The war of the cyberworlds is coming, and we’d better be ready

Last Wednesday, the American secretary of defence, Robert Gates, announced the US was finally getting its act together on cyberwarfare. After a couple of false starts and a good deal of bureaucratic infighting, the Pentagon is setting up a unified US Cyber Command to oversee protection of military networks against cyber threats. It will be called USCybercom and will be led by the director of the National Security Agency, Lt Gen Keith Alexander.In a memo to the joint chiefs of staff, Gates said he had directed General Kevin Chilton, head of US Strategic Command, to develop implementation plans for the new command, which he wants on his desk by the beginning of September. Gates says that he expects USCybercom to be up and running by October and to have reached “full operating capability” within a year. That is lightspeed by federal government standards, so you can bet something’s up.

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