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16 octobre 2012 2 16 /10 /octobre /2012 12:40
Iran's Cyber Warfare

October 16, 2012 By Dr. Gabi Siboni and Sami Kronenfeld / Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) - INSS Insight No. 375


Broad interstate cooperation needed to counter Iranian cyber activity


The recent statement by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about the need to confront Iranian cyber warfare waged against American targets highlights developments of the last two years regarding Iran's extended activity to construct defensive and offensive cyber capabilities. Apparently underway is a large cyber campaign by Iran, both to attack various targets in retaliation for the sanctions imposed against it and to repel the cyber attacks directed at it.


Iran is working to develop and implement a strategy to operate in cyberspace. The approach by Supreme Leader Khamenei to opportunities and risks inherent in cyberspace, reflected in his March 2012 announcement on the establishment of the Supreme Cyber Council, shows how central the issue is in Iran. Defensively, Iran is working to realize two main goals: first, to create a "technological envelope" that will protect critical infrastructures and sensitive information against cyberspace attacks such as the Stuxnet virus, which damaged the Iranian uranium enrichment program, and second, to stop and foil cyberspace activity by opposition elements and opponents to the regime, for whom cyberspace is a key platform for communicating, distributing information, and organizing anti-regime activities. The Iranian program to create a separate, independent communications network is particularly important in this context.


Offensively, the cyberspace strategy is part of the doctrine of asymmetrical warfare, a central principle in the Iranian concept of the use of force. Cyberspace warfare, like other classical asymmetrical tactics such as terrorism and guerilla warfare, is viewed by Iran as an effective tool to inflict serious damage on an enemy with military and technological superiority. In a case of escalation between Iran and the West, Iran will likely aim to launch a cyber attack against critical infrastructures in the United States and its allies, including energy infrastructures, financial institutions, transportation systems, and others. In order to realize the goals of its strategy, Iran has allocated about $1 billion to develop and acquire technology and recruit and train experts. The country has an extensive network of educational and academic research institutions dealing with information technology, computer engineering, electronic engineering, and math. In addition, the government operates its own institute – the Iran Telecommunications Research Center, the research and professional branch of the Information and Communications Ministry. The institute trains and operates advanced research teams in various fields, including information security. Another government body is the Technology Cooperation Officer, which belongs to the president’s bureau, and initiates information technology research projects. This body has been identified by the European Union and others in the West as involved in the Iranian nuclear program.


The Iranian cyberspace system comprises a large number of cyber organizations, formally related to various establishment institutions and involved in numerous fields. One central organization with a primarily defensive orientation is the Cyber Defense Command, operating under Iran’s Passive Defensive Organization, affiliated with the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Alongside military personnel, this cyberspace organization includes representatives of government ministries, such as the ministries of communications, defense, intelligence, and industry, and its main goal is to develop a defensive doctrine against cyberspace threats. Another cyberspace body of a defensive nature is the MAHER Information Security Center, operating under the aegis of the communications and information technology ministry. The center is in charge of operating rapid response teams in case of emergencies and cyber attacks. Iran also has a Committee for Identifying Unauthorized Sites and FETA, the police cyberspace unit, which in addition to dealing with internet crime also monitors and controls Iranian internet usage, with emphasis on internet cafés throughout the country that allow relatively anonymous web surfing.


The picture is less clear regarding Iran’s offensive cyberspace capabilities. Clearly the capabilities of the Revolutionary Guards make Iran one of the most advanced nations in the field of cyberspace warfare, with capabilities, inter alia, to install malicious code in counterfeit computer software, develop capabilities to block computer communications networks, develop viruses and tools for penetrating computers to gather intelligence, and develop tools with delayed action mechanisms or mechanisms connected to control servers. There is also evidence of links between the Revolutionary Guards and hacker groups in Iran and abroad that operate against the enemies of the regime at home and around the world. The use of outsourcing allows the Revolutionary Guards and Iran to maintain distance and deniability about Iran’s involvement in cyberspace warfare and


cyber crime. A prominent hacker group linked to the Revolutionary Guards is the Ashiyane Digital Security Team, whose members are motivated by an ideology supporting the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolution and who target the enemies of the regime for attack. The Basij, subordinate to the Revolutionary Guards, also became active in cyberspace when in 2010 established the Basij Cyberspace Council. The activities of the Basij focus primarily on creating pro-Iranian propaganda in cyberspace, and the organization works on developing more advanced cyberspace capabilities and using Revolutionary Guards cyberspace operatives to train hackers in high offensive capabilities.


Iran is already active offensively, as evidenced by several events in recent years. In 2011 there were two attacks on companies providing security permissions; most prominent was the attack from June to August 2011 on DigiNotar in the Netherlands, whose databases – the major source of SSL permissions in Holland – were attacked. During those months, certificates for authenticating websites, including the certificate authenticating the google.com domain, were stolen; the latter item allowed attackers to pose as Google and redirect Gmail servers. In fact, the attack allowed Iran to penetrate more than 300,000 computers, primarily in Iran, and seems to have been designed to monitor users at home for internal security purposes.


In September 2012, a number of financial institutions in the United States came under attack, including sites belonging to the Bank of America, Morgan Chase, and CitiGroup. According to American analysts, the most destructive attack occurred in August 2012 on the computers of the Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco and the Qatari gas company RasGas. The attack was carried out by means of a computer virus called Shamoo, which spread through company servers and destroyed information stored in them. A group called the Cutting Sword of Justice took responsibility for the attack and claimed it was aimed at the main source of income of Saudi Arabia, which was accused of committing crimes in Syria and Bahrain.


The development of Iran’s cyberspace capabilities and the most recent attacks should concern the United States as well as Israel. The success of the attack on Aramco computers is of concern because the standard defensive systems proved insufficient against the focused and anonymous attacks. It is therefore necessary to develop tools that can deal with such threats. One of the directions being developed involves identification, blocking, and neutralization of unusual behavior in computers under attack. Such tools could neutralize threats even after the malicious code managed to penetrate the targeted computer. The attack on Aramco was designed more to destroy information indiscriminately in tens of thousands of company computers and less (if at all) to gather intelligence. If intelligence gathering in cyberspace can be considered legitimate in some cases, a large scale attack such as the one by Iran against a civilian target marks a transition by Iran to retaliatory action. Secretary Panetta’s recent statement on the need to close accounts with those responsible for this attack demonstrates this, but what ultimately counts is the test of action and not of words.


The focus of Iran’s cyberspace activity directed against Israel and other countries in the West requires appropriate defensive arrangements, beginning with an up-to-date doctrine of cyberspace defense. The attackers’ sophistication requires intelligence-based defenses as well as the generic ones. In light of developments in Iran, the State of Israel must place the issue of Iranian cyberspace activity among its highest intelligence priorities, in order to identify advance preparations and foil attacks before they are underway. Similar to the Iranian nuclear program, the challenge is not Israel's alone, rather that of many other states in the West as well as the Gulf states. It is therefore necessary to initiate broad interstate cooperation to gather intelligence and foil Iranian cyber activity.



(Dr. Gabi Siboni is the head of the Cyber Warfare Program at INSS. Sami Kronenfeld is an intern in the program. This essay is shortened version of a forthcoming article on Iran’s cyberspace capabilities, to be published in the December issue of Military and Strategic Affairs.)

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 13:00


From an “AirSea” to an “AirSeaCyber” concept?

(Image: defpro.com)


July 17, 2012 Honolulu, Hawaii  By Harry J. Kazianis / Pacific Forum CSIS – defpro.com


U.S. military must integrate cyber considerations into new AirSea Battle concept


In Pacific Forum’s PacNet #41 issue, Mihoko Matsubara correctly asserts that “countering cyber threats demands cooperation among nations, in particular public-private partnerships.” Cyber war has finally made its way onto the radar, and rightly so. Now the United States military must integrate cyber considerations into its new AirSea Battle concept.


US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the “next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyber-attack that cripples our power systems, our grid, our security systems, our financial systems.” If true, cyber must be front and center in any military refocusing to the Asia-Pacific. Any failure to not correctly plan against this lethal form of asymmetric warfare could be a catastrophic mistake.


The US seems to be focusing the military component of its widely discussed ‘pivot’ to Asia on China’s growing military capabilities. While neither side seeks confrontation and one hopes none will occur, China’s development of a highly capable Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) battle plan to deter, slow, or deny entry into a contested geographic area or combat zone has been detailed extensively. Cyber war is clearly part of this strategy, with Chinese planners prepared to wage ‘local wars under conditions of informatization,’ or high-intensity, information-centric regional military operations of short duration. Prudent military planners must be prepared to meet this potential threat. Other nations such as North Korea and Iran are also developing A2/AD capabilities with cyber based components that could challenge US or allied interests.


In this type of threat environment, the US, along with its allies, should develop its own symmetric and asymmetric counter-strategies. A joint operational concept of AirSea Battle that includes a strong cyber component would give US forces and their allies the best chance to defeat adversary A2/AD forces. Of course, the current Joint Operational Access Concept does make strong mention of cyber operations. However, an even stronger emphasis on cyber warfare is needed. In short, AirSea Battle as an operational concept might already be obsolete and it should be reconstituted as an “AirSeaCyber” concept.


If cyber is to become a full-fledged component of AirSea Battle, its conceptualization and integration are crucial. A simple first step must be the recognition that cyberspace is now one of the most important battlefield domains in which the US and allied militaries operate. It is not enough to exercise battlefield dominance in a physical sense with technologically advanced equipment. With vital but vulnerable computer networks, software, and operating systems a potential adversary may choose an asymmetric cyber ‘first-strike’ to damage its opponent’s networked combat capabilities. Enemy forces could attempt to ‘blind’ their opponent by crippling computer and network-centric command and control (C2), battlefield intelligence gathering, and combat capabilities by conducting advanced cyber operations. Simply put: US and allied forces must fully understand and articulate the severity of the threat they face before they can map out any national or multinational strategies.


Working with potential cyber allies to identify common threats and working to mitigate possible challenges is crucial. One viable partner in creating effective cyber capabilities is South Korea. Seoul faces a number of problems from a growing North Korean asymmetric threat in a physical sense, as well as multiple challenges in cyberspace. General James Thurman, US Forces Korea Commander, recently noted that “North Korea employs sophisticated computer hackers trained to launch cyber infiltration and cyber-attacks.” Pyongyang utilizes cyber capabilities “against a variety of targets including military, governmental, educational and commercial institutions.” With the US committed to South Korea’s defense, creating partnerships in cyberspace can only enhance such a relationship. Both sides must look past physical threats and expand their partnership across this new domain of possible conflict.


Japan is another possible cyberspace partner. As Matsubara accurately points out, “They [US and Japan] have more to lose. If cyber-attacks and espionage undermine their economies or military capability, larger geostrategic balances may be affected and the negative consequences may spill over to other countries.” Both nations have reported hacking incidents from Chinese-based hackers that have targeted defense-related industries and programs. With Japan and the US partnering on joint projects such as missile defense and F-35 fighter jet, the protection of classified information associated with these programs must be a top priority. As military allies, both must plan for possible regional conflict where cyber warfare could be utilized against them.


Sadly, restraints could develop that might hamper such partnerships. One recent example: historical and political tensions have delayed and possibly halted a defense agreement between Japan and South Korea. The pact would have assisted in the direct sharing of sensitive military information concerning North Korea, China, and missile defenses. Presumably, cyber-related information would have been at the center of such sharing. The agreement was supported by Washington, which has been working to reinforce trilateral cooperation with the two countries, as essential Asian allies. With all three nations facing a common challenge from North Korea, such an agreement would have been highly beneficial to all parties.


If other nations’ military planners rely heavily on asymmetric warfare strategies, US planners and their allies must also utilize such capabilities in developing their response. Cyber warfare offers proportionally the strongest asymmetric capabilities at the lowest possible cost. Almost all military C2 and deployed weapons systems rely on computer hardware and software. As other nations’ military planners develop networked joint operations to multi-domain warfare, they also open their systems for exploitation by cyber-attack. US and allied technology experts must begin or accelerate long-range studies of possible adversaries’ hardware, software, computer networks, and fiber optic communications. This will allow US and allied cyber commands to deploy malware, viruses, and coordinated strikes on fiber-based communications networks that would launch any enemy offensive or defensive operations. Cyber warfare, if conducted in coordination with standard tactical operations, could be the ultimate cross-domain asymmetric weapon in modern 21st century warfare against any nation that utilizes networked military technologies.


Any good operational concept must always attempt to minimize any negative consequences of its implementation. AirSeaCyber presents US policymakers and their allies with a toolkit to deal with the diverse global military challenges of the 21st Century. The inclusion of cyber obviously declares that the US and its allies are prepared to enter a new domain of combat operations. This focus could unnecessarily draw attention to a domain that should be left to ‘fight in the shadows’ to avoid engendering a new battleground with deadly consequences. Some argue that with the use of cyber weapons against Iran to degrade its ability to develop uranium enrichment technology, a dangerous new international norm – operational use of cyber weapons – is upon us.


While these arguments have some validity, cyber war, whether against corporations, nation-states, or even individuals, is now part of daily life. To not prepare fully for this eventuality means facing battlefield obsolescence. Any student of history knows the results of preparing for the wars of years past-likely defeat.


These are only a sample of capabilities that could be utilized to create a joint operational concept that transition from present AirSea Battle ideas into a more focused AirSeaCyber operational concept. Such notions are compliant with current fiscal realities, utilize modern military technologies, and can leverage existing alliance networks. Any operational concept that will guide US armed forces in the future is obsolete without intense conceptualizations of cyber warfare. Working with allies to develop ties in cyberspace in the Asia-Pacific can only create a strong force multiplier effect and should be considered a top priority.


(Harry Kazianis is Assistant Editor for The Diplomat and a non-resident fellow at the Pacific Forum. PacNet commentaries and responses represent the views of the respective authors. Alternative viewpoints are always welcomed.)

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5 avril 2012 4 05 /04 /avril /2012 21:45

cyber warfare


2012-04-05 (China Military News cited from Reuters and by Joseph Menn)


A hacker has posted thousands of internal documents he says he obtained by breaking into the network of a Chinese company with defense contracts, an unusual extension of the phenomenon of activist hacking into the world's most populous country.


The hacker, who uses the name Hardcore Charlie and said he was a friend of Hector Xavier Monsegur, the leader-turned- informant of the activist hacking group, LulzSec, told Reuters he got inside Beijing-based China National Import & Export Corp (CEIEC).


One preview of CEIEC hacked files, from Hardcore Charlie


He posted documents ranging from purported U.S. military transport information to internal reports about business matters on several file-sharing sites, but the authenticity of the documents could not be independently confirmed.

The Beijing company, better known by the acronym, CEIEC, did not respond to a request for comment. U.S. intelligence and Department of Defense officials had no immediate comment.


CEIEC's website says the company performs systems integration work for the Chinese military.


Cyber-spying, both economic and political, is a growing concern for companies and governments around the world. The Chinese government is often accused of promoting, or at least tolerating, hacking attacks aimed at Western targets. But Chinese institutions have rarely been publicly identified as victims of such attacks.


Hackers associated with LulzSec have largely targeted Western defense contractors and law enforcement, although some of their attacks may have been driven by FBI informants. LulzSec is a spin-off of Anonymous, an amorphous collective that uses computer break-ins to promote social causes and expose what members see as wrongdoing by governments and corporations.


Hardcore Charlie said in email and Twitter conversations with Reuters that he had worked with others to crack the email passwords that got him inside CEIEC.


In particular, the hacker said he worked with an associate who calls himself YamaTough on Twitter, another former ally of Monsegur who recently released stolen source code for old versions of security products made by Symantec Corp (SYMC.O).


YamaTough had also been involved in an incident in which fake documents, purportedly from Indian military intelligence, were mixed with genuinely purloined documents, raising the possibility Hardcore Charlie had pursued a similar strategy in posting the alleged CEIEC documents.


Hardcore Charlie described himself as a 40-year-old Hispanic man in a country close to the United States. He said he did not have strong political leanings, but was concerned the Chinese company had access to material about the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, as some of the documents suggest.


He said he planned to "explore" the computer networks of other Chinese companies.

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17 décembre 2011 6 17 /12 /décembre /2011 08:40
Cyber Coalition 2011 exercise tests NATO procedures for cyber defence


December 16, 2011 defpro.com


NATO conducted from 13 to 15 December a cyber defence exercise in order to test technical and operational Alliance cyber defence capabilities. The exercise called Cyber Coalition 2011 was an opportunity to test Alliance working procedures for responding to large scale cyber attacks targeting information infra-structures of NATO and individual countries.


The exercise was based on a fictitious crisis in which all participant nations had to deal with simulated cyber attacks. The scenario of the exercise required action, coordination and collaboration from cyber defence specialists and management bodies.


A total of 23 NATO and six partner nations nations were involved in the exercise.


“I am delighted to see so many participants joining us for NATO’s major annual cyber coalition exercise”, Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Gabor Iklody said. “The number of players and observers is growing every year. This demonstrates the high importance that Allies and partners attach to achieving better protection against rapidly increasing cyber threats and also confirms NATO’s recognition as a key player in cyber defence”.


Around 100 specialists took part in the exercise from locations in the Alliance’s SHAPE Headquarters in Mons and the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. A similar number of national experts participated from national cyber defence facilities in their respective countries.


“Effective cyber defence requires us to continually test and improve our crisis management and decision-making procedures. This exercise was a great opportunity to promote the practical implementation of NATO’s new Cyber Defence Policy adopted last June”, Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Gabor Iklody said.


The exercise also offered an opportunity to check technical and operational responsibilities and to look into the needs for collaboration between NATO and partner nations. The European Union participated in the exercise with an observer role.

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2 décembre 2011 5 02 /12 /décembre /2011 12:50
Estonia Boosts Profile of Cyber Center


1 Dec 2011 By GERARD O'DWYER DefenseNews


HELSINKI - The Estonian government has begun a series of initiatives to position the country's NATO-Cyber Defense Center (NATO-CDC) as the alliance's principal cyberwarfare "tech weapon" and a primary source of expertise against cyber attacks on state and private infrastructure.


The NATO-CDC's reputation as a center of cyber excellence was bolstered in November when the U.S. and Poland became full members of the Tallinn-based and NATO-aligned specialist organization. The U.S.'s participation, in particular, is regarded as vital to provide NATO-CDC with the funding and technical expertise the center needs going forward.


"We have long waited for the day that the national flags of the U.S. and Poland fly in front of the NATO Cyber Defense Center. This is one of the most important milestones to becoming the main source of cyber defense expertise within the whole of NATO," said Mart Laar, Estonia's minister of defense.


The decisions by Poland and the U.S. to become full members of NATO-CDC will encourage other NATO countries to follow suit, Laar said. The center's membership also includes NATO states Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia.


Estonia hopes to connect NATO-CDC's cybersecurity expertise to ongoing cyber defense initiatives within the European Union and, closer to home, the joint cyber defense projects planned among the Nordic countries.


"A comprehensive European Union cyber defense policy, as well as direct cyber defense cooperation, is needed," Laar said. "Under the proposal from Estonia, the ministers of defense in the Nordic countries have agreed to form a working group that will present specific suggestions on this topic to the Nordic and Baltic chiefs of defense next year."


Enhanced Nordic and international cooperation around a dedicated cyber defense center could greatly improve protection of military network infrastructure, as well as domestic and multinational missions.


The primary funding for NATO-CDC is provided by Estonia, Germany, Italy and Spain. These countries also supply the center with most of its specialist staff.


NATO co-established the CDC with Estonia's Ministry of Defense in 2007, in the wake of a substantial cyber attack that originated in Russia and temporarily shut down the country's banking, government, military and media information technology infrastructure and associated data networks.

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24 octobre 2011 1 24 /10 /octobre /2011 11:55
Smart-SIC Analyzer : la crypto-analyse au service de la sécurité

24/10/2011  Clémentine Lerat-Vivien


Protéger les secrets et vérifier la fiabilité des systèmes de cryptographie embarqués, voici les missions du Smart-SIC Analyzer développé par la société Secure-IC, en collaboration avec la DGA. Commercialisé depuis mars 2011, ce logiciel est une parade aux attaques des « crypto-criminels ».


Téléphones, cartes bancaires, passeports électroniques, missiles… tous les produits qui contiennent des informations sensibles sont aujourd’hui protégés grâce à la cryptographie. Cette science permet d’encoder des informations pour les protéger. Cependant, qu’ils soient civils ou militaires, ces crypto-systèmes sont des cibles de choix pour des personnes mal intentionnées. Il est donc indispensable de vérifier leur robustesse face aux attaques.


DGA, Secure-IC, un partenariat gagnant-gagnant

« Dans le cadre d’une procédure Rapid avec la DGA sur un projet qui consistait à concevoir des mécanismes de protection pour des passeports électroniques, nous avons dû réfléchir à un moyen de vérifier la robustesse de ces mécanismes », explique Guillaume Poupard, responsable du pôle sécurité des systèmes d'information à la DGA. En 2009, Secure-IC a donc décidé de développer, en collaboration étroite avec la DGA un système permettant de répondre à ce besoin exprimé. Deux ans plus tard, en mars 2011, le Smart-SIC Analyzer était né.


Une plate-forme logicielle très performante

« Dans la plupart des réseaux de haut niveau de sécurité comme celui de la défense, on utilise des chiffreurs dans le but de masquer l’information afin de la rendre non intelligible par quelqu’un qui l’intercepterait », explique Guillaume Poupard. Le Smart-SIC Analyzer permet de vérifier que les composants cryptographiques, comme ces chiffreurs, sont inviolables. « Par exemple, pour tester une carte à puce, on l’insère dans un lecteur spécial appareillé de différentes sondes. Nous envoyons simultanément des commandes à la carte et nous regardons via ces sondes comment elle réagit », détaille Guillaume Poupard. « Nous allons même plus loin ! complète Hassan Triqui, cofondateur et président de Secure-IC. Il ne faut pas se contenter de dire si le système est sûr ou pas ! Notre analyse permet de quantifier la fuite du système, avec une précision en bits par seconde. » Effectivement, chaque équipement appareillé d’un système de carte à puce émet plus ou moins de « bruit », c’est ce qu’on appelle la fuite. Une des attaques les plus critiques consiste à enregistrer et analyser ces émissions électromagnétiques (consommation et variation de courant d’une puce) car leur simple étude peut amener à la découverte des informations qu’elle renferme. Ce logiciel analyse ainsi toutes ces mesures afin d’observer si de l’information intelligente, compréhensible et exploitable peut en être extraite. Une analyse très précise en termes de « métrique sécurité » qui quantifie l’ampleur de la fuite et permet de mettre en échec les « crypto-criminels » qui rivalisent d’imagination pour extraire des informations sensibles (conversations téléphoniques, coordonnées bancaires, coordonnées géographiques stratégiques…).


Toujours en pointe

Face aux énergies considérables qui sont déployées par les attaquants, Secure-IC doit soutenir un effort constant de R&D afin d’être en pointe et proposer toujours plus de sécurité. C’est pourquoi l’achat de ce système inclut la maintenance et les mises à jour. Le Smart-SIC Analyzer permet de tester les algorithmes de chiffrement avant qu’ils ne soient embarqués à bord d’un missile comme d’un téléphone, mais ces systèmes doivent être constamment remis en question. « Nous avons très récemment vendu le Smart-SIC Analyzer à un opérateur télécom. Cette société pourra ainsi proposer très prochainement à ses clients plus de sécurité, en matière de communications ou de paiements électroniques. Nous l’accompagnerons tout au long de sa démarche », explique Hassan Triqui.


Coopérer sans tout divulguer

Hormis la précision du logiciel et l’assistance à sa clientèle, Secure-IC se démarque de la concurrence par sa simplicité d’utilisation. « Nous avons énormément travaillé sur l’ergonomie avec, par exemple, la mise en œuvre d’applications tactiles sur nos appareils », indique Hassan Triqui. Toujours dans un souci de satisfaire sa clientèle, Secure-IC a conçu le Smart-SIC Analyzer de façon à ce qu’il soit parfaitement adapté à chaque demande. Les utilisateurs peuvent ainsi enrichir eux-mêmes le logiciel grâce à des interfaces modulables et la possibilité d’y apporter leurs propres algorithmes. Ainsi les secrets de fabrication des produits testés sont bien gardés. Seul l’industriel en garde les clefs. Un atout non négligeable pour le Smart-SIC Analyzer qui est déjà promis à un brillant avenir !

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1 octobre 2011 6 01 /10 /octobre /2011 07:25
NATO Sec Gen Calls for More EDA-NATO Cooperation

30 Sep 2011 By JULIAN HALE DefenseNews


BRUSSELS - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for greater cooperation between NATO and the European Defence Agency (EDA) to reduce costly duplication of effort.


Speaking at a European Policy Centre event here Sept. 30 looking ahead to the alliance's Chicago summit next year, Rasmussen said that "in a time of economic austerity and in a long-term perspective, we should avoid duplication and waste of money. We should coordinate and merge some projects."


Asked how industry could help, he said that "military equipment is becoming more and more expensive" and that "industry could help by ensuring prices don't rise so fast."


He also said opening up defense markets, as the European Commission is trying to do with a new European Union defense procurement directive, could help.


Complicated political problems prevented agreements on EU-NATO security arrangements in theater, he said, and these were generally resolved on "an ad hoc basis." The EU and NATO can only officially consult on Bosnia and cannot discuss Afghanistan, Libya and Kosovo operations, he said. "We know that the Cyprus dispute is at the origin of this and don't expect rapid progress on this," he said.


He urged Russia to "cooperate actively" in NATO's missile defense shield project. Specifically, he said he envisages a NATO and a Russian missile defense system with two joint centers through which data could be exchanged and joint threat assessments produced.


"We have no intention to attack Russia and I don't think Russia intends to attack us," he said, referring to a 1997 agreement in which both sides agreed not to use force against each other. He went on to describe a NATO-Russia summit at Chicago in 2012 as "an option" but that depends on "real substance and concrete results to deliver."


Regarding out-of-area operations, he said NATO had "no intention to intervene in Syria or other countries." In the case of Libya, there was a U.N. mandate and strong support from the region for NATO action, he said, but "neither condition was fulfilled for Syria or any other country."


NATO's core purpose is territorial defense of its member states, he said, but it "stands ready to protect our territories and populations if conflicts emerge."


Cyberspace is clearly emerging as a growing NATO priority.


"Defense of our territories may start beyond our territories, even in cyberspace," he said. On Sept. 20, NATO's Command, Control and Communications Agency launched a 28 million euro ($37.7 million) call for cyberdefense procurement. Rasmussen referred to cyberdefense and strategic transport as being among the priorities to be unveiled in his proposals for pooling and sharing among NATO countries, known as his "smart defense package."


Cybersecurity, he said, might be an area where NATO would consult with partner countries with specific expertise and which share the same security concerns. "This will be done on an ad hoc basis," he said.

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14 mars 2011 1 14 /03 /mars /2011 07:00
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1 février 2011 2 01 /02 /février /2011 21:06
Defence Requirements Trends for 2011 - 'Writing on the Wall' or 'Fresh Slate'?


Posted: 01/31/2011

Contributor: Defence Dateline Group, provides monthly and on-demand analysis of current security and defence issues.


As we place one hesitant foot in front of the other this new year, it seems the timing is right to offer the defence industry some predictions and likely trends in purchasing requirements for the coming twelve months. Without being foolhardy, it might do the industry some good to attack the issue head on - from the perspective of ‘big policy’, no less. Not all of these trends are commercially reassuring, but the world is not running out of conflicts or threats and 2011 will bring opportunities in a range of non-traditional markets.


The continent plans more cuts

Clearly, 2011 will be a year of some belt-tightening. Both Germany and the UK have already announced major cuts to their defence budgets, with the UK cutting 8% each year for four years, and Germany targeting air assets and troop numbers as it cuts by €8.3bn. Though France has been loath to implement austerity measures, in 2011 it will be forced to follow suit. Rumblings from the bond markets will combine with public protest at potential cuts to social benefits, making defence spending look like an easy target.


The US seems unlikely to follow this trend. In November 2010, the Republican Party won the midterm elections on a platform of deficit-cutting zeal. Yet they have remained vague as to where their cuts should fall. In a time of war, and with one eye on China, few congressmen will want to risk criticism from the political right. At a time of high unemployment, none will countenance the cancellation of procurement programmes in their own districts. Finally, with government divided between Democrats and Republicans, President Obama will be carefully choosing his conflicts, and major reductions in defence spending are unlikely to be one of them.


Pressure, though, will come from Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who has intimated that he will retire during 2011. He has made fiscal restraint a centrepiece of his attempts to reform the Pentagon, cutting jobs, and ending the Future Combat Systems and F-22 Raptor programmes. At the beginning of the year he announced a $78bn reduction in proposed spending, including cutting the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the Marine Corps’ troubled amphibious tank. He will be determined to gain a valedictory success in this field.


American investment strategy for defence

However, he is likely to face a bitter battle with the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard McKeon, who has already stated his firm opposition to defence cuts. Perhaps the most likely outcome is that major capital programmes such as the EFV will be permitted to continue, in return for the implementation of administrative and manpower cuts. In particular, the defence industry will have to adapt to proposed new rules on contracting which shift the onus for cost overruns onto contractors.


Meanwhile, service and personnel contractors will face some political pressure, but probably little action. There is a consensus in the policy community that oversight of private contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq should be increased and the December 2010 US defence bill went some way towards this aim. However, the White House will come under increasing public pressure to demonstrate that troops are returning from Afghanistan, meaning that contractors will continue to be too vital to the war effort to significantly restrict them at this point.


There will be more to 2011 than cuts and avoiding being on the wrong end of them. North Korea and a more assertive China are likely to make life in East and South-East Asia feel rather dangerous. South Korea and the Republic of China are obvious potential customers, but Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand may all look to add submarines to their naval forces.


Asian power struggles

Meanwhile, China’s close relations with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the likelihood that it will shortly have carrier strike capabilities, will continue to worry India. India is already expanding its own submarine and carrier capabilities, but may also seek to refine and improve its anti-ballistic missile shield. As a potential partner to balance against China, the US will continue to promote cooperation with India, and it may offer some further military hardware in addition to the eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft it sold to the Indian Navy in March 2009.


A similar logic of fear applies in the Middle East. Tensions will continue over Iran, and with oil prices remaining high, the GCC countries will look to add to their arsenals. Mine clearing vessels, missile defence systems and prestigious fighter jets will remain the top priorities.

Moving northeast from Iran, the war in Afghanistan will continue to rumble on. A dispute between General Petraeus and President Obama over the precise number of troops to return home in 2011 is likely, but suffice to say that the majority of NATO forces there now will still be there in 12 months time.


However, new capital spending on the war is likely to taper off; there will be continued purchases of the latest counter-IED equipment, but little else will be required.


UAVs and cyber

No set of defence predictions would be complete without mention of the obvious headline areas for 2011: UAVs and cyberspace. With most of the major purchasers having already selected their next generation of drones, developments here will be in the fields of R&D, and in their sale to new users. Many of these new users will be countries with remote borders, interested in the homeland security and border patrol applications of UAVs. One counterintuitive effect of the continuing Iranian nuclear crisis is that defence cooperation between Israel and Russia is likely to deepen, with UAVs at the centre of this.


In cyberspace, almost all the major defence spenders will slowly emulate the US by creating a unified cyber-command. Meanwhile, in March 2011, a report on CYBERCOM’s strategy will be submitted to Congress. Given the sheer complexity of setting up CYBERCOM, and the vagueness of its remit, it may be predicted that it will at some point offer consultancy contracts to help with the organisation and implementation of its mission, as well as to supplement its own know-how and force levels. Its imitators will likely have to do the same.


Covering purchasing requirements as a first step might be viewed as a narrow approach. Certainly, it does not begin to touch on mergers and acquisitions, legal disputes and all the other issues that consume middle level and upper management in what has now become a turbulent industry. Yet, there are enough predictions here to keep your average defence executive up at night, whether through excitement or trepidation. What may be said with certainty is that as some familiar conflict areas resolve themselves, levees continue to break in others. Perhaps one modest prediction would be to add that disruptions of rising powers and rogue states will ensure that there will be a role for the defence industry - indefinitely.

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