GCHQ targets EM vulnerability of military systems

GCHQ’s information security arm and the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance has appointed an accredited laboratory in the UK to perform Tempest first-of-type platform testing.

In addition to performing first-of-type platform testing, the laboratory run by TÜV SÜD will perform in-service Tempest testing to Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirements.

Tempest testing is used to measure the level of electromagnetic vulnerability of hardware and software systems in military vehicles, which may make sensitive data vulnerable.

Jean-Louis Evans, Managing Director of TÜV SÜD Product Service, said:

“Security, for both the military and other government departments, is about understanding the vulnerabilities associated with radio frequency emanations ICT equipment and mobile platforms processing classified information.

“Our appointment as the UK’s only commercial TEMPEST first-of-type test laboratory is testament to TÜV SÜD’s pedigree in EMC conformance testing. We have a strong international reputation for impartiality and familiarity with an extensive range of ICT products, as well as experience of working with many governments and NATO.”

As well as product testing, manufacturers will have to undergo regular Tempest production audits to achieve and maintain certification for their ICT equipment, thereby ensuring that compromising electromagnetic emanations remain within the limits defined in NATO standards.

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