Thursday, May 28, 2009

U.S. Military Developing Cyberattack Technologies

There's been a lot of talk both here and in the trade press about cyberdefenses, but now the military is also looking at cyberattack technologies, according to a fascinating article last week in Aviation Week.

The idea is to have cyberattack tools that are sophisticated enough to do the trick, yet easy enough to use in the field even by non-technical military people on the ground, SC Magazine reported.

The Aviation Week report said the military was impressed with how the Russians coordinated their traditional on-the-ground combat with a cyberattack during their war in Georgia last year. The U.S. military is looking to duplicate that effort with this project.

One of the tools is a device for tapping into satellite communications, VoIP, proprietary SCADA networks and any wireless network. Another tool, unclassified partly because it's built from open-source software, is Air Crack, which is used to crack wireless encryption keys.

The three elements of the cyberattack system are a toolbox, and planning and execution capabilities. The toolbox has hardware and software for specific missions, while the planning piece consists of a database of available capabilites. And the execution side, of course, is the course of operation of the attack.

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