DARPA looks to make cyberwarfare routine.

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Darpa Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine With Secret ‘Plan X’

The Pentagon’s top research arm is unveiling a new, classified cyberwarfare project. But it’s not about building the next Stuxnet, Darpa swears. Instead, the just-introduced “Plan X” is designed to make online strikes a more routine part of U.S. military operations. That will make the son of Stuxnet easier to pull off — to, as Darpa puts it, “dominate the cyber battlespace.”

Darpa spent years backing research that could shore up the nation’s cyberdefenses. “Plan X” is part of a growing and fairly recent push into offensive online operations (external - login to view) by the Pentagon agency largely responsible for the internet’s creation. In recent months, everyone from the director of Darpa on down (external - login to view) has pushed the need to improve — and normalize — America’s ability to unleash cyberattacks against its foes.

That means building tools to help warplanners assemble and launch online strikes in a hurry. It means, under Plan X, figuring out ways to assess the damage caused by a new piece of friendly military malware before it’s unleashed. And it means putting together a sort of digital battlefield map that allows the generals to watch the fighting unfold (external - login to view), as former Darpa acting director Ken Gabriel told the Washington Post: “a rapid, high-order look of what the Internet looks like — of what the cyberspace looks like at any one point in time.”


Darpa Looks to Make Cyberwar Routine With Secret 'Plan X' | Danger Room | Wired.com (external - login to view)
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After Plan 9 from outerspace,here's Plan X from cyberspace.

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