US Cyber Command approved for launch in October

In June 2009, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved an initiative to start Cyber Command, a subdivision of U.S. Strategic Command that would be responsible for the defense and coordination of all the computer networks under military command. General Keith Alexander is heading up the operation, and his Senate approval for the position is what has been delaying the process. Now, reports Cnet, the order to launch is official, and Cyber Command will open its doors October 1st, 2010. It will manage 15,000 networks in 4,000 military bases in 88 countries, and is seen as a vital and necessary overhaul of the military's offensive and defensive capabilities in the arena of cyber warfare. In other words, this isn't going to be the military's IT department and helpdesk. The headquarters, located in Fort Meade, MD, will employ 1,000 people dedicated to enforcing digital boundries.

However good this may be for the military, there are numerous hurdles that have yet to be cleared. Many of them involve the nature of 'cyber warfare' in general, and the jurisdiction Cyber Command has when interagency operations overlap. What is considered a cyber-crime? What is considered an appropriate response to cyber-crime? How will we effectively coordiate our policies with international law? These, and many other legal issues, are wrinkles that are being, and will continue to be, ironed out as the division grows and matures.

Much like the ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have had to adapt to changing warfare environments, namely the tactical shift to confusing and cramped urban jungles, CyberCom understands that their biggest threats aren't going to come from the big guns. Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has been spearheading and supporting CyberCom from its beginnings. He echoes the idea that the combat and policy philosophy at CyberCom will be very different than at other agencies.

"It doesn't take the resources of a nation state to launch cyberwar. Nations still have the best capabilities, but you can do very threatening and damaging things with modest investments...Our ability to predict where the threats are coming [from], even in conventional threats, is remarkably poor. We didn't see Desert Storm coming. We didn't see the series of events that led to Afghanistan. Foreseeing the threats in cyberspace is harder. With Cyber Command, I think we need to be prepared for the unexpected."

Image courtesy of darkgovernment.com

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18 Comments

Master1 said,
cough SKYNET cough

man you beat me to it... i thought the same and was about to type it then found your post

AKLP said,
Ammm "Cyber Warfare"
and
US is there to protect you people like they did with "iraq and afghanistan"

I LOL'd

It's the next upcoming CoD after MW3!

AKLP said,
Ammm "Cyber Warfare"
and
US is there to protect you people like they did with "iraq and afghanistan"

I LOL'd

Am I missing something or where in this article or its source does it say the cyber warfare has anything to do with protecting civilian networks? it very specifically says it is meant to "manage 15,000 networks in 4,000 military bases in 88 countries" The only time it even mentions Iraq and Afghanistan is when it is talking about how the environments are constantly changing which is exactly what this command will be facing when it comes to cyber warfare.

We must find a contractor to develop an up-armored "T00bz Tank" to protect against Light Cycle attacks.
Requirement 1: The T00bz Tank is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck.

Construction of the T00bz Tank is expected to create or save 300 million American jobs.

Neb Okla said,
We must find a contractor to develop an up-armored "T00bz Tank" to protect against Light Cycle attacks.
Requirement 1: The T00bz Tank is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck.

Construction of the T00bz Tank is expected to create or save 300 million American jobs.

I LOL'd so hard at this...I know where you got your line from hhaha series of TUBES!!

And to think we just had news of artificial bacteria being made. Soon everything will be in place...
*plays Terminator 2 theme*

I find the absence of discussion concerning this news a bit disappointing. Every time something of this nature is posted, you can rest assured that someone is going to post a "Skynet Oh Noez!!" comment. This isn't an automated defense network, but a conglomeration of several pre-existing units of the armed forces. Apparently they created this in response to North Korea's recent announcement that they now have their own Cyber Warfare Command. There are several people who are actually pushing for this to branch off into it's own branch of the armed forces, being completely seperate from the Army, Navy, etc.

I'm worried about how this might end up having an effect on international relations with other countries, and whether or not we might eventually react to a cyber attack with physical conventional warfare, especially if we aren't able to properly fend off online attacks from another country or group of individuals.

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