New Aussie Defence Tech Uses Artificial Intelligence To Hide Locations

22 November 2018 | News

Canberra-based cyber business Penten has been awarded a contract by Australian Army to build radio decoys using artificial intelligence.

Today, the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Steven Ciobo, announced Australian cyber security Penten had secured a $2m Defence contract to deliver cutting edge cyber defences for Army through the Defence Innovation Hub. Radio communications are an important source of intelligence for opposing armies, revealing the location and direction of travel of friendly units. The new technology called WAID (wireless artificial intelligence decoy) will create decoy radio emissions that are designed to confuse adversaries as to the true location of Army units.

Canberra based Penten, specialises in developing world leading cyber security solutions for Government. Penten was recently named Australian Business of the Year at the 2018 Telstra Business Awards. Penten’s flagship product, the AltoCrypt Stik, has also been recognised as the Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year at the 2018 National AIIA iAwards for its ability to enhance communications mobility for government users.

“We are proud to be delivering this next generation of cyber security and electronic protections for the Australian Army. This is another example of an Australian SME creating world-leading technology to support our soldiers and our Allies.” said Ben Whitham, a Founder and Director of Penten.

Mr Whitham said “Using decoys is not a new technique. Military forces used to assign hundreds of soldiers to drive around sending scripted radio messages to create the illusion of other forces. What our solution does is use artificial intelligence to learn the patterns of friendly force radio communications and then use this information to create realistic and believable mimics. This means we can deliver this capability extremely efficiently and in a way that is hard to detect. It allows soldiers to concentrate on doing what they do best, while providing them with another important layer of protection.”

Mr Whitham also noted the importance of this contract to creating sovereign capability in artificial intelligence for Defence applications. “Leveraging Artificial Intelligence will be critical to make our soldiers more efficient and effective. This contract will not only deliver new and important electronic warfare tools for Defence, but also ensure that we are able to continue to invest and grow high-end engineering and software development jobs here in Australia.”

The contract was awarded through the Defence Innovation Hub an initiative of the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement.

About Penten

Penten is a Canberra, Australia based cyber security company focused on innovation in secure mobility, cyber deception and cyber engineering services for Defence and Government.