(Cyberwar.news) The U.S. Air Force is pressing ahead with its cyberweapons platforms, having announced in recent days the launch of its Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter system, which the service says is now fully operational.
As reported by Military Times, the platform is the Air Force’s second cyber system to go live in a little more than a month. The Air Force says it is equipping its cyber protection teams with CVA/H as a defensive tool that can be utilized within internal bounds of any cyber system they its operators are charged with defending.
Making the system fully operational means that CVA/H “is fully capable to serve as the premier enclave defense platform for prioritized traffic in the Air Force Information Network (AFIN). The CVA/H weapon system enables execution of vulnerability assessments, adversary threat detection and compliance evaluations” the service said in a press release.
The Air Force cyber development is part of a broader Pentagon effort to train and staff up offensive and defensive cyber weapons teams that will make up the bulk of U.S. Cyber Command’s service-level operations. All service branches have been tasked with developing cyber defense and security teams as part of CyberCom’s cyber mission forces, the Times reported.
“This achievement underscores our commitment to the US Cyber Command Cyber Protection Team mission and to the defense of prioritized cyberspace terrain in the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). CVA/H defends the Air Force’s ability to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace,” said Brigadier General Stephen Whiting, AFSPC Director of Integrated Air, Space, Cyberspace and ISR Operations, who signed the Full Operational Capability [FOC] declaration.
The Air Force said that the CVA/H weapon system consists of four primary components: the Mobile Interceptor Platform, the Deployable Interceptor Platform, the Garrison Interceptor Platform, and the Information Operations Platform-Fly Away Kit.
Active duty weapon system operations are conducted by the 92nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron and the 834th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; and the 835 COS and 837th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, located at Scott AFB, Illinois, said the Air Force press release.
In addition, the Air Force Reserve Command is building a classic associate unit at Scott AFB to employ the CVA/H. And, 12 Air National Guard (ANG) units currently employ the weapon system.
“Witnessing Gen Whiting signing the FOC declaration for CVA/H culminated years of effort towards maturing and normalizing the many programmatic activities associated with developing and fielding a weapon system,” said Lt Col Greg McCulley, Chief of the Air Force Space Command’s Defensive Operations Branch and former commander of the 92nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron.
The Air Force platforms are coming on line at a time of increased awareness by the Pentagon and the U.S. government of the vulnerabilities of their IT systems. In addition, the awareness extends to the private sector, where much of the nation’s vital infrastructure rests.
In fact, in December, reports surfaced that hackers from Russia attacked a power plant in Ukraine, taking it offline for a period of time – the first known successful cyber attack against a country’s operational infrastructure.
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