Feeds

back to article US Air Force reclassifies 6 cyber tools as weapons

The US Air Force has classified six cyber tools as weapons to help them compete for scarce funding from the Pentagon's budget, an official has said. Lieutenant General John Hyten, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, didn't give any details on the new cyber weapons, but said that redesignation would help the military's …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Yag
Bronze badge
Joke

Time to fetch Wireshark...

... and selling it as a weapon of mass destruction to North Korea.

4
1
Joke

Full Metal Mouse Pad

This is my keyboard & this is my gun!

This one's for killing & this one's for fun!

33
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Full Metal Mouse Pad

Category five cable. Full. Twisted. Pair.

16
1
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Full Metal Mouse Pad

"Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking neckbeard-looking piece of shit. Get the fuck off of my terminal. Get the fuck down off of my terminal. Now. Move it. I'm going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world. I will motivate you, Private Pyle, if it short-dicks every coder at Microsoft".

4
2
Silver badge
Coat

Cybertools are weapons?

Ah, so that's why I'm not allowed to take mine on an aeroplane, eh?

1
0
Silver badge
Coat

"This is my cyber-weapon. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My cyber-weapon is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My cyber-weapon, without me, is useless. Without my cyber-weapon, I am useless"

1
1
Black Helicopters

Funny how the military will just volunteer such information seemingly at random, when you just know that if Wikileaks had published the same thing last week, someone would be up on charges...

4
2
Silver badge

of course

The thing both share in common is strategic leaking when they need money. That sequestration must really have a useless branch of the military known for wasting money like the Air Force spooked.

2
1
Silver badge

There's a huge world of military publications out there whose daily volume certainly exceeds most any industry. Quips like this come out of that world & just happen to have caught someone's eye. There's a lot more speculative material that's published in public every day than Wikileaks ever had access to by theft. It's just someone's got to slog through all the bullshit to find the nuggets.

0
0
Bronze badge
Big Brother

This is how the illusion of "transparency" is created and maintained. Releasing this information gives the impression that we (U.S.) have an open government, which only obscures "vital" secrets. A further illusion is that the government is on top of threats and we can sleep well at night. Pay no attention to that surveillance drone circling your neighborhood.

4
1
Silver badge

sad fact

The Obama administration has been the least transparent administration in US history. The way they have treated whistleblowers makes even the Bush administration officials say wow.

4
3
Gold badge
Happy

" Pay no attention to that surveillance drone circling your neighborhood."

But surely you know the biggest threat to orderly government is the people?

3
0
Black Helicopters

Quick - use the second amendment....

If it's a weapon, does that give American citizens the rights to use them under the "keep and bear arms" term of the Second Amendment ?

3
0
Pirate

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

Probably not. A nuke warhead is a weapon, too, but I have been denied the right to put one in my back yard. DAMN! Even us gun-toting Merkins only get to tote pea-shooters. The big, fun stuff is still reserved for Uncle Sam. :(

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

Forget the nuke. I would settle for as a citizen having the right to bear Tomahawk cruise missiles like the 2nd Amendment guarantees me.

1
0
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Quick - use the second amendment...."keep and bear arms" term of the Second Amendment ?

Sure thing. That is, until some administration outlaws the "assault v1.2a ..etc" version you may or may not have downloaded from such and such IP 6 years ago. Then you get a visit from the party van at 4AM.

1
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

I know you are just trolling but I'll buy lunch today.

I would argue that if it is defined as a weapon by the Federal Government, it is considered "arms".

There are a number of arguments from back around the first Congress that defined the Bill of Rights and the Constitution as to what was considered "arms" and they were talking about making the definition more concise but gave up on the idea as they wanted a "loose" definition that was somewhat future proof.

The term "arms" technically included rifles, cannon, pistols and swords as it refers to common armament available at the time.

I only wish they had done a better job and spelled that all out in detail.

Frankly, i want my own field cannon. There are some prickish downvoters I would like to return fire on.

3
1
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

> If it's a weapon, does that give American citizens the rights to use them

Wait until some progressive makes this His Problem Of Today™, watch concerned people writing Nancy Pelosi about those "military tools that can be downloaded from the Internet totally legally by your creepy neighbour".

1
1
Gold badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

"A nuke warhead is a weapon, too, but I have been denied the right to put one in my back yard."

I think it's the fact you asked that some people might find a little bit disturbing.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

I'd settle for strapping Tom Cruise to a missile and firing it out to sea near Vandenberg.

1
0
Gimp

Re: Quick - use the second amendment....

Weaponizing gives the government the power to control the tools. Weaponize the tools, then criminalize the possession. In a totalitarian society everyone must be a criminal for total control.

Next up, combat valor awards for using hacking tools from a bunker near Las Vegas where the real danger is the STD du jour from a hooker downtown.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Perhaps I can interest them with some bulletproof hosting to house their personnel, god forbid the middle-easterners attack with ddos.

2
0
Terminator

Preston

Wallace: Cyber what?

Wendolene Ramsbottom: A robot. Daddy created him for good, but he's turned out evil.

http://movieclips.com/PaJx-the-incredible-adventures-of-wallace-and-gromit-movie-cyber-dog/

2
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Re: Preston

Poor Preston, he gets a bad rep, no worse than my dogs.

0
0
Silver badge
Meh

Nothing to see here

don't forget encryption was also classified as "munitions" to control it's export.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Nothing to see here

Yeah because only Americans would ever figure out encryption. One of our dumbest laws ever. Love how PGP got around it by exporting the source in a book which was possibly legal at the time.

1
0
Silver badge

Yep nothing to see here

The Air Force is desperately trying to show how they are relevant in our modern world (pretty useless in the insurgency wars we fight today and even the Army and CIA use drones more effectively) and deserve precious $$$ to waste like they have on the F35. IMHO they should go back to being the Army Air Corps under the Army chain of command. Lately all they are good for is massively over cost projects and misplacing nuclear weapons.

1
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: Yep nothing to see here

>you will find insurgents climbing out of their holes to get some fresh air (I think).

Giving the CIA and Army, drones with hellfire missiles takes care of that and saves a lot of money in the process. Obviously though you need airpower but it didn't make a lot of sense giving them their own bureaucracy in 1947 and makes even less now. The Navy has always had better pilots anyway.

1
1
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Yep nothing to see here

"Obviously though you need airpower but it didn't make a lot of sense giving them their own bureaucracy in 1947 "

I think it might have had something to do with them having (at the time) the only effective nuclear delivery capability.

They operate 2 legs of the US nuclear triad.

And I think it's safe to say you will pry that power out of the cold dead hands of the chief of the AF, but not before.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Yep nothing to see here

"And I think it's safe to say you will pry that power out of the cold dead hands of the chief of the AF, but not before."

Careful, someone might take him up on the offer.

0
0
Silver badge

Air force ... cyber-weapons ... huh?

Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I'm a little confused about the armed farces.

The army I get: shoot people on land

Navy: same idea - shoot people at sea

Airforce - bomb the crap out of people from a nice, safe distance

So where does the american air force feature in goofin' around on the internet? You'd think that if someone wanted to keep critical assets away from (foreign) baddies, simply unplugging them from the web would be simple, effective and extremely sensible. I can only presume that since the fly-boys haven't got very many targets these days, they've been expanding their sphere of influence in order to preserve their enormous egos budgets.

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: Air force ... cyber-weapons ... huh?

Few corrections.

Army: hold down the fort mop up duty after deploying massively late to an area where the Marines have already taken care of the initial assault.

Navy: Ability to do AF primary missions more efficiently than they can (strategic bombing was made obsolete by the cruise missile which can be launched from most Navy vessels).

AF: exist as a entity for Congress to use to bring back pork to their districts without delivering anything useful to national security.

2
2
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: Air force ... cyber-weapons ... huh?

Just so you know, the USAF has all satellites (Defense or Commercial) under it's jurisdiction (and the tools to void their warranties). It also is responsible for anything outside orbit. This all dates back to the 1950's when the NASA and the Space program began as all that technology came from captured Germans in WWII and they all got assigned to the USAAF (Army Air Force) for security purposes.

Yes, the Airforce is a useful entity for bringing home pork but specifically for high technology pork, the very best kind.

See the whole computer thing also followed the NORAD DEW line radar, ballistic missle trajectory predictions, etc etc. Thems that already have the computers seems to get even more.

And by the way my dad was in the US Army Air Corp and was heavily involved in almost every ICBM booster project during the late Cold war, even met Werner Von Braun. We ate a lot of Pork in those days.

4
0
Gold badge
Happy

Re: Air force ... cyber-weapons ... huh?

" high technology pork,"

Yumm. The best kind.

0
0
Bronze badge
Terminator

A fine and discriminating weapon ...

... facial recognition software linked into the drone camera, to distinguish North Koreans from South Koreans, Taliban insurgents from Pakistani intelligence personnel, and Afghanistan school children from children training to become insurgents.

Not in time to avert the detonation of the missile, mind you ... just an automated tally of results.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Cyber!

Adequate cyber-funding for cyber-weapons is vital to win any future cyber-war. Our cyber-soldiers need the best when they're up against cyber-enemies, who we can be sure are well cyber-equipped. Cyber-security experts should be supportive.

1
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Cyber!

Yes and it is totally in our national interest to borrow lots of money from China and Middle East to make sure we have top of the line cyber protection (did catch the sarcasm fyi).

2
0
Flame

Re: Cyber!

Yes, it totally is in the national interest: America get real resources and products in return for meaningless bits stored in data centres AND You don't actually have to pay any of that money back or return any favours - who is going to force the US over a barrel and make you?!

Run up the tab as far as it will go, then default on that shit -> The American Way ;-)

0
0
Silver badge

Speaking as a guy who helps companies fill high-tech positions ...

... I've noticed that anyone who tries to use the term "cyber" in a serious conversation knows absolutely nothing about RealWorld[tm] computer & network infrastructure and can be safely ignored when it comes to the subject matter.

8
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Speaking as a guy who helps companies fill high-tech positions ...

If find your lack of cyberfaith disturbing!

1
2

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
WTF?

What a cluster F

Most branches of the military have their own "cyber command": Army, AF, Navy and Marines. Which is overseen by the director of the NSA...

The main outrider is DHS which has their own security group geared towards civilian infrastructure and is obviously behind the times.

That is a tremendous amount of money and brain power between all of those entities. Further, the NSA has been building and cranking out tools like Einstein (IDPS) for awhile now. What could they possibly want? I know, they won't say, but I have to wonder if this collective group has grown to the point of being impossible to coordinate. We are about talking billions and billions of dollars that are already pumped into their respective budgets. Having to classify "tools" as "weapons" to get funding sounds like total BS; it's more likely those "tools" are completely unnecessary and overlap existing capabilities. Which is the norm.

My solution: disband all of the various "cyber" command groups. The very use of that word is FAIL. Next, set up a group to create defensive and offensive tools (NSA would be a good pick). Open source the defensive tools to the public; legislate that certain civilian critical infrastructure industries have to use them; then have a single group directly under military command for offensive usage.

Now some might say we don't want our enemies to use the same tools we do. Personally, I see no issue with this as it would be far better for our enemies to be protected than for our internal systems to be unprotected.

3
1
Bronze badge
Devil

Re: What a cluster F@ck

Let's not give the "Black Budget " agencies anymore power. They are not beholden to anyone. At least the regular armed services are supposed to obey the President (okay, thats kinda lame too)

Having to classify software tools as weapons to get funding is not so strange if you have dealt with the GAO or FBO procurement specifications.

See links to Federal specs for buying toilet paper and holders below. This is how we get $600 hammers.

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.everyspec.com/FED_SPECS/W/download.php%3Fspec%3DWW-H-l911A.010832.pdf&sa=U&ei=SnpkUbKDCMPZqgGIt4DwCA&ved=0CAcQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNG8QPaZ-gYUfq-Mt909nN090jBQyA

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.everyspec.com/COMML_ITEM_DESC/A-A-59000_A-A-59999/download.php%3Fspec%3DA-A-59594.015068.PDF&sa=U&ei=SnpkUbKDCMPZqgGIt4DwCA&ved=0CAoQFjAB&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEgAf5cVhvAZhn9zamB3UiweJYudw

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.everyspec.com/COMML_ITEM_DESC/A-A-01000_A-A-01999/A-A-1292B_37241/&sa=U&ei=R31kUfPhFuiYygH0qoHgBg&ved=0CBIQFjAF&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNGbVeyBFQKNGxi_GxOHs7C46HuKkw

2
0
Thumb Up

Re: What a cluster F@ck

Why on earth do they need to specify toilet paper colour?

Nice find.

0
0
Black Helicopters

Well Punk...

...Did I Ping 5 times, or six? You gotta ask yourself: "Do I feel lucky?"

4
0
Silver badge
Joke

NASA need to follow the Air Force's lead

Just rename a mountain on Mars "Northkorea" and tell the Pentagon they want to send a laser-wielding robot there.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

The US ROI is minimal - and totally ineffective

The US 'cycber' defences are pathetic. They have spent BILLIONS and what for? Their main weapon are US Assistant Attorney Generals doing deals with miscreants. Some defence.

Why the hell do defence contractors even have the InterNet connected to their asset holding computers?

And defending the 'infrastructure' against potential attacks from China is fallacious, with GE having it's SCADA range of equipment developed in Chinese design labs.

I have been in Chinese companies, heavily automated with at least one computer on each desk, and yet none had InterNet access. Those wanting to use the InterNet had to switch to stand alone terminals scattered around the offices - and only copying/downloading can be done through 'technical centres' where the transmissions are heavily 'cleaned' to ensure there are no detrimental files pass through.

Americans penchant for making everything 'on-line' is their weakness - why the hell do soldiers need access to diplomatic files? Why would anyone keep video of high-tech helicopters murdering reporters and innocent victims on-line? Even off-line?

Cross linking databases is another weakness - splitting data across databass increases security.

But, hey, the US are 'experts' and they rely on splash screens warning people against 'hacking' US government computers. Says it all.

Some defence!

4
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.