The U.S. Air Force is building a Cyber
Control System. This would be a hardware and software system that would enable
the Air Force Cyberspace Command to monitor, in real time, the security state
of all air force networks. If any of these networks were attacked, the Cyber
Control System software would immediately alert Cyberspace Command controllers,
and recommend a course of action. Think of this as a war room for Cyber War.
Many people, deluged with TV and movie representations of high tech military
command centers, believe such a Cyber War center already exists. It doesn't,
and the air force is building it. If the Cyber Control System can prove itself,
the air force hopes to run the show for all Department of Defense networks.
The Department of Defense has 11 million
Internet users, five million PCs and 12,000 networks, and is the largest
Internet user on the planet. All the services are scrambling to get their Cyber
War defenses strengthened. The U.S. Air Force is trying to establish itself as
the primary Cyber War organization in the Department of Defense. To that end,
it is also advocating more offensive Cyber War. Apparently there has already
been some offensive operations, but no one is giving out any details about
when, how, and who the target(s) were.
The air force has long been in the lead
when it comes to Cyber War operations and security. So far, the other services
have not regarded this as a call to compete. Everyone is scrambling to defend
their networks, and if the air force can come up with better tools, everyone is
eager to make use of them. The Cyber Control System, however, is different, in
that it would be air force generals calling the shots, and determining how a
Cyber War should be fought. This might cause some inter-service friction, but
if the air force is able to demonstrate some real skill in this area, they will
probably be allowed to run the show.
The air force plans to spend $27
million on the Cyber Control System over the next two years, phasing it in as
parts of it become useful.