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US military shows off hack-by-numbers battlefield gadget

Cyber warfare made easier

Security for virtualized datacentres

As the US military strives to boost its ability to wage cyber warfare, it's looking for ways to make it easier for non-expert soldiers on the front lines to wreak havoc on enemy networks.

Enter a new generation of attack devices that is packaged to be brought into the battlefield and used by non-specialists to penetrate satellites, voice over internet networks, and supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Aviation Week recently got a peek at one device and provided a rich description of its features.

The device is designed to allow US forces to test enemy networks for a wide range of vulnerabilities and then synthesize the results so they can be acted on quickly. It offers touch-screen dashboards and sliders to make enumeration and penetration more intuitive. One display shows a schematic of an enemy network and identifies its nodes. A sliding lever can be moved to increase an attack or dial it down to reduce collateral damage.

The device is designed to take a slew of algorithms for monitoring and penetrating networks and put them into an easy-to-use package. Think of it as a hack-by-numbers gadget for combat forces.

"Right now, all that information is in the head of a few guys that do computer network operations and there is no training system," one researcher told Aviation Week.

There's much more here. ®

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