US Military Hackers Could Pwn Enemies Using Real Bombs, Missiles

Illustration for article titled US Military Hackers Could Pwn Enemies Using Real Bombs, Missiles

We knew that the Air Force Cyber Command is supposed to fight against enemy computer attacks using their skillz, computer programs, and massive PlayStation 3s networks. Now Christian Lowe at Defense Tech reveals that, if they can't stop the attacks using a terminal, the US military hackers can actually order a cruise missile attack or drop a couple of MK84 bombs on the hacker at the other side of the line. Or like Col. Tony Buntyn, vice commander of Air Force Cyber Command, euphemistically refers to as "kinetic warfare."

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You can find, fix, target, and engage an enemy. A target could be a [computer] network... or it could be physical, with a [geographical] location. But we need the capabilities, just like we have in kinetic warfare, to engage targets when necessary. It could be either a kinetic or non-kinetic effect you want to achieve. And we need the ability to provide either.

It depends on our target; it depends on our rules of engagement—are we conducting open warfare with an adversary? If that's the case, then we don't really need to be discreet about it. When we drop a JDAM [Joint DIrect Attack Munition aka "big mofo guided bomb"] and leave a big smoking hole, that's not very discreet.

If I can [locate] it and I can take it out with a kinetic attack ... and it meets the rules of engagement, then that might be the preferred method.

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I can already imagine the IRC chats "Noob!? See if you can firewall this, bozo!" [Defense Tech]

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DISCUSSION

This is not complimentary of our DoD's abilities. It's like when one kid can't think up a good enough comeback his face turns red, he screams in frustration and then fists start flying. Use your words, America.