Given the utilisation of information warfare alongside cyberattacks to disrupt national, European, and international policies, the Cyber and Information domain has become a top priority for both NATO and the EU, as well as individual nations.
The European Commission has selected a consortium, which includes Cybernetica, and is led by Airbus Defence and Space, for the EUropean Cyber and INFormation warfare toolbox (EUCINF) project.
EUCINF aims to create a comprehensive European library of adaptable software components that can be seamlessly integrated into Cyber and Information Warfare (CIW) systems. These components will possess capabilities in detection, analysis, fusion, and threat targeting, thus bolstering the functions of Cyber and Operational Centers.
The diverse consortium comprises 22 European entities with complementary expertise, spanning the entire spectrum of CIW. These entities collaborate closely with their respective national ministries of defense. For instance, the Estonian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is involved in various Cyber Defence capability development projects and will explore the potential of EUCINF standards and testbeds for evaluating their own tools. It allows valuable interoperability among the nations by employing standard formats and datasets.
This project represents a unique European industrial endeavor, aiming to develop a reference repository of AI-based configurable applications and an experimental platform to comprehensively address information operation challenges in the digital realm. EUCINF will demonstrate its capabilities through the implementation of three operational CIW scenarios, aligning with the requirements from the Ministries of Defense as end-users, while adhering to legal regulations and societal expectations. These scenarios encompass information warfare attacks on friendly deployed forces, hybrid attacks falling below the threshold of conventional warfare, and military deception.
A key objective of EUCINF is to introduce and apply technologies and concepts previously not applied in the defence sector. First and foremost, This notably includes novel AI-enabled components for the collection, enrichment, categorisation and clustering of information as well as the detection of propaganda, mis- and disinformation that were trained and applied so far in the civil sector only, and whose potential for application in the military context shall now be evaluated. This includes methods to process audio, video, image and text data, to interlink and contextualise information and to support the detection and remediation of information warfare activities. Furthermore, tools for the extraction of cyber threat intelligence from log data, such as IP addresses, domains etc.
Cybernetica will play a pivotal role across various work streams, ranging from gathering requirements and defining use cases. Our primary contributions include the design of the interoperability testbed subsystem and leadership in prototyping data collection and processing components.
We will also be exploring how ethics, societal, legal and other standards and guidelines emerging from the civil domain are to be considered for military application regarding the context of conflicts.
The project is anticipated to be resource-intensive, with Cybernetica's involvement spanning nine out of ten work packages. Our team is expected to comprise an average of over ten experts during the initial two years of the project. Cybernetica's efforts are coordinated by the Information Security Research Institute and supported by the Cybersecurity Department.
This project is designed, in the broader context of open and multi-systems defense capabilities, as a potential long-term European program.
EUCINF will be benefiting from a consortium composed of large companies (Airbus, Hensoldt, Indra, Leonardo); Mid-Caps (BV-Tech Spa, Space Hellas); SMEs (Anozr Way, Approach, Avisa Partners, Bloom, Cybernetica, Cyber Services, EclecticIQ, EIGHT BELLS, Sahar, Storyzy, Tilde); research organisation (AIT) as well as universities (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Universidad de Murcia).