HardwareWall to Secure Predator and Reaper Ground Control Systems


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) has received the first delivery of the Boeing tactical cross-domain technology, also known as eXMeritus HardwareWall, designed to improve the ability of intelligence analysts and warfighters to securely access videos and imagery from the MQ-1Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). GA-ASI contracted Boeing to deliver the HardwareWall and associated information assurance and engineering support as part of the US Air Force’s UAS Ground Control System (GCS) Modernisation Programme.

Few months ago the Air Force admitted a malicious code compromised computers used by ground control systems operated by the UAS operational wing at Creech AFB. The virus has infected Predator and Reaper drones logging pilots’ keystroke during missions flown over the warzone. The virus was detected two weeks after penetrating the system and has not prevented drones from flying their missions. However, the malware have shown unexpected persistence so that multiple efforts were necessary to remove it from the Creech computers. It is anticipated that such attacks could be prevented using higher level of hardware-driven, cross-network protection enables a secure transfer of information among networks operating at different security levels. By implementing such protection eXMeritus HardwareWall solution will provide fast and secure transfer of real-time information, enabling greater collaboration and information sharing across multiple secure networks.

According to Boeing, eXMeritus HardwareWall is one of only a select number of technologies listed on the Unified Cross Domain Management Office Baseline, a list of validated solutions already certified and accredited by sponsoring agencies.