Monday, August 25, 2008

Strikes from the Cloud

The internet cloud has produced the first strikes: the first cyberwar coordinated with a shooting war.

The New York Times has reported the war began as early as July 20, well before Russia invaded Georgia. And, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported hackers were waging war on Georgian websites, email and communications services.

It is difficult to determine whether an attack on a nation's cyber infrastructure is an act of war because "we have not yet defined what that is." Gen. Victor Renuart, Northern Command, Defense News, Aug. 20, 2008

In a discourse, Gen. Renuart identified "must do" new security policy to address the cyberspace threats (along with changes in sea conditions in the Arctic). This view comes virtually simultaneously with reports that the Pentagon is suspending manning and budget to establish the Cyberspace Command. Quickly condemned as an unwise action by recently fired SECAF Michael Wynne, other defense sources say the mission is better housed in the
U.S. Strategic Command, which has the military responsibility for cyberspace across all services and commands.

With current perils demonstrated for all to see, it is unfortunate that the recent firings of USAF leadership ostensibly over nuclear safety, but conventionally understood to be expanded to include KC-X tanker procurement, now seems to include cyber defense.

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