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­.s. Accelerating Cyberweapon Research

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cyberworld illustration

Credit: DARPA

Former and current U.S. officials say the Pentagon is ramping up projects to develop next-generation cyberweapons that can disrupt enemy military networks even when they have no Internet connection. "To affect a system, you have to have access to it, and we have not perfected the capability of reaching out and accessing a system at will that is not connected to the Internet," says former Information Operations Institute director Joel Harding. But U.S. officials are researching cyberweapons that can target "offline" military systems.

In 2011, former Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III and former Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman Gen. James Cartwright allocated $500 million over five years to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's budget to accelerate cyberweapons and defensive technology development. DARPA also launched new cyber development projects that include a fast-track program. "We need cyber options that can be executed at the speed, scale, and pace" of other military weapons, says DARPA's Kaigham J. ­Gabriel.

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials are devising an approach to fast acquisition of cyberweapons that can keep up with technology and threats. U.S. officials note that current cyberweaponry can potentially disable elements of a weapon system without destroying it.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA



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