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Tags: cyberattack | us military | hackers | ukraine

Head of Cyber Command: US Military Hackers Ran Offensive to Support Ukraine

Paul Nakasone
Cyber Command head, National Security Agency Director and Central Security Service Chief Gen. Paul Nakasone. (AP/Andrew Harnik, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 June 2022 05:21 PM EDT

Hackers working for the U.S. military have run offensive campaigns in support of Ukraine, Sky News reports.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, told the news outlet that separate “hunt-forward” operations were being used to identify foreign hackers and their weapons before they could be used against the United States.

According to FedScoop, hunt-forward operations involve physically deploying defensive cyber protection teams from the Cyber National Mission Force to foreign nations to hunt for threats on their networks at their invitation.

Sharing the intelligence found with the host nation is a critical part of how hunt-forward operations work, Nakasone told Sky.

"If you're an adversary, and you've just spent a lot of money on a tool, and you're hoping to utilize it readily in a number of different intrusions, suddenly it's outed and it's now been signatured across a broad range of networks, and suddenly you've lost your ability to do that," the general said.

He confirmed that U.S. military cyber specialists had been in Ukraine very close to the start of the Russian invasion of the former Soviet country.

"We went in December 2021 at the invitation of the Kyiv government to come and hunt with them,” Nakasone said. “We stayed there for a period of almost 90 days."

Nakasone told Sky that he is concerned "every single day" about the possibility of a Russian cyberattack targeting America and said that the hunt-forward operations were an effective way to protect both the U.S. as well as allies.

"We've conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum; offensive, defensive, [and] information operations," the general said.

While he did not provide further details on the operations’ activities, Nakasone told Sky they were lawful, conducted through policy determined by the Defense Department and with civilian oversight.

"My job is to provide a series of options to the secretary of defense and the president, and so that's what I do," he said.

Nakasone did say, however, that the U.S. seeks to strategically tell the truth when conducting an information operation, unlike Russia, which reportedly begins such operations with a lie.

"A classic example is in 2020, when we saw a series of different proxies, in this case troll farms, that were starting to develop in Africa," he said.

By sharing this information with the FBI and with CNN, Cyber Command and the National Security Agency worked to provide “a flashlight that suddenly exposes this type of malicious behavior.”

According to Nakasone, this disclosure strategy has been evolving since 2018 and has impacted the U.S. response to the attack on Ukraine.

"We had an opportunity to start talking about what particularly the Russians were trying to do in our midterm elections,” the general told Sky. “We saw it again in 2020, as we talked about what the Russians and Iranians were going to do, but this was on a smaller scale.”

"The ability for us to share that information, being able to ensure it's accurate and it's timely and it's actionable on a broader scale has been very, very powerful in this crisis," he added.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Hackers working for the U.S. military have run offensive campaigns in support of Ukraine, Sky News reports. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, told the news outlet that separate "hunt-forward" operations were being used to identify foreign hackers and their...
cyberattack, us military, hackers, ukraine
517
2022-21-01
Wednesday, 01 June 2022 05:21 PM
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