The new Cybercom will be a subunit of the U.S. Strategic Command and will be commanded by the director of the National Security Agency. It is expected to be headquartered with NSA at Fort Meade, Md., and to reach initial operating capacity in October, with full operating capacity coming in October 2010.
The order is recognition that cyberspace is a distinct military domain, along with land, sea and air, and the Defense Department must be prepared to defend and conduct offensive operations in it.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCyberspace and its associated technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to the United States and are vital to our nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s security and, by extension, to all aspects of military operations,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Gates wrote in his order. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYet our increasing dependency on cyberspace, alongside a growing array of cyber threats and vulnerabilities, adds a new element of risk to our national security. To address this risk effectively and to secure freedom of action in cyberspace, the Department of Defense requires a command that possesses the required technical capability and remains focused on the integration of cyberspace operations.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, called the command a “spectacular idea” because it allows defense to be informed by offensive capabilities and offers the potential for increased interoperability, information sharing and visibility. It also could provide enhanced career paths for cybersecurity professionals.
Cynical translation: “Yay! More jobs and money for us!” – post by TransTracker
In remarks made last week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III said the new command does not represent an expansion of DODÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s mission in cyberspace. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOn the contrary, it is keeping with our defined and historic mission, to protect and defend our national security and to protect the lives of our men and women in uniform,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
He also stressed that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsuch a command would not represent the militarization of cyberspace. It would in no way be about the Defense Department trying to take over the governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s cybersecurity efforts. On the contrary, such a command would not be responsible for the security of civilian computer networks outside the Defense Department.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Cynical translation: “Move along! Nothing to see here! No militarization here…no how, no way! Move along!” – post by TransTracker
NSAÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s director will be the Cybercom commander and carry the grade of general or admiral. The deputy commander positions at NSA and Cybercom would be separate.
With many people setting their Twitter icon to green and MaltegoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ability to show icons in the graph we thought it would be interesting to visualize it! The graph below is the senders and receivers of Tweets that mentioned the word ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. Click on the image for the full size screenshot.
Over the past week there has been a lot of media coverage of the relationship between Twitter, the hybrid online/mobile communication service, and its impact on post election events in Iran. The argument that Twitter service in Iran is a critical opposition activist tool is already over-hyped so I wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t rehash them here. Rather, I think its worth shedding some light on how Twitter is being used to spread disinformation and who is doing it.
Twitspam has a continually updated list of suspected fake accounts that may have connections with Iranian security. I used some of these account names as a starting point for a quick and dirty analysis of their networks.