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Military Appoints General To Direct Cyber Warfare 132

Posted by timothy
from the barry-corbin-not-available dept.
An anonymous reader writes news from The Guardian, excerpting: "The US military has appointed its first senior general to direct cyber warfare – despite fears that the move marks another stage in the militarisation of cyberspace. The newly promoted four-star general, Keith Alexander, takes charge of the Pentagon's ambitious and controversial new Cyber Command, designed to conduct virtual combat across the world's computer networks. He was appointed on Friday afternoon in a low-key ceremony at Fort Meade, in Maryland."
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Military Appoints General To Direct Cyber Warfare

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  • Re:Qualifications (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:01AM (#32320106) Homepage Journal

    The guy's got a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] if you want to know more. Short version is, he's director of the NSA and it looks like he's spent most of his career in intelligence. He does have Master's degrees in physics and electronic warfare, and well, from his picture he looks like a slightly older version of the typical Slashdotter. ;) So he's probably about the best choice available in the senior ranks; hopefully he's smart enough to listen to the junior personnel under his command who are more likely to know what's actually going on in the hacking world.

  • Re:Qualifications (Score:5, Informative)

    by cslax (1215816) on Monday May 24, 2010 @01:59AM (#32320364)
    GWU [gwu.edu]
  • They have that (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday May 24, 2010 @02:16AM (#32320430)

    It's called SIPRNet. There are others too, JWICS, NSANet, and so on. They are internets (small i) in every way. However, they don't interact with the public Internet (big I). It is how they keep classified data separate. It seems to work quite well. At the very least there's never been a break in to them that has been revealed.

    However, that doesn't mean there's nothing of importance on the Internet. It's not all just geeks chattering and LOLcat pictures. For example ATMs operate on the Internet these days. Heavily encrypted to be sure, but still. Companies make use of it for important business reasons. There are probably control systems for infrastructure on the net, and so on.

    So, the government has an interest in making sure it work well. That would include being able to deal with a cyber attack. After all, protecting classified data does little good if the the infrastructure of the US is taken out. The government itself is only useful in so much as it can govern and protect the country.

    Reasons like this are why things like AES exist. When the NSA was started, it was just a signals intelligence agency. Intercept communications, break codes, etc. While that's still a massive part of what they do, they were also instructed to work on securing the nation's computers. That was what lead to things like DES and AES. The government wanted businesses to have good crypto. Seems like they are serious too, AES has been analyzed for years, and remains extremely strong.

    Same kind of shit here. They want to figure out how to protect important things on the regular Internet from attack. They are also probalby interested in counter attack capability. After all, other countries rely on the Internet too. Could be very useful in warfare.

    Good defense starts with having lots and lots of contingency plans.

  • Re:Qualifications (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2010 @03:25AM (#32320668)

    Just curious... ...where does one obtain a Masters degree in Electronic Warfare?

    He obtained his from the Naval Postgraduate School [nps.edu]

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday May 24, 2010 @03:45AM (#32320756)

    You mean the Major-General's song [wikipedia.org] from pirates of penzance.

    I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
            I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
            I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
            From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical

  • There is a wonderful device called the Google that helps people cover up embarrassing gaps in their knowledge of pop culture.

    http://gooogle.com/search?q=i+am+the+very+model+of [gooogle.com]

  • Re:Qualifications (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 24, 2010 @08:17AM (#32321842)

    I don't imagine, even if the good General "knows something about computers" that he's going to be spending time running around and making sure everyone's printer working fine.

    I sure how he knows how to organize an outfit.

    It's obvious that I'm going to have to explain something. I NEVER said ANYTHING about a general doing front line tech support. That is such an ignorant and Trollish statement that I never bothered to comment on it until you got modded plus 5!

  • Matthew 7:5 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Max_W (812974) on Monday May 24, 2010 @10:20AM (#32323028)

    "Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

    The good old US of A is the leading spam generating country by May 24, 2010: http://www.spamhaus.org/statistics/countries.lasso [spamhaus.org] . It's got on the first place spam-wise in the world.

    As far as I know the US army cannot act on the territory of the United States. But the spam is destroying our businesses. Colleagues have to spend a lot of time to deal with spam. Even filters do not help anymore.

    It it the police, not army, who has to deal with cyber criminals. And also there is a role for Interpol and ITU.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss

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