The Pentagon is increasing its budget for cyber operations by 20 per cent in the hopes that it can replicate successful cyber-warfare operations like the attack on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010 that damaged centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. No one has officially claimed responsibility for the unprecedented attack, but the U.S. and Israel are suspected of being the culprits.
According to the tightened 2014 U.S. defense budget released last week, the money allocated for cyber-operations rose to $4.7 billion, up 20 per cent from $3.9 billion in 2013. Two defense officials said that the increase is meant to strengthen the country’s offensive capabilities, including the ability to blind an enemy’s radar or shut down its command systems in the event of war.
According to USA Today, the expansion is a recognition that cyber-war will probably at least be part of any future conflict.
The strategy is backed by the development of a new cyber-force. By 2016, the Pentagon hopes to have more than 100 teams in place. The teams will be divided into three categories: defending military networks, damaging the capabilities of enemy networks and helping to defend the nation’s infrastructure.