[ISN] The right way, the wrong way and the DoD way.

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sun Sep 13 1998 - 07:51:25 PDT

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    >From Crypt Newsletter 50, August 1998, distributed to the mailing list:
    Strapped, or so it claims, for savvy information warriors, the Pentagon is
    considering employing reserves as a pool of cyberdefense warriors. The
    plan calls for approximately 300 reservists with Ph.D's. to be employed as
    virtual info-warriors working from the redoubts of their homes on PCs. 
    Upon learning of it, an alert Crypt Newsletter reader quipped: "I'm still
    trying to get my mind around the reaction of other reservists when they
    learn that their new Brainiac, Ph.D.-certified, info-warrior colleagues
    get to work at home!" 
    And if they're real Brainiacs, they'll sell themselves to the private
    sector computer security industry which, in turn, will sell their services
    back to the Department of Defense for much more than what they were
    earning as military men. [And we won't even mention the little problem of
    where DoD expects to produce 300 Ph.D. reservists who specialize in comsec
    from overnite.]
    Ironically, many ex-soldiers with comsec experience are already doing
    this, landing in paradoxical situations in which they find themselves
    directing commanding officers, the same officers who had ignored them or
    brushed aside recommendations and suggestions when they were subordinates. 
    In this world, it should come as no surprise to find instances where the
    military literally eats its young. 
    Take the example of the Air Force's 609th Information Warfare Squadron at
    Shaw AFB, SC. 
    The 609th, a group that pioneered base perimeter computer security for the
    Air Force, finds itself set to be closed down in approximately a year. 
    Outwardly a victim of budget cuts, sources say it was a victim of
    publicity wars and professional rivalries within the USAF. 
    Just prior to the 609th's creation in 1995, then Air Force Chief of Staff
    Ronald Fogelman realized the Air Force Information Warfare Center was
    beholden to the Air Intelligence Agency in San Antonio, Texas. The Air
    Intelligence Agency did whatever it wanted because it didn't have to
    report to anyone. 
    "Air Combat Command knew this and decided it had to do its own thing,"
    said one of the info-warriors interviewed for this article. "General
    Fogelman wanted to see a fresh approach to information superiority. The
    Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team wasn't doing good enough with
    its hacker intrusion software." 
    Fogelman ordered the Air Combat Command, not the Air Intelligence Command,
    to come up with something useful. Their idea was to come up with a
    deployable formation, throw tons of money at it and cultivate cyber-crews
    in its new information warfare squadron. 
    With no preconceptions and rules, members of the newly formed 609th fanned
    out into the worlds of military and corporate computer security, looking
    for anything that could serve as base perimeter defenses. 
    Enter a group of computer scientists who comprised former staff members of
    the Air Force's Information Warfare Center and who had led the
    investigation of the Brit hacker break-ins at Rome Labs/Air Force Material
    Command in 1994. 
    "These guys had opted out of the Air Force because leadership at AFIWC
    wasn't listening," said one information warrior close to the action in San
    Antonio, Texas. "There was a need for a network sniffer and Asim, AFIWC's
    choice, didn't cut it. The Air Force's computer scientists, however, had
    developed one that did, called NetRanger . . . so they jumped and formed
    To members of the 609th, however, NetRanger seemed ideal. WheelGroup
    provided a neat solution: a box and software ready to go. The squadron
    installed NetRanger at Shaw AFB. "AFIWC was pissed at WheelGroup and the
    609th. There was lots of bad blood." 
    However, the 609th knew nothing about politicking and public relations. 
    "AFIWC did," said one source who sympathizes with the plight of the 609th. 
    "They [AFIWC] always have people lobbying for their causes at the
    [WheelGroup was recently purchased by Cisco Systems. The NetRanger product
    and its successors will undoubtedly be used by many military
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