Interesting article by Noah Shachtman in Wired about how the Pentagon is gearing up for cyberwar.
It's called Plan X and it's being pursued by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The idea is for cyber warfare to be conducted like traditional kinetic warfare--where "munitions made of 1s and 0s [are] to be as a simple to launch as ones made of metal and explosives."
Cyberspace is considered a domain of warfare similar to land, sea, air, and space, and it is necessary to be able to craft offensive capabilities where "a military operator can design and deploy a cyber effect, know what it's going to accomplish...and take the appropriate level of action."
We can't fly by the seat of our pants in cyberspace any longer; we've got to have turnkey solutions ready to launch in order to defend our people and interests.
To accomplish this, we need:
1) Surveillance: A good map of cyberspace detailing enemy cyber outposts and threats akin to the geographical maps we have identifying physical targets and dangerous movements.
2) Weapons: Reliable cyber weapons ready to take on and take out enemy networks similar to kinetic weapons ready to destroy their military hardware and infrastructure.
3) Launch protocols: The rules of engagement for attack and counterattack and the ability to intuitively and securely unleash those even faster then the turnkey capabilities with which we can respond with traditional military might.
Whether, the cyber weapon looks like Angry Birds or some other point (at the target) and swipe (to launch at them) interface is almost beside the point--what is key is that we are ready to fight like hell in cyberspace, win uncontested, and keep the peace again. ;-)
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Great Beyond)