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Well, what ARE the Air Force's cyber weapons?

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An anonymous reader thought we omitted some key information in our story about the Air Force designating cyber weapons. The reader wrote: So what are the six cyber tools that are considered weapons? I can't understand how this article, or others reporting similar information, have failed to provide this important detail.

Amber Corrin responds: We did not name the tools because the Air Force has not revealed what they are -- as our story stated. This is a move that is in keeping with many details of the military's cyber capabilities, particularly on the offensive side of things.

For example, it was recently reported – as it has been for close to a year now – that the Pentagon's rules of engagement for cyber operations are close to completion. But we will not necessarily know when they are done, because they will remain classified. It is possible Defense Department officials may divulge that they are in fact being implemented once they are actually finished, but don't expect much more than that in the way of public announcements.

Still, the military in recent months has been more open about DOD in cyberspace than in the past. For example, Air Force officials have noted their struggles to define operations in the domain, something that was reiterated last week along with the cyber-weapons announcement. Gen. Keith Alexander, commander at U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, also has discussed CyberCom's plans to create 13 offensive operations teams as well as other teams focused on cyber threats.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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