The Defense Department’s No. 1 job in the area of cyber operations is self defense, and that is starting with some basic tech support. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaking during a Microsoft-supported event in Seattle, said the Pentagon is starting a department-wide transition to Windows 10, updating four million computer desktops. The large-scale upgrade is “unprecedented,” he said. Carter spoke Thursday as part of a visit to tech hubs in the West Coast, where he has unveiled multiple cyber-focused initiatives, such as a “Hack the Pentagon” contest where vetted hackers will attempt to infiltrate Pentagon networks. This effort is similar to “bug bounty” events where Microsoft has called on hackers to test their networks. DOD networks “are no good if they have been hacked,” Carter said. While speaking about network security, Carter entered the controversial discussion of encryption. “Data security, including encryption, is extremely important,” Carter said.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.