• White Paper-Jamming at the Gate, Part Two

    • In Part One (“Offensive Side”) we discussed the use of jamming technology to effect spectrum control and protection (active, purposeful denial or “blanking” of some or all of the communication frequencies of potential use by adversaries or Opposing Forces [OPFORS]). The “Defensive Side”, which is discussed here, is the OPFORS’ use of jammers designed to defeat Friendly Forces’ sensors and communication subsystems and the Counter-Electronic Countermeasures used to defeat these attacks. These countermeasures are often called PSIM or Physical Security Information Management – known to most designers of large scale security systems as the preferred all-encompassing electronic security system.

    “Physical Security Information Management, or PSIM, is the rapidly growing technology category that marries physical security device management with the automation and reasoning capabilities of computing.  PSIM software systems are designed and optimized to integrate and analyze information from traditional physical security devices and systems, and present the necessary data to automatically or manually resolve the situation in real time.” (VidSys.com)

    In a recent presentation, Tim Maletic, from TrustWave’s SpiderLabs, stated that “Over the last several years, penetration testing and practice has seen incredible growth and maturation.”

    Steve Hunt, founder of Hunt Business Intelligence, wrote “PSIM spending in general follows the same trajectory that IT security information management (IT-SIM) spending did a decade ago. However, because PSIM incorporates a much greater scope and volume of data — sourced from simple and complex sensors, detectors, networks and computers — than does IT security, it naturally costs more than its IT counterpart. So while IT-SIM spending is expected to reach $1 billion in 2012, PSIM spending that year may be four times that. By 2012, services are expected to command about 25 percent more of the market than software. If it hits its $4 billion dollar projection, the market’s compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2012 will be 28 percent.”

    • Defensive Side: OPFORS’ use of jammers designed to defeat Friendly Forces’ sensors and communication subsystems and the Counter-Electronic Countermeasures used to defeat these attacks.

    When an OPFOR wishes to penetrate a friendly compound there are only a few ways to do so: come in by air, come in on land by direct force, come from the sea. In all cases negating the friendly’s sensors is critical unless the OPFOR intends to use overwhelming force alone, in which case may take longer (allowing the friendly to destroy key information and summon help, often air support). The standard approach would be to work to isolate the perimeter sensors and destroy their ability to connect with the control center while mounting the physical attack. Portable broadband jammers are available commercially around the world, however, and likely would be used – to deny communications among individual defenders. Once inside the compound the goal would be to disable or destroy the central command capability and all communication systems (voice, data, video, and “exception-based” communications). Learn more about Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and SCADA Security.

    The physical attack would also target antennas, critical conduits/wires, and if possible cut all power. Identifying the critical subsystems and interconnection points demands prior intelligence gathering to determine the type and structure of subsystems. (This is one reason why most commands do not allow visitors near inner barriers, stopping them at outer barriers.) Top 7 Most Critical Considerations for Physical Security, KTC’s Infographic, KTC’s approach to physical and IT security.

    How then does the Friendly Force prepare? For nearly a decade the United States military’s approach has centered on detecting the intruding force, gathering information and then selecting from among a set of possible countermoves.  A senior Department of Defense (DOD) official described it thus:

    [It is] an integrated electronic security system, which can be tailored for a variety of semi-permanent, portable and covert applications. The system receives, processes, reports and graphically displays information about potential threats. … Using a variety of sensors, security personnel can see farther, detect and identify threats outside of the physical perimeter, creating a “virtual fence.” … [For example] an infrared beam, part of the virtual fence, was tripped as a person walked through it. A blinking red dot appeared on a map screen, showing where the alarm had been tripped. A ground-based radar tracked the movement of the approaching person. The location was sent directly to a thermal imager, which immediately rotated and focused on the perpetrator. At the same time, a remotely operated weapon system was targeted to the location. All this information is displayed instantly to an operator on a three-screen console. The operator can pass the coordinates of the action along to a small, unmanned aerial vehicle, which flies over and captures additional data…. (Lt. Col. Eugene Stockel, 2003)

    Once the attacker is identified the defenders choose how and where to counter.

    But, to that basic physical security approach, a parallel electronic security approach has been developed and deployed. It is often called PSIM or Physical Security Information Management – known to most designers of larger scale security systems as the all-encompassing electronic security system. Multiple concepts are involved such as Physical Security Information Management (PSIM)., Command and Control, Common Operating Picture (COP) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

    We will treat them all together. KTC’s chosen PSIM/Command Center integrating tool is Fortem’s Central Command, which is part of their Omnipresence 3D product line. Here are some illustrative screen shots which help to define some of the aspects of this “PSIM” side of the work. An overall 3D visualization is critical in the command center and for the security officer, as well as the ability to choose specific perspectives for closer inspection. Another critical component is prescripted response scenarios; and the preplanned task checklists are helpful, especially when things become hectic in the center.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Essential tools in the command center are visualization platforms which can show data from analytics (persons going wrong direction, or atypical current/voltage swings), health of the system (loss of continuity/signal paths to certain nodes), safety warnings (fire/smoke, presence of chemical/biological agents), and changes in the situational context (notably on roads, rail lines, airports, and adjoining areas, which handle large numbers of persons). Often overlooked but essential is the spectrum analyzer (SA) output visualization tool. This shows unusual signals or signals on unusual frequencies, sudden signal increases or decreases; coupled to this would typically be a frequency-user table with indexed key signal points (antennas, repeater/transponder locations, transmission centers) laid in the 3D situation map.

    It is this SA which would first detect attempted jamming and signals disruption – which could be the precursor to a physical attack or coincident with it.

    Prescripted response scenarios would then come into play, including FLASH signals to higher level control facilities/ activities. Also, back-up channels or media would be enabled and personnel directed to switch to them. This could be as simple as “Go Tactical 40.5” or for airborne assets the “Go 121.5” or other preplanned security codes could be used. It can be as complex as a multiple series of commands of which only a certain one is the keyed on message. In any case it must be quickly called and rigorously followed by all in the friendly force or the communications capability will disintegrate.

    In Jamming at the Gate, Part One, we discussed the Offensive Side where customers and integrators need to comprehensively define both perceived threats and proposed threat defeat mechanisms with an eye to threats not just to penetration by ground/air forces but spectrum control or domination threats. IT Security

    On the Defensive Side, a state-of-the art PSIM is essential for detecting OPFORS and therefore protecting a Friendly Forces’ perimeter.  The technology used in Fortem’s 3D product line gives the command center personnel the upper hand in visualization as well as signal detection from an OPFORS. Our team at Kline Technical Consulting,  LLC (KTC) have the knowledge, expertise and experience for this type of installation and service. Our Physical Security Flyer gives examples of some of our past projects. To learn more about KTC and our physical security services and expertise, contact us today.

    In the Third and final part of this series we will discuss Risk Mitigation, and several proven subsystems produced by different vendors, which can be used in the security design to mitigate risks of the types noted above. We will also briefly discuss some case studies in which our designs were proven out.

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