Another guess is that, because so many defense contractors and manufacturers are interdependent these days -- almost nobody designs or builds complete systems anymore -- they are tied to each other through communication channels and networks. A really good hacker-spy could piece together bits of information from Source A with information from Sources B, C, D, and discover or infer vulnerabilities from there.
Air-gapping does seem like an obvious choice, however, and I'm legitimately puzzled if it's not being done for the most sensitive design systems.
For example, let's say you run a quant trading firm and the algorithms you're concerned about being stolen need connectivity to download live trading info, and then after processing that info they need to communicate buy/sell orders to the outside world.
Are there any methods that could be used that would prevent all communication with a secure system (with an airgap level of certainty) besides the strictly defined data you need to do your "real work"?
A couple of jobs ago I worked at a financial services firm with 2 networks and 2 PCs on everyone's desk. Rednet for outside connectivity, and an internal network for real work, and never the twain shall meet.
NO-ONE needs the Internet for real work, let's be honest, just for goofing off. Time we all started to prioritize security over mere convenience.
Let's say you're a P.I., journalist, researcher, law enforcement, or intel agency, and need to automate news or people searches for some reason. If you were able to very strictly define the data you're expecting to receive, isn't there any way you could automatically pass this data on to a secure system without opening yourself up to exploits?
Hacking Encrypt Fax,
we developed drone, attacks in pakistan.
China developed drone, doing nothing, yet.
Media: Hacking U.S. Secrets, China Pushes for Drones
Enforce human rights to third world countries.
-airline reservations are used to target illegal searches.
-cellphone tracking by tower
-20 miles interior check points,
-100-miles Border Zone as "Consitution-free". As a result, San Francisco, Los Angles, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Houston are Consitution-free.
Now what was the news again?
What we haven't learned of, at least yet, is rampant industrial espionage by NSA to steal R&D and a pipeline for dealing with the stolen results. China, at least according to US allegations, has precisely that.
China would still be late to that game.
France and Israel were famous for doing government-sponsored industrial espionage in the 1980s-1990s. Again, according to US allegations.
i wouldn't mind if NSA was doing something really useful like that instead of building total surveilance and instilling fears of it into its own citizenry
The CIWS is only used if the SeaSparrow missiles (which have a 40+ mile range) and RAMs do not hit their target.
Those would only be used if the jamming equipment/planes failed.
Don't forget that carriers always have several ships traveling with them with even more anti-missile firepower.
It would literally take a nuclear missile, severe incompetence, or numerous malfunctions on multiple well-tested systems to hit an aircraft carrier with a missile. Plus balls, the US will come after you hard if you mess with one of it's carriers.
But yeah, shooting a missile with multiple nuclear warheads is about the only thing that can be done to take out a carrier, and that's a pretty awesome claim.
Oh, I guess a railgun would work too, those would be the real carrier killers. The US DoD should definitely assign some extra IT security personnel to the contractors working on railguns.
Also, what happens if China fires, say, a few dozen of those missiles at once at a carrier group? After all, those missiles are a hell of a lot cheaper than a carrier.
America fields the world's largest number of carrier task force in the world. The other Western countries have maybe one each. Apparently, it required not only technical skills, but also a certain culture and discipline of the crew manning the carriers. As such, the Soviets were unable field effective carrier task force and ended up building a submarine fleet instead.
With the Soviets gone, that left the US Navy as the undisputed power on the high seas, at least, if you are going by numbers of carrier task force. It's the primary offensive power of the US Navy.
... and if there is technology that renders it obsolete, it would be a major concern.
Note, in my original post, I was not talking just about carriers. I was talking about entire carrier task forces, where escort ships (like the cruisers fielding Aegis) are centered around the single carrier.
I have not looked at this in depth. Apparently, carriers are costly to produce and requires a significant technical skills and discipline among the crew. A drone carrier that can pack the same offensive capability, yet doesn't require the level of skilled and disciplined crew, and is cheaper, is significant. Particularly, combined with the "carrier killer missiles".