Snowden Docs Reveal 8-Year-Old NSA Program Training Cyber Army for Warfare

Snowden Docs Reveal 8-Year-Old NSA Program Training Cyber Army for Warfare

© Flickr/ o.maloteau

World
17:38 18.01.2015 (updated 05:39 19.01.2015)

Documents obtained say that after gaining “permanent” access to enemy systems, Phase Three of the US cyber warfare strategy is to reportedly dominate through “real time controlled escalation.”

National Security Agency director Mike Rogers speaks at Stanford University, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif.

© AP Photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez

NSA Head Calls for Varied U.S. Response to Cyber attacks: Reports
MOSCOW, January 18 (Sputnik) — The US National Security Agency’s (NSA) eight-year project titled Politerain has been developing a cyber army of the future, NSA whitsleblower Edward Snowden revealed to Der Spiegel in its latest exclusive. “[Politerain recruits people to] remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware,” excerpts of confidential documents seen by the publication said.
According to internal NSA communications, the spying agency’s mass surveillance program uncovered in 2013 is only the tip of the iceberg — or “Phase 0” — in the United States’ three-pronged digital war strategy.

Edward Snowden in Citizenfour (2014)

© East News/ CAP/FB

Snowden: US Lacks Proof That Mass Surveillance Is Effective
Documents obtained say that after gaining “permanent” access to enemy systems, Phase Three of the U.S. cyber warfare strategy is to reportedly dominate through “real time controlled escalation.” One undated NSA presentation was blunt in its proclamation that “the next major conflict will start in cyberspace.” Thus, attacks on any of the enemy’s vital systems — from transport, to energy and mobile communication — is considered fair game by the NSA.

“[The Politerain project is] looking for interns who want to break things,” its 2007 job posting read, with the underlying intent for its staff to develop “an attacker’s mindset.”

In an age of unregulated Internet and a wave of recent cybercrimes across the globe, the US spying agency appears to be ahead of the curve on the 21st century’s new frontline.

CBS News former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden

© AP Photo/ CBS News, Chris Usher

Former NSA Director Says US Private Sector Cyber-Retaliation Possible
In November, reports cropped up linking the NSA and the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to a malicious online spying tool called Regin. The malware has been reportedly snooping on global telecoms, governments, businesses and individuals’ internal systems for nearly five years. Countries as far and wide as Belgium, Iran, Austria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Russia have also been subject to Regin’s attacks. The latest revelations followed Friday’s announcement by UK Prime Minister David Cameron that London and Washington were planning to stage a “war game” cyber attack on each other’s financial sector later this year to test their security infrastructure.

The German magazine first publicized Edward Snowden’s leaks in June 2013, alleging NSA is spying on EU buildings in New York, Washington and Brussels, as well as on 500 million monthly mobile communications in Germany.
The former NSA contractor’s revelations led to an international manhunt on accusations of violating the US Patriot Act, leading Snowden to seek safe haven in Russia — his stopover on the way to Latin America before US authorities revoked his passport. Russian authorities initially granted Snowden temporary asylum, then followed up with a three-year residence permit in August 2014.

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Related: NSA Data Shows Islamic State

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