Gen. Keith Alexander, the top officer at U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, testified March 12 before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the potential for an attack against the nation’s electric grid and other essential systems is real and that the federal government needed to take more aggressive steps.
At the time, Alexander said 13 cyber teams were being formed to guard the nation against destructive attacks in cyberspace, stressing that their role would be offensive. He also said the teams would work outside the United States, but he did not say where.
Phi Beta Iota: General Alexander is just now catching up to the obvious as reported by US Air War College students in 1993 and 1994. General Alexander’s predecessors have betrayed the public trust — as General Alexander is betraying the public trust — in failing to focus on the fundamentals of cyber-stability and cyber-security. We are quite certain the President of the United States of America is being lied to — deeply, broadly, and repetitively — in relation to the alleged capabilities of NSA in both the defense and the offensive. The President would derive great benefit from placing General Alexander — and everyone reporting to General Alexander — into a benign but persistent interrogation program managed by Col Stuart Herrington, USA (Retired), perhaps America’s greatest living counterintelligence leader and manager of high-value target interrogations. No teams should deploy and no actions should be taken until the President has been fully satisfied by real professionals as to what the facts are. In passing, the Chinese are not stupid. They have a better grasp as to NSA incompetence (and transparency–they’ve been mucking about within Fort Meade for a decade) than the President does, because they are armed with direct persistent access to what NSA can and cannot do, and are not at the mercy of senior personnel who may believe what they are telling the President, but who are in fact communicating lies.