unfriendly scrutiny in Australia, where its bid to play a major role in building out that country's 5G telecom network is very much in jeopardy. Australia's security organizations have apparently been briefed on Huawei by their counterparts in the UK, whose experience with the company has been mixed.

Launch market shifts.

Russia is retiring its venerable and once reliable Proton launch vehicle, whose operational history extends back to the 1960s. Proton's reliability had declined over the last ten years, with problems attributed to poor quality control during manufacture. The Angara vehicle that will succeed it will have the advantage of using a more benign propellant than the murderously toxic and corrosive nitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine the Proton burned, but it's not clear that Angara will offer the commercially attractive costs of a Proton launch. Russia will certainly retain its launch capability, but Roscosmos is sufficiently pinched financially that it seems unlikely to be able to compete effectively with SpaceX, whose Falcon vehicles have disrupted the launch market. 

SpaceX flew the last of its Falcon 9 Block 4 launch vehicles on June 29th. The Block 5 follow-on systems promise at least ten flights each, with refurbishment and turnaround in weeks as opposed to months. The US Air Force has also certified the Falcon Heavy; it will carry the Air Force Space Command-52 payload to orbit in 2020.

Northrop Grumman's acquisition of Orbital ATK is now complete, with all necessary approvals, and the company has been hailed as a serious player in space operations markets where it had struggled to establish itself. 

Virgin Orbit is poised to compete with Orbital ATK's Pegasus in the air-launched rocket business. The company's LauncherOne is described as aspiring to be an affordable workhorse. Nothing showy, but reliable and not too expensive.

Development of US cyber operational doctrine.

US Cyber Command this month acknowledged that it had received the necessary authorities to conduct offensive cyber operations under proper circumstances. The template for such operations is said, initially, to be modeled on the campaign against ISIS, where cyber operations were used, minimally, for mission assurance, intelligence collection, disruption of hostile networks, and targeting.

Cyberspace is still young enough as an operational domain that a full strategy has yet to be worked out. A number of observers, noting that attempts at both deterrence and international norms that would restrain cyber conflict appear to have been less than successful, advise conducting an exercise similar to President Eisenhower's Project Solarium of 1953, when the President assembled three competing teams to work through various approaches to great power and nuclear competition with the Soviet Union. Project Solarium resulted in a strategy of containment that persisted more-or-less through the end of the Cold War in 1991.

Asgardia says it's joined the family of nations.

In space, of course. Not to be confused with Asgard, ruled by Odin and approached by a rainbow bridge guarded by Heimdal, (That would be the warrior of the Aesir, not the Danish cybersecurity company, which guards other things.) Asgardia is led by democratically elected "Head-of-Nation" Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli, a Russian billionaire with lots of self-confidence and a utopian bent. About 200,000 people voted in elections that began last year. Not just anyone can become an Asgardian. There's a selection process, and Head-of-Nation Ashurbeyli says they're considering using IQ tests as one aspect of that selection. Dr. Ashurbeyli is aware that many are skeptical, but he calmly assures skeptics that he himself is entirely realistic. Whether Asgardia will fare better than ventures like the Principality of Sealand or the Republic of Awesome, to which unkind observers compare it, remains to be seen.

[1877]

 

Today's edition of the CyberWire reports events affecting Australia, Belarus, China, Greece, Israel, Japan, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Macedonia, NATO/OTAN, Poland, Romania, Russia, and the United States.

Selected Reading

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities (10)

Trends (1)

Marketplace (33)

Products, Services, and Solutions (8)

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards (19)

Design and Innovation (5)

Research and Development (5)

Academia (1)

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation (44)

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement (2)

Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities

Thrip: Espionage Group Hits Satellite, Telecoms, and Defense Companies (Symantec Threat Intelligence Blog) Symantec’s artificial intelligence-based Targeted Attack Analytics uncovers new wide-ranging espionage operation.

How Vulnerable Are U.S. Satellites to Cyberattacks? (MeriTalk) While political and military leaders debate the pros and cons of whether the United States needs a separate “Space Force,” Chinese hackers have offered a reminder of two truths: operations in space are extremely important, and the assets used in space are vulnerable to cyberattack.

Attack Vectors in Orbit: The Need for IoT and Satellite Security in the Age of 5G (TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog) Already a vital part of the critical infrastructure of the internet, satellites are set to take on a more significant role with the emergence of 5G cellular network technology and the continuing expansion of the internet of things (IoT). While terrestrial networks handle peak load well, disaster handling and critical infrastructure scenarios are served well by satellites, which are unaffected by most ground-based events. Ensuring the security of satellites, therefore, acquires even greater importance and warrants more initiatives to that end.

We are entering the twilight zone of cyber warfare (Financial Times) The risk of escalation is high as it is hard to know who is attacking whom or why

Pentagon Intelligence Chief: Russia And China Will Have Weapons in Space ‘In the Near Future’ (Defense One) The Defense Intelligence Agency’s director says the U.S. lead in space is diminishing and tomorrow’s skies will be filled with enemy robot satellites.

The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space (WIRED) Trump’s call for a “Space Force” escalates a quiet, dangerous contest between the US, China, and Russia—one whose consequences no one really understands.

Chinese hackers steal sensitive Navy program data (Fifth Domain) Cyberattacks sponsored by the Chinese government infiltrated a U.S. Navy contractor’s computers, allowing digital thieves to access sensitive data related to secret Navy projects on a submarine anti-ship missile.

What’s the frequency, Putin? 5 questions about Russia’s EW capability (C4ISRNET) To understand electronic warfare, we must first understand how Russia has adapted and trained to fight for supremacy of the electromagnetic spectrum.

All the Times North Korea Promised to Denuclearize (WIRED) Donald Trump got out of Kim Jong Un a promise that North Korea has already made—and broken—multiple times.

It's Nearly Impossible to Hold North Korea to Nuclear Promises (WIRED) It's unclear still what the historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un might yield. But holding North Korea accountable will be tricky no matter what.

Trends

Most aerospace and defense companies to integrate blockchain by 2021 (Help Net Security) Approximately six in seven aerospace/defense companies (86 percent) expect to integrate blockchain into their corporate systems within three years.

Marketplace

Trump's 'Space Force' could fuel a new $1 trillion economy, Morgan Stanley says (Yahoo) President Donald Trump's proposed "Space Force" could help fuel the $1 trillion intergalactic economy, Morgan Stanley says. If President Donald Trump successfully organizes his so-called Space Force, it could speed up investment in what Morgan Stanley sees as the next trillion-dollar economy

The relationship of industry and an evolving NATO (Defense News) Defense News spoke to Chris Lombardi, vice president for Raytheon International, to get his take on NATO priorities leading up to the Brussels Summit, and how industry can best serve evolving security requirements.

Facing Chinese cyber threat, Pentagon to bake better contractor security into buying decisions (Defense News) Officials want an extra layer of security as a

The Army wants a better way to update software, buy smarter (C4ISRNET) The Army is holding what it calls software solariums as a way to improve the business side of the service’s multi-billion software efforts during the life of programs.

How the Navy can lean in to software superiority (C4ISRNET) A senior Navy engineer warned that the Navy's slow approach to technology is driving up costs.

Australia to Purchase Triton Aircraft System, Delivering Unprecedented Maritime Domain Awareness (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) The Australian Department of Defence­ officially announced its plan on June 26, 2018 to purchase the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-built Triton aircraft system, further cementing the company’s commitment to a longstanding U.S. ally.

Raytheon wins shared U.S. Army training support services contract valued up to $2.4B (Markets Insider) The U.S. Army Contracting Command has selected Raytheon's (NYSE: RTN) Intelligence, Information and Services bu...

What’s next for Northrop Grumman and Orbital ATK? (Defense News) The acquisition is expected to expand Northrop's portfolio into market spaces it has historically not been competitive.

Aerospace company Orbital ATK bought by Northrop Grumman (Room, The Space Journal) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has announced it has approved Northrop Grumman's $9.2 billion purchase of defense and space contractor Orbital ATK as a new business unit named Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems

Northrop Grumman Just Became a Bona Fide "Space Stock" (The Motley Fool) But is its stock a bona fide buy?

USAF signs $866 million contract to sustain missile warning/missile defense and space tracking radars (Military Embedded Systems) Northrop Grumman has won a competitive bid from the U.S. Air Force to sustain and modify a worldwide network of ground-based radars deemed critical to the success of the Air Force's missile warning/missile defense and space tracking missions.

Northrop Grumman Awarded $429M Contract for Payload that will Provide Continuous Coverage of Polar Regions (Northrop Grumman Newsroom) A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) payload will provide highly protected communications for warfighters under a new $429 million contract with the U.S. Air Force.

Northrop Grumman Wins $866M Radar System Modification Deal (Zacks Investment Research) Northrop Grumman's (NOC) radar solutions help in providing high degree of resistance to electronic jamming techniques and possess low interception capabilities from enemy radars.

Mercury Systems Receives $5.9M in Orders for SWaP-Optimized Electronic Warfare Microelectronics (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) (www.mrcy.com), announced it received $5.9 million in orders from a leading defense prime contractor for the development of small form factor electronic warfare modules for a defense application.

Mercury Systems Receives $3.2M Custom Microelectronics Orders for Precision Guided Munitions Application (Nasdaq) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) (www.mrcy.com), announced it received $3.2 million in follow-on orders from a leading defense prime contractor for custom-engineered digital microelectronics for a precision guided munitions application.

Mercury Systems Receives $2.1M Electronic Warfare Module Order for Airborne Application (Mercury Systems) Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRCY) (www.mrcy.com), announced it received a $2.1 million follow-on order for SWaP-optimized modules with pre-integrated, custom-engineered signal processing techniques from a leading aerospace and defense company.

Harris wins $400 million contract modification for electronic warfare system (C4ISRNET) Harris Corp has been awarded a contract modification worth as much as $400 million for the production of a electronic warfare system to sell overseas.

ViaSat acquisition boosts its secure networks portfolio (C4ISRNET) The global communications company has acquired a UK-based firm to support the tactical mobile edge.

Google pledges not to use AI for weapons or surveillance (C4ISRNET) Google pledged Thursday that it will not use artificial intelligence in applications related to weapons, surveillance that violates international norms, or that works in ways that go against human rights. It planted its ethical flag on use of AI just days confirming it would not renew a contract with the U.S. military to use its AI technology to analyze drone footage.

VETS2 Vehicle Offers Vested Vet Contractors (SIGNAL) So why aren’t government agencies taking advantage of the GSA program?

Pentagon’s Second Multibillion Cloud Contract to Be Bid in Coming Months (Nextgov.com) Officials say the Defense Department’s multibillion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract is expected to be bid out in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.

Pressure on DoD to change JEDI cloud approach increases (FederalNewsRadio.com) The General Services Administration potentially could give the Defense Department a detour around what many in industry call a huge mistake with its JEDI cloud procurement.

Industry awaits JEDI while $8B DEOS project also releases this month (FederalNewsRadio.com) DoD's big spending plans for cloud aren't just about JEDI. A final RFP for the department's $8.2 billion contract for cloud-hosted office and collaboration systems is expected sometime in June.

Another Defense Agency to Tap CIA's Commercial Cloud (Defense One) The U.S. Army’s National Ground Intelligence Agency aims to use secret and top-secret services from the Amazon-developed C2S Cloud.

Thales to launch first defence cloud for armed forces (@businessline) Thales is launching a defence cloud offering for the armed forces. The solution by the defence major is expected to enable armed forces to stay connected with any device at any time and operate with c

Get ready for the JSTARS recap showdown (Defense News) Will Congress let the Air Force cancel the JSTARS recap?

Is the Missile Defense Agency shooting blind on contracts? (Defense News) The U.S. Missile Defense Agency needs to work on its communication skills, according to a new report from a government watchdog.

Leonardo wins big contract for next-gen computing system (C4ISRNET) Leonardo DRS has won a five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract worth as much as $841.3 million to produce the U.S. Army mission commands next-generation combat computing system, the company announced June 7.

General Dynamics Tapped to Update Navy School’s Satellite Simulator; Manny Mora Comments (GovCon Wire) The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) mission sy

General Dynamics IT inks $553M high-performance computing contract with NOAA (FedScoop) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has finalized a $553 million contract to supply systems integration services and support for its high-performance computing environment.

Lockheed expands to support the next-gen cyberwar (Fifth Domain) The Air Force is beginning to ramp up the competition for its cyber operations platform, and companies are responding.

Lockheed to Continue Development of the Navy's Aegis Systems (SIGNAL) Lockheed Martin Corp., Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, was awarded a $78,356,122 not-to-exceed, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee letter contract for Aegis development and test sites operation and maintenance at the Combat Systems Engineering Development Site, SPY-1A Test Facility and Naval Systems Computing Center, Moorestown, New Jersey.

Foreign defense companies want in on US Army modernization efforts (Defense News) Foreign companies came ready to Eurosatory with capabilities, not concepts, they believe hold promise for the U.S. Army's efforts to rapidly modernize.

Products, Services, and Solutions

SpaceX has flown its last Block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket [Updated] (Ars Technica) Upper stage flying an experimental, long-coast after primary mission.

SpaceX flies its 11th rocket of the year [Updated] (Ars Technica) Rocket will be expended to send a 5.4 ton communications satellite to GTO.

Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy, orders satellite launch for 2020 (Ars Technica) "I want to thank the Air Force for certifying Falcon Heavy."

Russia may lack the funds to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket (Ars Technica) "The development of new boosters is doubtful from a practical perspective."

Russia’s Proton rocket, which predates Apollo, will finally stop flying (Ars Technica) Technical problems, rise of SpaceX are contributing factors.

With a simple and cheap rocket, Virgin Orbit aims for the extraordinary (Ars Technica) With a first flight months away, we take a long look at the launch company.

Want satellite imagery but not satellites? This company can help. (C4ISRNET) The subscription-based service would offer access to 10-satellite constellations for customized images and data.

Planet, Airbus start joint satellite-imagery product initiative (SpaceNews.com) Planet and Airbus Defense and Space’s geospatial division have agreed to co-develop imagery products that leverage both companies’ satellites.

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

How the DoD is synchronizing missile defense systems (C4ISRNET) Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves takes a deeper dive through a weapons systems interoperability test and explains what was learned.

US military aims for $1 billion missile defense radar in Hawaii (Military Times) The system would spot warheads on missiles headed for Hawaii and other U.S. states.

The international impact of Israel’s underground Iron Dome (Defense News) The tunnel-detection systems Israel has been pioneering with U.S. support has wider implications than just battling Hamas.

DoD needs to know what’s happening in space, general says (C4ISRNET) The Defense Department's top space officer said the department can cede the public face of space control, per President Trump's recent memo, but must continue its space situational awareness mission.

Preparing for the Asteroid Apocalypse (Bloomberg.com) The U.S. launches a new effort to better catalog Earth killers. But the big question is what to do if we find one headed our way.

FAA Now Has Improved GPS Coverage Across U.S. as GEO 5 joins WAAS (Inside GNSS) The Federal Aviation Administration’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide...

How the Army will plan cyber and electronic warfare operations (C4ISRNET) New Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities cells have been stood up in each brigade to help provide targeting options and capabilities for commanders.

Soldiers are being forced to recognize one of their greatest vulnerabilities on the battlefield (C4ISRNET) Soldiers can't wait to get their hands on new electronic warfare tools. But in the meantime, they're finding o

What tech was used in India’s nuclear-capable ICBM test launch? (Defense News) The launch brings the weapon one step closer to its induction into the Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command.

Air Force's New Battle Management System Will Be Based at Robins (Military.com) Robins Air Force Base has been selected to host an elite system, the Air Force announced Wednesday.

DISA, worried about cyberattacks, looks to the cloud (Fifth Domain) In an era of increased cyber risk, how do you protect millions of users needing to access the web from the most targeted network in the world?

What’s next for the Navy in space? (C4ISRNET) The Program Executive Officer Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, as well as Space Systems, discusses what the Navy’s next task on orbit might be.

Air Force eyes new cyber training facility in Florida (Fifth Domain) The demand for cyber training has increased substantially in recent years, so much so that the 39th Information Operations Squadron had to build another building.

The course load for the Air Force’s cyberwarriors (Fifth Domain) The Air Force's 39th Information Operations Squadron and its detachment at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland address the increasing need for cyber training by co-locating and integrating the training community with operators.

Why the Military Can’t Quit Windows XP (Slate Magazine) For the military, upgrading operating systems isn’t just a hassle: It’s a matter of life and death.

Move over nerds, grunts are learning signals intelligence (Marine Corps Times) Grunts are learning how to exploit the electromagnetic spectrum.

As threats mount, US Navy grapples with costly ballistic missile defense mission (Defense News) The fleet is now at a crossroads. Ballistic missile defense, while a burden, has also been a cash cow that has pushed the capabilities of the fleet exponentially forward over the past decade.

It's Official, Contractor-Owned MQ-9 Reaper Drones Will Watch Over Marines in Afghanistan (The Drive) The deal will be an important stepping stone for the service as it gets closer to acquiring bigger, multi-mission unmanned aircraft.

Army trying to keep up with ‘changing character of war’ (FederalNewsRadio.com) As the Army shifts its focus from violent extremist organizations to near-peer adversaries per the national defense strategy, staying on top of emerging domains and technologies will be what keeps it in a position of dominance going into the future.

Design and Innovation

The Army is most excited about these 3 capabilities (C4ISRNET) Here are cyber and electronic warfare emerging technologies the Army is evaluating at Cyber Quest.

Wargaming with Athena: How to Make Militaries Smarter, Faster, and More Efficient with Artificial Intelligence (War on the Rocks) For Clausewitz, while the character of war changes, the nature is immutable. For U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, an avid reader of military history and theory, the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges this time-tested principle. He is not alone. At a recent AI conference, former U.S. Deputy

Cyberwarriors need a training platform, and fast (Fifth Domain) Given the immense need for a cyber training platform, the military is looking to rapid acquisition vehicles to field capability faster.

Worker-Bee Satellites Will Weaponize Space — and Help Us Keep the Peace (Defense One) Traditional arms-control negotiations have gone nowhere in half a century. A functional tack offers a way forward.

The Space Nation of Asgardia Inaugurated Its First Leader in an Incredible Ceremony (Motherboard) A Russian billionaire took the reins of a space-based democracy and threw one helluva multicultural party.

Research and Development

In Tech, US Must Be Where Russia, China Are Not: Air Force Scientist (Military.com) The U.S. shouldn't play catch up to Russia or China in tech development, according to the U.S. Air Force's chief scientist.

The new B-21 Raider could hit a big milestone this year (Air Force Times) What's next for the Air Force's B-21 bomber?

US-China space race puts moon back into the spotlight (Nikkei Asian Review) Finding water on the lunar surface is seen as key to travel to planets beyond

Russia prepares for a future of making autonomous weapons (C4ISRNET) Kalashnikov, an arms maker that’s part of the larger Rostec defense enterprise, announced last week that it is has developed some expertise in machine learning.

Raytheon developing shipboard antennas to handle radar, communications, and EW simultaneously (MIlitary Aerospace) U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are pushing forward with a project to design dynamic multi-mission radar antennas able to carry out functions like surveillance, communications and electronic warfare (EW) simultaneously.

Academia

Northeastern students want to break world record for highest altitude reached by a rocket (Northeastern) On March 4, 2017, a team of 70 college students launched a rocket that reached 144,000 feet—the highest altitude ever achieved for a vehicle designed…

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

Washington Needs a New Solarium Project To Counter Cyberthreats (Foreign Policy) President Eisenhower confronted the unprecedented nuclear threat of the 1950s with a novel exercise. The United States needs a similar approach to tackle today's cyber…

From cyber to readiness, here’s what came out of NATO’s defense ministers meeting (Fifth Domain) Thursday’s meeting of NATO defense ministers has concluded, with a number of decisions finalized.

Trump’s letters to allies mean the NATO Summit could be in trouble before it begins (Defense News) U.S. President Donald Trump has sent a warning shot to the NATO allies ahead of the big July summit. He's looking for folks to pay up.

NATO's Jens Stoltenberg: 'We don't want a new Cold War' with Russia (Deutsche Welle) In an exclusive interview, the NATO chief says that Moscow is investing heavily in modern warfare, which "lowers the threshold for Russia's use of nuclear weapons." He also gives his views on Trump and the Alliance.

Fears grow over prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin (Times) Britain fears that President Trump will undermine Nato by striking a “peace deal” with President Putin when the pair meet next month. Cabinet ministers are worried that Mr Trump may be persuaded to...

How Iran Will Determine the Nuclear Deal's Fate (Foreign Affairs) Iran's foreign policy decision-making process is not a simple top-down exercise by the Supreme Leader but the result of a complex push and pull within a web of organizations.

Trump Plans New Curbs on Chinese Investment, Tech Exports to China (Wall Street Journal) President Trump, already embroiled in a trade battle with China, plans to ratchet commercial tensions higher by barring many Chinese firms from investing in U.S. technology and by blocking more technology exports to Beijing.

What the document signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un says (Quartz) The agreement consists of four points—vague enough to confirm the fears of pessimists while leaving optimists feeling hopeful.

Trump declares North Korea still poses ‘extraordinary threat’ (Military Times) President Donald Trump declared Friday that North Korea still poses an “extraordinary threat” to the United States.

Jim Mattis tries to ease Japan's worries about North Korea talks (Washington Examiner) For the second time in two days, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is trying to assuage an Asian ally's worries about America's commitment to the region amid the ongoing denuclearization negotiations with North Korea.

North Korea pledges to destroy missile test engine site (Military Times) The Trump administration on Thursday identified the missile test engine site that it says North Korea has pledged to destroy, but the president’s latest comments about resolving the nuclear standoff have raised new questions about what concessions Pyongyang has made.

Opinion | It’s time for Trump and Kim to make a deal (Washington Post) In the aftermath of the Trump-Kim summit, the next three or four months “will be crucial” for U.S.-North Korea relations.

North Korea, China discuss 'true peace', denuclearization: KCNA (Reuters) North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues that were discussed at a summit between the two leaders, including denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, the North's state media said on Wednesday.

Koreas agree to restore military communication lines (Military Times) The rival Koreas agreed Thursday to fully restore their cross-border communication lines after holding rare high-level military talks on reducing tensions.

Experts Question Wisdom of Canceling U.S. Exercises with South Korea, As Mattis Makes It Official (Foreign Policy) But some analysts say it’s a small price to pay for the possibility of peace with North Korea.

This Is Bigger Than a Meeting With Kim Jong Un (Defense One) Donald Trump is navigating a new nuclear era—and fashioning a new approach.

There Were No Losers at the Singapore Summit (Foreign Affairs) Critics of the U.S.-North Korean summit in Singapore are wrong to label Pyongyang the "winner" of the meeting.

US: No sanctions relief before North Korea denuclearizes (Military Times) The United States will not ease sanctions against North Korea until it denuclearizes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, as he reassured key Asian allies that President Donald Trump had not backed down on Pyongyang’s weapons program.

Kim Xiaoping and Pyongyang glasnost: Can North Korea change? (Asia Times) Kim Jong-un has ended his diplomatic isolation, but the chances of North Korea opening and integrating into the global economy and community are dismal

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict (New York Times) Until now, the Cyber Command has assumed a largely defensive posture, but in the spring the Defense Department opened the door to nearly daily raids on foreign networks, seeking to head off attacks.

President Trump makes news at Space Council meeting by going off script (Ars Technica) "Stay apart. Stay apart. Don't get together. Stay apart."

Official near-earth object plan will look into nuking asteroids and other ‘planetary defense missions’ (TechCrunch) Space is a big place, and mostly empty — but there's no shortage of objects which, should they float our direction, could end life as we know it. A new national plan for detecting and handling such objects was proposed today, and it includes the possibility of nuclear strikes on the incoming astero…

Trump orders creation of independent space force - but Congress will still have its say (Defense News) President Trump has ordered the creation of a new branch of the military focused on space — something his own Secretary of Defense has opposed.

Opinion | Now is the time for the Space Force. Trump just needs to get it right. (Washington Post) Trump’s military directive comes amid a space revolution.

Plotting a Space (Force) Time Continuum (The Cipher Brief) President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he is asking the Pentagon to create a new ‘Space Force’ caught many off guard.  In particular, many at the Pentagon who will be tasked with plotting the way ahead.

Did Donald Trump Just Declare Space Warfare? (Observer) The UN’s 50-year-old Outer Space Treaty is designed to prevent outer space warfare.

Proposed Space Force Would Pull Expertise From All Service Branches (USNI News) If created, a new Space Force would likely rely heavily on existing personnel form the Navy, Marine Corps, and other service branches.

Trump wants a Space Force. Now what? (Defense News) How do you build a new military service from scratch?

Why the United States needs a Space Force (SpaceNews.com) Military professionals who concentrate on space needed their own organization to truly focus their efforts on a singular task — to protect and defend U.S. and allied interests in space.

The Trump self-defense doctrine for the new space era (SpaceNews.com) In the face of emerging novel threats and vulnerabilities, whether the self-defense doctrine allows us to counter the threat before the attack occurs can make the difference between peace and war.

Thornberry: ’We are not going to let up’ on military space reorganization (SpaceNews.com) Both chambers want legislation that strengthens the U.S. military space posture, said Thornberry. The House and Senate are “not going to let up in our push to do better in space.”

Russia warns of a ‘tough response’ to creation of US space force (Air Force Times) Russian diplomats and politicians are promising repercussions if President Donald Trump’s order to build a U.S. space force is met, citing a treaty banning nuclear weapons in the cosmos.

As Trump pushes for separate space force, Russia moves fast the other way (Defense News) If President Donald Trump has his way, the United States and Russia will have switched their historic outlooks on space as a domain of war. And the United States may be moving backward.

China warns Trump about dangers of new Space Force (Washington Examiner) President Trump’s decision to establish a “Space Force” could create a military competition in outer space, the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned Tuesday.

Government watchdog says nuke-detection plan under Trump, Obama is lacking (Defense News) A new government watchdog report says the U.S. government’s plan for detecting nuclear proliferation is lacking in detail.

This is why the Pentagon is taking over security clearance checks (Military Times) The Defense Department is poised to take over background investigations for the federal government, using increased automation and high-tech analysis to tighten controls and tackle an enormous backlog of workers waiting for security clearances, according to U.S. officials.

DoD makes significant updates to cyber operations doctrine (Fifth Domain) The Pentagon has released an updated version of ts cyber operations doctrine for the first time in four years.

Mattis declares vigilance to be the best cyber defense (Federal Times) Secretary of Defense James Mattis has issued a memo warning the department’s employees of the consequences for poor cyber hygiene in a world where secrets can fall into the hands of digital intruders.

All the services get new cyber commanders (Fifth Domain) Each service cyber component command is getting a new commander relatively around the same time.

Air Force to shift cyber authority (Fifth Domain) Air Combat Command to take over cyber operations in the summer of 2018.

Peterson Air Force Base loses jobs as cyber role moves (Air Force Times) The Air Force is cutting 72 jobs from its base in Colorado Springs as the service’s computer warfare efforts will no longer be overseen by the Air Force Space Command.

DoD makes leadership change on cloud effort (C4ISRNET) DoD CIO Dana Deasy will now lead the Pentagon's cloud efforts.

NGA’s first chief technology officer steps down (C4ISRNET) As CTO, Vinci reported directly to the director and deputy director of NGA, as opposed to the chief information officer. Vinci’s role focused on increasing the NGA’s ability to use and integrate new technology.

The secret’s out: National Reconnaissance Office gets new deputy director (C4ISRNET) NRO operates intelligence satellites that support the Department of Defense and other members of the intelligence community.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Ex-CIA employee charged in major leak of agency hacking tools (Washington Post) Joshua Adam Schulte was charged under the Espionage Act in connection with the leak of tools that were posted online by WikiLeaks.

Former US intelligence officer arrested in Seattle on China spying charges (Deutsche Welle) The 58-year-old Utah resident held a top-secret clearance for many years and has been charged with trying to spy for China. He was detained in Seattle, about to take a flight to China.

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

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