STRATCOM’s Cartwright points out imperial nudity:
Under [the current cyberwar] approach, Net Warfare is responsible
for attack and reconnaissance, the Joint Task Force for Global Network
Operations manages network defense and operations, and the Joint
Information Operations Warfare Center oversees electronic warfare,
Cartwright explained. These groups operate independently and don‘t
effectively share information on their activities, he said.
This isn’t news to those who have been working this for a while, but it is refreshing to actually hear someone in a position to influence things voice it. If the necessary consolidation and focus is not undertaken (rarely a popular option even in a growingly purple world) then we need the digital version of Air-Land Battle Doctrine to take us to the next level.
On top of that is the pressing need to push intel to the virtual world (search Kent’s Imperative for many applicable posts) so that we can avoid the kind of surprise that regularly plagues us there now (roots of the current approach date back to the late 90s, which is what, 50 digital years?). This is particularly important in cyberspace where blitzkrieg really moves as the speed of light. The impact of failure? Consider the ghost of Dick Clarke:
If the United States found itself under a major
cyberattack aimed at undermining the nations critical information
infrastructure, the Department of Defense is prepared, based on the
authority of the president, to launch a cyber counterattack or an
actual bombing of an attack source.
That’s a policy that aims to make carpet bombing seem like a humane approach to warfare. The recent DDoS against TLD servers is given as an example, but the last-hop – S. Korea – is a well known platform for all sorts of attacks thanks to its deep broadband penetration and generally sloppy security posture. There are hints that a source in Europe is more likely the technical origin but the motivation very likely lies somewhere else (everyone who remembers Solar Sunrise raise your hand). Tracing the origin? Possible but is that sufficient “evidence” to merit a kinetic response?
We’re not where we need to be, and recycling IT news and calling it intel isn’t going to get us there.