Air Force to get "cyber sidearms"

Air Force to get "cyber sidearms"
Air Force to get "cyber sidearms" 

By Sebastian Sprenger
October 11, 2007

The Air Force will soon give service members working on networks a new 
tool to help detect cyberattacks, service officials said.

The cyber sidearm is intended to be a simple way for service members to 
quickly alert others to potential security breaches, said Lt. Gen. 
Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force.

The tool could be a small piece of software installed on Air Force 
computers or it could be a simple mechanism for taking a screenshot and 
relaying it to security experts, said Maj. Gen. William Lord, who will 
soon take command of the Air Forces provisional Cyber Command.

In an interview this week, Lord said service officials have not made a 
final decision about which technology they will use for the program.

Elder said service leaders will stage fake threats to practice using the 
cyber sidearm. Service members will receive points when they use the 
tool appropriately and lose points when they fail to act on a simulated 
threat, he said during a panel discussion in Washington last week 
sponsored by the Air Force Association.

The cyber sidearm program is part of a broader effort to defend Air 
Force networks against intruders. Service officials have also begun 
auditing crucial software to identify security risks, Elder said.

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