Battlefield Automation: Opportunities to Improve the Army's Information Protection Effort

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-11.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                   United States General Accounting Office

GAO                Report to the Chairman,
                   Subcommittee on Defense,
                   Committee on Appropriations,
                   House of Representatives

August 1999

                   Opportunities to
                   Improve the Army’s
                   Protection Effort

United States General Accounting Office                                                  National Security and
Washington, D.C. 20548                                                            International Affairs Division

                                    B-280565                                                                 Letter

                                    August 11, 1999

                                    The Honorable Jerry Lewis
                                    Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
                                    Committee on Appropriations
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                    Over the next decade, the Army’s modernization objectives include the
                                    integration of information technologies to acquire, exchange, and employ
                                    timely information throughout the battlespace. Information technology
                                    integration—or digitization—is to be implemented throughout the Army
                                    through the development, production, and fielding of over 100 individual
                                    systems. According to the President’s fiscal year 2000 budget request, the
                                    Army’s digitization efforts will cost $20.8 billion between fiscal year 2000
                                    and 2005. The Army expects this investment to result in increased
                                    survivability, lethality, and tempo of operations. However, it also
                                    recognizes that reliance on digitization could make its command and
                                    control systems more vulnerable to enemy activities such as jamming and
                                    computer network attacks and has developed a Protection Plan for Army
                                    XXI Information Systems that lays out a general strategy for implementing
                                    information protection into the design of the digitized battlefield.

                                    This report is in response to a Subcommittee request to evaluate the Army’s
                                    development and acquisition plans for command and control systems that
                                    will be part of future digitized battlefield units. Specifically, we evaluated
                                    the Army’s protection plan to determine whether it ensures sufficient
                                    assessments to test and develop the defensibility of the digitized battlefield
                                    against command and control warfare attacks.

Results in Brief                    The Army has carried out a number of assessments to test and develop the
                                    defensibility of digitized battlefield systems and forces, but its protection
                                    plan does not ensure sufficient vulnerability assessments. While the
                                    Army’s plan provides a general strategy for implementing information
                                    protection into the design of the digitized forces, it does not constitute a
                                    detailed implementation plan, one that lays out

                                    • the specific systems, networks, and infrastructures covered;

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                     • their information protection requirements or needs;
                     • the information protection knowledge and knowledge gaps for those
                       systems; and
                     • the tests or other events that will be used to fill specific knowledge gaps
                       and address previously identified weaknesses.

                     Without such a detailed implementation plan, systems vulnerabilities that
                     might otherwise be identified may not be exposed and fixed and the
                     substantial investment made by the Army could be at risk. Additionally,
                     without a plan that identifies specific needed events, adequate funding may
                     not be made available for needed activities, and valuable test opportunities
                     could be lost. Furthermore, systems could be developed and tested under
                     requirements that are not aligned with the goals and needs of the Army’s
                     protection plan. For example, we found that a key digitization effort does
                     not have a minimum requirement for development of the protection
                     concept outlined in the Army’s protection plan. As a result, systems could
                     be developed without providing features needed to achieve that concept.
                     We also found that the system that is the centerpiece of the Army’s
                     digitization efforts has a key performance requirement that is set for a
                     non-jamming environment and is not conducive to judging whether
                     sufficient protection has been achieved. While the Army has already
                     undertaken a number of activities laid out in its protection plan, much
                     remains to be done as its digitization efforts are to extend over the next
                     decade and be implemented through the development, production, and
                     fielding of over 100 individual systems.

                     This report contains recommendations to the Secretary of Defense
                     regarding the management of the Army’s digitization-related information
                     protection activities.

Background           The Army plans to use vulnerability assessments, including red team
                     activities, to help develop digitization systems and networks. Vulnerability
                     assessments are conducted to determine potential and exploitable
                     weaknesses; red teaming activities are a specialized type of vulnerability
                     assessment in which a group acting as an opposing force conducts
                     offensive actions to generate a reaction or expose a weakness on the
                     friendly side.

                     The Army has defined 16 high-priority systems that, at a minimum, are to be
                     fielded to accomplish its First Digitized Division. (The Army plans to field
                     its First Digitized Division by December 2000 and its First Digitized Corps

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by September 2004.) One of these 16 high-priority systems—the Force XXI
Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system—is the centerpiece
of the Army’s digitization efforts because of its potential to contribute
significantly to achieving the Army’s digitization goals. 1 When fielded,
FBCB2 is expected to provide enhanced situational awareness to the
lowest tactical level—the individual soldier—and a seamless flow of
command and control information across the battlespace.

FBCB2 will be composed of

• a computer that can display a variety of information, including a
  common picture of the battlefield overlaid with graphical depictions
  (known as icons) of friendly and enemy forces;
• software that automatically integrates Global Positioning System data,
  military intelligence data, combat identification data, and platform data
  (such as the status of fuel and ammunition); and
• interfaces to communications systems.

Battlefield data will be communicated to and received from users of
FBCB22 through the Tactical Internet—a network of tactical radios3 for the
transmission and receipt of data needed for battlefield situational
awareness and command and control decisions. The FBCB2 system
requires a functioning and protected Tactical Internet to accomplish its

Because the FBCB2 system and Tactical Internet are two of the Army’s
most important digitization efforts, establishing their ability to withstand
attacks is critical. The Army’s near-term information protection efforts
have been designed to capitalize on FBCB2 and Tactical Internet
development and test events “culminating in a ‘no holds barred’ electronic
and computer attack” during the FBCB2 system’s initial operational test
and evaluation. This test can serve as a proof-of-concept event to
determine whether the Army has achieved its intent of developing a level of

 Nearly all of the other high-priority Army digitization systems are dedicated to enhancing the Army
Tactical Command and Control System.
 For further information on the FBCB2 program, please see Battlefield Automation: Acquisition Issues
Facing the Army Battle Command, Brigade and Below Program (GAO/NSIAD-98-140, June 30, 1998).
 The Internet’s tactical radios are currently the Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS)
and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).

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                             information systems protection sufficient to allow its critical functions and
                             operations to continue.

Information Protection       The Army developed a plan to integrate information protection features
                             and capabilities into its tactical systems, networks, and infrastructure. It
Plan Is Not Sufficiently     has also carried out a number of assessment activities in keeping with that
Detailed                     plan. However, while that plan lays out a general strategy for integrating
                             information systems protection into the design of the digitized battlefield, it
                             is not a detailed implementation plan. Without a detailed implementation
                             plan, the Army is not as well positioned as it could be to ensure that
                             important test opportunities are not lost, that needed information
                             protection activities are adequately funded, and that digitization systems
                             development and test requirements accurately reflect the Army’s
                             protection needs and goals.

The Army’s Protection Plan   In September 1997 the Army Digitization Office published the Army’s
                             Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems.4 The plan states that
                             the objective of information systems protection is to ensure that friendly
                             command and control capabilities are available to the commander and
                             staff. It then goes on to describe three types of command and control
                             warfare threats that are of concern: physical attacks, electronic attacks,
                             and computer attacks.

                             • Physical attacks involve destruction, damage, overrun, or capture of the
                               physical components of “digitization.” Overrunning and capture
                               facilitate an adversary’s ability to employ computer attacks on friendly
                             • Electronic attacks (also referred to as electronic warfare) include
                               attacks against communications links and “high energy” attacks.
                               Attacks against communications links include (1) signal intercept to
                               effect compromise of data, (2) radio emitter direction finding and
                               geo-location to support signal analysis and attack, and (3) radio
                               jamming, which is usually intended to corrupt data or deny service.
                               High-energy attacks include those by electromagnetic pulse generators
                               (which destroy or damage electronic components within an area by

                               Subsequently, responsibility for oversight and coordination of the efforts outlined in that plan
                             transitioned from the Army Digitization Office to the Army’s Director of Information Systems for
                             Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (DISC4).

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  overloading them with energy) and directed energy weapons such as
  high-energy lasers (which direct large amounts of energy onto a
  specified target).
• Computer attacks are generally (1) aimed at software or data contained
  in either end-user or network computers; (2) intended to range from
  unauthorized but unobtrusive access to information and unauthorized
  modification of software or data to total destruction of software and
  data; and (3) the least well understood form of attack and may involve
  the most difficult countermeasures to successfully implement.

The protection plan notes that computer attacks can occur in peacetime
and wartime and comments that the interconnected nature of the
digitization networks may present the opportunity to create widespread
service disruption. As a result, the Army plan concludes that computer
attacks appear to pose the most serious potential threat to digitization.

The Army’s plan lays out an information protection strategy that reflects its
belief that complete protection against all known and future vulnerabilities
is not feasible. In line with that belief, the Army’s intent is to field a
digitized force with a level of protection that is “sufficient” to allow critical
functions and operations to continue while under computer attack. To
accomplish this level of protection, the Army has adopted a “defense in
depth” protection concept consisting of electronically guarded perimeters
and active information surveillance. The Army’s “defense in depth”,
depicted in figure 1, is to include

• an external digital perimeter composed of communications security,
  firewalls,5 security guards, and where necessary, physical isolation
  serving as a barrier to outside networks;
• similar internal perimeters between echelons and/or functional
• a secure local workstation environment, consisting of individual access
  controls, configuration audit capability, command and control protect
  tools, and procedures;
• intrusion detection systems;
• extensions to network management capabilities to provide real-time
  network surveillance and reaction to network intrusions; and

 Firewalls are hardware and software components that protect one set of systems resources (e.g.,
computers, networks) from attack by outside network users by blocking and checking all incoming
network traffic. Firewalls permit authorized users to access and transmit privileged information and
deny access to unauthorized users.

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                                         • a robust, survivable infrastructure designed to “contain” damage from
                                           attacks and to be readily repairable in the event of an attack.

Figure 1: Army’s “Defense in Depth” Protection Concept

                                                              External                              Digital
                                                              networks                              perimeter

                                                                   Network and
                                                                   management/               Internal
                                                                   surveillance              perimeter

                                         survivable                Local
                                         infrastructure            workstation

                                         Source: U.S. Army, Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems.

                                         The Army’s plan lays out a strategy to translate this “defense in depth”
                                         protection concept into action by incorporating lessons learned through
                                         vulnerability assessment activities into the design and implementation of
                                         digitization systems, networks, and infrastructures. These assessment
                                         activities are to be conducted during experiments, training events, and
                                         development and test events to

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                        • determine the level of protection achieved;
                        • identify vulnerabilities; and
                        • provide feedback to impact (1) architecture, design and development
                          efforts and (2) tactics, techniques, and procedures development and
                          training activities.

The Army’s Assessment   The protection plan describes three phases of vulnerability assessments.
Activities              Phase I and phase II have been completed.

                        Phase I used computer attacks focused on probing the network for
                        potential vulnerabilities, but did not involve active attacks. During the first
                        phase, electronic attack vulnerability assessments were performed in
                        laboratory and other controlled facilities against individual systems,
                        including EPLRS and SINCGARS. These assessments were conducted as a
                        part of the Task Force XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE).
                        Table I.1 in appendix I lists the phase I Task Force XXI AWE Red Team
                        tasks, their objectives, and where and when they were conducted.

                        In one example of the Army’s phase I activities, the Army’s Electronic
                        Proving Ground performed position navigation vulnerability experiments
                        using an early version of FBCB2 software and the Tactical Internet. In a
                        simulated Global Positioning System jamming environment, the Electronic
                        Proving Ground found that the FBCB2 software fluctuated between
                        displaying and reporting inaccurate Global Positioning System and
                        accurate EPLRS position navigation data. The jamming resulted in not only
                        a fluctuating display of inaccurate and accurate positions for the unit’s own
                        location, but also the transmission of both inaccurate and accurate position
                        reporting through the Tactical Internet to other units on the network. As a
                        result of this work, the Electronic Proving Ground concluded that the early
                        version of FBCB2 software tested had a major software design problem.
                        The Electronic Proving Ground recommended that this finding be
                        considered by the system developer.

                        Phase II involved computer attacks focused on intrusions from both
                        outside and inside the network to detect exploitable vulnerabilities. The
                        attackers were allowed to leave “markers”6 but were not authorized to
                        cause any physical impact or to disconnect computers from the network.
                        Electronic attacks were simulated or conducted surgically. Table I.2 in

                            The “markers” left were computer files indicating that unauthorized access had been achieved.

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appendix I lists the September 1997 Army protection plan’s list of phase II
Division XXI AWE Red Team tasks, their objectives, and where and when
they were to be conducted.

One example of red team activities in the Division XXI AWE that is reported
to have occurred during phase II was an examination of the impact of
jamming the Army’s Mobile Subscriber Equipment.7 The Army reported
that it used progressive jamming against the Mobile Subscriber Equipment
of the 3rd Brigade Tactical Operations Center and learned that

• as expected, the Mobile Subscriber Equipment rerouted traffic around
  jammed frequencies with no initial impact on situational awareness;
• jamming both of the operations center’s main data pipes at artificially
  high levels caused severe slowing of rerouted data traffic; and
• jamming two frequencies with high power for a sustained time would
  make the perpetrator vulnerable to detection and counterattack by
  friendly air or artillery.

As a result, the Army concluded that jamming the Mobile Subscriber
Equipment would not be a high payoff opportunity for the enemy. Overall,
the Army reported that the red teaming efforts conducted during the
Division XXI AWE provided valuable insights into strategies for protection
of information technologies on the battlefield and reinforced the need for a
“defense in depth” approach.

The Army is currently involved in phase III of the vulnerability assessments
outlined in its protection plan for Army XXI information systems. The
assessments conducted in this phase are to be progressively more robust,
more broadly based attacks intended to apply stress to digitization
systems, networks, and infrastructure. Ultimately, this phase is to
culminate in a “no holds barred” command and control attack on its
digitization systems. The Army, however, has not yet defined the scope and
nature of the attacks that are to occur during that event.

The Army’s protection plan calls for its phase III activities to capitalize on
the FBCB2 system’s development and acquisition program test and
evaluation events. While the primary focus of its efforts are to be test and

 The Army’s Mobile Subscriber Equipment provides secure voice telephone and data transmission to
corps and below forces. All of its equipment is classified secret and all personnel operating on the
network must have a secret security clearance.

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evaluation events associated with FBCB2 and the Tactical Internet, the
Army also plans to take advantage of other events to assess its information
systems protection posture, including events associated with the Army
Global Command and Control System, the Integrated Combat Service
Support System, and the Warfighter Information Network. To date,
however, the Army has not detailed the planned use of non-FBCB2 related
development and test events. Table I.3 in appendix I lists the Army
protection plan’s phase III vulnerability assessment tasks with objectives,
events, and responsible organizations.

The Army has already carried out some phase III activities. For example,
information protection activities occurred as a part of both the FBCB2
Field Test 1 and the FBCB2 Limited User Test. As a part of the Field Test 1
held during May and June 1998,8 the Army subjected the FBCB2 and
Tactical Internet to 2 nights of barrage jamming. Additionally, during the
last 3 days of the field test, the Army’s Program Manager for Information
Warfare with the Army’s Communications and Electronics Command
conducted a Command and Control Protection Advanced Technology
Demonstration that consisted of localized jamming and information
warfare attacks. During the August 1998 FBCB2 Limited User Test, the
Army also carried out some “red team” tasks9—mapping10 the Tactical
Internet to gain an understanding of its architecture and possible
weaknesses and analyzing digitized forces’ susceptibility to signals
intelligence efforts.

While the Army has already undertaken a number of activities laid out in its
protection plan, much remains to be done as the Army’s digitization efforts
are to extend over the next decade and be implemented through the
development, production, and fielding of over 100 individual systems. For

 The FBCB2 Field Test 1 consisted of 61 FBCB2 systems spread across the Electronic Proving Ground’s
east range. Fourteen of the systems were on mobile platforms. Among its other limitations, the test did
not involve as heavy a command and control message load as had been planned.
 Many of the Army’s “red team” tasks are other forms of vulnerability assessments, not “red teaming” as
has been defined. For example, in discussing the FBCB2 Limited User Test information protection
efforts, the Army official overseeing those efforts stated that it would be more accurate to call them
“blue team” activities (i.e., friendly force efforts) because the individuals carrying them out were
working to identify vulnerabilities and point them out to the “friendly” forces, not to exploit them.
   Mapping involves sending out “requests for service” to try to determine the structure of the network;
i.e., who can be identified as being on the Internet. Enemies would use mapping to try to define the
structure of friendly networks and identify possible points of exploitation. Friendly forces would use
mapping of their own networks to try to determine if unauthorized equipment or connections (which
can serve as “back doors” for unauthorized access) are hooked up to the network.

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                            example, the Army’s report on its Field Test 1 information protection
                            activities stated that FBCB2 and the Tactical Internet must undergo more
                            extensive electronic and information warfare testing during upcoming
                            FBCB2 test events, including Field Test 2, Force Development Test and
                            Experimentation, and its Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. The
                            report also stated that systematic electronic and information warfare test
                            and evaluation of the other First Digitized Division systems and networks
                            must be initiated and completed prior to fielding.

Detailed Implementation     While the Army has developed a general strategy for integrating
Plan Not Developed          information systems protection and has conducted a number of assessment
                            activities, it lacks the specificity that would be contained in a detailed
                            implementation plan. The Army’s protection plan does not

                            • define the more than 100 systems that are a part of its overall
                              digitization efforts;
                            • detail their specific information protection requirements, what is known
                              or unknown about their individual vulnerabilities, or the specific test or
                              other events to be used to fill identified knowledge gaps and ensure
                              satisfactory resolution of previously identified weaknesses;
                            • define specific information protection aspects or issues to be tested
                              during specific tests and events or who is responsible for carrying out
                              and funding those specific activities; and
                            • identify the cost of specific protection plan activities or the parties
                              responsible for funding those activities.

                            A detailed implementation plan that provides this information could help
                            the Army identify test opportunities, address funding issues, and ensure
                            that requirements are aligned with the goals and needs of its protection

Identification of Test      Because its protection plan lacks sufficient implementation information,
Opportunities and Funding   the Army could lose valuable testing opportunities. For example, during
Issues                      our review, we found that guidelines (in draft form as a security annex to
                            the Army Digitization Master Plan of January 1999) that would charge
                            involved parties with specific tasks contained no more information than
                            the Army’s overall protection plan itself. Specifically, the September 1997
                            Protection Plan and the security annex both state that follow-on
                            assessments will be included in their next updates and that those
                            assessment plans will address test and evaluation events such as the
                            Maneuver Control System’s Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, the

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                                M1A2 (Abrams Tank) System Enhancement Program Initial Operational
                                Test and Evaluation, the M2A3 (Bradley Fighting Vehicle) Initial
                                Operational Test and Evaluation, and other events as appropriate. In June
                                1998 the Maneuver Control System11 (MCS) Block III software underwent
                                an initial operational test and evaluation, but that test was not used for
                                protection plan activities. The opportunity to use this test for protection
                                plan activities was lost because the Army’s protection plan lacked
                                sufficient implementation information including specific identification of
                                activities to be carried out during that MCS test and because no such
                                details were subsequently developed.

                                The Army’s protection plan is based on an assumption that sufficient
                                resources will be made available to implement a prudent amount of
                                information systems protection in the first digitized division and beyond.
                                As mentioned, however, the plan provides no funding details. Development
                                of a detailed implementation plan could help the Army avoid funding
                                shortfalls. For example, last year the Army’s Test and Evaluation
                                Management Agency put in a funding request for unfunded requirements of
                                over $6 million in fiscal year 1999 and $7 million in each of fiscal years 2000
                                through 2006 for the Army’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate
                                (SLAD) to perform information warfare vulnerability assessments of
                                digitized battlefield systems and related activities. The Army was unable to
                                locate funds for those activities and included them on a list of unfunded
                                requirements sent to Congress. Congress subsequently increased the
                                SLAD’s fiscal year 1999 budget for vulnerability assessments by $4 million.
                                These funding issues have not disappeared, however, as the unfunded
                                requirement for fiscal year 2000 SLAD-led, information warfare
                                vulnerability assessments and related activities has grown to $10.2 million.

Ensuring Requirements Are       A detailed implementation plan could help the Army ensure that digitized
Aligned With Plan’s Goals and   battlefield systems have requirements that are aligned with its protection
Needs                           plan’s goals and needs. Two key components of the Army’s digitization
                                efforts—the FBCB2 system and the Tactical Internet—have requirements
                                that are not in line with the goals and needs of the Army’s Protection Plan
                                for Army XXI Information Systems. Specifically, the Capstone

                                  The MCS program is intended to develop and field a computer system that provides automated
                                critical battlefield assistance to maneuver commanders and their battle staff at the corps-to-battalion
                                level. MCS—a key component of the Army Tactical Command and Control System—is 1 of 16 systems
                                considered to be critical elements within the Army’s digitization effort because of the expected
                                contribution they will make to achieve the required capabilities of the digitized battlefield.

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Requirements Document for the Tactical Internet12 sets an objective, not
threshold, requirement for the “defense in depth” protection concept
envisioned in the Army’s protection plan. The capstone requirements
document states that a “threshold” value is the minimum acceptable value
necessary to satisfy an operational need and that an “objective” value is the
desired performance above that threshold.13

To be able to judge whether sufficient protection has been achieved,
systems’ performance criteria need to be set and systems need to be judged
for performance in the hostile environment in which they may need to
operate. The capstone requirements document appropriately sets criteria
for performance in a tactical environment that includes radio jamming, but
the program most clearly tied to the Tactical Internet—FBCB2—has
criteria set for performance in a non-jamming environment. Specifically, a
key FBCB2 performance requirement, Information Exchange, has not been
set to demonstrate attainment of a minimal level of performance in a
jamming environment—a type of threat that the Army protection plan
seeks to address.

The FBCB2 operational requirements document states that the requirement
for Information Exchange, listed as a Key Performance Parameter 14 for the
system, is to provide a capability for the timely and reliable exchange of
information between a sender and recipient. The document lists four
categories of messages by type and assigns speed of service requirements
for the transmission of those messages based on their type. For example,
as a threshold value, 90 percent of category one messages sent—defined as
Alerts and Warnings—are to be successfully received within 6 seconds.

  User requirements may be documented as capstone requirements, which are common systems’
requirements (such as overarching inter-operability requirements or standards) that apply to a
family of systems.
   Army Regulation 71-9 states that the “minimum acceptable value (threshold) requirements will be
truly essential and minimum needs for successful operations and not desires or artificial contract or
acquisition values.”
  A key performance parameter is that capability or characteristic so significant that failure to meet the
threshold can be cause for the concept or system selection to be reevaluated or the program to be
reassessed or terminated.

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              It also includes, however, an assumption of no jamming for the defined
              “Information Exchange” requirements.15

Conclusions   The Army’s digitization efforts hold the promise of providing its fighting
              forces with operational improvements. However, they will also provide
              potential enemies new avenues of attack and greater opportunities to
              exploit existing vulnerabilities. Although, the Army has developed a
              general strategy for implementing systems protection into the design of the
              digitized battlefield, its plan lacks sufficient detail. Given the substantial
              digitization work that remains to be done (the integration of information
              technologies into over 100 systems), we believe a detailed implementation
              plan is needed to help ensure that the Army (a) fields a digitized force that
              can carry out its critical functions and operations and (b) is cognizant of
              any residual vulnerabilities—a factor than could prove important in
              recognizing enemy information system attacks. Furthermore, we believe
              such a plan could help ensure that sufficient funding, oversight, and effort
              are applied to developing the needed information protection. To be
              effective, the implementation plan should be a “living” document that will
              extend beyond the First Digitized Division and First Digitized Corps—a
              plan that is continually updated as circumstances dictate. We believe that
              the absence of such a plan places the substantial investment the Army is
              making in digitization at greater risk.

              In addition to developing a detailed implementation plan, we believe the
              Army has further opportunities to enhance its information protection
              effort. The Army’s successful implementation of its “defense in depth”
              concept will depend, in part, on how well that concept is reflected in
              requirements placed on individual systems. In our opinion, the threshold
              Tactical Internet information protection requirement should be aligned to
              the Army protection plan concept, that is, Tactical Internet related systems
              should be required to support the development of the “defense in depth”
              called for in the Army protection plan. Also, to help ensure that the
              digitized forces that are fielded provide sufficient protection allowing
              critical functions and operations to continue, the Army needs to set
              minimum performance criteria for systems’ performance in such an
              environment, including setting minimum performance for FBCB2 in a
              jamming environment. We believe that setting such performance standards

                The FBCB2 operational requirements document is not entirely clear, and the assumption of a no
              jamming environment may apply to other key performance parameters also.

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                  will help ensure that systems that cannot carry out critical functions and
                  operations when under attack are not fielded.

Recommendations   We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of the
                  Army to:

                  • Develop a detailed implementation plan for the Army’s protection
                    efforts for Army XXI information systems to include information such as
                    a system by system breakout of tested and untested (known and
                    unknown) areas of vulnerabilities; the specific test events to be used to
                    look for systems vulnerabilities or to confirm fixes to previously
                    identified, significant vulnerabilities; and responsible performing and
                    funding parties.
                  • Require the Tactical Internet to have threshold information protection
                    requirements consistent with the Army’s “defense in depth” protection
                  • Set performance requirements for and test FBCB2 in a jamming

Agency Comments   DOD generally concurred with the recommendations contained in a draft
                  of this report. DOD concurred with our first recommendation stating that
                  the Army has already initiated an effort to develop a detailed
                  implementation plan for its information protection activities. Regarding
                  our second recommendation on tactical internet security, DOD generally
                  concurred and stated that the Army will review requirements documents
                  for all First Digitized Division systems to determine whether their security
                  requirements are consistent with the Army’s “defense in depth” concept.
                  DOD generally concurred with our third recommendation, stating that the
                  Army will revise performance requirements for FBCB2 to reflect
                  performance in a jamming environment and will test in that environment.
                  We believe that the actions outlined in DOD’s response should enhance the
                  Army’s information protection efforts.

                  DOD’s comments are reprinted in their entirety in appendix II.

Scope and         To evaluate the Army’s protection plans to determine whether they ensure
                  sufficient assessments to test and develop the defensibility of the digitized
Methodology       battlefield, we reviewed the Army’s overall protection plans by analyzing

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key Army information protection related documents (including the Army’s
Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems and its draft security
annex for the Army Digitization Master Plan) and considering them in the
context of the Army’s larger digitization efforts. In evaluating the Army’s
near-term plans to develop and test its “defense in depth” protection
concept, we reviewed its plans to use FBCB2 and Tactical Internet
development and test events and examined key development and test
documents for those efforts to determine whether their approach was in
line with the Army’s protection plan. We obtained briefings from and
discussed issues with parties directly involved in the development and
oversight of Army information protection efforts, program managers for
high-priority digitization systems, and testers.

In the course of our work, we were briefed by and interviewed officials
responsible for management and oversight of the Army’s
digitization-related information protection efforts; program managers for
high-priority digitization systems; officials responsible for planning,
carrying out, and overseeing system vulnerability assessments; and other
Army and DOD representatives. We examined DOD and Army information
protection documents, system requirements, test plans, and other program
documents. We performed our work primarily with officials from the Army
Office of the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control,
Communications, and Computers. We also gathered data from the Army
Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; the
Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Alexandria,
Virginia; the Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe and Fort
Eustis, Virginia; the Army Operational Test and Evaluation Command,
Alexandria, Virginia; the Army National Training Center, Fort Irwin,
California; the Army’s Electronic Proving Ground, Fort Huachuca, Arizona;
the Army Survivability/Lethality Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Grounds,
Maryland; the Defense Information Systems Agency, Falls Church, Virginia;
the Army Land Information Warfare Activity, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and the
4th Infantry Division and 3rd Corps, Fort Hood, Texas.

We performed our review from July 1998 to July 1999 in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards.

We are sending copies of this report to Representative JohnP. Murtha,
Ranking Minority Member of the Subcommittee; Representative C.W. Bill
Young, Chairman, and Representative David R. Obey, Ranking Minority
Member, House Committee on Appropriations; and other interested

Page 15                                 GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation

congressional committees. We are also sending copies of this report to the
Honorable William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense, and the Honorable
Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army. Copies will also be made available to
others upon request.

Please contact me at (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any questions
concerning this report. Key contributors to this assignment were Charles F.
Rey, Bruce H. Thomas, and Gregory K. Harmon.

Sincerely yours,

Allen Li
Associate Director
Defense Acquisitions Issues

Page 16                                 GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
Page 17   GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation

Letter                                                                                              1

Appendix I                                                                                         20
Red Team Tasks

Appendix II                                                                                        24
Comments From the
Department of Defense

Tables                  Table I.1: Phase I (Task Force XXI) Red Team Tasks                         20
                        Table I.2: Phase II Division XXI AWE Red Team Tasks                        21
                        Table I.3: Planned Phase III Vulnerability Assessments During
                          FBCB2 Test Events                                                        22

Figures                 Figure 1: Army’s “Defense in Depth” Protection Concept                      6


                        DOD         Department of Defense
                        FBCB2       Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below
                        EPLRS       Enhanced Position Location and Reporting System
                        SINCGARS    Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System
                        DISC4       Director of Information Systems for Command, Control,
                                    Communications, and Computers
                        AWE         Advanced Warfighting Experiment
                        MCS         Maneuver Control System
                        SLAD        Survivability /Lethality Analysis Directorate

                        Page 18                                GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation

Page 19    GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
Appendix I

Red Team Tasks                                                                                                                            Appenx

Table I.1: Phase I (Task Force XXI) Red Team Tasks
Red Team task                         Objective                                           Location                     Dates
• Position/navigation vulnerability   To determine the impact of loss of Global           Fort Huachuca, AZ            Apr. 1996
  assessment                          Positioning System signal on the Task Force         Fort Huachuca, AZ            Dec. 1996
                                      information network
• Hacker/virus vulnerability          To determine the vulnerability of the Task Force Fort Hood, TX                   Dec. 1996
  assessment                          information network to hacker, virus, and other Fort Irwin, CA                   Mar. 1997
                                      non-traditional threats
• Operations security evaluation      To determine new/increased operational              Fort Hood, TX                Dec. 96
                                      security vulnerabilities due to digitization of the Fort Irwin, CA               Mar. 97
• Signal intelligence/ measurement    To determine unique pattern and signatures of       Fort Hood, TX                Dec. 1996
  and signatures intelligence         the digitized force                                 Fort Irwin, CA               Mar. 1997
• Security policy evaluation          To assess the needs for revised and/or              Fort Hood, TX                Dec. 1996
                                      additional security policy due to digitization      Ft. Irwin, CA                Mar. 1997
• Tactical Internet components        To determine unique vulnerabilities of the          Fort Monmouth, NJ            June 1996
  vulnerability assessment            individual systems comprising the Tactical          Fort Monmouth, NJ            Nov. 1996
                                      Internet (e.g., SINCGARS and EPLRS)
                                               Source: U. S. Army, Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems.

                                               Page 20                                              GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
                                               Appendix I
                                               Red Team Tasks

Table I.2: Phase II Division XXI AWE Red Team Tasks
Red Team task                      Objective                                                Location                      Dates
• Electronic warfare               To determine the impact of loss of selected              Simulation Exercise II        Sept. 1997
                                   communication links on the Division XXI AWE              Fort Hood                     Nov. 1997
                                   experimentation information network
• Operations security evaluation   To determine new/increased operational security          Fort Hood                     Nov. 1997
                                   vulnerabilities due to digitization of the battlefield
• Computer attack vulnerability    To detect exploitable vulnerabilities of attacks from    Simulation Exercise II        Sept. 1997
  assessments                      both outside and inside the Division XXI AWE             Fort Hood                     Nov. 1997
                                   information network
• Capture/exploitation of the      To determine vulnerabilities to the Mobile               Fort Hood                     Nov. 1997
  mobile subscriber equipment      Subscriber Equipment network resulting from
  node                             capture of Small Extension Node
• Measurement and signatures       To determine unique patterns and signatures of the Fort Hood                           Nov. 1997
  intelligence characterization    digitized force
                                               Source: U. S. Army, Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems.

                                               Page 21                                              GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
                                                Appendix I
                                                Red Team Tasks

Table I.3: Planned Phase III Vulnerability Assessments During FBCB2 Test Events
Red Team task                 Objective                                         Event                             organization
System assessments            To assess performance of individual systems
                              to electronic warfare and command and
                              control attack and characterize their
• Electronic attack           To assess vulnerabilities of new                  Laboratory assessments of Near PM TRCS/CECOM
                              communication systems to jamming                  Term Digital Radio, High Capacity
                                                                                Trunk Radio, and others as
• Computer attack             To assess vulnerability of Army Tactical          Vulnerability assessments of      •   PM Applique
                              Command and Control System component              FBCB2, Maneuver Control           •   PM ATCCS
                              systems to command and control attack             System, other command and         •   Other PMs
                                                                                control systems                   •   SLAD
Technical Network             To assess the vulnerabilities of the network to
assessment                    attack and characterization in a controlled
• Electronic attack           To assess vulnerability of battalion- and         • Field Test I                    EPG
                              brigade-level communication                       • Field Test II
                              systems/networks to jamming
• Computer attack             To assess vulnerability of information and        • Laboratory and testbed          PM IW/SLAD
                              Command and Control systems to attack               assessments
                                                                                • Field Test I
                                                                                • Field Test II
• Characterization            To assess the ability to identify friendly nodes Laboratories                       CECOM/SLAD/
                              through unique signatures                                                           INSCOM/EPG
Operational network           To assess the vulnerabilities of the network to
assessment                    attack and characterization in an operational
• Electronic warfare attack   To assess vulnerability of battalion- and     IOT&E                                 OPTEC/SLAD/
                              brigade-level communication                                                         PM IW
                              systems/networks to near-peer live electronic
                              warfare attack
• Command and control         To assess vulnerability of information and  • Limited User Test                     OPTEC/LIWA/PM IW/
  attack                      Command and Control systems to live attack • FDT&E                                  SLAD
                              culminating in a full-up near-peer computer • IOT&E
                              attack during IOTE
• Characterization            To assess the ability to identify friendly nodes Limited User Test                  CECOM/
                              through unique signatures in an operational                                         INSCOM
• Operations security/        To assess operational and computer security • Limited User Test                     INSCOM
  computer security           procedures and training                     • FDT&E
                                                                          • IOT&E

                                                Page 22                                            GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
Appendix I
Red Team Tasks

ATCCS        Army Tactical Command and Control System
CECOM        Communications and Electronics Command
EPG          Electronic Proving Ground
FDT&E        Force Development Test and Experimentation
INSCOM       Intelligence and Security Command
IOT&E        Initial Operational Test and Evaluation
IW           Information Warfare
OPTEC        Operational Test and Evaluation Command
PM           Program Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager
LIWA         Land Information Warfare Activity
SLAD         Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate
TRCS         Tactical Radio Communications Systems
Source: U. S. Army, Protection Plan for Army XXI Information Systems.

Page 23                                              GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
Appendix II

Comments From the Department of Defense                           AppenIx

              Page 24       GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
                       Appendix II
                       Comments From the Department of Defense

Now on p. 14.

Now on p. 14.

Now on p. 14.

(707347)        Lert   Page 25                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-166 Battlefield Automation
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