Feeds

US netwar-force Cyber Wings badge unveiled

Digital aces must pass fearsome 'X course'* to win them

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The US Air Force - perhaps the keenest of America's armed forces to get stuck into network warfare - has unveiled the cyber "wings" which will be worn on the chests of its digital warriors.

The US Air Force Cyberspace Badge. Credit: USAF

Cyber wings upon their chests/These are men**, our geekiest

The new "Cyberspace Badge" features lightning-bolt wings extending from a central globe encircled by orbiting blobs - presumably surveillance or communications satellites - and a heraldic thunderbolt with ordinary feathery wings stuck on the front.

Apparently this symbolises "the projection of cyber power world-wide", "the space dimension of the cyberspace domain" and "striking power through air, space and cyberspace".

It seems there will be Basic, Senior and Master Cyberspace Officer badges. They will be as coveted and difficult to earn as any other US military adornment: for the moment, holders of the existing "communications and information" badge can win their cyber wings by completing the no-doubt-fearsome "X-course"*, being awarded the same level of cyber wings as they previously had comms-and-info ones. Alternatively any officer who has done the X-course and has "at least one year of cyberspace experience" since 2006 can badge up too.

For now the cyber wings are for officers only: "eligibility criteria for enlisted personnel are slated for release in a future message", according to a military statement.

"The Air Force mission - to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace - acknowledges the significance and interrelationship of our three operational domains in effective warfighting," said major-general Michael Basla of Space Command, which is in charge of the airforce cyber arm.

"The establishment of the Air Force Cyberspace Badge underscores the crucial operational nature of the cyberspace mission," added the general.

For now the 24th Air Force, the new operational cyber organisation, is still setting up. By the end of this year it is expected to include some thousands of cyber warriors, many of them no doubt wearing cyber wings pinned proudly to their grubby heavy-metal T-shirts.

Or conceivably not. Wired Magazine's defence editor, surely a significant moulder of opinion in US military geek circles, has dubbed the new badge "kind of lame" and stated that it sucks. ®

Bootnotes

*Also known, less impressively, as the Distance Learning Cyberspace Operations Transition Course.

**Maybe not that many women in this branch.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.