4/15/10 – Computer network warfare is an essential military tactic, says Alexander
Hey all, hope everyone’s gotten their taxes all taken care of in light of this gorgeous
I’m sure you are all aware of computer networks, network security, and just how important it is, especially based from my last article about the Pwn2Own competition where hackers hacked software we use everyday within 24 hours to view supposedly secure data over a network. Well, it IS important, there’s no doubt about it. It’s bad enough to lose all of your important data from a computer, let alone having all of your data physically (well, more like digitally) stolen from you without even being aware of it even happening.
It seems that even the government is starting to pick up on the importance of network security in this day and age. Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander of the U.S. Army believes that computer network warfare is becoming more and more an essential military tactic. As head nominee for the Cyber Command position and as current head of the National Security Agency, Alexander said that while cyber security is a critical first step in securing computer networks, the military should also be prepared to launch counter cyberattacks.
Originally stood up for in June 2009, the position is running behind its intended October 2009 operation start date. In the questionnaire filled out by Alexander, he described hypothetical situations where computer warfare would be necessary to military tactic. Cyberwarfare would go beyond infiltrating military command-and-control systems and weapons systems. It may also be used to target civilian institutions and municipal infrastructure, he said.
Of course, suggesting civilian institutions be subject for cyberwarfare is a bit controversial. Under traditional combat laws, civilians should be excluded from warfare, even if 20th century wars have made the dividing line between civilian and combatant more fluid. Though difficult to conceive, Alexander wrote that an attack against a financial institution could be legitimate if “it was being used solely to support enemy military operations.”
In its infancy still, methods of deterrence and what constitutes a cyberattack on the U.S. are still undefined. “There is no international consensus on a precise definition of a use of force, in or out of cyberspace,” Alexander wrote. “There is always potential disagreement among nations concerning what may amount to a threat or use of force.”
Already, the U.S. Air Force is preparing to ramp up its focus on computer-based combat. This past Monday, April 12th, the Air Force announced it would be training all new recruits in the basics of cyberwarfare. Then by June of this year, 16 Air Force officers will begin an advanced course to train for a career in cyber operations. According to a TMCnet report, the Air Force aims to produce about 400 officers with skills in cyber defense annually.
That would be so ridiculous to have a title as Cyber Command, not to mention that now it goes along with newer terms such as “cyberwarfare.” There’s no doubt how vital network security is, especially in situations and institutions where very private data is stored. I also like the idea that the Air Force aims to train so many for careers in cyberwarfare, allowing many to bring their knowledge to the workplace bringing new ideas, or to keep a career in the military further protecting our security.
I can’t even imagine the security knowledge one would gain from being trained to an officer’s position in the military. Pretty awesome! Thanks for reading guys, here is the link to the article and don’t forget the quiz!
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