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US Cyber Command: New and Creative Ways To Inflict ‘Collateral Damage’

21st Century Wire says…

Back in 2013, 21WIRE told readers about the Stuxnet super virus, one of the most pernicious and reckless military cyber operations to date.

According to US firm Symantec’s research, Stuxnet and its sister virus, Flame, was part of ‘Operation Olympic Games’, a joint venture between the United States and Israel designed to penetrate Iranian (and Russian too) civilian infrastructure networks – including civilian nuclear power facilities.

According to the Washington Post, “The brilliance of Stuxnet lay in [the attackers] being under the radar of the target entity,” Thakur said. Both variants of Stuxnet “tried to do damage in a manner that would seem random” to the targeted party.

Despite being caught red-handed, the US ‘defense’ industrial complex has simply upped its offensive operations and are now talking about how cyber warfare can be used to inflicted “collateral damage”.

What you are about to read may shock you…

RT.com

Cyberwarfare may cross over into the real world to harm humans, thanks to an upcoming military contract valued at almost half a billion dollars.

Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are some of the defense firms competing for an upcoming $460 million US Cyber Command project to give the American military the power to turn an enemy’s critical infrastructure against them with weaponized code, according to Defense One. A 114-page draft of a 5-year contract released on September 30 details a plan to get private companies to support military operations with cyberwarfare.

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The initial work order will support “cyber joint munitions effectiveness” by developing and deploying “cyber weapons” and coordinating with “tool developers” in the spy community, the documents state.

READ MORE: Germany prepares for cyberwarfare offensive – reports

Some of the more direct cyber espionage activities include starting “cyber fires” in enemy hardware. This separates this new kind of cyberwarfare from traditional electronic attacks – even the infamous, centrifuge-destroying Stuxnet – in that it can actual be a threat to human life, according to the document.

The draft even lays out contract requirements for a Weapons & Capabilities lead position, including a “minimum of three years of experience in Cyber Fires and/or Cyber Targeting.”

But this kind of offensive cyberwarfare isn’t esoteric stuff relegated to one strange corner of the US military. In fact, digital arms designed to kill are now explicitly sanctioned under the Pentagon’s newly-published Law of War manual, with an entire chapter devoted to cyber warfare.

Cyber strikes are allowed even if “it is certain that civilians would be killed or injured — so long as the reasonably anticipated collateral damage isn’t excessive in relation to what you expect to gain militarily,” said retired Major General Charles J. Dunlap, executive director of Duke University’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security. “These are essentially the same rules as for attacks employing traditional bombs or bullets”…

Continue this story at RT.com

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