Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

U.S. Cyber Army is a fact, being fully operative in late 2012.

Computer Hackers Cyber Attacks and United States Defense Dept DARPA. Photo Credit to Defense Tech

The U.S. government is spending about $500 million on “cyber technologies” to fight back. A portion of this is set aside for a virtual firing range of sorts to test out what they develop.

This would also allow military personnel to simulate attacks in order to train security personnel to be ready for when an attack actually occurs. The effort is being led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA , which was the defense department division and Pentagon’s advanced research arm , that was credited with developing the forerunner of the Internet in the 1960s

All in all, it would essentially be a mini Internet. This system called National Cyber Range NCR, is building a virtual firing range in cyberspace — a replica of the Internet on which scientists can test how successfully they can thwart feared foreign- or domestic-launched attempts to disrupt U.S. information networks.

Starting in late 2012, the NCR will also help the U.S. government to train cyberwarriors mainly in the U.S. military’s Cyber Command  also the NCR will develop advanced technologies to guard information systems.

DARPA is also working with Johns Hopkins University as well as government defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Lockheed, the U.S. government’s top information technology provider, was awarded a $30.8 million contract in January 2010 to continue to develop a prototype. Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory won a similar deal at that time.

That half billion dollars isn’t just going to this project, but also to developing defensive and also offensive cyberwar technologies.

The Pentagon considers cyber attacks such as the ones of LulzSec as potential “acts of war”.

The virtual firing range is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

It will also apparently help train cyberwarriors.

The Defense Dept and DARPA are also working on other plans to advance cyber defense, like:

a)         a program known as CRASH  that seeks to design computer systems that evolve over time, making them harder for an attacker to target.

b)       the Cyber Insider Threat program, or CINDER, would help monitor military networks for threats from within by improving detection of threatening behavior from people authorized to use them, like spies, traitors or defectors.

c)        the “Cyber Genome,” aimed at automating the discovery, identification and characterization of malicious code, which could help figure out who was behind a cyber strike.

d)       an expanded pilot program called “DIB Opt-In” , in order to boost the sharing of cybersecurity information with the U.S. defense industrial base DIB, that are companies that provide arms, supplies and other services to the U.S. Defense Dept.

Some countries are already nervous about the new cyber program of the United States, like the Chinese.

The Chinese military has a well developed cyber spy program, but want to develop it even further, now for defense purposes.

“The U.S. military is hastening to seize the commanding military heights on the Internet, and another Internet war is being pushed to a stormy peak,” the Chinese military wrote in its official newspaper, Liberation Army Daily. “Their actions remind us that to protect the nation’s Internet security, we must accelerate Internet defense development and accelerate steps to make a strong Internet army.” The daily reflects also the official opinion of China’s ruling communist party.  China is also afraid of receiving hacking attempts like the recent ones on U.S. corporations and government organizations.