Look, we all know the Pentagon is seeking cyber weapons. For defensive purposes only, of course, not for playing dirty cyber tricks on enemies of the state (Stuxnet, anyone?). But it's a bit strange when the military does it so openly. For instance, when it submits a request into the public domain saying "please build us cyber weapons." Which is what the Air Force just did.
In a recent broad agency announcement--a public document issued by any agency usually requesting something from the private sector or notifying the world at large that there are contracts up for grabs--the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) called on contractors to submit proposals for specific "cyberspace warfare operations" (CWO) capabilities, including "cyberspace warfare attack." It doesn't get much more explicit than that.
More specifically, the BAA outlines "cyberspace warfare attack" as those capabilities that would allow the Air Force to "destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt, or usurp the adversaries ability to use the cyberspace domain for his advantage," Threatpost reports. It also requests "cyberspace warfare support" capabilities, which are basically the means to intercept enemy cyber attacks, open doors to their networks, and otherwise locate both sources of access and sensitive areas within enemy networks that are ripe for attack.
Let us not forget that this is the air wing of the same Department of Defense that declared acts of cyberwarfare to be considered equivalent to acts of regular war, and thus subject to all the same retaliations, including real-world kinetic strikes. More at Threatpost.
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Isn't it true that under our own definitions, including our reasons for past and current sanctions or embargoes or military force, that the cultivation of these weapons is in itself an open act of aggression in the face of the world? Is the idea that we are already a nuclear power, so we just can? I'm really curious as to how this is supposed to work. An attack on a nation's banking is easily more potentially damaging than a nuke, and if combined with a custom system-borne industrial attack like Stuxnet? Much more damaging than a nuke. Are we 'good citizens' of the world if we are trying to explore ways to destroy other nations? See, the problem always is with these things is that you never really know if it's gonna work if you never try it out somewhere. Thats an act of war. So, how's this work then?
These activities are reminiscent of cold war spying. It has simply become more high tech and less human resource intensive and less risky. All industrialized countries are in the game as well as was the case on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The only discernible change is that there is a lot more openness after all, every country has to look out for number one first so it doesn't risk getting caught with it's pants down as was the case of the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks. Trouble is, with so much openness and "loose lips sinking ships” we are constantly putting ourselves at unnecessary risk.