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[ISN] Air Force examines its vulnerability to cyberattack
By Sebastian Sprenger
May 29, 2007
Air Force officials have kicked off a study examining the service’s
vulnerability to electronic attacks on critical network infrastructure
and systems, as service officials continue planning for a major Air
Force command dedicated to waging war in cyberspace.
Last month, service leaders assigned the Air Force Scientific Advisory
Board to assess the risk of potential cyberwarfare scenarios and
determine their effect on Air Force systems and operations, according to
the April 19 terms of reference for the study.
The board also must review the Air Force’s current cyberwarfare defense
capabilities and assess critical vulnerabilities in this area, the
document states. In addition, panelists are to define technology trends
and develop a science and technology plan that would help mitigate the
impact of cyberattacks on Air Force systems.
The group is expected to deliver its findings in a briefing to Air Force
Secretary Michael Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael
Moseley in July. A final report is due in August.
Wynne announced plans to establish an Air Force Cyberspace Command in
November. The new command will be led by 8th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen
Robert Elder, who is also the joint functional commander for global
strike and integration at U.S. Strategic Command.
Air Force officials are now working to flesh out the details for the
command. Efforts are also under way to assess what kind of training and
materiel service members need to fight in cyberspace.
Military officials have defined cyberspace as “a domain characterized by
the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify
and exchange data via networked systems and associated physical
infrastructures,” Wynne said.
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