Devices to launch and control cyber, electronic and information attacks are being tested and refined by the U.S. military and industry in preparation for moving out of the laboratory and into the warfighter's backback.
This particular network attack prototype has a display at the operator's position that shows a schematic of the network of interest and identifies its nodes.
"You could be talking about thousands and thousands of nodes being involved in a single mission," says a second network attack researcher. "Being able to visualize that without a tool is practically impossible."
A touch-screen dashboard beneath the network schematic display looks like the sound mixing console at a recording studio. The left side lists cyberattack mission attributes such as speed, covertness, attribution and collateral damage. Next to each attribute is the image of a sliding lever on a long scale. These can be moved, for example, to increase the speed of attack or decrease collateral damage.
Each change to the scales produces a different list of software algorithm tools that the operator needs. "Right now, all that information is in the head of a few guys that do computer network operations and there is no training system," says the first specialist.
The arms race advances as the Cold CyberWar rages on...