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Air Force To Re-Open Pursuit of Cyber Command

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the taking-off-the-cyber-gloves dept.

The Military 142

GovTechGuy writes "Top Air Force leadership has decided to pursue forming a Cyber Command to defend Defense Department networks and to launch cyberattacks against foes, after putting the project on hold in August."

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let's just get this out of the way (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292909)

skynet

Re:let's just get this out of the way (2, Insightful)

grantek (979387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295083)

Well, what IS interesting, is that if the US defense force is using software as weapons, does that mean your constitutionally-explicit right to bear arms includes things like nmap and wireshark? Thus far, the "think of the children" crowd have been quick to label anyone "caught" with these "hacking tools" as evil terrorists, but in an age where a DOS attack on an infrastructure system could be a strategic prelude to sending in guys with guns (in an international war or a hypothetical civil conflict), I'd certainly see them as "arms".

This is a mistake (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292917)

Anyone that has seen the Terminator movies knows this

Oh Cyber COMMAND... oh nevermind.

Re:This is a mistake (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293585)

Yeah, I often get the common words "command" and "dyne" confused as well...

Sounds familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295633)

> Yeah, I often get the common words "command" and "dyne" confused as well...

The keys are like right next to each other!

Re:Sounds familiar... (1)

Migity (1199059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296883)

Yeah...I always make that typo every time I type "command". Drives me nuts.

Where do I apply? (3, Insightful)

bhsx (458600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292937)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel. This would be a fun job to have for sure.
It's also a shame that we wont be able to read about their missions. I would assume all of this work will be highly classified.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293029)

Well, there are these arcade machines see...

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293055)

Knowing how computer-literate military personnel are, i'm pretty sure it wouldn't be that interesting:

"He hacked the webs!"
"Which webs?!"
"All the webs!'

Re:Where do I apply? (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293835)

"Knowing how computer-literate military personnel are, i'm pretty sure it wouldn't be that interesting"

Don't worry...the majority of these spots will likely be contractors. The govt. and DoD are largely OUT of the development and coding business...have been for years.

They don't build the systems...they just use them.

Re:Where do I apply? (2, Informative)

Clanked (1156473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296119)

Fortunatly not all of the people in the military are computer illiterate. We are few and far between for sure, but there is a lengthy application process to get anywhere near the jobs where you actually do something. A simple aptitude test already weeds out those that say "hey I wanna be a hacker like on TV" and those that really understand security. Once you are in the door, it is about two years of schooling (not by the military) to teach you what the hell to do. So yes, it will be quite interesting, but restricted to an extreme few. The MAJCOM is more to give the cyber people a voice "as strong as" the fighter guys, the cargo guys, and everyone else. This provides topcover and funding. The other thing this will enable, is Airman Snuffy who works at the comm squadron to add to his performance report "Coordinated with worldwide anti-cyberterrorism organization to ensure local network security. Resulting in 0 penetrations. Promote immediatly." Translation: "He applied a patch cleared by the MAJCOM."

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298403)

Once you are in the door, it is about two years of schooling (not by the military) to teach you what the hell to do.

Which job is this that takes two years of schooling? My Army AIT took six months of training, which is already out of the norm, and then a further year and a half of language training.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

inputdev (1252080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293191)

I think they got you - hook line and sinker... They are looking to recruit. I'd be happier if I hadn't read your post about this being a "fun" job. Why not do something good for humanity? We do not need more cloak and dagger nonsense. Write code for everyone to use.

Re:Where do I apply? (3, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294785)

isn't it funny that the cloak-and-dagger-types always think that they're saving the world, but all they're really doing is fighting the cloak-and-dagger-types from other countries (who also share the same messianic complex).

the whole "we need to spy on other countries because they're spying on us" mentality is very similar to the saying, people who steal always assume that everyone else steals. in the end this attitude simply creates a more hostile world, damaging international relations.

the constant arms escalation in the name of "national defense" hasn't made the world any safer. imagine how much we could have achieved if instead of participating in the global arms race, all the various nations had simply gotten together in the spirit of global cooperation to achieve some shared goal--like space exploration, medical research, etc. or even if we'd just spent those resources on things that would improve the quality of living of the average American.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298305)

'... all the various nations had simply gotten together in the spirit of global cooperation ...'

Well, that's the trick, in'it?

It only takes one (and there are currently several more than that) sufficiently powerful and obnoxious country to derail it.

Re:Where do I apply? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293195)

I tried before they put it on hold. I let them know that I am a computer science professor who would not mind joining the reserve to work in cyber command. After a month and a half, I received an unhelpful canned reply and have not heard anything else.

I still think the cyber command is a good idea, but the way it is being handled has removed a lot of the motivation for me joining.

Re:Where do I apply? (3, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293213)

"...after putting the project on hold in August."

Because we being indecisive really, really scares the hell out of our enemies.[/sarcasm]

I guess nothing is secret in cyberspace and this flip-flop is no exception.

Re:Where do I apply? (2, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293541)

Because we being indecisive really, really scares the hell out of our enemies.[/sarcasm]

Which is scarier, a guy who is usually calm and can get serious when it means getting serious, or a guy who is permanently in a state of indecisiveness about if or if not to kill you every time he sees you?

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295415)

I don't know, how many everytimes will there be?

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296545)

Strange, who'd you tell. I told them I wanted to join cyber command and they kept calling me over and over asking me to come in and take the computer aptitude test. I'd think a comp sci professor would have no trouble catching their interest.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293223)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel.

Probably so. But I suspect also that the hiatus was due to "we've got a few top spots filled with the clued, now let's let them develop an architecture and write the job descriptions for the rest".

I hope the ethics hammered into the better class of military leaders (and I mean West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy graduates) are a part of those leading the group. I don't mean the Gitmo crew, I mean the old school for whom a class in civics is not an elective. People for whom "honor" is not negotiable. I hold this strange belief that such people still exist, despite the broad brush many people are willing to wield.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293467)

Who do you think they have on the Gitmo crew? The so-called "better-class" graduates you hold in such high regard. The truth is, every group of humans has a percentage that have malleable ethics.
Honor, nice concept, and can actually work in some cases, until that person is faced with a choice where there is no outcome that can be described by anyone as "honorable".
There is no single group or program that can claim that all who partake will pass muster. Only by a persons actions (and not always then) can you determine ones measure. Try to keep those who (for the most part) pass close to you. Keep the rest even closer so you can keep an eye on them and especially the knife in their hand.

Re:Where do I apply? (3, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294347)

I hope the ethics hammered into the better class of military leaders (and I mean West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy graduates)

You think the ring-tappers* are the "better class of military leaders"? You've obviously never been in the military--- or are yourself a ring-tapper. They're the jackass political hacks that fill the halls of the pentagon with hare-brained ideas that fly in the face of reason**.

* so called for the annoying habit of many of them of spending too much time pointing out that they graduated from [W.Point|Annapolis|Colo Spgs], and not enough time demonstrating the leadership skills they (supposedly) learned there. Specifically refers to the practice of tapping the academy grad ring against stuff, as if by idle habit, in order to draw attention to it.

** Two classic examples: the Army Combat Uniform for the Army and the Airman Battle Uniform for the Air Force:

The Army spent millions working with the US Army Natick Labs and outside contractors like Crye Precision to develop a truly universal camouflage. One result of that was Crye MultiCam [wikipedia.org] . Unfortunately, some asshat ring-tapper general decided to go with the current ACU pattern [wikipedia.org] because the other patterns weren't "digital", like the Marines have.

In the case of the Airman Battle Uniform [wikipedia.org] , the original pattern was to be tiger stripe with dark blue stripes [scarmy.com] ! Some chair-bound rig tapper hack AF general and his yes-men at the Pentagon decided that the Air Force didn't really need effective camouflage, as airmen don't go into combat. During testing, it was pointed out to them by the airmen testing that yes, many of them do go into combat, so a useful camouflage might be better, thank you very fucking much. Fortunately, they listened to reason and modified it to a more sensible gray stripe. Sadly, they totally ignored requests to make its pockets/collar/etc similar to the much improved Army ACU, and subsequently those poor Air Force slobs are still walking around in the same crappy uniform we all wore in the 80's, only in a different color. Well, OK, the AF wore the outdated olive drab "pickle suit" the Army and USMC dumped in '82 until 1988, so I guess this is just par for the course.

Re:Where do I apply? (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294451)

I hope the ethics hammered into the better class of military leaders (and I mean West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy graduates) are a part of those leading the group. I don't mean the Gitmo crew, I mean the old school for whom a class in civics is not an elective. People for whom "honor" is not negotiable.

During my years of enlisted service in both the Army and the Air Force, I worked with a lot of academy grads and a lot of officers who got their commissions in other ways (ROTC, OCS/OTS, etc.) and I never saw any difference in quality based on where they came from. There were some very good ones, some bad ones, and as with any large group of people, the majority somewhere in the middle. It's true that the academies have very strong honor codes and try to instill those in their cadets. The downside is that the strong sense of esprit de corps the academies foster in order to get the cadets to take the honor code seriously also can make their graduates see themselves as the Chosen Few, superior to everyone else in the military (officers and enlisted) and they're often arrogant and closed-minded as a result. Also, remember that getting into the academies is essentially a political process -- the most common way is to get a nomination from a Senator or Representative -- so cadets tend to come from well-off, connected families, which can also add to this kind of arrogance.

Balance it all out -- the very good education, intensive training, and constant drumbeat of honor and discipline academy cadets receive, vs. the exposure to the wider world and range of experience those who obtain their commissions by other routes get during their formative years -- and it's pretty much a wash.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Lazyrust (1101059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293287)

It'll mostly consist of hacking the Gibson, using virtual reality displays on 486 laptops.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293289)

Well, I'm sure some will be civilian positions and some will be contractors. If you want to apply, start looking.

Reminds of the job interview for the F111 fighter pilots:

Colonel: "We want to offer you a job. We can't tell you what you'll be doing, where you will be, or anything else. Do you accept?"

Captain: "Yes."

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296297)

You mean F-117? Development of the F-111 was a pretty mundane non-secret program.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293363)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel. This would be a fun job to have for sure.

You know all military personnel started off as civilians right? Go talk to an Air Force recruiter, find out what MOS it is then tell them that's the job you want. Score high enough on the ASVAB and you've got it. You can actually sign a contract with them that would guarantee you get this job (as long as it's available.) Once you get out of basic (it's the Air Force, the basic training is like a spa treatment compared to the other services) they provide all the MOS training free of charge.

Anyway that's just my suggestion, there's a good chance you'd get the job too considering the fact that most people who join the Air Force want to be pilots or mechanics, this wouldn't be one of their most requested jobs.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293423)

And if the job is not available, then what? As they say in baghdad: ahlan wa sahlan, mother fucker.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293535)

And if the job is not available, then what? As they say in baghdad: ahlan wa sahlan, mother fucker.

Then nothing, that's the point of the contract, if the job isn't available you're not required to stay.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294855)

Eh, recruiters and MEPS will still try to dick you over to get you into the roles they need (shitty ones like combat duty or flight line work) - Mine actually changed my job after I signed while I was in the delayed enlistment program, and moved my "go" date back a couple months.

Luckily, I wasn't coming in straight out of high school and had a bit of a clue. Complained to his commanding officer and threatened to get out of the military entirely to get everything back in order (it felt so good back when I could say "fuck off" to an authority figure...) - I bet some of the kids out there joining up wouldn't realize they could do they same if he (or recruiters like him) tried the same.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293431)

Do you really want to be a goverment owned piece of shit script kiddie? What?

Don't bother applying, you'll just load missiles.. (5, Interesting)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293679)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel.

That is a shame. However, it's not the saddest part of this story. The saddest part of this story is the boneheaded way the Air Force fills positions... it will probably make this a command not worth working in, and not as effective as it could be. The real problem is that the Air Force, and other branches of the military, tend to treat people as interchangeable, identical cogs, rather than individuals with aptitudes, skills, and backgrounds that vary widely.

Backstory: I actually did try to apply for this command. My background is this: I have two bachelor's degrees, one in computer science, and one in computer engineering, both with distinction. During college, I specialized in information security and showed a great deal of aptitude for it. I was offered jobs by both the NSA and CIA, and was OKed for the highest level of clearance.

So I hear about this thing with the Air Force, and I thought, "Man, that sounds interesting, and I know I can do it." So I talked to one of the recruiters online and told him I'd be happy to serve my country and be happy to join the Air Force, but I told him I had some unique abilities I could give them and asked him if I could enlist into that command.

And he told me no. He told me I would be placed according to the needs of the Air Force, basically wherever they felt like it. They would not take any look at my background at all. The likelihood that I would be just a laborer loading missiles (I use missile loading as an example) onto a jet was higher than me being put in the Cyber Command, despite my advanced background. And it was also just as likely that they would grab some random missile loader and stick him in the command, assuming they can "train him into it" just like they train someone to operate a radio.

So needless to say, I passed on that opportunity. If our country were being attacked and missile loaders were the thing we most needed, I would be happy to serve, so don't get me wrong. But given how things are today, I'm not going to join the Air Force and let them squander my skills. That's not good for either me or them, because they don't get all of my skilled potential, and I don't get to contribute everything I can. So they can go find some other grunt to load missiles, and someday, if they actually acknowledge that some people are better suited for a job than others, I'll be around. But if they insist on being blind to the differences between individuals and wasting much of the talent in their organization, then I won't ever serve with them (except perhaps in critical wartime).

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (2, Informative)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294293)

With two baccalaureate degrees you need to be talking to an officer recruiter--not enlisted.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1)

jesuscash (668623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294655)

Not if you want to do anything other than paperwork and management.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (3, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296215)

With two baccalaureate degrees you need to be talking to an officer recruiter--not enlisted.

Doesn't really work like that. You're probably thinking of ROTC. ROTC gets you a degree in (something), with a minor in Military Management. The only folks who get officer commissions based on their education are doctors and dentists. Just having a degree in (something) will only get you in as an enlisted man at pay grade E-3 instead of the usual E-1.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296591)

You don't need a degree to get enlisted at E-3 rather than E-1. A degree easily helps you get a commission. When I was at meps (swearing in at E-3 rather than E-1 with no baccalaureate degree's) every time I mentioned my ex having two baccalaureate degrees they would all start salivating and then tell me I should try to convince her to join as an officer.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (2, Informative)

jesuscash (668623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296989)

If you already have a degree you go to Officer Training School to get a comission.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297329)

Actually it does work like that. Since you already have a degree, you just go to OTS and become an officer.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (2, Informative)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298013)

Actually it does work like that. Since you already have a degree, you just go to OTS and become an officer.

No, you APPLY to OTS and IF you're selected and IF you complete the school, you become an officer.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1)

jesuscash (668623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294741)

I can definitely agree that the Air Force does treat Airmen as interchangable cogs, but it's based on career field, not just the virtue of being in the Air Force. All people within a career field will have a broad education over most the tasks they'd be presented with. It's on the job that you gain further in-depth knowledge. You will not see a missile loader in a cyber command type of position. There are specific career fields within the Air Force that would fill those positions. As it is right now, there are separate career fields for computer "operators" and "programmers." Soon those two will be transforming slightly with programmers possibly being phased out. There will be a creation of two new career fields directly relating to network attack and defense that will hopefully be filling such positions. These will not be career fields that Joe-High-School-Graduate will be able to get into. They will be "cross-train" only, meaning that you'd have to be in another Air Force (hopefully related) career field for 3 or 5 years (depending on enlistment term). Hopefully this will be used as a way to filter applicants to the career field and find the ones that do have such a background.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294973)

that seems to be the whole purpose of the chain of command. aside from eliminating personal accountability, it also suppresses original thought. this gives the officials up top absolute control over the military hierarchy. whatever they want done will be carried out unquestioningly and without hesitation. this sounds like a good idea at first, but it ignores the fact that this kind of blind obedience is, not only be dangerous, but also eliminates the benefits of having human beings in the military rather than simply robots/machines.

this type of management style works fine if you're running certain organizations, such as fast food restaurants or factory assembly lines, but if more complex work is involved, such as software development or medical research, it really hampers the healthy operation of the business/organization.

back in the days when wars were fought by having two opposing armies line up facing each other on the field, taking turns launching volleys of musket fire at one another, the chain of command works quite well--because soldiers were just pieces on a chess board for the commander to move around at will. but once guerrilla tactics were invented such top-down command structures were easily outmaneuvered by bottom-up or laterally organized guerrilla forces.

having a bunch of interchangeable cogs in the military rather than individuals who can think for themselves and adapt to the situation is reflective of a rather outdated way of thinking.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1)

DartmanX (1049076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297545)

Wow, your understanding of the military is incredible. Did you learn all of this on a cereal box?

I fail to see how the military command seeing a techie as an interchangeable cog is any different from a corporation's upper management seeing a techie as an interchangeable cog. I will say, however, the corporate techie is not (usually) in a position where they may be shot at. If I die, the next "interchangeable cog" needs to step in IMMEDIATELY to work radios, keep the network up, etc. Lives depend on the next guy being an "interchangeable cog".

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297785)

True. But the problem with this way of thinking is when they try to apply it to civilians or military SMEs... perhaps at a DC HQs? Where the only excuse they can come up is "in case you are hit by a bus"?

I went to school for 4 years (+2 grad school so far) and, have a job as a DoD computer scientist, why do I have to know how to do Sgt Snuffy's job? Sgt Snuffy sure doesn't understand how to do MY job.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25297755)

This isn't *always* true. Unfortunately it sometimes is... One of the supervisors where I work is retired enlisted and all of his people have quit over the past year because he insists on them following him at all times. These are professionals with 20+ years of experience. He doesn't want his people to think for themselves, to try to do things more efficiently, or to help other people in our organization with anything without his approval. He wants lemmings he can send off the edge of a cliff (or click them to make them explode!)

On the other hand, my boss and my boss' boss are both also retired enlisted and they are great. They insist we think for ourselves and always look for better ways to do things. They understand that they don't know everything and that's what the rest of us are there for.

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (1)

phreakngeek (1250360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295869)

The military treats people as interchangeable for continuity of operations. The hero role plays nice in the movies but in reality it's bad when the only guy who can perform a critical function isn't available. If you have unique skills and you want to work for them so much then why don't you just go apply to one of the contractors there?

Re:Don't bother applying, you'll just load missile (2, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296271)

The saddest part of this story is the boneheaded way the Air Force fills positions... ... the Air Force, and other branches of the military, tend to treat people as interchangeable, identical cogs, rather than individuals with aptitudes, skills, and backgrounds that vary widely. ...I talked to one of the recruiters ...[he] told me I would be placed according to the needs of the Air Force, basically wherever they felt like it. They would not take any look at my background at all.

The funny thing is, I've only heard about the Air Force and the USMC doing that. The Navy gives you some degree of choice, I think, but won't let you pick EXACTLY what you want. The Army, however, will pretty much let you choose whatever job that's available so long as you meet the test requirements. I wanted to be an intelligence analyst, and that's precisely what they gave me. It was in my enlistment contract. Granted, I ended up hopping from my cold-war-centric signal intelligence analyst MOS (98C) to Human Intelligence Collection/Verbal Waterboarder (97E) when I re-upped in 2001, and subsequently ended up drag-assing around Afghanistan with a gaggle of nutcase infantrymen, Rangers, and SpecFor guys, but every step of the way was voluntary.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293893)

These positions, for the most part, will NOT be filled with military personnel. For the most part, the active duty positions don't have the required skills. The people who might have, and did maybe a dozen years ago, have been RIF'd out and nobody has taken their place. All the positions are eaten up supporting deployed positions.

Maybe they will be able to hire some civil servants if the economy continues to die however most slots will probably be filled by contractors.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

jesuscash (668623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294765)

I am definitely afraid that this will be dominated by contractors, but as I said in a previous post the Air Force is taking steps to create specific career fields for this which will include specialized training.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

ufoolme (1111815) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294367)

I'm not sure how it is in the USA, but in many countries e.g., nz/australia/uk civilian work and are hired by the defence forces for similar roles.
Aus has the dsd.gov.au
You'd just need to pass and get a top secret (positive vetting), clearance.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294975)

To answer your question, these jobs are posted on all the usual job boards; Monster, Dice, etc. Your first assignment as a candidate is to find them.

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel. This would be a fun job to have for sure.

Most definitely, only because public sector candidates seem to have issues with gaining TopSecret clearance inlcuding the Life Style polygraph.

It's also a shame that we wont be able to read about their missions. I would assume all of this work will be highly classified.

Pass the clearance requirements and you can do more than read about it.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294997)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel.

Want to do this work for real? Send in a resume to iDefense. They do exactly the same work. And there are several other operations that do open source intelligence. In the modern world intelligence is outsourced just like everything else.

Now the Air Force cyber-command is something a little different, the idea the Air Force generals had was that they would be fighting a cyber war from that bunker and that is the reason the civilian leadership keeps shutting them down. In the first place cyberwarfare is the job of the NSA, not the air force. The NSA has the skills for the job and the Air Force does not.

But the bigger reason that the cyber-command was shut down the first time was that the Air Force generals had been talking trash about burying China in cyberspace. That not unsurprisingly had led the Chinese to mount a few cyber-warfare demonstrations of their own.

The fact is that cyber-warfare could be a highly effective compliment to a conventional attack. The kicker is that the US is vastly more vulnerable on this point than any other country and the NATO countries as a whole are more vulnerable than potential opponents.

Re:Where do I apply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295127)

Not quite so.
I'm from Shreveport, near Barksdale Airforce Base, which was the intended headquarters of the Cyber Command mission (at least before they put it on hold). The interest in civilian personnel is fairly extensive, to the point of creating local infrastructure to assist filling the needs.
For a project that big, there's going to be alot of outside work brought in.
Probably very regional, though.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295219)

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel

Actually, I'd be shocked if they were. This seems like a natural field in which to have a very high percentage of contractors and DoD civilian employees. Given current trends, I'm sure that the contractors will find a way to wriggle in to this new money source. It wouldn't be impossible for you to hunt these jobs down.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295385)

I'd like to correct this for you: It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by Air Force personnel. I'm in the Army and (allegedly) am a network administrator, and would kill for a job with Cyber Command. I knew I should have went Air Force! Now It's too late.

Re:Where do I apply? (1)

Tassach (137772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296671)

When I was in the AF (many years ago), quite a number of people in my unit were prior service in another branch. When your current enlistment is up, talk to an AF recruiter. In most cases (at least in my experience), you won't lose any rank, and your time-in-service still applies regardless of your new pay grade. Unless they've changed AFR 35-10 in the last 15 years, you still wear any decorations you've earned in other branches as well.

im in (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292967)

and they can pay me in weed and hot pockets.

I Hope Cyber Command Comes Back (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292985)

I'm a net admin/computer guy (3C0) in the AF and would definitely like the opportunity to work in the Cyber Command. For the most part civilians are taking my traditional job of network administration away from more and I'm being put into less desirable positions like Combat Communications. The chance to get away from TDC equipment and back into a more techie/nerdy position would definitely make me happy. I just hope they don't give all the good slots to civilians.

Re:I Hope Cyber Command Comes Back (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293203)

I'm a net admin/computer guy (3C0)... ...civilians are taking my traditional job of network administration away

If you mean you are 3C0x1 - ComOps - that is because most of you were complete idiots when I was in. And judging from the x2's that were coming in the door as I was leaving, I doubt your field has got much better.

Re:I Hope Cyber Command Comes Back (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293733)

bhsx (458600) [slashdot.org] :

It's too bad these positions will, most definitely, be filled by military personnel. This would be a fun job to have for sure.

BigDork1001 (683341) [slashdot.org] :

I just hope they don't give all the good slots to civilians.

Wow, you two are a match made in pessimist's heaven. You meet up some time and expect the worst together.

Re:I Hope Cyber Command Comes Back (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293821)

"I just hope they don't give all the good slots to civilians"

Shoot for more attainable goals like world peace, a painless Wall Street bailout, and an end to Enlisted Performance Report inflation. :)

Not that major of a change either way (1)

Doogie5526 (737968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292999)

I haven't read any of the news on this but people I know who are in the USAF involved with the Cyber Command said this was just a temporary delay anyway. Due to the nuclear transport problem a few months ago top people left and things were put on hold while the new guys got caught up to speed.

Why don't they just hire media defener (3, Interesting)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293031)

All they want are DDOS kiddies right? They might as well do something useful with that company, such as defending the nation instead of letting it attack our citizens.

Re:Why don't they just hire media defener (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294103)

More like they are searching for relevance after scrapping their Forward Air Control, much of their bomber fleet, and much of their manned fighter fleet in order to become the Expensive Raptor Force.

Cyber Command has fuck all to do with airpower, but is trendier than building and manning more A-10s and AC-130s.

Re:Why don't they just hire media defener (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295925)

More like they are searching for relevance after scrapping their Forward Air Control

Wow, when did THAT happen? I am both surprised.... and not surprised. Adequate close air support was always a big issue for us (Army) in Afghanistan.

, much of their bomber fleet, and much of their manned fighter fleet in order to become the Expensive Raptor Force.

Cyber Command has fuck all to do with airpower, but is trendier than building and manning more A-10s and AC-130s.

Yeah, we--- including the Air Force FAC attached to our unit--- often griped about that: that it'd be really pretty neat if the Air Force decided it was going to concentrate on dropping explosives on the bad guys that were trying to kill us stupid Army guys, rather than playing with expensive RC planes and invisible bombers.

Re:Why don't they just hire media defener (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296409)

dropping explosives on the bad guys

I certainly hope that you don't really think in "good guy, bad guy" terms. People get into the armies of various nations all for very similar, very human reasons ... much like yourself.

Not that I mind if we drop explosives on opposing factions. But let's call them what they are, eh? We don't have any moral high ground here.

Re:Why don't they just hire media defener (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297527)

"I certainly hope that you don't really think in "good guy, bad guy" terms. People get into the armies of various nations all for very similar, very human reasons ... much like yourself."

Sometimes, but let's not lose our minds completely on the subject to where we dare judge nothing.

Islamic Fundies amply qualify as "bad", especially when they are the Taliban sort. They are barely nicer than the Khmer Rouge (safely in the "bad" zone").

(Nationalists, even though they may also be Muslim, are not necessarily Fundies.)

Re:Why don't they just hire media defener (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297491)

They still have ground controllers, but purpose built FAC aircraft are many years gone.

The last gasp was naming the A-10 the OA-10 for a short time so the few grizzled FAC proponents would give up.
The last USAF Broncos and O-2s ended up at Shaw AFB before going FMS to spray for drugs or whatever. The Marines dumped their Broncos after losing three in the Gulf War, though misemployment cost at least one of those. Odd, since helicopters are MUCH riskier to fly and more expensive to maintain.

USAF Cyber Attack Procedures Manual [TOP SECRET] (5, Funny)

docstrange (161931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293105)

Excerpt from USAF Cyber Attack Procedures Manual [TOP SECRET]

1. Identify Target Website
2. Submit Story to Slashdot
3. Call Commander Taco on Red Phone
4. Slashdot Story on Terrorist Interwebs Published
5. Denial of Service Complete

Re:USAF Cyber Attack Procedures Manual [TOP SECRET (5, Funny)

halsver (885120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293207)

SPAM THE F5 KEY SOLDIER! The lives of you and your family depend on it!

Re:USAF Cyber Attack Procedures Manual [TOP SECRET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293377)

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fighter/f5/

*salute*

Re:USAF Cyber Attack Procedures Manual [TOP SECRET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293273)

As an avid /. follower, I refuse to be party to anything the government, or military, supports.

That is, unless I'm getting paid.

Pony up /., I want my cut.

Hey! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293449)

Why is the parent post modded funny?

Re:Hey! (3, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293693)

Why is the parent post modded funny?

Sorry - that information is on a need-to-know basis.

Better Recruitment method (2, Funny)

Lazyrust (1101059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293235)

Just create a video game that starts with: Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Cyber Command to defend the frontier against Al Quida and the Middle East armada. (apologies to Jonathan Betuel)

Forgetting latest die hard, how useful is it ? (1)

Shadukar (102027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293267)

Ok, two most possible(could be more but lets roll with two for now) scenarios:

1. the country attacking/needing to be attacked is less technologically advanced than USA.

result: they do not have their fridges (let alone vital infrastructure) connected to the internet and thus are not likely to suffer any damage from this. It is important to note that not every person/country thinks that it is vital that every vital thing is connected to internet or even a wan. It seems that in a lot of places, if you say "hey, why do we need this connected to the net/network" and some young consultant from a vendor is looking at you like you are a dinosaur with that look that says "who is this old fossil, get me some people who can grok the net plx!". This is not the case everywhere. The hospital where I work for example: nothing that is even remotely related to patient health is connected to the internet. Yes, a few things need a LAN -these things are on an isolated, closed circuit LAN. Low tech? perhaps. secure/immune from outside ? yes.

2. the country about to get some usa-democracy is MORE technologically advanced than USA.

result: while their fridges (and some infrastructure)are connected to the internet, they are all running openBSD/linux/secure stuff/etc with good firewalls/security and etc and thus, not likely to suffer from any damage from someone trying nsa backdoors or ddos. I realize that many people in usa think that they live in the greatest country on earth but you have to consider that there are many other countries out there that have infrastructure many many years ahead the best that the usa telecos/govt are fighting tooth and nail NOT to implement. Lastly, while some poor third world country is probably using poland for their government web hosting and dns, many advanced countries could have the technical know-how to route around usa/usa proxy.

Re:Forgetting latest die hard, how useful is it ? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293735)

The third possibility is that it's the presidential candidate (or president) the Top Brass least want to see in power. Don't look so shocked - Harold Wilson's government in the UK is believed to have been brought down by MI5 by quite serious and sane people.

Really, I don't see any advantage in a cyberwarfare division - at least, not any advantage that competing divisions within the military (eg: SPAWAR) and the intelligence community (SIGINT) can't already provide in terms of defense from attack and means to counterattack. If you thought Slashdot was bad for dupes, the US Government is riddled with them. (Those who complain about the cost of big government miss an important point - big government isn't necessarily any worse than anything else. It's duplicated government that's expensive, as it competes within itself and sabotages itself.)

As for the defense side of things, if the US Government insisted that communications be strongly encrypted and that private communications be strongly authenticated and tamper-resistant, the number of vectors that could be used for an attack would be massively reduced. If they also insisted critical infrastructure use those same constraints and in addition use protocols that are non-repudiatable and use multi-path connections with congestion control over both reliable and unreliable protocols, almost nothing of any significance could be impacted.

Instead, we run into this paradox. The need to maximize profits inhibits the desire to maximize commercial security (which includes virtually all critical infrastructure). The need to maximize the ability to monitor communications inhibits the desire to maximize personal security. Everything is a trade-off. We have chosen as a society to ditch security in favour of market forces. (Attacks are rare and aren't here-and-now. Shareholders are common and in the present. Guess who gets the money spent on them.) As is clear from the telecoms immunity, since no major party is going to support something unpopular with the electorate in an election year, the vast majority of Americans are also in favour of ditching personal privacy (which essentially means personal security) in favour of monitoring that the Government has stated cannot be defined or justified even to its own security courts.

In other words, the entire need for a "Cyber Command" (sounds like something they'd have on Mondas) is due to inept decisions that weaken what could passively protect itself by design into something that needs an active, offensive component to provide the same core functionality at added expense. You want to talk Government waste? Secure systems are cheap and essentially a one-off cost, entire military branches are expensive and require continuous feeding with the green stuff.

Secret? Ask Slashdot about this? (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293609)

Didn't we do an Ask Slashdot [slashdot.org] interview about this a while back?

It'll be destroying sections of landlines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293615)

This isn't a job you do with a few thousand bots connected to your dynamic IRC server. This is guys going in to the country and severing backbone lines. They sever the backbone in key areas, simultaneously, and destroy the buildings containing the routing equipment.

They don't fuck around.

This article is false (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25293685)

This whole article is false. What came out of the Corona meeting was the Air Force is looking at creating a Nuclear command to put all nuclear operations under one command. From there they are going to put the Cyber operations under a Numbered Air Force underneath the already established Air Force Space Command. Read more info directly from af.mil 6 paragraphs from the bottem.
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123118700

Cyber Warfare is much safer... (1)

wshwe (687657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293823)

than going after real terrorists. What a bunch of wimps! That's Bush/Cheney for you!

Huhwha? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25293949)

There's something I don't get about the U.S. Military. Why is there so much overlapping of functions?

Why does the Navy have its own pilots, for instance? Why can't they train Air Force pilots to work with the Navy?

Similarly, why is there going to be an Air Force Cyber Command when the Army is already working on something similar? It all seems like a huge waste of money.

Re:Huhwha? (3, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294173)

Why does the Navy have its own pilots, for instance? Why can't they train Air Force pilots to work with the Navy?

Air Force runways stay put, for one thing.

Re:Huhwha? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295775)

Hence the word "train". Despite what they might tell you, naval aviators are exactly the same sort of jerky short guys you find as pilots in the Air Force.

Re:Huhwha? (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294319)

The Army doesn't share well with other kids in the sandbox.

Re:Huhwha? (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295805)

Are you kidding? The Army is forbidden by law from doing anything deemed the realm of the Air Force (armed fixed wing aircraft) despite their great need for it. No other service is specifically prohibited from doing stuff the other services do. Sounds to me like it's the Air Force who doesn't share well.

Re:Huhwha? (2, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295735)

There's something I don't get about the U.S. Military. Why is there so much overlapping of functions?

Why does the Navy have its own pilots, for instance? Why can't they train Air Force pilots to work with the Navy?

Similarly, why is there going to be an Air Force Cyber Command when the Army is already working on something similar? It all seems like a huge waste of money.

Hah! I see where you're getting confused. You're assuming the military is run by rational folks with a mind for efficiency and effectiveness, when really it's run by shitheel politicians. They may wear uniforms covered in stars and gold braid, but they're as parochial and scheming as any Louisiana legislator in a polyester suit. A little history (some cut and pasted from my post the last time this came up):

The Air Force was formed in 1948 on the premise that the US Army shouldn't be in the business of strategic bombing and air superiority. Unfortunately, the agreement that split the AF off from the Army also forbade the Army to operate aircraft. As a result the Army still has trouble getting the AF to provide adequate close air support. Under consideration at the same time was a proposal to attach the Marine Corps to the Army (where it more logically belongs) and transfer naval aviation assets to Air Force control; but Navy Secretary Forrestal had spent WW2 building up the Navy into his own little self-sufficient kingdom with its own air and ground assets. It's a completely asinine duplication of effort, but he had enough pull to kill the consolidation proposal. As a result of this sort of bureaucratic feudalism, we have:

4 1/2 air forces
Air Force, Naval aviation, USMC aviation, Coast Guard aviation, and Army helicopter aviation

1 1/2 armies
the real Army, and the Navy's light infantry, the USMC

2 1/2 navies
the Navy, the Coast Guard, and all the small watercraft operated by the AF and Army to fill the gaps the Navy won't cover.

So you see, while on the surface splitting up the services seems like it should promote efficiency by allowing each service to specialize, what you end up with is services narrowing their focus to the stuff that's completely "theirs", while neglecting the "overlap" areas where other services need their support. As it turns out, the Army is inevitably the biggest loser in all of this. They are the backbone of any sizable conflict, but can't get decent close air support or timely theater airlift support from the Air Force, and are forbidden by law to provide it for themselves. Likewise they can't get theater level waterborne transport from the Navy. Meanwhile, naval aviators whine about the Air Force getting to drop all the bombs in Iraq, when the justification for having them flying over Iraq is already weak at best. Then there's the USMC lobbying to be given sole operational responsibility over Afghanistan because they want to get out of Iraq, as their tactics there have only resulted in a greater casualty rate, rather than "upstaging" the Army as is their normal goal.

It all goes back to the political hacks that fill the Pentagon. They're always looking for some way to expand their power base so they can justify a bigger bite of the defense "pie". This silly Air Force "Cyber Command" is just more of the same. The Air Force hasn't a single justification in its charter for claiming "cyberspace" as their own, but they hope to get it by virtue of being the only service with applicable combat assets in-theater when the time comes to decide whose responsibility it is. Frankly, I think the military is ill suited to the job. I reckon the NSA is the better tool for the job. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point the Air Force was told "your Cyber Command is a needless duplication of assets already fielded by the NSA--- kill it"...

Re:Huhwha? (1)

Tassach (137772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296709)

There's something I don't get about the U.S. Military. Why is there so much overlapping of functions?

Why does the Navy have its own pilots, for instance? Why can't they train Air Force pilots to work with the Navy?

Similarly, why is there going to be an Air Force Cyber Command when the Army is already working on something similar? It all seems like a huge waste of money.

Huge waste of money? That's the WHOLE IDEA, son.

The Navy has to defend itself -- and it's budget -- against the REAL enemy: The Army and Air Force. (And vice-versa) We can't be having some [wingnut|squid|grunt|jarhead] doing all the cool stuff and getting more money than us! Makes us look bad.

Re:Huhwha? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298277)

ALl about keeping their present day budgets where they are, nothing more.

NAF, not Command (1)

Spobody Necial (917248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294251)

Other articles I have seen on this topic have stated that instead of the USAF having a Cyber Command, that we will get a Numbered Air Force belonging to Space Command which will handle the USAF's share of these duties.

Re:NAF, not Command (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294521)

The number, of course, will be given in hex.

"Cool, I got orders for 3 AF -- I'm going to Europe. Where are you headed?"

"B06C AF."

Government mindset (1)

prat393 (757559) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294427)

"Better we open Pandora's box than some other guy beating us to it."

Depressing (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296069)

Just goes to show that the government really is incompetent. First they wow everyone by showing they're aware of the need for cybersecurity (or at least cyber security PR), then they show their lack of forethought by saying "oh, this is already done somewhere else in the government, and finally (hopefully, finally) they demonstrate a complete lack of understanding by reinstating the project.

Reminds me of how we used to treat the potential of large scale terrorist attacks before 9/11. Something major and devastating will happen one day and someone who actually has a plan will take control of security. Right now it's just a bunch of white-haired old men who barely know what a computer is directing people working in tiny departments with no coordination or knowledge. It's a shame too, because IT can be so powerful if used correctly.

After the major cyber-incident, hopefully they'll hire a PR firm too. This is amateur hour.

Yeah, Good Luck With That (1)

not_hylas( ) (703994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296205)

Yeah, good luck with that, Sparky:
I held a bit of hope out for these blokes early on (the Army also has a program - which I'll reserve judgement at this point).

Explains nicely AFCYBER's withdrawal.
Seems they N-E-V-E-R learn. When will they get serious?
OpenBSD vs Windows = Windows FOR THE WIN !!!!!

http://vmyths.com/2008/08/10/usaf/ [vmyths.com]

Sister site:

http://securitycritics.org/about/ [securitycritics.org]

Every story is a poll option. (1)

ayjay29 (144994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297081)

In my borwser most of the story titles get tuncated.

"Air Force To Re-Open Pursuit of Cyber..."

Always makes we wonder what the full title is

O Sex
O Men
O Monsters
O Cafes

Others...
  Prevent Gmail From Emailing Under _____
  How Mobile Phones Work Behind the _____
  Small Asteroid On Collision Course with _____

thats funny (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297809)

didnt we just pass a 700 billion dollar bailout bill? i smell military pork.

Cyber Command as MAJCOM is BAD Idea (1)

sciop101 (583286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298215)

Commanders do not want to expend $$$ on people they cannot command/control.

AFCC (Air Force Communications Command): Base Commanders provided support to people that returned low, slow technology and support.

Ex: Combat Commanders want secure video connections, Communications Commander provide STU-3 4kilobit encrypted audio.

Ex: Air Materiel Command wanted T1 data connections to each depot base, AFCC stepped up with leased 56k circuits.

Base comm troops now base IT troops. Base commanders get satisfaction.

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