Cyber Command: We Don’t Wanna Defend the Internet (We Just Might Have To)




OMAHA, Nebraska – Members of the military’s new Cyber Command insist that they’ve got no interest in taking over civilian Internet security – or even in becoming the Pentagon’s primary information protectors. But
the push to intertwine military and civilian network defenses is gaining
momentum, nevertheless. At a gathering this week of top cybersecurity
officials and defense contractors, the Pentagon’s number two floated the
idea that the Defense Department might start a protective program for
civilian networks, based on a deeply controversial effort to keep
hackers out of the government’s pipes.

U.S. Cyber Command (“CYBERCOM“) officially became operational this week, after years of preparation. But observers inside the military and out still
aren’t quite sure what the command is supposed to do: protect the
Pentagon’s networks, strike enemies with logic bombs, seal up civilian
vulnerabilities, or some combination of all three.

To one senior CYBERCOM official, the answer is pretty simple: nothing new. Smaller military units within U.S. Strategic Command coordinated and set policies for the armed forces’ far-flung teams of network
operators and defenders. Those coordinators and policy-makers have now
been subsumed into CYBERCOM. They’ll still do the same thing as before,
only more efficiently. “Doesn’t expand any authorities. It doesn’t have
any new missions,” the official told Danger Room. “It really doesn’t add
any significant funding… And really, it’s not a significant increase in
personnel; we just reorganized the personnel have we had in a smarter
and more effective way.”

That may soon change, however. A 356-page classified plan outlining CYBERCOM’s rise is being put into action. A team of about 560 troops, headquartered at Ft. Meade, Maryland, will eventually grow to 1093. Each
of the four armed services are assembling their own cyber units out of
former communications specialists, system administrators, network
defenders, and military hackers. Those units – Marine Forces Cyber
Command, the 24th Air Force, the 10th Fleet, and Army Forces Cyber
Command – are then supposed to supply some of their troops to CYBERCOM
as needed. It’s similar to how the Army and Marines provide Central
Command with combat forces to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Inside the military, there’s a sense that CYBERCOM may take on a
momentum of its own, its missions growing more and more diverse.

Most importantly, perhaps, procedures are now being worked out for CYBERCOM to help the Department of Homeland Security defend government and civilian networks, much like the military contributed to disaster
recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil
spill.

In those incidents, it took days, even weeks for the military to fully swing into action. In the event of an information attack, those timelines could be drastically collapsed. “There’s probably gonna be a
very temporal element to it. It’s gonna need to be pretty quick,” the
CYBERCOM official said.

Exactly what kind of event might trigger CYBERCOM’s involvement isn’t clear. “From our perspective the threshold is really easy: it’s when we get a request from DHS,” the official noted. “What’s their threshold? I
couldn’t tell you what their threshold is.”

The Pentagon might not even wait for an information disaster to move in. The National Security Agency is developing threat-monitoring systems for government networks dubbed Einstein 2 and Einstein 3. Deputy
Secretary of Defense William Lynn believes those
programs ought to extended to cover key private networks, as ...
.

We are already using our technical capabilities… to protect governm...,” Lynn announced at the Strategic Command Cyber Symposium here. “We need
to think imaginatively about how this technology can also help secure a
space on the Internet for critical government and commercial
applications.”

Einstein 2 is supposed to inspect data for threat signatures as it enters federal networks. Einstein 3 goes even further — alerting
DHS and the NSA before the attacks hit
. “You’re starting to
anticipate intrusions, anticipate threat signatures, and try and
preventing things from getting to the firewalls rather than just
stopping at the firewalls,” Lynn told Danger Room after his Cyber
Symposium speech. (Full disclosure: I ran a panel at the event,
and the military paid my travel costs.)

Given the NSA’s history of domestic surveillance, civil liberties groups fear that the Einstein programs could
become a new way to snoop on average Americans’ communications
.
Lynn said not to worry: “Individual users who do not want to enroll
could stay in the ‘wild, wild west’ of the unprotected internet.”

“I think it’s gonna have to be voluntary,” he added. “People could opt into protection – or choose to stay out. Individual users may well choose to stay out. But in terms of protecting the nation’s security,
it’s not the individual users [that matter most]. I mean, they have to
worry about their individual [data], their credit rating, and all that.
But it’s the vulnerability of certain critical infrastructure – power,
transportation, finance. This starts to give you an angle at doing
that.”

Privacy rights organizations and military insiders also wonder whether CYBERCOM is just another way to extend the NSA’s reach. After all, both organizations are headquartered at Ft. Meade. And both
are headed by Gen. Keith Alexander
.

The CYBERCOM official swears that won’t happen. “It’s not NSA taking over military cyber,” he said. “And it’s not military cyber taking over NSA.”

[Photo: USAF]

See Also:


Source: Wired.com

Views: 37

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

Latest Activity

James T. Kirk posted videos
12 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer commented on Central Scrutinizer's video
Thumbnail

GEORGE SOROS EXECUTED Military Tribunal Update

"Some whack-job sure has a huge set to be posting this fantasy bullshit, Stuck it here for shizns & giggles..."
29 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer posted videos
33 minutes ago
Diana favorited Thomas Less's video
34 minutes ago
Central Scrutinizer favorited Marklar's Ghost's blog post Jussie Smollett tries to Join Evil Social Network - Gets Rejected (Satire)
49 minutes ago
Deep Space commented on Deep Space's blog post Off The Deep End - 'Deep Space' Free-Flow Thoughts (An Ongoing Eruption)
"Racism sucks. It's totally stupid. But I have to be honest. 99% of all the racists I've ever met were black."
55 minutes ago
Deep Space favorited Deep Space's video
1 hour ago
Diana favorited James T. Kirk's blog post How To Tell If Your Frozen Food Has Gone Bad
1 hour ago
James T. Kirk posted blog posts
1 hour ago
James T. Kirk favorited Deep Space's video
1 hour ago
James T. Kirk favorited Thomas Less's video
1 hour ago
James T. Kirk commented on Deep Space's video
1 hour ago
Diana favorited Dr. Frederick Meekins's blog post Vocations Of Magistrate & Missionary Divergent At Core
1 hour ago
James T. Kirk favorited Deep Space's video
1 hour ago
Diana favorited Marklar's Ghost's blog post Jussie Smollett tries to Join Evil Social Network - Gets Rejected (Satire)
1 hour ago
Deep Space commented on Deep Space's blog post Should we screen everyone running for public service for psychopathy?
"On GAB: Fred2 @AnonymousFred514 While In a perfect world I might agree, the actual criteria are a spectrum and sorta mushy... And the Field of Psychiatry is *massively* & unhealthly lefty, so the inevitable result is any one even…"
1 hour ago

Please remember this website is supported by your donations...

© 2019   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2015 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted