Pentagon wants to wage cyber attack on enemies

By | November 8, 2010

The Pentagon’s new Cyber Command is seeking authority to attack computer networks around the globe to protect American interests, drawing objections from Obama administration lawyers uncertain about the legality of offensive operations.

Cyber Command’s commander, General Keith Alexander, who also heads the National Security Agency, wants his new command to be able to mount what he has called ”the full spectrum” of operations in cyberspace.

Offensive actions could include shutting down part of an opponent’s computer network or changing a line of code in an adversary’s computer. They are operations that destroy, disrupt or degrade targeted computers or networks.

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But current and former officials say that senior policymakers and administration lawyers want to limit the military’s offensive computer operations to war zones such as Afghanistan, in part because the CIA claims covert operations outside the battle zone are its responsibility and the State Department is concerned about a diplomatic backlash.

The administration debate is part of a larger effort to develop a coherent strategy to guide the government in defending the US from attacks on computer and information systems that officials say could damage power grids, corrupt financial transactions or disable an internet service provider.

The effort is fraught because of the unpredictability of some cyber operations; an action against a target in one country could unintentionally disrupt servers in another.

Policymakers are also struggling to delineate Cyber Command’s role in defending critical domestic networks in a way that does not violate Americans’ privacy.

The policy wrangle predates the administration of President Barack Obama but was renewed last year as Mr Obama declared cyber security a matter of national and economic security. The Pentagon has said it will release a national defence cyber-security strategy by the end of the year. …

via Pentagon wants to wage cyber attack on enemies.

If Obama can have a hit list for the murder of American born persons, what’s the big deal about them hacking your computer? They would probably only do it if you had information about a crime they committed or something.

3 thoughts on “Pentagon wants to wage cyber attack on enemies

  1. Cole

    Do you know the meaning of the ring of alphanumeric around the seal of the Cyber Command? Is it some sort of code?

    1. Ann

      “9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a” is the “MD5 hash” (see wiki) of their mission statement (also wiki).

      Their mission is:

      “USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.” – wiki

    2. Xeno Post author

      Yup. You can try it yourself here:

      Try changing just one character anywhere and you won’t get the same code.


      More about MD5:

      MD5 was designed by Ron Rivest in 1991 to replace an earlier hash function, MD4. In 1996, a flaw was found with the design of MD5. While it was not a clearly fatal weakness, cryptographers began recommending the use of other algorithms, such as SHA-1 (which has since been found also to be vulnerable). In 2004, more serious flaws were discovered, making further use of the algorithm for security purposes questionable; specifically, a group of researchers described how to create a pair of files that share the same MD5 checksum. Further advances were made in breaking MD5 in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In an attack on MD5 published in December 2008, a group of researchers used this technique to fake SSL certificate validity. US-CERT of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security said MD5 “should be considered cryptographically broken and unsuitable for further use,” and most U.S. government applications will be required to move to the SHA-2 family of hash functions after 2010- wiki

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