Air Force examines its vulnerability to cyberattack

Implications of Cyber Warfare (.pdf)

Air Force officials have kicked off a study examining the service’s vulnerability to electronic attacks on critical network infrastructure and systems, as service officials continue planning for a major Air Force command dedicated to waging war in cyberspace.

Last month, service leaders assigned the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board to assess the risk of potential cyberwarfare scenarios and determine their effect on Air Force systems and operations, according to the April 19 terms of reference for the study.

The board also must review the Air Force’s current cyberwarfare defense capabilities and assess critical vulnerabilities in this area, the document states. In addition, panelists are to define technology trends and develop a science and technology plan that would help mitigate the impact of cyberattacks on Air Force systems.

The group is expected to deliver its findings in a briefing to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley in July. A final report is due in August.

Wynne announced plans to establish an Air Force Cyberspace Command in November. The new command will be led by 8th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen Robert Elder, who is also the joint functional commander for global strike and integration at U.S. Strategic Command.

Air Force officials are now working to flesh out the details for the command. Efforts are also under way to assess what kind of training and materiel service members need to fight in cyberspace.

Military officials have defined cyberspace as “a domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify and exchange data via networked systems and associated physical infrastructures,” Wynne said.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.