Cold War attitudes between the U.S. and Russia are just the beginning of the an expanding scene of digital vulnerabilities and shocks to the system that could shut down the grid, cut off grocery and supply lines or leave millions without power in the cold. With global tension, the pretext could come from anywhere.
The coming era could be the age of electronic disruption, as ATMs, power grids, bank accounts, Internet servers and other important entities in society are intercepted, taken down, hacked or shut off by criminals and commandos in the ongoing cyberwar.
Dissidents will be flagged and cut off from their accounts. Natural disasters will compound with these factors, testing the infrastructure and the integrity of the people themselves, who are in danger of devolving into civil unrest.
With the possibility of outright war with Russia or another power, DARPA is seeking advances in disruptive technologies for this quickly evolving age of electronic warfare that will center around domain dominance in a battlefield that has many complex dimensions.
Russia has strategically positioned itself to take advantage of this tactic of modern warfare, and Putin has invested considerable capitol into developing these technologies, which utilize RF frequency to achieve a wide-range of objectives.
President Obama is beefing up the cyberwarfare command, expanding its offensive engagements, and splitting its mission from more traditional NSA communication intercept activities.
During his final weeks in office, he gave new powers and agency independence to the dual-hat Cybercom mission that was created in 2009 under the NSA. Weaponizing data is at the center of its activities, which are now due to take on a new role during a time of heightened tension with Russia, China and other potential rivals.
via Washington Post:
President Obama on Friday moved to end the controversial “dual-hat”arrangement under which the National Security Agency and the nations cyberwarfare command are headed by the same military officer.
U.S. Cyber Command, or Cybercom, needed its own leader to become a full-fledged fighting force… Cybercom has since matured”
Cybercoms mission is, when ordered, to disrupt and destroy adversaries’ networks. It is also to defend the nation against incoming threats to critical systems and to protect the militarys computers from cyberattack.
The NSA also has a defensive mission to protect the governments classified networks but is better known for its role in conducting electronic spying on overseas targets to gather intelligence on adversaries and foreign governments.
“The Congress should not place unnecessary and bureaucratic administrative burdens and conditions on ending the dual-hat arrangement at a time when the speed and nature of cyber threats requires agility in making decisions about how best to organize and manage the nations cyber capabilities, Obama wrote.
One way or another, information warfare has dominated U.S. affairs over the past several years of Obamas administration, where Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning figured prominently.
The last election cycle saw claims of Russian hacking, however dubious, leaks from whistleblowing organizations, and a shadow government system with offline emails now partially exposed.
Propaganda flows down from official channels, and swirls around on the forums of the Internet; cyberwarfare soldiers at the DoD and NSA are engaged in data collection, profiling, infiltration and disinfo trolling operations online with risk groups across the spectrum.
Much more where that came from.
An award for a contract posted at FedBizOpps reveals that DARPA is actively seeking to manipulate new strategies in electronic warfare to regain dominance in a field that this grant itself admits: “military use of GPS and other electronic communication devices has evolved from strategic advantage to vulnerability.”
Russian and Chinese forces have become increasingly sophisticated, only state-of-the-art strategic technologies, tuned to precise frequency ranges are relevant. It is a highly sophisticated and secretive field. Part of the summary for DARPAs grant states:
DARPA is seeking innovative ideas and disruptive technologies that offer the potential for significant capability improvement across the Strategic Technology Office focus areas.
This includes technology development related to Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2), Communications and Networks, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Maritime, and Foundational Strategic Technologies and Systems.
Every major branch of the armed services has been upgrading its technological capabilities as electronic warfare increasingly dominates the new age of warfare, where tensions are ever rising, and the threat of another world war has never been more apparent.
Though the events have been little talked about, air traffic networks, government computer systems, train systems and other vital infrastructure have all been hacked in recent months.
The responsible parties have been rarely identified, and could represent a foreign adversary, a terrorist cell, kids and hackers, or tests with the shadow governments own cyberwarfare army.
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