By Kevin Coleman
Defense Tech Cyber Warfare Analyst
Is the Wikileaks fiasco the first defeat for the United States in the cyber warfare domain? Exploring this question shows just how little we have planned for, created doctrine for, and are ready, able and willing to respond to threats to the United States in the cyber domain.
Interesting Data Points:
• General Keith Alexander, the newly appointed head of Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency who is now responsible for all military information and communications security, traveled to Afghanistan just two days after the Wikileaks first dump of classified data on their web site.
• We polled several security professional (several with active security clearances) as to the severity of this incident. On a scale of 1 being low and 5 being high, the impromptu survey resulted in a score of 4.2 – a rather concerning score you would have to say.
• Lt. Gen William Lord, Air Force Chief Information Officer (CIO) also serves as Air Force chief of warfighting integration last week spoke at LandWarNet 2010 and said, “Wire power is firepower.”
• Many people looking at this issue wonder why we just don’t hack and take down the site. That is short cited and would only inflame the situation. Others wonder if one or more members of the security organization of the countries mentioned in these documents are looking for those involved and question if we will hear from them again.
Planning for and response to cyber threats is a complex international issue with little or no empirical information. Tehran Times published the following – “The drumbeat of calls for repression and violence against WikiLeaks and Private Bradley Manning is a major threat to democratic rights. All sections of the U.S. political establishment, Democratic and Republican, liberal and conservative, are seeking to retaliate against those who are exposing atrocities by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq, and intimidate all critics of these wars of aggression by American imperialism.”
We can only hope this is used as a learning experience by our military, intelligence community and Cyber Command and they rapidly address ALL issues this serious breach has brought to light.