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CYBER WARFARE AND HOMELAND SECURITY UPDATE

20 Mar 12. Northrop Grumman Corporation was selected to provide cybersecurity professional, technical and analytical support to a variety of U.S. Navy Information Operations organizations. The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract was awarded by the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk to eight companies and is valued at $16.3m for Northrop Grumman. The contract vehicle replaces a previous blanket purchase order, reducing costs, increasing access to innovation and improving cybersecurity mission effectiveness. Under the contract, the Northrop Grumman team will provide full scope information operations support to Fleet Cyber Command, Naval Information Operations Command Norfolk, Navy Cyber Forces, and Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command. Northrop Grumman will support the Navy’s warfighting capabilities and all command missions, functions and tasks.

21 Mar 12. Once entirely controlled by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), offensive cyber weapons are making their way into the hands of the U.S. military’s geographic combatant commanders. The effort was alluded to by the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) chief, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, as part of congressional testimony March 20, and confirmed by sources. It means that combatant commanders will be able to employ the weapons as part of overall mission planning, pairing traditional kinetic attacks with newly developed cyber capabilities. CYBERCOM will establish Cyber Support Elements (CSEs) at all six geographic combatant commands, Alexander said in a written statement delivered to the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee as part of a routine budget hearing. Thus far, U.S. Central Command is the only command with a fully operational deployment, while U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) has a partial deployment, a CYBERCOM spokesman confirmed. These support elements will provide both technical capability and expertise, part of an effort to improve the integration of cyber attack capabilities, a source with knowledge of the efforts said.
“We are currently working closely with two of the geographic combatant
commanders,” Alexander wrote. “Our goal is to ensure that a commander with a mission to execute has a full suite of cyber-assisted options from which to choose, and that he can understand what effects they will produce for him.”
A CYBERCOM spokesman confirmed that these options include offensive capabilities as well as defensive capabilities designed to protect systems, but said the details of the offensive capabilities are classified. A source with knowledge of the effort at PACOM said the process is in its infancy there, as the infrastructure is still being developed and the integration of CYBERCOM personnel into mission planning is still being determined. Providing capability to combatant commanders will notably differ from the current operational structure, in which most commands must coordinate with CYBERCOM, which in turn deploys cyber capabilities.(Source: Defense News)

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