Security news

Commercial offensive cyber industry poses challenges for government agencies

By Neil Ashdown 25 October 2021
A woman consults the website of the Israeli NSO Group, makers of Pegasus spyware, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 21 July 2021. NSO Group has denied media reports that its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and human rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israel's Ministry of Defence. (Mario Goldman/AFP via Getty Images)  A high-profile case in a UK court has drawn attention to the role of private companies in providing offensive cyber capabilities to foreign governments. A UK Hi...

Russian airborne forces retool for expanded role

By Mark Galeotti 25 October 2021
Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) order of battle, 2025 (Janes/Mark Galeotti)    The ‘winged infantry' of Russia's Air Assault Troops (Vozdushno Desantniye Voyska: VDV) is an arm of service in its own right, with a strength of 45,000 paratroopers and rising, as well as a distinctive culture and  esprit de corps  . With its blue berets and blue striped telnyashka vests, the VDV is a fixture of parades and military open days, but it has long suffered from a tension in its roles.   Historically, parachute divisions were envisaged...

NATO allies to confront 21st century threats with new multidomain approach

By Brooks Tigner 22 October 2021
NATO's newly approved Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area calls for “the right forces at the right place at the right time”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on 21 October. (NATO)  NATO defence ministers agreed on the first day of their 21–22 October meeting in Brussels to fundamentally change how they protect their collective territory against attacks, especially from Russia and terrorist groups. Their newly approved Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area lays the groundwo...

Russian casualties mounting in Central African Republic: Janes Analysis

19 October 2021
Reports indicate 11 Russian-backed contractors have been killed in the Central African Republic (CAR) since August: the first consistent reports of Russian fatalities since their deployment in 2018.  Correlating reports from local news organizations, Janes has identified four instances that resulted in the deaths of Russian-backed contractors.  Most recently, on 12 October, five foreign contractors were killed in an ambush laid by rebels in the Bombo area in western CAR. Three contractors were reportedly killed in an ambush near Bombo on 2 Oc...

Taliban unlikely to tackle heroin and meth production in Afghanistan

By Peter Chalk 15 October 2021
Vendors trade heroin and hashish at a drug market on the outskirts of Kandahar, Afghanistan, on 24 September 2021. Although the country's economy is close to collapse, opium traders claim that prices for their goods have skyrocketed since the Taliban takeover. (Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)  India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on 21 September announced that nearly three tonnes of heroin had been seized at the port of Mundra in Gujarat state. According to the BBC, the consignment had originated from Afghanistan, was transshi...

Rocket Lab buys software firm ASI

By Marc Selinger 13 October 2021
US-based Rocket Lab has continued to expand beyond its core business of launch vehicles by acquiring Advanced Solutions Inc (ASI), which develops flight software for spacecraft, Rocket Lab announced on 12 October.  ASI will become part of Rocket La...

US Naval Reactors engineer arrested on espionage-related charges involving sale of Virginia-class submarine data

By Michael Fabey 11 October 2021
Jonathan Toebbe, an engineer for the US Navy (USN) Naval Reactors, and his wife Diana, both of Annapolis, Maryland, were arrested on 9 October in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Naval Crimina...

ANSSI consolidates role at heart of French cyber security

By Arthur Laudrain 11 October 2021
French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly addresses the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC) on 22 January 2019 in Lille, France. At the 2021 iteration of the FIC, Parly announced an increase in the country's recruitment of ‘cyber-combatants'. (Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)  At the International Cybersecurity Forum (Forum International de Cybersécurité: FIC) in Lille on 7 July 2021, French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly announced an additional recruitment effort by the Ministry. In addition to 1,100 new job openings...

MINURSO confirms insurgency in Western Sahara

By Jeremy Binnie 11 October 2021
A report on the Western Sahara released by the UN Secretary General on 8 October confirmed that Western Saharan rebels have been carrying out attacks against Moroccan forces since they renounced the 30-year ceasefire in November 2020.  Since then,...

Update: North Korea conducts test-launch of new surface-to-air missile

By Ridzwan Rahmat & Mark Cazalet 07 October 2021
North Korea's Academy of Defence Science (ADS) has test-launched what it claims to be a newly developed surface-to-air missile.  The test-launch was conducted on 30 September to confirm the “general combat functions” of the missile and its accompan...

UK to streamline Afghan strike approval process

By Tim Ripley 07 October 2021
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace has revealed that his ministry is working to streamline the approval process for future kinetic strikes against terrorist targets in Afghanistan.  Speaking during a Policy Exchange think-tank panel at t...

Regional maritime security co-operation tackles Gulf of Guinea piracy

By Maria Lampoudi 06 October 2021
A French naval vessel in the port of Abidjan on 8 November 2019 participates in an exercise with Côte d'Ivoire authorities to tackle piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. International co-operation is key for regional states' efforts to tackle the problem. (Patrick Fort/AFP via Getty Images)  The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency's (NIMASA's) Director-General Bashir Jamoh stated on 16 September that costs incurred by piracy in the Gulf of Guinea amounted to USD783 million in 2021. Since 2016, the Gulf of Guinea has become a global ho...

F-35 completes nuclear flight trials

By Gareth Jennings 06 October 2021
Nuclear flight trials of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have been completed, paving the way for the type receiving its nuclear design certification.  The US Air Force (USAF) announced on 4 October that two F-35As...

Taiwan progresses ‘special’ funding plan as relations with Beijing deteriorate

By Jon Grevatt and Andrew MacDonald 05 October 2021
Jon Grevatt, principal at Janes takes a look at the plan to allocate TWD240 billion to enhance sea and air combat capability  Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has advanced its plan to allocate TWD240 billion (USD8.6 billion) in additional military funding to enhance the island’s sea and air combat capability. The MND submitted its funding plan for approval to the island’s Legislative Yuan on 4 October. The proposal was approved by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan in September.   The funding plan was submitted on the same day that the MND an...

2021 Climate Change & Terrorism Series: Worsening climate conditions in Somalia present Al-Shabaab with opportunities to exploit local grievances and undermine state opponents

By Heather Nicell 29 September 2021
A girl and her brother stand on a donkey cart next to their tent at a displacement camp for people affected by intense flooding in Beledweyne, Somalia, on 14 December 2019. (Luis Tato/AFP via Getty Images)  This article is the fifth in the 2021 Climate Change & Terrorism series, which explores the intersection of climate-related trends and non-state armed group (NSAG) activity across the globe.  Drought is currently affecting several regions in Somalia, particularly in Bari, Gedo, Jubbada Dhexe, Jubbada Hoose, Mudug, Nuugal, Sool, and Toghdh...

Airshow China 2021: Janes analysis of a highly anticipated event

By Kelvin Wong 27 September 2021
As Airshow China 2021 kicks off,  Kelvin Wong, unmanned systems editor at Janes explores the unique flavour of China’s premier national aerospace and defence exhibition series and previews the some of the new systems that will debut at this year’s event  The 13th iteration of the biennial China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, promises to be yet another brief but valuable window of opportunity to observe China’s growing ability to indigenously develop and field advanced equipment.   This year’s edit...

Indian military begins adapting to climate-change challenges

By Dhanasree Jayaram & Caron Natasha Tauro 24 September 2021
India's Union Minister for Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav and United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry launch the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) under the India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, in New Delhi, India, on 13 September 2021. India's armed forces are beginning to address the security challenges posed by climate change. (Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report (AR6)...

Malaysia to hold talks with China on AUKUS

By Ridzwan Rahmat 24 September 2021
Australia's Collins-class submarines seen here in formation off Western Australia. The country is procuring a fleet of nuclear-powered boats to replace the Collins class, and the move has evoked varied reactions from Canberra's Southeast Asian neighbours including Malaysia. (Commonwealth of Australia)  A Malaysian delegation will visit China to hold talks with the country's leadership on AUKUS and understand the concerns that Beijing may have over the newly announced partnership.  The matter was disclosed by the country's Defence Minister Hi...

RN carrier Prince of Wales to complete operational generation on NATO exercise

By Dr. Lee Willett 24 September 2021
The RN's second-in-class aircraft carrier HMS   Prince of Wale  s (foreground), pictured sailing with sister ship   Queen Elizabeth  for the first time in the North Atlantic in May 2021.  (Crown copyright/UK Ministry of Defence)    The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) second-in-class aircraft carrier HMS   Prince of Wales  is participating in NATO Maritime Command's (MARCOM's) ‘Dynamic Mariner' exercise as a final sea trials phase for certifying its availability for operations.     On...

US Coast Guard lacks systematic process to improve surge operations, GAO reports

By Michael Fabey 22 September 2021
The US Coast Guard (USCG) needs to develop a better system to improve the way it conducts surge operations, according to 21 September report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  “The coastguard must often rely on surge operations to redu...
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