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Alexander: Train Like You Fight

August 14, 2012
By Max Cacas
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What concerns Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, is that the people under his command are "not trained to a standard needed to protect our systems." Alexander delivered the afternoon keynote address to the TechNet Land Forces East conference, which opened today in Baltimore. At a time when McAfee reports the number of reported cyberattacks rose 44 percent last year, Gen. Alexander is worried that various components of military cyber command forces train differently from others. "Signal command trains to defend," he said. "Our intelligence team is trained to a different standard, and we have an attack community, and everyone is trained to a different standard over here." Alexander said that the men and women of cyber command need to borrow a page from the way that hackers work, adding that the hacker community understands how to find and exploit vulnerabilities. The general suggested that the defense community, government and industry need to find ways to work with people who understand vulnerabilities to develop ways to guard against those with malicious intent. He said he is training himself to better understand cyber-vulnerabilities by downloading a Linux application known as "Backtrack." The software allows you to simulate a number of known cyberattacks on a variety of common operating systems. Gen. Alexander also pointed out that he has installed the app on two special partitions on one of his computers in order to comply with cybersecurity regulations.


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