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  1. #141
    “The biggest cybersecurity breach of federal networks in more than two decades.”

    Most worrisome: “CISA has evidence of additional initial access vectors, other than the SolarWinds Orion platform,” CISA announced Thursday, with “Orion” referring to the problematic update server. “It is likely that the adversary has additional initial access vectors and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that have not yet been discovered.”

    https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2...8-2020/170891/

    -------------------------------------
    Alert (AA20-352A)

    Advanced Persistent Threat Compromise of Government Agencies, Critical Infrastructure, and Private Sector Organizations.

    Summary:

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of compromises of U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and private sector organizations by an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor beginning in at least March 2020. This APT actor has demonstrated patience, operational security, and complex tradecraft in these intrusions. CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations.

    One of the initial access vectors for this activity is a supply chain compromise of the following SolarWinds Orion products (see Appendix A).

    Orion Platform 2019.4 HF5, version 2019.4.5200.9083
    Orion Platform 2020.2 RC1, version 2020.2.100.12219
    Orion Platform 2020.2 RC2, version 2020.2.5200.12394
    Orion Platform 2020.2, 2020.2 HF1, version 2020.2.5300.12432
    Note (updated December 19, 2020): CISA has evidence that there are initial access vectors other than the SolarWinds Orion platform. Specifically, we are investigating incidents in which activity indicating abuse of SAML tokens consistent with this adversary’s behavior is present, yet where impacted SolarWinds instances have not been identified. CISA is working to confirm initial access vectors and identify any changes to the TTPs. CISA will update this Alert as new information becomes available.

    On December 13, 2020, CISA released Emergency Directive 21-01: Mitigate SolarWinds Orion Code Compromise, ordering federal civilian executive branch departments and agencies to disconnect affected devices. Note: this Activity Alert does not supersede the requirements of Emergency Directive 21-01 (ED-21-01) and does not represent formal guidance to federal agencies under ED 21-01.

    https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-352a

  2. #142
    DARPA Is Developing Aircraft-Launched Missile-Like Drones That Fire Their Own Air-To-Air Missiles
    BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK AND TYLER ROGOWAY FEBRUARY 8, 2021



    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has hired General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, to craft designs for an air-launched missile-toting air-to-air combat drone as part of a program called LongShot. In concept, a larger manned aircraft would fire this unmanned air vehicle, which could then fly to a certain area and engage multiple aerial threats with its own weapons. This, in turn, would extend the range of the launch platform and reduce its vulnerability to hostile aircraft or air defenses, among many other benefits.

    DARPA announced the contract awards, the value of which has not yet been disclosed, on Feb. 8, 2021. Plans for LongShot had emerged last year in the Pentagon's budget request for the 2021 Fiscal Year, which asked for $22 million, in total, to conduct initial work, including the development and refinement of the design for a "demonstration system." That same request also included $13.27 million for a proposed gun-armed air-launched drone effort called Gunslinger, which you can read more about in this past War Zone story.



    "The LongShot program changes the paradigm of air combat operations by demonstrating an unmanned, air-launched vehicle capable of employing current and advanced air-to-air weapons," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Paul Calhoun, the LongShot program manager, said in a statement. "LongShot will disrupt traditional incremental weapon improvements by providing an alternative means of generating combat capability."

    . . . More at link . . .

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...e-in-the-works

  3. #143
    Air Force Makes Extremely Rare Mention Of Deployment Of RQ-170 Stealth Drones
    JOSEPH TREVITHICK MARCH 12, 2021

    The U.S. Air Force has made an extremely unusual decision to publicly disclose a deployment of RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drones sometime in the last six months or so. More than a decade after the service officially acknowledged the existence of this unmanned aircraft, details about its operations remain highly classified.



    The Air Force's 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada quietly revealed the RQ-170 deployment earlier this week. The disclosure was tucked in with other information relating to a visit to Creech by General Mark Kelly and Chief Master Sergeant David Wade, the commander and command chief of Air Combat Command (ACC), respectively. The 432nd conducts training and other non-combat operations inside the United States, as well as combat operations overseas. The Air Force refers to crews conducting missions downrange remotely as being under the direction of the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) and often describes the Wing collectively as the "432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing.


    A picture of what was originally referred to as the Beast of Kandahar in Afghanistan. The name was a reference to repeated sightings of RQ-170s at Kandahar Airfield in that country.

    While we don't know where this newly revealed deployment may have taken some of the RQ-170s, the general time frame the Air Force has provided may offer some clues.

    more here:
    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...stealth-drones

    Then this tid-bit comes along . . .

    Mysterious High-Altitude Flight Corridor Was Opened Up Between Area 51 And The Pacific
    TYLER ROGOWAY AND JOSEPH TREVITHICK MARCH 15, 2021

    Late last week, a curious alert appeared in the Federal Aviation Administration's database of Notices to Airman, or NOTAMs, which, among other things, alerts aviators to chunks of airspace that are temporarily off-limits. The details strongly point to the comings or goings of a high-flying aircraft between either Area 51, also known as Groom Lake, or the Tonopah Test Range Airport, two of the U.S. military's most closely-guarded flight test facilities, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest of San Francisco, California.



    The NOTAM, which was first pointed out by users of the Dreamlandresort.com message board, was issued on March 12, 2021, but was only active between 5:45 PM and 8:15 PM local time the following day. This is a very odd time when military aviation training and test activity is usually at a minimum. The notice outlined a path 20 nautical miles wide and 426 miles long at an altitude between Flight Level 450 and Flight Level 600, or 45,000 to 60,000 feet. The exact route, defined by a series of named waypoints, can be plotted using tools available on the website SkyVector.com.

    If one starts in the west, the route consists of a stretch 104 nautical miles long between the Pacific Ocean and the waters southwest of San Francisco. The next leg runs 54 miles south to an area just west of Monterey, California, before turning inland over a relatively sparsely populated route across California and into western Nevada for the remaining portions.

    The flight path ends right at the edge of a parcel of restricted military airspace in Nevada referred to as R-4807A, which is part of the U.S. Air Force's sprawling Nevada Test and Training Range. To the north of R-4807A is R-4809, where Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and its associated airport lie. To it south is R-4808N, inside which sits R-4808A, also known as "The Box." That is the heavily restricted airspace around Area 51.

    More on this here:
    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...nd-the-pacific

  4. #144
    Japan-Based USAF F-16s Flew South China Sea Mission Fully Loaded With Live Air-To-Air Missiles
    Flying far from their home in Japan, the four F-16s, each armed with six missiles, executed operations in one of the tensest areas of the planet.

    THOMAS NEWDICK APRIL 19, 2021

    The four U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets that recently flew a mission over the highly contested South China Sea were photographed landing at their home base, Yokota Air Base in Japan, at the end of their return flight. The images confirm that these jets were armed for counter-air operations with a heavy load of live air-to-air missiles. The jets’ appearance in the South China Sea last week coincided with the biggest presence of People’s Liberation Army aircraft in Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in recent times: 25 aircraft in all.

    The Viper photos, taken by Lori, whose tweets can be found here, detail the jets’ extensive armament. Each jet was armed with five beyond-visual-range AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and a single short-range AIM-9 Sidewinder — one of the latest AIM-9X missiles on some of the jets, or an older AIM-9M on the others. Under the belly, each aircraft was fitted with an AN/ALQ-184 electronic countermeasures self-protection pod. All of the weapons were live, a relatively uncommon sight, especially over Japan, and indicated that this was much more than a simple long-distance training mission and, instead, a calculated signal to the Chinese military and possibly even a contingency operation.





    As evidenced by the AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System, the distinctive pod-mounted sensor found under the right side of the aircraft’s intakes, these jets are the radar-killing Wild Weasel F-16CM versions but, on this occasion at least, they were carrying maximum air-to-air load-outs. That these live missiles were then taken over the sensitive South China Sea suggests a willingness to demonstrate U.S. ability to generate defensive combat air patrols (CAPs) in proximity to Taiwan, as well as other hotspots in the region.

    The photos were taken on April 17, when all four of the jets that had been involved in the South China Sea flight on April 12 touched down at Yokota Air Base, in eastern Tokyo, at around 3:00 PM local time, presumably for a fuel stop, before departing again around 5:00 PM. They then flew home to Misawa Air Base, their home station, around 400 miles further north.

    More at link:
    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...o-air-missiles

  5. #145
    Space Force Wants Its Operations To Extend To The Expanse Between Traditional Orbits And The Moon

    he Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate has released a report detailing how the U.S. military is preparing to develop spacecraft and concepts of operations for missions beyond traditional orbits that could span all the way to the space surrounding the Moon. While the document doesn't offer any specifics in terms of how the U.S. military might be planning to project power in space or protect its space-based assets, it does highlight the complexities that the U.S. Space Force will face as it expands into the uncharted territory of operating beyond Earth's orbit.

    The report, titled “A Primer on Cislunar Space,” was written as a guide for military space professionals to help them better understand what cislunar space actually is and how they can better develop operating concepts and relevant capabilities for this relatively new area of operations. Because traditional Space Domain Awareness (SDA) systems were designed for geosynchronous orbits much closer to Earth, future operations beyond this region of space will require entirely new models for planning and tracking the trajectories of satellites or other craft.

    more at link:

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...rbits-and-moon

  6. #146
    Milley: China Challenge Placing Pressure on International Behavior
    By: John Grady
    August 2, 2021



    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said “China is coming at us rapidly” – economically, diplomatically and militarily, and that challenge is putting existing international behavior “under tremendous stress.”

    “Every single cent spent in the U.S. military is spent to preserve peace,” Army Gen. Mark Milley said Monday at the Navy League’s 2021 Sea-Air-Space meeting. He added that the more than $700 billion budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 means having a military ready now and modernized for the future.

    The Senate Armed Services Committee added more than $25 billion to the original request. Differences with the House version of the authorization bill will have to be worked in conference committee later this summer.

    Milley added what was happening now reflected a new age of threat brought on by the convergence of a range of technologies. He cited artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, 3-D printing, biotechnology and long-range fires available to every nation over the next decade as examples of the new technologies that can have either an immediate impact or in the future.

    More at link:

    https://news.usni.org/2021/08/02/mil...ional-behavior
    Last edited by epo333; 08-04-2021 at 12:50 AM.

  7. #147
    If China and the US Claim the Same Moon-Base Site, Who Wins?

    Relatively few craters are attractive, and there’s no consensus about avoiding conflict over them.

    There’s a not-so-quiet race back to the moon underway, but the two largest factions, with China and Russia on one side, and the United States and its partners on the other, are not recognizing each others’ proposed rules on what’s allowed once they get there.

    Lawmakers and space policy analysts are concerned: How do you avoid conflict in space if the international laws and policies on Earth no longer apply?

    “Many terrestrial military doctrines are not applicable in space, or at least not as applicable. If you get beyond 50 miles, or at least 62 miles, suddenly different rules apply. We need to start being aware of that,” says Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.

    There’s already some aggressive international elbowing over the rules of satellite operations. As with the moon, there’s no consensus yet on how to respond to aggression in Earth orbit, the head of U.S. Space Command Gen. James Dickinson told attendees at last week’s Sea Air Space conference.

    “The behavior of some of our adversaries in space may surprise you,” Dickinson said. “If similar actions have been taken in other domains, they'd likely be considered provocative, aggressive, or maybe even irresponsible. And in response, the U.S. government would take corresponding actions using all levers of national power, a demarche, or a sanction or something to indicate we won't tolerate that type of behavior, but we're not quite there yet in space policy.”



    In 1967, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a treaty on the use of outer space that promised cooperation and banned nuclear weapons, military maneuvers, and military installations off-planet. The agreement also requires countries to take “appropriate international consultations” before making any moves that would “cause potentially harmful interference” with other space programs, and allows countries to “request consultation” if they believe such interference is likely.

    This treaty “forecasted very well” the issues that that might arise as space exploration expanded, said James Lake, a senior associate at Canyon Consulting who co-wrote an article on lunar security issues in this month’s Space Force Journal. “The question remains: is that text sufficient? That’s something we are going to find out fairly soon.”

    Notably, a treaty annex that prohibits military activity on the moon went unratified by Russia, China, and the United States. It’s likely both the China-Russia and U.S.-led partnerships will begin their moon bases without any sort of agreement between them in place.

    In June, the China National Space Agency and Russia’s Roscosmos announced they would begin surveying locations for their International Lunar Research Station this year, and pick a site by 2025.

    In 2020, NASA, together with the nations partnering with the U.S. under the Artemis Accords, outlined its Artemis Base Camp project. The Artemis nations aim to to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024.


    In addition to those two major alliances, private firms such as Blue Origin are also working on private moon bases.

    But there may be only a few locations on the moon where it would make economic sense to build a base, said Bleddyn Bowen, a professor at the University of Leicester and author of War in Space: Strategy, Spacepower, Geopolitics.

    “Water ice, for example, might be in limited pockets, for example, making the territories around certain craters on the polar regions, perhaps more desirable,” Bowen said.

    So what happens if each decides on the same crater as the best spot to begin moon operations?


    More at link:

    https://www.defenseone.com/technolog...o-wins/184352/

  8. #148
    China says U.K. warship in Taiwan Strait shows "evil intentions"



    Taipei — China bristled on Monday over Britain's decision to send a Royal Navy warship sailing through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, saying the act "harbored evil intentions." China claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has increased pressure on the small island in recent years to accept Beijing as its capital.

    The Royal Navy announced that the HMS Richmond, a frigate deployed as part of a U.K. aircraft carrier strike group, was sailing through the Taiwan Strait on Monday in a move that challenges Beijing's claim to the sensitive waterway.

    "After a busy period working with partners and allies in the East China Sea, we are now en route through the Taiwan Strait to visit Vietnam and the Vietnam People's Navy," read a tweet from the official account for HMS Richmond.

    . . .

    Video and more at link:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...edgdhp&pc=U531

  9. #149
    Now here is something different . . . (A Project Looking Glass is often mentioned in association with the Stargate Project.)



  10. #150
    USS Connecticut (SSN-22) is a Seawolf-class nuclear powered fast attack submarine operated by the United States Navy.



    Officials: 11 sailors injured after USS Connecticut submarine ‘struck an object’ underwater earlier this month

    Eleven sailors were injured Oct. 2 when the deployed fast-attack submarine Connecticut “struck an object” while submerged in the Indo-Pacific region, a Navy official confirmed to Navy Times Thursday.

    None of the injuries were life-threatening and the vessel is arriving in Guam today, according to the sea service.

    A Navy statement did not confirm what kind of object the submarine struck, but an official who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record said that the area’s topography at the time did not indicate there was a land mass in front of the boat.

    There are also no indications that the mishap was hostile or that the sub collided with another vessel, according to the official, who cautioned that information on the incident is preliminary at this point.

    While two crew members suffered moderate injuries, no one required evacuation from the boat, according to the official, who declined to provide a total number of sailors injured but described those injuries as “bumps, bruises and lacerations.”

    “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition,” the Navy said in a statement. “USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational.”

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