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[ISN] Inside the Ring: NSA on cyberwar


By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
March 27, 2013

Cyberwarfare is the hot topic in military and intelligence circles at the Pentagon amid unrelenting cyberattacks from China, Russia, Iran and elsewhere.

But for the super-secret National Security Agency, cyberwarfare is nothing new.

The electronic spying and code-breaking agency provided a rare public look at its views on cyberwarfare by releasing this month redacted copies of its internal newsletter, which show that NSA has been engaged in cyberwarfare for more than a decade.

A 1997 article published in the once-classified newsletter Cryptolog was written by legendary NSA official Bill Black. He stated that the agency received the mission for Computer Network Attack (CNA) â offensive cyberwarfare â on March 3, 1997, from then-Defense Secretary William S. Cohen.

âThis delegation of authority has added a new, third dimension to NSAâs âone missionâ future,â Mr. Black, at the time a special assistant to the NSA director for information operations, stated in the spring 1997 issue. âThat is, in the networked world of Cyberspace, CNA technology is the natural companion of NSAâs exploit and protect functions.â

Other sections of the newsletter were heavily redacted and labeled âTop Secret Umbra,â the code word used to protect electronic intelligence.


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