FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Central location offers one million job postings, Google apps
Google has launched a central service to help veterans into civilian employment, that uses already built support tools. Dubbed VetNet, the site leverages Google+ and Google apps to provide resume-building assistance and help finding jobs to ex-military personel and their families, by moving all of the existing Google-connected tools for these purposes into a single hub.
Joint Cellcrypt and Verizon service by Fall
Verizon and Cellcrypt are collaborating to supply the US government with secure mobile calling capabilities. The government-grade encrypted voice calling service is aimed to be marketed to military, intelligence, and civilian agencies in the fall as a currently unnamed co-branded service.
Support extending as far back as original iPhone
AT&T is quietly extending its iPhone unlocking efforts to deployed US military personnel, regardless of their contract status, a report says. Unlocking normally requires an iPhone to be off-contract. Carriers are legally required to suspend service to deployed military members without penalty, but the unlocking appears to be a voluntary action on AT&T's part, letting military staff use their iPhones with foreign networks.
Military follows in steps of civilian airlines
The US Air Force is looking to buy as many as 18,000 more tablets, likely iPads, reports say. On the US government's Federal Business Opportunities website, a notice indicates that the Air Force's Air Mobility Command wants "a minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000, iPad 2, Brand Name or Equal devices" for use by the crews of cargo planes. The tablets would replace the paper charts and manuals crews currently take with them, which can be bulky, weightier and less convenient.
Sources make more dubious claims
A source within the Iranian military has reportedly provided more details into the alleged hack that is claimed to have resulted in the loss of the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone. The unnamed sources have told The Christian Science Monitor that engineers exploited a GPS vulnerability to trick the stealth drone into making an autopilot landing on Iranian soil.
Tablet saves weight, space for mapping
Pilots in the US Marine Corps have been testing iPads as an in-flight navigational aid, according to military news site Shephard. The Corps has reportedly been experimenting since November, beginning with the iPad 1, but later incorporating the iPad 2. Test vehicles have included not only larger planes like the KC-130J Harvest Hawk, but small attack aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet and the AH-1W Cobra gunship.
Simplified version of enterprise ADmitMac PKI
Government and military employees and contractors who need to access secure U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) or civilian federal websites on a Mac - which usually requires a login with a Common Access Card (CAC) -- now have a simpler method of doing so. Thursby Software Systems has released PKard for Mac software. PKard is short for Public Key Card and pronounced P-card, and the software works with all current types of CACs and the hardware readers, including the next-generation "Oberthur" and "Gemalto" type cards.
Military keen on simple designs
The US Army is consulting with Apple in hopes of attaining better technology for soldiers, an official press statement reveals. Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general of the Research, Development and Engineering Command, is said to have visited Apple's Cupertino headquarters on March 5th with a portion of his staff in tow. The group toured labs and other offices, also sharing examples of the battlefield use of Apple products.
US military goes iPod
The US armed forces are increasingly turning to iPod touches -- and iPhones, to a lesser extent -- in order to equip soldiers with multifunction handhelds, says Newsweek. Although neither Apple nor the military will comment on how many have been deployed, the devices are now being used for a variety of purposes. Beyond simple tasks such as mapping, translation, trajectory calculation and carrying video messages, photo apps are in development which could bring up intelligence on a given street, or submit suspect information to a biometric database.
Mil. data found on iPod
(Updated with correction) A used iPod bought by a New Zealand man, Chris Ogle, has been found to contain critical US military data, according to reports from the region. While unable to play music, the $15 iPod was found by Ogle to contain 60 pages of material related to US personnel, mission briefings and equipment deployments. The information mostly dates back to 2005, but contains names and personal data that remain relevant.
iPod as Army translator
The US military has found a new way for soldiers to use Apple's iPod. With the help of a new software product, VCommunicator Mobile, and a speaker that plugs into a headphone jack, soldiers are now able to use an iPod as a communication device. VCommunicator is filled with basic phrases in other languages that can help soldiers ask for "yes/no" answers, or directions. Soldiers are supplied with protective covers for the iPod and speaker, and velcro straps allowing both devices to be easily attached to an arm. Soldiers who spend long periods of times out in the field are also supplied with a solar charger.