How the US military has weaponised hacking

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“Our technological advantage is a key to America's military dominance.  But our defence and military networks are under constant attack.  Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have spoken of their desire to unleash a cyber attack on our country -- attacks that are harder to detect and harder to defend against.  Indeed, in today's world, acts of terror could come from a few key strokes on the computer -- a weapon of mass disruption.”
President Obama

In accordance with President Barrack Obama’s statement on cyber attacks, the US military have developed a hand-held hacking gadget that allows US military soldiers to break into satellite or internet connections in battlefield scenarios. The device easily maps out all of the wireless network nodes in an area and, if necessary, causes them to disconnect. It also has the ability to hack into SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, which are used to administrate industrial equipment in nuclear plants, chemical plants, oil refiners, and other power plants.

Despite details of the device’s appearance being classified, it is thought that the device incorporates a touch screen functionality that enables the soldier to adjust the attributes of an attack to each mission scenario; customizable attributes include covertness, speed, and collateral damage, which can vary the speed of the attack, and how difficult the attack will be to trace back. What’s more, is the device is designed to be used by soldiers with very little technical IT knowledge, so it truly is a ‘hacking for dummies’ gadget.

The US army hopes that this new device will strengthen the country’s arms supremacy in the online battlefield. The danger, of course, is the implications that might occur should the device find its way into the hands of an enemy.

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