The new US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) is reportedly ready to go fully operational this month, in coordination with NATO, to create a global cyber warfare system that will involve all major branches of the US armed forces, according to ISAIntel. In September, the Defense Department dismantled its Joint Task Force Global Network Operations command, which is now part of CYBERCOM, which is being sponsored by US Strategic Command (STRATCOM). CYBERCOM has a “dual mission to conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations,” according to the Pentagon. In May, four-star General Keith Alexander was appointed as CYBERCOM’s first commander. The center will be staffed by around 1,100 personnel to “ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries”. In related news, on 7 October Hun Technology Inc. announced the launch of “C2”, a new weapon reportedly designed for CYBERCOM. “Through [C2] we will be able to offer a permanent solution and nuke the problems related to cyber-attacks once and for all,” media quoted Ferenc Ledniczky, co-founder and President of the company, as saying. C2 claims to be a technological breakthrough that changes the inherently hackable design of software architecture. Quoted by US media, Ledniczky said: “In developing [C2], we broke away from the traditional approach to computerize the enterprise information management process. Instead we developed an entirely new system which will be un-hackable by virtue of design and without relying on encryption or other protective measures.”
Analytical Note: Apparent CIA malware infecting the operating system of a trans-Siberian gas pipeline led to a massive explosion in the Soviet Union in 1982. Jumping ahead to 2007, Estonia’s national infrastructure came under cyber attacks, shutting down government institutions, banks and media after servers were overloaded. This happened during a political dispute with Russia. In 2008, Georgia experienced a similar cyber attack during a short war with Russia over the separatist region of South Ossetia. In August, the Pentagon revealed information about a cyber attack against the US military’s Central Command in 2008. According to the Pentagon’s account, USB memory sticks were randomly placed in a washroom at a US military base in the Middle East providing support for the war in Iraq. The memory sticks, infected with a computer worm by an undisclosed foreign intelligence agency, were picked up by soldiers who ignored protocol and plugged them into military laptops. The worm took 14 months to kill. In a very similar attack earlier this year, Iran experienced a computer worm (the Stuxnet virus) that infected around 30,000 IP addresses, as well as the computers at the Bushehr nuclear plant. The malware, according to international experts, was custom-made to target and manipulate industrial automation software from remote locations. This worm was also apparently spread by a USB memory stick. Some specialists have referred to the malware as an espionage worm, or a malware sleeper cell, because of its ability to immediately infect but remain latent until activated at a later date. It is not impossible that the malware was a US or Israeli (the latter perhaps more probable) cyberwar offensive. Although US President Barack Obama has said that the administration would not monitor private sector networks or internet traffic in the name of cyber security, this clearly cannot be the case with the launch of CYBERCOM, which was undertaken without public debate largely because of the public’s inability to grasp the issue.
Source: Global Intelligence Report