U.S. military authorities face replacing chips in military computers because of flaws in trusted computing

Jan. 24, 2020
Many computers used by the government contain a processor vulnerability that could enable hostile nations to steal key data sets and information.

WASHINGTON – Revelations about vulnerabilities in computer chips ubiquitous in U.S. government and military computers — and just how poorly their manufacturer responded to these revelations — show that business as usual leaves our military open to truly staggering attacks. Defense One reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

24 Jan. 2020 -- We must act with the greatest urgency to ensure that all available security patches are applied to weapons, intelligence systems, and other critical infrastructure. And in some cases, we should replace the chips: an expensive, but necessary step.

As the former lead computer security engineer for the U.S. Transportation Command, or USTRANSCOM — the command that runs the military’s global transportation system — I know first-hand the exposure that our nation’s IT systems face.

In 2018, researchers discovered security vulnerabilities, known as Spectre and Meltdown, that took advantage of design flaws inside processors that date back to the mid-1990s. The trusted-computing flaws, which primarily (though not exclusively) affect chips manufactured by Intel, persisted through several design generations.

Related: Military researchers eye built-in trusted computing and cyber security for complex digital chips

Related: Air Force chooses MacAulay Brown for new approaches to trusted computing microelectronics manufacturing

Related: DARPA to brief industry on initiatives in trusted computing, secure chip use, semiconductor manufacturing

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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