The U.S. Air Force Research Lab, the parent research arm of the U.S. Space Force has awarded a contract to Blockchain Firm Xage Security to develop a data security system.
U.S. Space Force is the sixth official branch of the United States military. (The other branches are; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Yes, the Coast Guard is considered part of the U.S. Armed Forces even though it operates day to day under the US Department of Homeland Security.) It was created in December of 2019 under then President Donald Trump. Its mission is to provide freedom of action in the space domain. Space Force's five core competencies include: space security, combat power projection, space mobility and logistics, information logistics, and space domain awareness.
Space Force, which operates as a sister branch of the U.S. Air Force is responsible for the security and defense of the United States fleet of civilian and military, communication, information, Global Positioning System, weather, and defense satellites. Due to the critical importance of communication and geographic position satellites for the Space Force, it is paramount to their mission that data they transmit should never become compromised.
Xage Sexurity, a California based cybersecurity firm won the $743,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force organization charged with spurring innovation. The contract tasks Xage with designing a solution to aid the Space Force in securely connecting military and civilian satellites with ground stations in tamper-proof networks, said Space News. Xage plans to use its Security Fabric solution. Security Fabric operates using blockchain technology and can secure the systems by removing single points of entry. By utilizing blockchain, it would prevent hackers from being able to destroy information on the network.
Through Xage’s platform, the Space Force will be able to verify the parties and people accessing its system and ensure that even if ground equipment goes offline, the satellites will continue to function. Data would remain fully protected, even if the system goes offline, until such time as it was safe to be transferred again. The system further fully protects end to end data transfers through a decentralized network.
Security Fabric will be involved in data protection on all US Space Force military and civilian assets, with a solution aimed at enabling granular identity-based verification for access to any USSF system. This includes systems deployed on land and in space, regardless of their generation.
"By protecting data across a diverse architecture, commercial operators and multiple parties, the USSF can create reliable situational awareness in real time and block a number of dangerous counterfeiting or command intrusion attacks," said a press release.
According to Xage’s press release, the Space Force requires decentralized enforcement of security to ensure space domain resilience, and as such, they have built its own solution to serve the needs of complex infrastructure systems.
“We are excited to bring the Xage solution to the Space Force in the form of a blockchain-protected space system security,” said Duncan Greatwood, Xage’s CEO.
This is not the first time Xage’s has been awarded a contract by the US Department of Defense. They received their first in 2019 when the Air Force evaluated the company’s blockchain-protected Security Fabric as a means of protecting data transmission.
U.S. Space Force is actively recruiting individuals with backgrounds in information security, coding, software, and cybersecurity. Maybe you could be one of America's next Space Guardians!
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