By Sterling C. Beard - 08/24/12 10:17 PM EDT
A Marine Lt. General admitted last week that the U.S. military has been using cyberwarfare in Afghanistan, The Associated Press reports.
At the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Aug. 15, Marine Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commanding general of Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command and former leader of international forces in southwestern Afghanistan, stated that his forces had successfully been using cyber warfare against their foes.
“I can tell you that as a commander in Afghanistan in the year 2010, I was able to use my cyber operations against my adversary with great impact,” Mills said.
“I was able to get inside his nets, infect his command-and-control, and in fact defend myself against his almost constant incursions to get inside my wire, to affect my operations,” he went on to say.
He did not elaborate further. His words only gained broader attention once conference organizers posted video of his talk online.
The military and intelligence communities in the United States have been tight-lipped about their cyberwarfare capabilities for years, though the use of cyberweapons by the United States was generally considered an open secret.
Still, Mills’s boasting of its use in the field came as a surprise to experts. Speculation has long swirled that the United States was behind a number of high-profile virus attacks during the past few years, such as the Stuxnet virus, which was designed to attack the Iranian nuclear program, and the more recent Gauss virus, which appeared tailored to attack financial institutions in the Middle East.