As a veteran I can tell you the military has many rules, regulation, chain of command but when it comes to developing Cyber Warrior this all has to change. Most hackers have no rules or regulation and when someone comes in the room they do not jump up and salute. Our military is so rigid that it may be hard to really get the right talent to do the job. You can train people how to use Net-Tools to do recon on the enemy, but as China has stated there is no dogma in warfare. We must be flexible, adaptable and must be able to think like a hacker. Hackers have no rules when you need to do something you do it, if you need software you can’t wait 3 months and make 12 requisitions you need it NOW.
When your hacking the moment of opportunity sometimes happens in seconds not weeks and months, so the rigid structure of the military will have to adapt or fail.
As to military offensive cyber capabilities Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz a four-star told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee that it is “conceivable” that the service could have taken out Libya’s SA-5 surface-to-air missiles using cyber weapons rather than iron bombs or missiles. I am sure our Military can do lot’s in the way of offensive strike but I’m talking about Cyber-Espionage, Cyber Intelligence gathering. Sneaking in silently and sitting deep inside the war room of China or Russia without getting caught that is the talent we need. Persistent attacks are the brute force way of getting the job done but the silent and slow hacks are the ones that we need to get the information.
How long will it take to get a real Cyber Military team ready and working that’s hard to say maybe years. We need this talent now not a year from now. Maybe one solution is to work with hacktivist and other cyber talented people and learn from them what it takes and learn what really works. In cyberspace we need to think outside the box to get the job done. One solution is to use real hackers to do some of the work, some of these hackers can be converted to the Military but just don’t ask them to do 10 push-ups or salute.
We have many talented people here in the US they are our Civilian Cyber Militia, lets use these people to help us. Some are just as patriotic as anyone but just cannot take the rigid structure of the military. We as a Nation need to work together because everyone is going after the US in cyberspace, let’s fight back anyway we can. This is of National Importance if we loose our technological edge in cyberspace the only thing we have is left is the best Pizza delivery in the world.