Items tagged with Pentagon

Some Google employees aren't happy that their employer is working on a project with the Pentagon that involves artificial intelligence (AI). The program in question is called Project Maven and the goal isn't to create some sort of fancy technology destroying AI to be deployed in times of war, but to create AI that can analyze drone footage. The workers involved in the protest have been circulating a letter inside the company that demands CEO Sundar Pichai pull the plug on the effort. According to The New York Times, the letter has been signed by over 3,100 Google workers. Part of the letter... Read more...
For all the tens of thousands of people around the world that believe in UFOs and aliens, there are vast numbers of people who label the believers as nut jobs and ostracize them as crackpots. This means that many people in the military who encountered unknown objects in the skies over the years never reported the encounter out of fear of being labeled. Just because something is labeled an Unidentified Flying Object or UFO doesn't mean that object is from another world. It simply means that we don’t know where the object came from or what it is. As it turns out, the Pentagon and the U.S. Military... Read more...
The U.S. Navy has spent half a billion dollars working to perfect a new type of projectile weapons technology that could be used in current and future naval ships. That gun is the railgun, which has always sounded like something out of a video game or science fiction. Unfortunately, it looks as though the project is possibly going to be scrapped after all the money and time was put into the research and development of the weapon. The strange part is that the weapon isn't possibly being scrapped because it doesn’t work; the railgun works quite well. The beast can toss a projectile down range... Read more...
SpaceX has pulled it off again. The company had another successful rocket launch as part of its NROL-76 mission. The Falcon 9 blasted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with a top-secret spy satellite in its payload compartment that was commissioned by the National Reconnaissance Office. Given the classified nature of the launch, we were denied access to many specific details relating to the launch, and the feed of the second stage was cut shortly after it separated from the Falcon 9 first stage. We should also note that this was first big U.S. Department of Defense... Read more...
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced this week that it has entered into a “non-competitive” long-term contract with Microsoft to provide support services to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Under this five-year deal, Microsoft will provide consulting services and access to “proprietary resources and source code.” According to the DoD, Microsoft’s source code will be made available “when applicable to support Department of Defense's mission” and the company’s services will primarily be applicable within the Continental U.S. However, at the DoD’s discretion, Microsoft can... Read more...
Do you want Skynet? Because this is how you get Skynet! The U.S. Military currently deploys a number of robotic weapons systems – vehicles and platforms that can roam the earth or take to the skies, taking humans partially out of the equation. Aerial drones often carry extremely lethal payloads that are tasked with taking out enemy insurgents on the battlefield. However, military policy has safeguards in place to ensure that these robotic weapons platforms never go “rogue” by firing on friendly targets or innocent civilians. As a result, there’s always a human “behind the trigger” that makes the... Read more...
It looks as though the U.S. Government just can’t catch a break when it comes to cybersecurity issues. If it isn’t China that’s breaching the Office of Personal Management (OPM), accessing the personnel files of 21.5 million people, then the U.S. has to keep an eye for hackers originating from Russia. The latter is pegged as the source for the recent cyberattack on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff email system. If there’s any silver lining to today’s news, it’s that the email system contained “unclassified” information. The cyberattack, which occurred on July 25, affected around 4,000 military personnel... Read more...
In mid-July it was announced that the Pentagon considers cyberspace an operational theater. Now, experts at security firm McAfee have detailed a five-year-long series of cyber attacks they have dubbed "Operation Shady RAT," in a paper released Wednesday. In this case, RAT isn't about a rodent. RAT is a common acronym in the industry which stands for Remote Access Tool, software that is used by hackers and security experts to access computer networks remotely. The report listed 72 targets, covering companies and organizations in 14 countries. Many more targets, McAfee said, were present in the logs,... Read more...
It's not as though the Pentagon has militarized cyberspace in the mode you might think of in some sort of anime like "Ghost in the Shell," but they are going to look at cyberspace differently. On Thursday, the Pentagon announced it would begin treating cyberspace as an operational domain, like land, sea, and air. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III outlined the new strategy in a speech at the National Defense University. At the same time, he spotlighted the importance of cyberdefense with an example that is most telling: in March alone, 24,000 files at a defense contractor were accessed.... Read more...
Like something straight out of a Hollywood action movie, foreign spies managed to swipe sensitive information from the Pentagon by plugging a dirty flash drive into a U.S. military laptop, according to reports. This actually happened some two years ago, but is just now coming to light now that it's been de-classified by Uncle Sam. "It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary," Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs. "This ... was the most significant... Read more...
As it turns out, Swine Flu just might be the least of our worries on a national scale; according to a top official within the US government, cyber espionage and attacks from terror groups are the biggest threats to the country's military computer networks. We've seen time and time again that attacks on our network infrastructure can bring down entire branches or departments and paralyze security personnel, so we suppose the news isn't all that surprising. Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, who heads U.S. Strategic Command, admitted that he worries that foes will "learn to disable or distort battlefield... Read more...
Google's Street View has been at the center of privacy concerns, so this is just the latest story in that chain ... but why would guards let them onto a base in the first place?A person familiar with the matter at Fort Sam Houston said a base official twice granted Google access, but only after he was assured that Google would not videotape or photograph the historic base, which serves as a medical-training and support post. The official had believed an online map would be useful to guide visitors. "Unfortunately, Google didn't follow the rules," said the person, who requested anonymity because... Read more...
Solar arrays in space, delivering power to the Earth.  Something seen frequently in science fiction movies and books.  It's always been seen as financially unviable, but if someone with really deep pockets like the military were interested ...A new Pentagon study lays out the roadmap for a multibillion-dollar push to the final frontier of energy: a satellite system that collects gigawatts’ worth of solar power and beams it down to Earth.The military itself could become the “anchor tenant” for such a power source, due to the current high cost of fueling combat operations abroad, the study... Read more...