The U.S. Army has just put more than a billion dollars into a new air defense system called IM-SHORAD to protect soldiers from drone attacks. It is a vital mission – but the last time the Army tried to develop something like this the project failed horribly. And even if the new system works as intended, serious questions remain.
The U.S. has enjoyed air superiority, if not air supremacy, in every conflict for decades. American planes have swept the enemy aircraft from the sky or destroyed them on the ground. The last time an American soldier was killed by enemy air attack was during the Korean War. As a result, while the Russians and others have continued to develop generations of armored vehicles carrying surface-to-air missiles or cannon, U.S. tactical air defense has been steadily wound down. By 2005 the U.S. Army had only a handful of Avengers, essentially Hummers mounting four or eight light Stinger missiles.
In 2015 the Army identified a critical gap in its short-range air-defense (SHORAD) capability as the threat of drones emerged:
“Since 2005…The use of unmanned aerial systems (UASs – drones) has increased exponentially, and UASs have been used successfully by both sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict,” noted the Congressional Research Service.
The threat was underlined in 2018 when Iraqi forces supported by the U.S. trying to re-take Mosul came under sustained attack by waves of small, grenade-dropping drones. USAF jets ruled the skies above, but were no use against quadcopters flying at a few hundred feet.
In response to an urgent needs request, the Army fast-tracked a selection process for a new Initial Maneuver, Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) vehicle.
Tachyum™ Inc. today announced that it has added Melvin Cordova, a veteran and proven executive in the defense and intelligence technology industry, to the advisory board of its newly created Tachyum Government Corporation. Mr. Cordova carries the appropriate security clearances and will serve as the official contact for federal customers looking to leverage Tachyum’s Prodigy Universal Processor for their demanding HPC, artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads.
With more than 30 years of experience leading military and intelligence innovation, managing critical programs, and building consensus within the defense and intelligence industries, Cordova specializes in providing operational advisory services to technology companies doing business with the Department of Defense and intelligence community organizations. His focus is on identifying emerging threats and managing the velocity and complexity of technology innovation for high-stakes environments to counter those threats.
Cordova served 22 years on active duty in the United States Navy, in the fields of electricity, electronics, and interior communications. Among his professional experience, he served eight-years as a GG-15 at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in roles that include; Secretariat for the Innovation Advisory Board, Office of the Deputy Director; Senior Program Manager for the Technology Action Group, Office of the Chief of Staff, DIA, addressing the most difficult problems of IT, Analysis, MASINT, and HUMINT. Cordova led DoD’s investments in In-Q-Tel’s (CIA’s Venture Capital arm) portfolio companies, managed DIA participation in military exercises and led the transition of several important technologies to fully qualified operational use. These efforts earned him recognition from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for his collaboration and leadership. Cordova also served 3-1/2 years in the Defense HUMINT Management Office, Technology Tradecraft Office, as senior program manager, deputy chief and acting chief. He also served as Chief of the DIA Contracting Office in Baghdad, Iraq, providing oversight
There’s been a surge in cybersecurity activity as companies continue to operate remotely and cybercriminals look to exploit the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, organizations around the globe have also adopted remote work policies, leaving companies vulnerable to threats via remote networks, pandemic-related malware, and more. In recent months, there’s been a spike in cybersecurity attacks during the pandemic. In April, the FBI reported cybercriminal activity had increased fourfold. At the time, the agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Center was receiving up to 4,000 complaints per day. On Tuesday, Microsoft released its annual Digital Defense Report providing a glimpse of the trends shaping the cybersecurity landscape during the last year.
“This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets,” said Tom Burt, corporate VP of customer security and trust, in the report.
SEE: Identity theft protection policy (TechRepublic Premium)
The Digital Defense Report analyzes cybersecurity threats from the second half of 2019 through the first half of 2020. Overall, Microsoft said it blocked more than 13 billion “malicious and suspicious mails” in 2019, with over 1 billion of these being “URLs set up for the explicit purpose of launching a phishing credential attack.”
From October of last year to July 2020, ransomware existed as the most common action spurring Microsoft’s incident response, per the report. Microsoft notes the ever-evolving and broadening nature of IoT threats, stating that such attacks increased by more than one-third “in total attack volume” when comparing the last six months of 2019 to the first half of 2020.
The findings detail ways in which cybercriminals have attempted to exploit the coronavirus pandemic. For example, a total of 16