[LINK] WP: The Pentagon is turned on by eWar
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Apr 11 09:04:52 EST 2012
[Dr Evenstrangerlove? 'C'mon, let's eNuke them Commies!'.
[The US is a seriously creepy country.]
Mission possible: Pentagon ramps up development of cyberweapons
April 11, 2012
SMH reprint from The Washington Post
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is planning to dramatically speed up the
development of new cyberweapons, giving it the ability in some cases
to field weapons against specific targets in a matter of days,
according to a new Pentagon report to Congress.
The rapid acquisition process is designed to respond to ''urgent,
mission-critical'' needs when the risk to operations and personnel is
unacceptable if threats are not addressed quickly, according to the
Congress required the Pentagon to prepare the report on how it could
accelerate the acquisition of cyberweapons.
The result, which builds on last year's defence strategy for
cyberspace, puts the Pentagon's two-year-old Cyber Command in charge
of a new registry of weapons that would catalogue their capabilities
and where they are stored.
The military is also grappling with the establishment of rules for
The report on cyberweapons acquisition, sent to Congress in recent
weeks but not made public, describes a new level of department-wide
oversight with the establishment of a Cyber Investment Management
Board, chaired by senior Pentagon officials.
The board was set up to prevent abuse of the fast-track process,
since the cost of cyberweapons is often too low to trigger normal
The board will also help ensure military and intelligence cyber
authorities are co-ordinated, officials said.
''We can't sit around and wait for [the traditional weapons-building
process],'' said Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acting undersecretary
of defence for acquisition, technology and logistics and co-chairman
of the new board, in a speech at the Centre for Strategic and
International Studies in February.
''We've got to take it outside the conventional system for these
major, long-term weapon systems entirely.''
The new framework sets up two systems for cyberweapons development:
rapid and deliberate. The rapid process will take advantage of
existing or nearly completed hardware and software developed by
industry and government laboratories. This approach could take months
in some cases, a few days in others.
The deliberate process is designed for weapons whose use carries
greater risks. It would be for projects expected to take longer than
Herbert S. Lin, an expert on the subject at the National Research
Council of the National Academy of Sciences, said the Pentagon has
recognised that ''cyberweapons are fundamentally different'' than
conventional weapons in important ways.
''You can make a general-purpose fighter plane and it will function
more or less the same in the Pacific as in the Atlantic,'' Mr Lin
''The same is not true for going after a Russian cyber-target versus
a Chinese target.''
The Washington Post
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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