Defense Department officials have launched a new Web site where developers can work on open-source software projects specifically for DOD, David Mihelcic, the chief technology officer for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), said today.
The new site, named Forge.mil, is based on the public site SourceForge.net which hosts thousands of open-source projects
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is really is SourceForge.net upgraded to meet DOD security requirements,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mihelcic said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The open-source development model works for everybody,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mihelcic said.
Air Force officials want to learn about technology that makes it possible for aircraft to remotely tag and track vehicles on the ground
The technology should make it possible to apply tags to a variety of vehicles from aircraft that are 3 kilometers or more away from a target, and the tags should be capable of being sensed and tracked for at least a few hours. Eventually, Air Force officials want the tags to last for a few days, according to the announcement.
The ideal tags would let trackers distinguish among multiple similar vehicles with tags, and the tags should include a time stamp or expiration feature, making it possible to know the age of a tag under observation.
The tagging system must also be capable of being installed on a propeller-driven unmanned aerial vehicle.
The list of government wikis and the variety of purposes for which they are used continues to expand. The versatility of wikisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ freely editable Web pages makes them a great tool for the types of knowledge sharing and collaborative projects that government employees work on every day.
Here is a sampling of government wikis that illustrate that wide range of uses.
I recently came across a reference to “Critical Systems Thinking” in a blog comment by a professor at the Army’s Command and General Staff College. Having not heard the term before, I looked it up. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry about CST. Definitely interesting and worth some more reading.
Like Charles Dunlap, Jr., Mr. Weinberger criticizes SecDef Gate’s short-sighted policies of seeing Iraq, Afghanistan, and COIN as the basis upon which to plan future forces, with the result that the Air Force is being systematically ignored, even slowly dismantled. Dunlap cites this piece by Weinberger. Both make very strong arguments about what’s wrong with the dominant assumptions that underlay current DoD policies.
The most recent piece by Charles Dunlap, Jr. He argues that the currently dominant thinking of what he calls the “New Establishment”-i.e. that counterinsurgency will be the main task of U.S. forces in the future–is both wrong and dangerous. Training and equipping our forces under these false assumptions, he says, will leave us unprepared should we find ourselves in a more traditional, high-intensity, state-on-state conflict, a possibility that he sees as far more likely than most in the “New Establishment” would like to admit. A great article, superbly argues and well-reasoned, that should be required reading right now, especially in the face of the “New Establishment’s” attempts to eliminate or seriously cut practically every major weapon system currently in development.
In the face of an increasingly dangerous collection of network-enabled terrorists, politically and economically motivated hackers, and potentially adversarial countries flexing their muscle in the cyber realm, the Defense Department is in the process of creating a doctrine for waging Ã¢â‚¬â€ and preventing Ã¢â‚¬â€ war in cyberspace.
That effort has included the creation of command structures to equip and train a new class of cyber operators. The most visible of those efforts was the Air ForceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s provisional Cyber Command, now destined to be a numbered Air Force under the umbrella of the Air Force Space Command. The Army also has established a cyber warfare unit, the provisional Army Network Warfare Battalion at Fort Meade, Md., created in July 2008.
At the same time, DOD has been wrestling with the question of how to conduct operations in a realm that is fraught with complexity, developing theory and doctrine for cyber warfare. When is an attack in cyberspace a criminal act, and when is it an act of war? How can the source of cyberattacks be attributed when most methods of attack easily screen the identity of the responsible party? How is deterrence possible in a world where a single person can launch an attack that does millions of dollars of financial damage or compromises national security in a way that aids enemies in taking lives? Those are all questions that DOD is seeking to answer.
While Russian forces prepared to invade Georgia, hackers were mounting a propaganda attack on the Georgian presidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Web site. After the fighting began, the cyberattacks elevated, cutting off access to many of GeorgiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s government and media Web sites.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What was really unique with Georgia was that it was the first time we had kinetic and nonkinetic attacks going on at the same time,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mark Hall, director of information assurance policy and strategy at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Not really. We saw cyber attacks alongside kinetic attacks as far back as 2001 in the “cyber intifada,” that other “first war in cyberspace.” – post by TransTracker
Criminal organizations such as the Russian Business Network (RBN), terrorists and politically motivated hacker groups Ã¢â‚¬â€ known as hacktivists Ã¢â‚¬â€ use cyberattacks to support their causes. Security experts attribute much of the cyberattacks on Georgia to a server controlled by RBN, and pro-Russian and pro-Ossetian hacktivists were also involved in the denial-ofservice attacks on Georgia.
DOD also has been the target of hacktivism, particularly from China following the 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy during the Kosovo Conflict and during the April 2001 detention of a Navy EP-3 patrol aircraft after a collision with a Chinese fighter aircraft.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had a lot of attacks by Chinese hacktivists, mostly Web defacements,Ã¢â‚¬Â Hall said.
Hall said he sees hacktivism as a major ongoing issue. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hacktivists are someone we need to worry about and concentrate on as well. Are we monitoring these sites? Are we developing our ability to deal with that threat vector as well? A nation can influence their activity while also denying culpability. And we havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen any sort of restraint in these communities to keep them from carrying out these attacks.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In Dorothy Denning’s original model, hactivists were explicitly not seen as the same as cyber terrorists or cyber warfighters. As we see here, however, members of the U.S. defense community are increasingly speaking of hactivists, defacement, and denial of service as “attacks,” acts of terrorism or warfare. – post by TransTracker
DOD is making moves to narrow the gap identified in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The review called for the development of Ã¢â‚¬Å“capabilities to shape and defend cyberspace.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cyber is absolutely critical to everything we do,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force, told the audience at the Air Force Cyberspace Symposium in June 2008.
You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just be an air or space operator anymore, he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t control and ensure your cyberspace and you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been prepared to deal with the fact that it will come under attack, then you will not be successful as a military operator.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But do denial of service or defacement “attacks” against public websites really threaten the military’s ability to do its job on the battlefield, in the same way that more traditional, kinetic attacks would? Maybe. I’m willing to believe it is possible. But only ever pointing to DDoS and defacements against public-facing government or military websites doesn’t make a convincing argument. – post by TransTracker
One factor DOD needs to consider is how the cyber domain interacts with the other domains in which air, sea and ground forces operate, said Jim Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re at a place now [with cyberspace] that the military was with the airplane in 1914,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably important and could be useful, but they are trying to figure out how to integrate it with other tasks.Ã¢â‚¬Â But the No. 1 issue might be deciding when a cyber conflict is occurring and when U.S. forces are authorized to do something about it, he said.
An attempt to define a “cyber domain” on par with air, sea, land, and space. Successfully defining cyberspace in such a way would help justify both defining cyber “attacks” as acts of war, but also responses to “attacks” in the “cyber domain” that eminate from the other domains–i.e. responding to a cyber “attack” with retaliatory airstrikes against the “attackers” information infrastructure. – post by TransTracker
DOD has weathered several major cyberattacks by Chinese hacktivists and others in this decade
Again, hacktivists are being portrayed as a major military threat. – post by TransTracker
What if Russia did say it was responsible for the Estonian attacks and that it launched them to teach Estonia a lesson, asked Dan Kuehl, a professor at the National Defense UniversityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Information Resources Management College.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What lines would be crossed by that, even if the [cyber] actions included knocking down some major Estonian civilian or military capability?Ã¢â‚¬Â he asked. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is by no means any form of consistent agreement on what that means.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Here we have a tacit admission that the attacks on Estonia did not in fact have major impacts upon the government or military of Estonia. Like the Georgia case, the Estonia case is often used (as it is here) as an object lesson about the potential dangers of cyberwar. But in both cases, the scariness factor always seems to fall short. – post by TransTracker