It’s well known that in the past few years the Unites States military has focused its efforts on enhancing both its offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. However, up until now, no one knew exactly if and where such “cyber operations” have been utilized.
At the AFCEA TechNet Land Forces conference that recently took place in Baltimore, Marine Lieutenant General Richard P. Mills admitted
to have used “cyber operations” in Afghanistan back in 2010. He claimed that they had a “great impact,” allowing him to infiltrate enemy networks and compromise their command and control servers.
“[Cyber] is too quickly changing, it evolves too fast, we have an enemy who is using it against us to great effect,” Mills said.
He compared the development of cyber resources to aviation. He highlights the fact that aviation had enough time to develop in order to reach the current level, unlike cyber capabilities, which need to be enhanced in a very short amount of time.
“Within the joint world we are working very hard to get out in front of that and I think that we are being successful. The debates that we’ll hear in Congress over the next few years will be significant. We’ll talk about the role of cyber, we’ll talk about its usefulness, we’ll talk about the authorities and responsibilities involved in deploying it,” he explained.
And as we learned last week, the Pentagon is far from being content with its current cyber capabilities. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled a program called Plan X
whose main role will be to offer the US the possibility to dominate any cyber battlespace.
While DARPA claims that Plan X is not about the development of weapons, it’s well known that strategies can be just as important in virtual environments as they are on physical battlegrounds.