Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rearming Australia for Cyber Warfare

In "AUSTRALIA REARMED! Future Needs for Cyber-Enabled Warfare" Professor Greg Austin, from the Australian Centre for Cyber Security (ACCS) states "Australia’s defence forces need to maintain distinct capabilities for cyber warfare at the strategic level ... for mobilization of the country in very short time to fight a medium intensity, cyber-enabled hot war ...". The ADF has made a significant step towards this already by including cyber-security in the curriculum of the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), where the ACCS is located.

In an accompanying paper, Group Captain (ret.) Dr. Keith Joiner discussed "Integrating Cyber-survivability into Australian Defence Force Platform Development". He points out that the ADF's taks is not only protect its systems in peacetime, "... but includes preventing its systems and platforms from being crippled or subverted by the offensive cyber operations of an enemy in combat...".

Australia has recently invested billions of dollars in advanced aircraft and ships. In any hostilities these can be expected to come under intensive and sustained cyber-attack, before during and after any conventional warfare. These attacks will not just be directly against the weapons systems, but also through their logistics and support systems, the personnel and their families and friends. It would be unfortunate if these platforms were disabled even before they could be deployed, because the ADF has not spent a few hundred million dollars to to conduct cyber- survivability trials and train personnel to protect the systems.

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