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USA are developing offensive cyber operations
Material posted: Publication date: 12-06-2013

Currently one of the priority directions of development of the armed forces of the United States stands out for the buildup of forces and means of information warfare. Of particular significance here is kiberprestupniki, improvement of methods and means of cyber defense and offensive operations in cyberspace.

Today, the Pentagon uses more than seven million computers connected via 15 thousand specialized computer networks with gateways to the satellite 21 and 20 thousands of commercial networks. More than 90 thousand of specialists around the clock support the functioning of this network infrastructure. Daily computer systems U.S. Department of defense put more than six million of the unauthorized entry.

Concern on this issue expressed the Director of the national security Agency and commander of U.S. cyber command General Keith Alexander. In particular, in July 2012 at the annual forum on cybersecurity in Washington, he admitted that the United States has still not fully ready to repel a serious cyberattack. The special resonance was caused by the report of K. Alexander at the 20th annual Def Con conference in Las Vegas, in which he appealed to hackers to assist the American government in the preservation of confidential information and the development of appropriate software, including tools to detect incursions into closed information network in the field of cryptology.

However, along with cyber security, the U.S. armed forces, pay great attention to carrying out offensive cyber operations, which are considered as means to achieve information superiority over the enemy, disabling its systems of state and military administration, and the malfunction or destruction of critical infrastructure.

Of particular interest are the opinions of individual experts in cyber security that disruption of control systems even in the most developed countries and unions only two years at relatively low cost and training of a cyber attack countries that have kiberprestuplenie, you will need much less time. So, according to a former leading specialist on cyber defense national security Agency Charles Miller, need $ 98 million and 592 specialist to attack the U.S., 112 million and 750 hackers to defeat the EU and 86 million and 517 of cyberview for aggression against the Russian Federation.

It should be noted that H. Miller is one of the most famous American expert on cybersecurity and one of the best American hackers. He managed to find the first vulnerability in Macbookair and two minutes to write malicious code for it. To crack Safari, Miller took ten seconds, the same went for the detection of a dangerous defect in the system of SMS-messages with the new iPhone. Especially popular in the environment of IT professionals is his report "How to create cyberarmy and attack the United States." They were later prepared a similar report and in Russia.

In this context, American experts developed the most likely scenario for cyberspace operations, comprising three main stages.

The first is the latent stage of preparation for the conduct of cyberspace operations – the efforts of specialists are directed towards the identification information of the critical infrastructure of the attacked state, the introduction of operational staff in institutions with closed control systems (administration of the President or government office, key ministries, major banks, oil corporations, etc.), identify vulnerabilities in their security systems and used in the software, and the development of special malicious software (exploits, vulnerabilities, zero-day, remote control software, etc.).

The active stage of preparation for the conduct of cyberspace operations, as a rule, includes the creation of botnets (infected computers), the invasion of closed information system, as well as mainstreaming access to already compromised systems.

In the conduct of cyber-attacks is the disruption and the disabling of the systems of state and military administration, systems of control of traffic, violation of work of banks and stock exchanges, disable Internet, cell phones, etc.

According to Russian specialists in the field of cyber security, this scenario for cyberspace operations "is very realistic". As the main argument cited the fact that the key Minister of Russia (in particular the Ministry in charge of economy, industry, energy, power and other structures) use technical means and software of foreign manufacture.

In addition, considering such a scenario in the Russian Federation, experts identify the following features of the USA, which advance put Moscow in losing position:

  • access and control (directly or through NATO, Japan, etc.) the greater part of the external communications of Russia, using the public network;
  • access to content widely used in the world of "secure" transmission systems information sharing;
  • control many computer services and applications, and other computer platforms used to host services and applications Russian companies;
  • control (directly or through allies, such as Israel) most of the developed software (including mobile devices) and virtually unlimited possibilities for adding a special not declared possibilities;
  • powerful research and industrial potential in the detection and use of vulnerabilities in computer systems;
  • control most of the market of means of protection of computers and data that can be used to develop and deliberate ignoring of certain types of cyber attacks.

The only concern of Russian experts is in the power of the Pentagon in "short time" to collect the necessary number of specialists of high level. However, the presence of established cyber command may allow to quickly mobilize the necessary forces to conduct such cyber operations.

Key people and means employed to conduct cyber operations (according to the views of American experts)


Against this background, deserves the attention launched in February 2011 program of the U.S. cyber command "Cyberview for U.S." engagement of experts in the field of information technology in the interests of ensuring the security of mission-critical military, government and commercial infrastructure in the country. For individual information, for these purposes it is planned to attract about ten thousand young talented IT specialists. It is not excluded that this legitimized an army of hackers will be engaged to develop and implement offensive cyber operations. Thus, the example of the USA can be assumed that currently on the advanced level in the field of information States improved methods of conducting cyber operations information on the critical infrastructure of any state.

Gregory Yurchenko


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