But now, U.S. Cyber Command is adding “3,000 and 4,000 new cyber warriors” in its new $358 million headquarters. The purpose is to defend against enemies such as China, Iran, or North Korea, in addition to launching necessary “offensives.”
Most of Cyber Command’s new troops will focus on defense, detecting and stopping computer penetrations of military and other critical networks by America’s adversaries like China, Iran or North Korea.
But there is an increasing focus on offense as military commanders beef up plans to execute cyber strikes or switch to attack mode if the nation comes under electronic assault.
“We’re going to train them to the highest standard we can,” Army General Keith Alexander, head of Cyber Command, told the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit last month. “And not just on defense, but on both sides. You’ve got to have that.”
We’ve already learned that the Obama administration can spy on just about any American. Can they now launch a full-scaled assault as well?
Experts and former officials say the United States is among the best – if not the best – in the world at penetrating adversaries’ computer networks and, if necessary, inserting viruses or other digital weapons.
Washington might say it will only strike back if attacked, but other countries disagree, pointing to the “Stuxnet” virus. Developed jointly by the U.S. government and Israel, current and former U.S. officials told Reuters last year, Stuxnet was highly sophisticated and damaged nuclear enrichment centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz facility.