“RF Jammed/Grid Down”: Prepare for Electronic Interference As Cyber World War Dawns
December 28th, 2016
The revival of the Cold War attitudes between the U.S. and Russia are just the beginning of the an expanding scene of digital vulnerabilities and shocks to the system that could shut down the grid, cut off grocery and supply lines or leave millions without power in the cold. With global tension, the pretext could come from anywhere.
The coming era could be the age of electronic disruption, as ATMs, power grids, bank accounts, Internet servers and other important entities in society are intercepted, taken down, hacked or shut off by criminals and commandos in the ongoing cyberwar. Dissidents will be flagged and cut off from their accounts. Natural disasters will compound with these factors, testing the infrastructure and the integrity of the people themselves, who are in danger of devolving into civil unrest.
With the possibility of outright war with Russia or another power, DARPA is seeking advances in disruptive technologies for this quickly evolving age of electronic warfare that will center around domain dominance in a battlefield that has many complex dimensions. Russia has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of this tactic of modern warfare, and Putin has invested considerable capitol into developing these technologies, which utilize RF frequency to achieve a wide-range of objectives.
Now, President Obama is beefing up the cyberwarfare command, expanding its offensive engagements, and splitting its mission from more traditional NSA communication intercept activities.
During his final weeks in office, he gave new powers and agency independence to the dual-hat Cybercom mission that was created in 2009 under the NSA. Weaponizing data is at the center of its activities, which are now due to take on a new role during a time of heightened tension with Russia, China and other potential rivals.
via Washington Post:
With weeks to go in his tenure, President Obama on Friday moved to end the controversial “dual-hat” arrangement under which the National Security Agency and the nation’s cyberwarfare command are headed by the same military officer.
… U.S. Cyber Command, or Cybercom, needed its own leader to become a full-fledged fighting force…. Cybercom has since matured”
Cybercom’s mission is, when ordered, to disrupt and destroy adversaries’ networks. It is also to defend the nation against incoming threats to critical systems and to protect the military’s computers from cyberattack.
The NSA also has a defensive mission — to protect the government’s classified networks — but is better known for its role in conducting electronic spying on overseas targets to gather intelligence on adversaries and foreign governments.
“The Congress . . . should not place unnecessary and bureaucratic administrative burdens and conditions on ending the dual-hat arrangement at a time when the speed and nature of cyber threats requires agility in making decisions about how best to organize and manage the nation’s cyber capabilities,” [Obama] wrote.