April: InfrastructureU.S. Cyber Command to fight cybercrime

Published 7 April 2008

New Air Force command will be involved in fighting cyber crime which leads to information loss or possible physical attacks through denial of service

The U.S. Air Force Cyber Command has plans to to stop cybercrime from leading to information loss or possible physical attacks through denial of service, an Air Force official told ZDNet.co.uk at the Cyber Warfare Conference 2008. “The infrastructure on which the Air Force depends is controlled by both military and commercial entities and is vulnerable to attacks and manipulation,” said Lieutenant General Robert J. Elder Jr., commander of the Eights Air Force’s Barksdale base. “Offensive cyberattacks in network warfare make kinetic attacks more effective.” The Air Force Network Operations Center in Barksdale has the mission to secure the networks from intrusion and exploitation and at the same time, ensure that the finite capacity of the networked infrastructure is available in supporting the mission critical systems used for defense, Col. Ward Heinke, Commander of the Air Force Network Operations Center said in a statement.

Terrorists and criminals are likely to target governmental and critical infrastructure systems, and that is where the Air Force Cyber Command comes in: “Many compromises or infections can be traced to malicious software, or malware, contracted from eb sites on the Internet (civilian experts estimate that more than 31 percent of Internet Web sites are compromised in this fashion) and through infected e-mails (phishing attacks) sent to a service member that loads spyware onto their computer when opened,” Heinke said on AFCYBER’s official website. The high dependency on the use of cyber can give both an advantage and a great disadvantage, making the Internet the perfect method for perpetrating cyberattacks. All military networks, such as the Global Infrastructure Grid are linked to the public Internet, which makes “adversaries look at our capabilities and see areas where they can undermine,” as Elder pointed out in his interview with ZDNet.co.uk. “We need to protect our asymmetric advantage –on the one hand by having people further exploit cyber, and on the other by having mission assurance.”