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CYBER WARS
US creates separate unified cyber warfare command; National Guard activates cyber-security task force
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 18, 2017


National Guard activates cyber-security task force
Washington (UPI) Aug 18, 2017 - A full-time Army National Guard unit of more than 100 cyber specialists was mobilized this week, the largest mobilization of cyber forces from reserve units to support the U.S. Cyber Command.

The specialists of Task Force Echo, which will support the U.S. Cyber Command consists of 138 soldiers from California, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, Utah, Ohio and Virginia who were recruited for their skills and experience in cyber-systems and cyber-security.

The Army said the soldiers will be integrated into the Maryland National Guard during their active duty.

"This is truly an important formation as we take a look at what we anticipate will be a total force mission," Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Army Cyber Command, said during a transition-of-authority ceremony. "The soldiers of the 169th Cyber Protection Team and Task Force Echo will bring unique and diverse talents to this increasingly complex phase."

TF Echo, the report said, takes over and expands the role of the 169th Cyber Protection Team in engineering operating and maintaining network infrastructure.

The personnel of the task force first mobilized through Fort Bragg, N.C., and were trained by the 169th. They then transferred to Fort Meade, Md.

"It would be emblematic of what we've talked about for a long time, but is really difficult to achieve: this idea of total force," said Task Force Echo Commander Col. Adam Volant. "We are military trained, but we also bring an abundant amount of experience from the private sector, from government [and] from academia. The soldiers in my formation are really information technology professionals."

President Donald Trump ordered the US military on Friday to elevate its cyber warfare operations to a separate command, signaling a new strategic emphasis on electronic and online offensive and defensive operations.

The move means the US Cyber Command, or Cybercom, will eventually become its own entity. It had been a subordinate part of the US Strategic Command since it was established in 2009.

"This new Unified Combatant Command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation's defense," Trump said in a statement.

"The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries."

The move would expand the number of the Defense Department's unified combatant commands to 10, putting cyber warfare on an equal footing with the Strategic Command, the Special Operations Command, and regional commands.

Until now cyber warfare operations have been run under the umbrella of the National Security Agency, the country's main electronic spying agency, with Admiral Michael Rogers heading both.

Rogers will retain his "dual-hatted" role for now, but once Cybercom is fully elevated he could be replaced by another four-star general or admiral.

Discussions on whether to hive off Cybercom and place it directly under Pentagon direction have gone on for several years, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is currently reviewing plans.

Rogers has said several times over the past year that they needed to recruit hundreds more skilled cyber operators before the separation could take place.

Cybercom is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland and will eventually comprise almost 6,200 personnel organized into 133 teams.

These "Cyber Mission Force" teams are already actively conducting operations and will achieve full operational capability by the end of fiscal year 2018.

Kenneth Rapuano, who is assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, said there was no firm timeline on when Cybercom would be fully stood up as a combatant command.

He said the move is not a response to any particular incident -- such as Russian hacks during the 2016 election -- but is a reflection of the command's growing importance.

"This is a new sphere of warfare, and we have a steady increase in escalation in cyber incidents around the world," Rapuano said.

John McCain, chairman of the US Senate's Armed Services Committee, welcomed the move, but said more needs to be done to prepare the US and its military to meet cyber security challenges.

"We must develop a clear policy and strategy for deterring and responding to cyber threats," McCain said.

CYBER WARS
Chinese scientists aim to launch more quantum satellites
Beijing (XNA) Aug 14, 2017
As Chinese scientists accomplish all their planned experiments with the world's first quantum satellite, they are devising new studies and aiming to launch more quantum satellites to build a hack-proof global quantum communications network. China launched the satellite, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), nicknamed "Micius" after a 5th Century B.C. Chinese philosopher and scientist ... read more

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