A new report on the commoditization of cyber weapons suggests that the easy availability of inexpensive offensive cyber tools is reshaping the cyber threat landscape. The report is being briefed to officials across the federal government, including elements of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, Senate Cyber Caucus and the Secret Service.
Warfare, as with technology, is changing quickly and dramatically. The U.S. Defense Department’s most recent Quadrennial Defense Review noted the link between this rapid evolution and “increasingly contested battlespace in the air, sea and space domains—as well as cyberspace—in which our forces enjoyed dominance in our most recent conflicts.”
These assertions have major implications for airpower in future contingencies that will call for the Air Force to emphasize cyber over its five core missions. Already, these missions have been tweaked in content and application—changes that leaders could use to set a course for future cyber dominance.
The U.S. Army is fighting fire with cyber fire, applying an “incredible focus” on attacking a primary terrorist threat by creating a task force to concentrate on a single targeted mission, says Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, USA, commanding general of Army Cyber Command.
Responding to a rebuke by Defense Department Secretary Ash Carter that the cyber war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was progressing too slowly, the U.S. Cyber Command launched a unit with the sole task of going after the militant group’s online activity and put Gen. Cardon in charge of that effort.
Nearly everyone has heard a parent or grandparent refer to the good ol’ days. Tales usually begin either with “When I was your age…” or “In my day, we didn’t have….” While it seems appropriate that octogenarians and nonagenarians tell such stories, today they’re not the only generations sharing memories that begin with, “When I was young….” People in their 20s and 30s reflect on their youth wistfully because members of the younger generation—who, by the way, are only five or 10 years younger than they are—can communicate, play, buy and sell, and share life moments in ways that surprise even 20-somethings.
Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, USA, chief information officer/G-6, opened LandWarNet 2011, by promising that every one of the 453 vendors at the conference will be visited by a member of her senior team. They will fill out surveys describing the technologies they saw, which she will review, and she encourage all attendees also to contribute their insights about solutions that can address the Army's challenges by filling out the surveys. Gen. Lawrence introduced Maj. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, Chief of Signal, Fort Gordon, who described some of the changes that are on the way, including the use of avatars to track each soldier as he or she enters the Army.