Pentagon Announces Launch Of Endless Perpetual CyberWar
The Pentagon has launched a new classified cyberwarfare project called ‘Plan X’ which aims ‘dominate the cyber battlespace’ with routine cyber attacks.
A little over a year after the Pentagon declared the Internet a ‘Domain of Warfare’ and announced it would be expanding US military operations into that domain under the need to ‘defend against hostile state actors’.
The word ‘defense’ is being redefined in typical Orwellian fashion as the Pentagon announces a new classified cyber warfare project, called ‘Plan X’, which will launch endless routine offensive cyber attacks as part of the US military’s strategy of ‘defending’ America’s networks.
The critical thinkers among us will quick to note that at the same time the Pentagon announced their new cyber defense plans last year they also declared that cyber attacks against the US by state actors would be responded to with missiles being dropped down the smokestacks of the attacking state.
In typical the typical hypocritical operating fashion of the United States government such a response from a victim attacked by the United States would be meant with a military invasion.
Col. Todd Wood (right), commander of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, briefs National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander at Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Photo: Sgt. Michael Blalack/U.S. Army
The Pentagon made their first official announcement declaring the Internet a ‘Domain of War’ with the release of Depertment of Defense’s Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace which laid the foundation for US military plans to take the lead in dominating the new battlefield.
The announcement came with the normal dose of Orwellian doublespeak justifying the declaration was necessary because federal government and the US military had ‘specific cyber-vulnerabilities’ that needed to be defended against.
The declaration came under a three pronged directive to ‘prevent the theft or exploitation of data’, to prevent ‘attempts to deny or disrupt access to U.S. military networks’ and to thwart attempts to “destroy or degrade networks or connected systems.”
Its Official: The Pentagon Declares The Internet A “Domain Of War” In The Name Of “Cyber Security”
The Pentagon has officially declared the Internet a domain of war in the long awaited release of the Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.
A report from The Hill on the announcement reiterates the Pentagon’s announcement of the inclusion of the Internet in military’s domain of war and then goes on to give highlights of the cyber defense strategy in the typical corporate media styled watered-down version of implications of the announcement.
Pentagon Declares the Internet a Domain of War
The Pentagon released a long-promised cybersecurity plan Thursday that declares the Internet a domain of war.
The Defense Department’s first-ever plan for cyberspace calls on the DoD to expand its ability to thwart attacks from other nations and groups, beef up its cyber workforce and expand collaboration with the private sector.
“The department and the nation have vulnerabilities in cyberspace,” the document states. “Our reliance on cyberspace stands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cybersecurity.”
Other nations “are working to exploit DoD unclassified and classified networks, and some foreign intelligence organizations have already acquired the capacity to disrupt elements of DoD’s information infrastructure,” the plan states. “Moreover, non-state actors increasingly threaten to penetrate and disrupt DoD networks and systems.”
However, for those well aware of the government’s overuse of Orwellian doublespeak, the labeling of the Internet as a “domain of war” in the name of “cyber security” is sure to raise many alarms.
The Pentagon report detailing the long awaited cybersecurity plan which declares the Internet a domain of war actually reveals an overall plan to massively expand current cyber operations to “protect” the nations classified and unclassified networks. But the report goes on to state that various military, private and commercial networks “critical to modern-day society” are vulnerable to a wide array of threats from both states and non-state actors who control infrastructure that can disproportionately sabotage much larger networks of critical infrastructure which sets the stage for a military takeover of the policing of those networks.
As I further predicted in that post the new directive from the Pentagon was nothing more than a facade that marked the launch of a perpetual cyberwar.
With the latest announcement from the Pentagon, the front line of the never-ending war being waged against invisible enemies moves into cyberspace. Accordingly the U.S. military is dramatically increasing operations in cyberspace, in the name of so-called cyber security, and is gearing up a massive virtual army to embark on what soon will become nothing less than an imperialistic conquest of the world wide web.
The Pentagon on Americans new cyber strategy sheds light on the upcoming operations by revealing that the U.S. military complex already has over 15,000 networks running over 7 million computers across hundreds of installations in dozens of military bases all over the world. The report goes onto to outline the threats the military we says we face and uses the alleged threats as justification to state that America’s current armada of cyber resources simply is not enough to keep Americans safe. The “defense strategy” calls a large-scale increase in infrastructure and personnel by claiming current computer and networking infrastructures, including networks ran by the civilian and commercial entities, are vulnerable and require protection from the 2 billion people who now routinely access the Internet and threaten the American way of life.
As the Hill article clearly notes, the new military “cyber defense” strategy does not define how the Pentagon will use the world wide web to launch cyber attacks. Yet, instead of informing the reader, the article ignores plenty of current examples of U.S military cyber operations which are clear indications of how we can expect the military to behave now that they have declared the Internet part of the domain for warfare.
For starters, accusations have spread around the globe accusing the U.S. for initiating the world’s first act of cyberwarfare by releasing Stuxnet. The Stuxent virus is a self mutating worm that can shut down and destroy various industrial controls systems and, even more alarming, it targets nuclear power plants. This powerful menacing virus, which has already infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world, literally has the power to end life on earth. To make matters worse, rogue revolutionary anti-government hackers that have declared war on NATO have obtained a copy of the virus by hacking a U.S government contractor. They have been able to obtain the source code by decompiling the Stuxnet virus and have published the source code online for anyone in the world to use.
A series of reports from Wired also sheds more light into the U.S military’s involvement in online warfare. One Wired article reveals that the US Cyber command has continually pushed to expand their umbrella of control from beyond military networks to include key private networks. The official cyber strategy report again highlights the need for the military to police those key private networks. The justification from Washington is backed by the usual scare talk of cyber vulnerabilities even though the official launch of the US cyber command has been met with a large and steady decrease in attacks against U.S military networks.
But make no mistake about it, there is and always will be the use of false flag attacks, in which our beloved government claims foreign governments have launch attacks which were really originated from within the U.S. That leads to a bigger problem since the inclusion of the Internet as a domain of war now gives the military the power to act on their previous threats of responding to cyber attacks with conventional military force. To correctly quote the military “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks.”
Flash forward a little over one year later and just as I predicted, the Pentagon has announced its cyber warfare program will begin launching routine cyber attacks.
The Pentagon’s top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But it’s not about building the next Stuxnet, Darpa swears. Instead, the just-introduced “Plan X” is designed to make online strikes a more routine part of U.S. military operations. That will make the son of Stuxnet easier to pull off — to, as Darpa puts it, “dominate the cyber battlespace.”
Darpa spent years backing research that could shore up the nation’s cyberdefenses. “Plan X” is part of a growing and fairly recent push into offensive online operations by the Pentagon agency largely responsible for the internet’s creation. In recent months, everyone from the director of Darpa on down has pushed the need to improve — and normalize — America’s ability to unleash cyberattacks against its foes.
That means building tools to help warplanners assemble and launch online strikes in a hurry. It means, under Plan X, figuring out ways to assess the damage caused by a new piece of friendly military malware before it’s unleashed. And it means putting together a sort of digital battlefield map that allows the generals to watch the fighting unfold, as former Darpa acting director Ken Gabriel told the Washington Post: “a rapid, high-order look of what the Internet looks like — of what the cyberspace looks like at any one point in time.”
It’s not quite the same as building the weapons themselves, as Darpa notes in its introduction to the five-year, $100 million effort, issued on Monday: “The Plan X program is explicitly not funding research and development efforts in vulnerability analysis or cyberweapon generation.” (Emphasis in the original.)
But it is certainly a complementary campaign. A classified kick-off meeting for interested researchers in scheduled for Sept. 20.
[...]“Plan X” aims to solve both problems [dealing with collateral damage and not having rules of engagement] simultaneously, by automatically constructing mission plans that are as easy to execute as “the auto-pilot function in modern aircraft,” but contain “formal methods to provably quantify the potential battle damage from each synthesized mission plan.”
Then, once the plan is launched, Darpa would like to have machines running on operating systems that can withstand the rigors of a full-blown online conflict: “hardened ‘battle units’ that can perform cyberwarfare functions such as battle damage monitoring, communication relay, weapon deployment, and adaptive defense.”
The ability to operate in dangerous areas, pull potential missions off-the-shelf, and assess the impact of attacks — these are all commonplace for air, sea, and land forces today. The goal of Plan X is to give network-warfare troops the same tools. “To get it to the point where it’s a part of routine military operations,” explains Jim Lewis, a long-time analyst of online operations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Of course, many critics of U.S. policy believe the deployment of cyberweapons is already too routine. America’s online espionage campaign against Iran has been deeply controversial, both at home and abroad. The Russian government and its allies believe that cyberweapons ought to be banned by international treaty. Here in the U.S., there’s a fear that, by unleashing Stuxnet and other military-grade malware, the Obama administration legitimized such attacks as a tool of statecraft — and invited other nations to strike our fragile infrastructure.
The Darpa effort is being lead, fittingly, by a former hacker and defense contractor. Daniel Roelker helped start the intrusion detection company Sourcefire and the DC Black Ops unit of Raytheon SI Government Solutions. In a November 2011 presentation (.pdf), Roelker decried the current, “hacker vs. hacker” approach to online combat. It doesn’t scale well — there are only so many technically skilled people — and it’s limited in how fast it can be executed. “We don’t win wars by out-hiring an adversary, we win through technology,” he added.
Instead, Roelker continued, the U.S. needs a suite of tools to analyze the network, automate the execution of cyberattacks, and be sure of the results. At the time, he called these the “Pillars of Foundational Cyberwarfare.” Now, it’s simply known as Plan X.
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