As 40 international ships and submarines sailed toward Hawaii to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) hosted two cyber security experiments as part of Trident Warrior 2014 (TW14).
TW14 is an annual experimentation series which is co-led this year by Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, and Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), as part of the Fleet Experimentation (FLEX) program.
The TW14 team aboard Peleliu investigated the shipboard network by using a monitoring tool to detect and prevent internal and external threats from penetrating existing firewalls. One day, the new tool could identify and intercept emails containing malicious links.
“These emerging technologies will not replace the vigilance we require of our crew to counter the types of cyber security threats that target our Navy each day,” said Capt. Paul C. Spedero, commanding officer of Peleliu.
Spedero explained, “However, this type of experimentation may help us identify gaps in our current training, to ensure that our crew will be ready, both afloat and ashore, to deter an adversarial attempt to gain access to our information.”
One of the TW14 cyber initiative’s goals is to examine a programmed cyber defense training and readiness tool which simulates attacks on a shipboard network. This technology also monitors system administrators’ responses to counter virtual attacks after existing network defenses were triggered.
After nine months of planning and coordination, these emerging technologies were installed on the ship’s networks in early June and will be removed upon the completion of the transit to Hawaii.
TW14 experimentation will continue through each phase of RIMPAC, investigating more than 30 other innovative government and military sponsored potential solutions to cyber challenges in the fleet.
Press Release, June 26, 2014; Image: US Navy