Air Force Forms Cyberspace Unit




 
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November 4th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Air Force Forms Cyberspace Unit


Defense Daily
November 3, 2006


By Dave Ahearn
The Air Force is forming an offensive and defensive cyberspace unit to deal with growing threats and opportunities in the cyberspace area, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said yesterday.
That unit is being created in the 8th Air Force, which now is the lead Air Force command for cyberspace, he said.
This new unit is being formed after China has created an immense cyber warfare capability, where huge numbers of personnel could upon command launch attacks on both military and civilian computers, communications and infrastructure in other nations, such as the United States.
Enemies, including terrorists and rogue states, increasingly are using cyberspace to prosecute their attacks, according to Wynne.
He cited terrorists using electronics such as improvised explosive devices in Iraq, their using Global Positioning Satellites and satellite communications, moving money among cells using internet financial transactions, radar and navigational jamming, and attacking American computer servers.
"This new way of war is data-dependent," Wynne said. "We need to protect our data while detecting adversary data and then [move to] deny, disrupt, dissuade or destroy the source of that data or transmission as appropriate."
The new area in the 8th Air Force would be tasked with consolidating, concentrating and expanding Air Force cyberspace capabilities
This unit would have the potential to become, at some point, a major Air Force command in its own right, Wynne said.
Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force, will develop the new cyberspace asset by using personnel in the 8th Air Force, and also by reaching across all Air Force commands to draw expert personnel with needed capabilities. "We need a large number of cyberwarriors," Elder told reporters yesterday.
Some things that the new cyberspace force will need, such as procurement of systems, will be handled by other, existing units within the Air Force, he said. Elder said he will "advocate" for whatever the cyberspace area requires.
The unit will become a training ground to groom personnel, helping them to build cyberwar expertise, in what Elder termed "a career path."
"We are already at war in cyberspace," said Lani Kass, director of the Cyberspace Task Force that was stood up in January.
She outlined the sort of cyber disaster that terrorists or rogue states might wreak on the United States, saying it could be "an e-Katrina," referring to the immensely damaging hurricane last year.
Elder said the cyber force could, for example, attempt to block a cyber attack aiming to destroy the functioning of a U.S. financial network.
"We are concerned about an adversary taking down our financial networks," he said.
 


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