DARPA wants offensive and defensive weapons

The number of cyber attacks and malicious software programs out there on the internet today are growing constantly these attacks may only be a nuisance to some of us, but they pose real world threats to the security of the U.S. during war (and even at times of relative peace). The Pentagon is looking to field new weapons on the cyber battlefield for offense and defense.
Researchers from DARPA want better weapons – and more of them -- that can be used to defend against cyber attacks and to attack foreign nations in times of war. DARPA director Regina Dugan is calling for a much greater investment in the development and deployment of defensive and offense cyber weapons.
"Malicious cyber attacks are not merely an existential threat to our bits and bytes. They are a real threat to our physical systems, including our military systems," said Dugan. "To this end, in the coming years we will focus an increasing portion of our cyber research on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military-specific needs."
The 2012 budget had $120 million allotted to the development of cyber weapons and DARPA is proposing an increase to $208 million. Some in the DoD want even more allotted to cyber weapons with a call for up to $500 million in funding. Dugan is also calling for the military to create offensive cyber units to protect our national security. She didn’t mention what weapons these offensive cyber units would employ.
Dugan said, "Our first goal must be to prevent war. We do so in part by being prepared for it. Failing prevention, however, we must accept our responsibility to be prepared to respond."
Retired Marine General James Cartwright recently urged the military to step up the cyber security game. He wants the military to be more open about its cyber weapons and their use so that they can be used as a deterrent.
"We've got to step up the game; we've got to talk about our offensive capabilities and train to them; to make them credible so that people know there's a penalty to this," said Cartwright. "You can't have something that's a secret be a deterrent. Because if you don't know it's there, it doesn't scare you."

Source: DefenseNews

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