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US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

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venom77

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:24 am

US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

I think someone had mentioned this in another post not too long ago. I just came across this short article yesterday. It definitely sounds quite interesting, but there's still not much information about any of the programs yet.

Air Force trains warrirors to defend cyberspace - Full Article

Every enlisted man and officer will be taught about cyberwarfare in basic training, the Air Force Academy or officer candidate school, Schissler said. About 100 students per year will receive more advanced instruction at the Undergraduate Network Warfare Training course at Hurlburt Field in Florida. Graduates of the six-month program will be able to operate a computer like "a weapon system" and will be known as cyberwarriors or cyberoperators, Schissler said. The first class graduated last month.
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g00d_4sh

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:01 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Yeah, I made a post about it a while back.  There have been a number of online articles, and federal agency blurbs about it for a bit.  I have been kind of stoked by the idea myself.  I think it's about time we started pushing more education in this field into our armed forces.
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pseud0

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Post Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:59 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Just for clarification, this is the first formalized program of its type but cyber warfare units have been around for quite awhile.  The Air Force is the lead branch for net centric operations, and has had units of various strength in the field for several years.  The main unit worked upstairs from me before I left active duty :)
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rance

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:18 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

And I thought "Webmaster" was a cool job title (many a year ago)...
Poking at security since 1986.  +++ATH
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g00d_4sh

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Post Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:38 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

I've always prefered "Network Demigod". But Cyberwarrior has a ring to it as well... mabey go a bit more Sci Fi and do "CyberSamurai"... but meh.  ;)
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g00d_4sh

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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:32 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Looks like the Air Force is finalizing their location and whatnot for the Cyber Command.  Very interesting article on it.

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/ ... ntPage=all

"We have to change the way we think about warriors of the future," Lord enthuses, raising his jaw while a B-52 traces the sky outside his windows. "So if they can't run three miles with a pack on their backs but they can shut down a SCADA system, we need to have a culture where they fit in."
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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LSOChris

Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:50 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

pseud0 wrote:Just for clarification, this is the first formalized program of its type but cyber warfare units have been around for quite awhile.  The Air Force is the lead branch for net centric operations, and has had units of various strength in the field for several years.  The main unit worked upstairs from me before I left active duty :)


every service and most DoD agencies have a "team" to do that sort of thing, air force isnt the only one
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g00d_4sh

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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:44 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Is it the first to dedicate over 2 billion to it, and have a projected staff of somewhere in the 5k to 10k employees in it though? As well as the first full military branch to dedicate an entire command structure to it?  It of course isn't revolutionary for security agencies and other organizations to have teams dedicated to cyber security and whatnot, but it does seem like a more open and forward step toward things on a larger scale.  They have nearly the budget of the entire NPS, for a rumored 1/5 to 2/5ths the employees, not to mention other land/peripheral expenses.
Last edited by g00d_4sh on Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LSOChris

Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:04 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

i'll believe 5 to 10k real "cyberwarriors" in one place when i see it.
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g00d_4sh

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Post Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:54 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Heh, I gotta ask Chris, and please don't take offense at it.  But did you actually read the article, or are you just trolling, or am I taking your response out of context?  I agree that 10k hackers in one place is a bit out there, but my (and the articles) description is of the developing military command as a whole, including network support personel, various levels of bureaucracy, and I'm sure some aquisition people.  Also, the article talks about them deciding on their headquarters, but having personel spread out (ie, not in one place). 

I fully appreciate your candidness, infact it's one of the reasons I enjoy reading your papers and columns.  On that same note though, I would also appreciate more respect than a single sentence reply that appears (though perhaps purely through personal perspective) to be dripping with condescension and possibly lack actual perspective of one who's read the article in question?  I may be totally off in left field there, and if so I do appologize, though my first instincts are that I'm not far off the mark.
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dannioni

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Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:27 am

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Anyone else then me seeing the third world war being fought in "cyberspace", the digital frontier come truth.
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LSOChris

Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:40 am

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

ive got 10 years in the military and i still work for DoD, i think i have a decent handle on the .mil situation.

yes i read the article, i have read all the articles about it, there have been several.

a "cyber command" has been talked about for a long time, i'm sure it just my pessimism that what is now  a good idea will at the very best will have a very rocky start and probably wont work (a la department of homeland security).  there are tons of "cyber warriors" in every service and they dont even get along, talk, or share money inter service, you really think its just going to"work" if they build a shiny new building for the whole of DoD and shove a bunch of hackers in it?  kinda naive.

here this should put it in context:
"Graduates of the six-month program will be able to operate a computer like "a weapon system" and will be known as cyberwarriors or cyberoperators,"

like a weapon system after 6 months...ok, thats really like saying i got my CEH and i now know what the F i'm doing and i'm a real penetration tester.
Last edited by LSOChris on Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:53 am

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

I'll toss in my 2 cents again.  Like Chris I've got over a decade of .mil experience.  In addition I actually worked or on some of the teams that are now included in this command.  Everyone just needs to realize that you need to look at the issue from a variety of angles.  As for the training, yes, these guys are starting to get beefier and more complete training than they did in the past.  However, it is still a government and military organization so it will only work as well as it is lead/managed/targeted/directed/whatever.  The military is like any other organization in that it will have some major wins and some major flops.  Getting units like this stood up in the past has been a marginal success at best, but they did have some very strong "wins" here and there (no, I won't give examples) that had more to do with good planning and execution rather than technical ability.  Everyone also needs to consider how these teams have to face legal issues whenever they try to do what it is they are paid to do.  They truly need to be thought of as a weapons system, just like you would consider a bomber a weapons system.  You can't just decide you're pissed off at someone, fly a B-1 over their country, and start carpet bombing.  (Place George Bush joke of your choice here)  In that same regard, there are going to be constraints in that you can just wind up your team of "cyber warriors" and have them go take down stock exchanges and power grids.  To boil it down: The AF is the chartered service for electronic warfare and they are finally formalizing their approach, no matter how they put the teams together they won't work well unless they are managed well, and no matter what you see in the movies these guys are not just going to go pwn every IP on the intergoogle that pisses them off.
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g00d_4sh

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Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

Chris

I must admit, I don't have a decade in the .mil, don't really ever plan to.  Nor am I a 20 year old naive kid enfatuated with an article he read on a board somewhere.  I've been watching the articles for quite a while, and you've probably read more than I have of them as well.  I work for the .gov, and with that I recognize there are many money holes and inherent issues with new projects.  What annoyed me was the lack of decent response, and in it's place what felt a tad like a flippant condescending one.  That obviously could be mainly due to the pessimism of years dealing with the military, and your obvious higher level of knowledge on the issues in question; none the less I hope a posted article would warrant at least a bit of attention/effort above a single sentence stating the obvious.  The quote about people using computers like weapons after six months of training is obviously a stupid statement on the part of the speaker, I think any of us who have been working and learning all we can about ethical hacking and security understand that.  It's like so many other statement's fed to the public by the governmnent, full of crap to appease the ignorant masses.

g00d_4sh wrote:Looks like the Air Force is finalizing their location and whatnot for the Cyber Command.  Very interesting article on it.

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/ ... ntPage=all

"We have to change the way we think about warriors of the future," Lord enthuses, raising his jaw while a B-52 traces the sky outside his windows. "So if they can't run three miles with a pack on their backs but they can shut down a SCADA system, we need to have a culture where they fit in."


What I wrote there was a simple stating of the obvious, that they're finalizing their location, and that I found the article interesting.  And an accompanying quote from the article where the acting commander talks about the branch not caring so much about the potentials being overly physically fit, as long as they had some semblence of skills.

ChrisG wrote:
pseud0 wrote:Just for clarification, this is the first formalized program of its type but cyber warfare units have been around for quite awhile.  The Air Force is the lead branch for net centric operations, and has had units of various strength in the field for several years.  The main unit worked upstairs from me before I left active duty :)


every service and most DoD agencies have a "team" to do that sort of thing, air force isnt the only one


Perhaps that response wasn't to my post, but to earlier ones.. but I did take it as a response to my post.  It doesn't seem to have much to do with what i posted though, and seemed to be a restating of what pseud0 had already stated and we all agreed with.  IE, there are teams in most gov agencies and mil agencies. 

g00d_4sh wrote:Is it the first to dedicate over 2 billion to it, and have a projected staff of somewhere in the 5k to 10k employees in it though? As well as the first full military branch to dedicate an entire command structure to it?  It of course isn't revolutionary for security agencies and other organizations to have teams dedicated to cyber security and whatnot, but it does seem like a more open and forward step toward things on a larger scale.  They have nearly the budget of the entire NPS, for a rumored 1/5 to 2/5ths the employees, not to mention other land/peripheral expenses.


Once again, I stated the obvious that most people knew, and that pseud0 had already stated.  IE "It of course isn't revolutionary for security agencies and other organizations to have teams dedicated to cyber security and whatnot, but it does seem like a more open and forward step toward things on a larger scale."  Larger scale being thousands of employees, though less than a 5th of the NPS, and a big wad of money. (multiple billions). 

The response of:
ChrisG wrote:i'll believe 5 to 10k real "cyberwarriors" in one place when i see it.


Was obviously a response to my post.  Though I'm by nature somewhat pessimistic (I call it realistic), I think that post is a bit more tinged with condescension than actual relivence.  I mean... really, where did I, or the article state that there would be 5k to 10k cyberwarriors in one place?  No where, unless you infer from the article that all of the employees of the command are cyberwarriors, and that they're all stationed in one place.  Neither of which being the case, nor suggestion.

I highly appreciate that you did give a bit more work into your last post, and I DO appreciate your experience and insights.  I also would appreciate respectful responses given with a measure of the forethought and care I would ensure to give to anyone's post. 

pseud0,

As always, I enjoy reading your well thought out, and insightful posts.  And I truly hope live allows you the time and opportunity to continue posting and working with the EHN community to grow.  The legal ramifications of cyberwar(terrorism?) are the main points of some really interesting articles, including one from a law professor.  I thought it was a good read sometime back, I should look for that. 
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"
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LSOChris

Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:41 pm

Re: US Air Force trains "cyberwarrirors"

g00d_4sh wrote:...

g00d_4sh wrote:Is it the first to dedicate over 2 billion to it, and have a projected staff of somewhere in the 5k to 10k employees in it though? As well as the first full military branch to dedicate an entire command structure to it?  It of course isn't revolutionary for security agencies and other organizations to have teams dedicated to cyber security and whatnot, but it does seem like a more open and forward step toward things on a larger scale.  They have nearly the budget of the entire NPS, for a rumored 1/5 to 2/5ths the employees, not to mention other land/peripheral expenses.


The response of:
ChrisG wrote:i'll believe 5 to 10k real "cyberwarriors" in one place when i see it.


Was obviously a response to my post.  Though I'm by nature somewhat pessimistic (I call it realistic), I think that post is a bit more tinged with condescension than actual relivence.  I mean... really, where did I, or the article state that there would be 5k to 10k cyberwarriors in one place?  No where, unless you infer from the article that all of the employees of the command are cyberwarriors, and that they're all stationed in one place.  Neither of which being the case, nor suggestion.


there you go, I bolded the quote from YOUR post to show where you said it.

dont get your feelings hurt (anybody) we are just having a discussion. 

while i applaud other people's enthusiasm and the AF's decision to what sounds like, create a "cyber" MOS, i'm not sure a new 2 billion dollar building and hiring a bunch of people will "automagically" solve any problems.

I guess the point i was trying to make with my one sentance "every service and most DoD agencies have a "team" to do that sort of thing, air force isnt the only one" response was that there are already TONS of people doing IA work for DoD.  In my opinion, money and time would be better spent to find a way to 1) get those people to work and share better  and 2) pay wages that are comparable to the same skill level outside of DoD.  not even mentioning the issues of every service and DoD agency really having its own standards for doing things, a unified .gov/.mil standard would be a WAY better place to spend money.
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