The Pentagon has quietly allowed U.S. Cyber Command to go on the offensive to defend the U.S. from cyberattacks, according to a report in The New York Times.
Cyber Command has, for the most part, worked defensively in the past and focused on repelling attacks on the U.S.
In the spring, the Pentagon raised the command’s status and gave it the ability to raid foreign networks almost daily, the Times reports. The Pentagon hopes such pre-emptive measures will allow Cyber Command to disable cyberweapons before they can be used.
Before it was implemented, the change was not formally debated by the White House, current and former administration officials told the Times. Nonetheless, it demonstrates President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE’s decision to give military commanders more authority.
The new strategy will focus on ongoing, disruptive “short of war” activities carried out on foreign computer networks, according to the report.
The strategy is based on more than a decade of counterterrorism operations that showed the effectiveness of taking on terrorist groups by destroying them inside their bases, the Times reported.
The “vision statement” of the strategy, quietly issued by the command, is to “contest dangerous adversary activity before it impairs our national power,” according to the Times.