Maps from the CIA

I thought this was interesting. The CIA has declassified many different maps recently. These give you an insight into what the CIA views as priorities when map making various areas.

 

Tracing its roots to October 1941, CIA’s Cartography Center has a long, proud history of service to the Intelligence Community (IC) and continues to respond to a variety of finished intelligence map requirements. The mission of the Cartography Center is to provide a full range of maps, geographic analysis, and research in support of the Agency, the White House, senior policymakers, and the IC at large. Its chief objectives are to analyze geospatial information, extract intelligence-related geodata, and present the information visually in creative and effective ways for maximum understanding by intelligence consumers.

cia maps

30249978823_e0157755f4_o.jpg

 

 

Enjoy

 

 

More powers for the NSA

It would be hard to imagine the NSA being more powerful than it is currently, however we have moved into a fascist totalitarian state to some degree.

 

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

Trump’s first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies — Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency — are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The article points out further.

 

An “already over-powerful surveillance state” is about to “be let loose on the American people,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director for Demand Progress, an internet and privacy advocacy organization.

New Hacking Rule

In a reversal of curbs imposed after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about mass data-gathering by the NSA, Trump and Congress may move to reinstate the collection of bulk telephone records, renew powers to collect the content of e-mails and other internet activity, ease restrictions on hacking into computers and let the FBI keep preliminary investigations open longer.

Read more: Apple, the FBI and encryption — a QuickTake

A first challenge for privacy advocates comes this week: A new rule is set to go into effect on Dec. 1 letting the FBI get permission from a judge in a single jurisdiction to hack into multiple computers whose locations aren’t known.

Yea… Election.

Olympic Games pt 2

I have been fascinated by Cyber War since I read my first Stuxnet article on Wired Magazine. I feel we have entered a new era where the first attacks will happen via computer code that is targeting Countries infrastructure and command and control facilities. Stuxnet will go down as significantly as the first test of the Atomic Bomb. Warfare has forever been altered. If you search my posts on this blog I have always been saying that was the case since the news broke mainstram news of the Iran cyber attack.

IN JANUARY 2010, inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran noticed that centrifuges used to enrich uranium gas were failing at an unprecedented rate. The cause was a complete mystery—apparently as much to the Iranian technicians replacing the centrifuges as to the inspectors observing them.

Five months later a seemingly unrelated event occurred. A computer security firm in Belarus was called in to troubleshoot a series of computers in Iran that were crashing and rebooting repeatedly. Again, the cause of the problem was a mystery. That is, until the researchers found a handful of malicious files on one of the systems and discovered the world’s first digital weapon.

Stuxnet, as it came to be known, was unlike any other virus or worm that came before. Rather than simply hijacking targeted computers or stealing information from them, it escaped the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled.

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, written by WIRED senior staff writer Kim Zetter, tells the story behind Stuxnet’s planning, execution and discovery. In this excerpt from the book, which will be released November 11, Stuxnet has already been at work silently sabotaging centrifuges at the Natanz plant for about a year. An early version of the attack weapon manipulated valves on the centrifuges to increase the pressure inside them and damage the devices as well as the enrichment process. Centrifuges are large cylindrical tubes—connected by pipes in a configuration known as a “cascade”—that spin at supersonic speed to separate isotopes in uranium gas for use in nuclear power plants and weapons. At the time of the attacks, each cascade at Natanz held 164 centrifuges. Uranium gas flows through the pipes into the centrifuges in a series of stages, becoming further “enriched” at each stage of the cascade as isotopes needed for a nuclear reaction are separated from other isotopes and become concentrated in the gas.

Excerpted from Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital WeaponClick to Open Overlay Gallery

As the excerpt begins, it’s June 2009—a year or so since Stuxnet was first released, but still a year before the covert operation will be discovered and exposed. As Iran prepares for its presidential elections, the attackers behind Stuxnet are also preparing their next assault on the enrichment plant with a new version of the malware. They unleash it just as the enrichment plant is beginning to recover from the effects of the previous attack. Their weapon this time is designed to manipulate computer systems made by the German firm Siemens that control and monitor the speed of the centrifuges. Because the computers are air-gapped from the internet, however, they cannot be reached directly by the remote attackers. So the attackers have designed their weapon to spread via infected USB flash drives. To get Stuxnet to its target machines, the attackers first infect computers belonging to five outside companies that are believed to be connected in some way to the nuclear program. The aim is to make each “patient zero” an unwitting carrier who will help spread and transport the weapon on flash drives into the protected facility and the Siemens computers. Although the five companies have been referenced in previous news reports, they’ve never been identified. Four of them are identified in this excerpt.

Wired

OLYMPIC GAMES

The operation launced byt the US was the first shots in a new form of war.

The militarization of cyberspace has been under way for more than a decade, but only in the last few years have the telltale signs appeared suggesting that the United States is erecting a new digital wing of its permanent national-security state. Three years ago, for example, came the birth of the 24th Air Force, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The 24th claims to be “the newest numbered air force,” as well as “the first-ever unit designated for the sole purpose of cyberspace operations.” According to its fact sheet,

Over 5,400 men and women conduct or support 24-hour operations … including 3,339 military, 2,975 civilian, and 1,364 contractor personnel.

There is less public information about the work of these seven thousand digital warriors than about the supposedly top secret, yet hiding-in-plain-sight, lethal drone program, about which my colleague Amy Davidson recently wrote, in response to a revelatory Times story about President Obama’s personal engagement with “kill lists” of terrorist suspects.

And yet armed drones and cyber war are of a piece. They have evolved opaquely from syntheses of new technologies and military imaginations. The laws governing them are secret, as are the mechanisms of Presidential decision-making and field command.

Last week, the Times shed more light, by publishing an excerpt of David Sanger’s new book, “Confront and Conceal,” which describes a joint American-Israeli offensive cyber-attack operation in 2010 against Iran’s nuclear industry. The existence of the weapon used against Iran—a piece of malware called Stuxnet—was previously known, and there was rough knowledge of the authorship. Sanger, though, describes both—and President Obama’s hands-on role—more fully than any previous account. The attack was designed to disable Iranian centrifuges that enrich uranium. (The enriched uranium could ultimately be used to make nuclear bombs.) Cyber Command and the 24th Air Force presumably played at least a supporting role, along with the National Security Agency, although it remains unclear exactly who did what in the operation, which may be continuing.

The operation’s code name—“Olympic Games”—suggests some of the complacency and self-satisfaction among the President’s advisers. The malware was built, for example, to convince the Iranians that the sabotage of their centrifuges was a result of their own incompetence. “The intent was that the failures should make them feel they were stupid, which is what happened,” one participant boasted.

Operation Olympic Games

Operation Olympic Games started in 2006. Signed off by the George W. Bush administration, this operation targeted the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz. The operation accelerated after the election of Obama. [1] The computer virus was first discovered by the Belarus antivirus company VirusBlokAda and later analyzed in-depth by the security company Symantec. [2] [3] It is worth mentioning that various security companies reported other malware, such as “Duqu”, “Flame” and “Gauss” were sharing the same or similar code and techniques of Stuxnet. [4] Kleissner & Associates sinkholed (registered) the first Stuxnet C&C domain “www.todaysfutbol.com” on 10/9/2013 and the second “www.mypremierfutbol.com” on 6/8/2014. Through our custom developed Virus Tracker system we are able to monitor infected machines that connect to these domains. Interestingly, and despite the monetary (likely in the millions EUR) and coding efforts of the Stuxnet developers, the C&C protocol was not properly secured. Information being sent from the infected machine to the C&C server is passed in the HTTP GET string as

“/index.php?data=[data]” where the data is only hex encoded and XOR encrypted with the 31-byte key (hex bytes) 67 A9 6E 28 90 0D 58 D6 A4 5D E2 72 66 C0 4A 57 88 5A B0 5C 6E 45 56 1A BD 7C 71 5E 42 E4 C1 and XOR encrypted with FF. After decrypting the data, this information from the infected machine becomes clear:  Unique identifier of the Stuxnet infection (GUID)  Main internal IP address  Computer Name  Domain Name  IP address of interface 1  IP address of interface 2  IP address of interface 3  Windows major and minor version  Windows Service Pack version  Whether Siemens SCADA software is installed  Project path of a found SCADA program According to the Symantec analyst who investigated Stuxnet there is a kill switch which will stop Stuxnet from spreading after June 24, 2012. [5]

Stuxnet again

The pole mystery.

A article published recently speculates that the poles have been in different spots at various points in Earths History. The poles have been shifting for awhile and they are drifting south west if I remember correctly.

 

New work from Peter Driscoll, a staff scientist at DTM, suggests Earth’s ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two. It is published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth generates a strong magnetic field extending from the core out into space that shields the atmosphere and deflects harmful high-energy particles from the Sun and the cosmos. Without it, our planet would be bombarded by cosmic radiation, and life on Earth’s surface might not exist. The motion of liquid iron in Earth’s outer core drives a phenomenon called the geodynamo, which creates Earth’s magnetic field. This motion is driven by the loss of heat from the core and the solidification of the inner core.

Ancient Earth poles

Furthermore.

Wandering of the Geomagnetic poles

Geomagnetic poles

Magnetic poles are defined in different ways. They are commonly understood as positions on the Earth’s surface where the geomagnetic field is vertical (i.e., perpendicular) to the ellipsoid. These north and south positions, called dip poles, do not need to be (and are not currently) antipodal. In principle the dip poles can be found by conducting a magnetic survey to determine where the field is vertical. Other definitions of geomagnetic poles depend on the way the poles are computed from a geomagnetic model. In practice the geomagnetic field is vertical on oval-shaped loci traced on a daily basis, with considerable variation from one day to the next.

Experimental observations of dip poles

It has been long understood that dip poles migrate over time. In 1831, James Clark Ross located the north dip pole position in northern Canada. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) tracked the North Magnetic Pole, which is slowly drifting across the Canadian Arctic, by periodically carrying out magnetic surveys to reestablish the Pole’s location from 1948 to 1994. An international collaboration, led by a French fundraising association, Poly-Arctique, and involving NRCan, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and Bureau de Recherche Geologique et Miniere, added two locations of the North Magnetic Pole in 2001 and 2007. The most recent survey determined that the Pole is moving approximately north-northwest at 55 km per year.A web based portal is available to view both the experimental and modeled pole locations here.

 

 

Pole Shift

The plan

A article in politico yesterday caught my attention. I have argued that the destabiliaztion of the middle east was indeed a plan by the PNAC consortium to deny the Chinese the ability to get the Oil needed to function. It is well known China will be the largest oil consumer in the world within the next few years. This plan to deny oil to USSR was devised nearly 50-60+ years ago.

 

 

On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Oil wells would be plugged, equipment and fuel stockpiles destroyed, refineries and pipelines disabled—anything to keep the USSR from getting its hands on valuable oil resources. The CIA called it the “denial policy.”
Such a plan couldn’t work without the cooperation of the British and American companies who controlled the oil industry in the Middle East, which is why the CIA operative, George Prussing, ended up at the Ministry of Fuel and Power in London that day. To the British representatives of Iraq Petroleum, Kuwait Oil and Bahrain Oil, Prussing detailed how their production operations in those countries would in effect be transformed into a paramilitary force, trained and ready to execute the CIA’s plan in the event of a Soviet invasion. He asked for their help, and they agreed to cooperate. He also emphasized the need for security, which included keeping the policy secret from the targeted Middle East countries. “Security now is more important than the success of any operations,” Prussing told them.
Story Continued Below

The CIA’s oil denial policy is a snippet of a Cold War history that is finally giving up more of its secrets. In 1996, a brief description of the plan emerged after the Truman Presidential Library mistakenly declassified it—a security breach the National Archives deemed the worst in its history—and some additional details have trickled out over the years. But a recently discovered trove of documents stashed in Britain’s National Archives, along with some key American documents, now declassified, provide a more complete and more revelatory account—published here for the first time.

 

On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Oil wells would be plugged, equipment and fuel stockpiles destroyed, refineries and pipelines disabled—anything to keep the USSR from getting its hands on valuable oil resources. The CIA called it the “denial policy.”
Such a plan couldn’t work without the cooperation of the British and American companies who controlled the oil industry in the Middle East, which is why the CIA operative, George Prussing, ended up at the Ministry of Fuel and Power in London that day. To the British representatives of Iraq Petroleum, Kuwait Oil and Bahrain Oil, Prussing detailed how their production operations in those countries would in effect be transformed into a paramilitary force, trained and ready to execute the CIA’s plan in the event of a Soviet invasion. He asked for their help, and they agreed to cooperate. He also emphasized the need for security, which included keeping the policy secret from the targeted Middle East countries. “Security now is more important than the success of any operations,” Prussing told them.
Story Continued Below

The CIA’s oil denial policy is a snippet of a Cold War history that is finally giving up more of its secrets. In 1996, a brief description of the plan emerged after the Truman Presidential Library mistakenly declassified it—a security breach the National Archives deemed the worst in its history—and some additional details have trickled out over the years. But a recently discovered trove of documents stashed in Britain’s National Archives, along with some key American documents, now declassified, provide a more complete and more revelatory account—published here for the first time.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/oil-denial-policy-cia-middle-east-cold-war-united-states-britain-soviet-union-213983#ixzz4CXmFda1J
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

Food for thought. I think that pretty much everything that has happened since 2001 has been part of a long range plan to screw over China.

 

 

The Air Sea Battle Concept. The plan for War with China.

 

Sidebar

On Friday, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump tweeted something—stop me if you’ve heard this before—truly stupid:

Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!

Trump’s tweet is even more ignorant than usual, as Scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain in the European Union. It was on the losing side of the vote.

Luckily, Twitter was there to remind Trump of the facts. And it did so with a veritable waterfall of sweet, vicious, very British replies. Let’s go to the tape!

 

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!
Follow
Finn den Hertog @FinndH
.@realDonaldTrump Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe you toupéd fucktrumpet
3:37 AM – 24 Jun 2016

 

ROFL. Once again he opens mouth and inserts foot.

 

 

 

The Donald

Hidden in catastrophy

I wrote one of my best research papers in College on Chernobyl. I have been very interested in the meltdown since 1986. In my paper I explained the consequences and ramifications that were to occur from the meltdown at Chernobyl. I read the article earlier and found that there was a few things I did not know about the exclusion zone.

 

This April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of one of mankind’s most catastrophic events: the explosion at Chernobyl’s reactor number four.

Recent years have seen Ukrainian authorities allowing intrepid visitors into the Exclusion Zone to see the haunting side effects of the disaster. But while the abandoned town of Pripyat, with its iconic ferris wheel, receives the most attention, there is an even more mysterious site hidden in the irradiated forest.

The site was shrouded in such secrecy during the height of the Cold War that on official maps, it was marked as a children’s summer camp. Like the rest of what would become the Exclusion Zone, it had to be abandoned suddenly in 1986. While it once was at the forefront of Soviet military and scientific technology, classified as top secret, today it rests, mostly forgotten and silent in the woods surrounding Chernobyl.

Venturing deep into the forests of the Exclusion Zone for Atlas Obscura, I went to explore the derelict and awe-inspiring military base known as Duga-3.

Further more..

 

In 1976 amateur shortwave radio enthusiasts began hearing an unusual and highly powerful signal. Ham radio fans all over the world soon had their listening disrupted by an unrelenting tapping sound. When source of the mysterious new transmission was triangulated, it appeared to be coming from somewhere deep behind the Iron Curtain. The peculiar signal was given the nickname “Russian Woodpecker.”

The ‘Woodpecker’ sound. 

Throughout Europe, public radio broadcasts began to suffer from interference. My Chernobyl guide recalls that higher-end Soviet television sets were sold with a special “woodpecker jamming” device built in. More alarmingly, the mysterious signal began to interfere with emergency frequencies for aircraft.

The purpose of the Russian Woodpecker remained a mystery. Conspiracy theories ranged from Soviet mind control to weather experiments. Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union, which revealed that the Russian Woodpecker was at the forefront of what is known as “over the horizon” radar, designed to provide early warning of an inter continental ballistic missile attack. The Duga-3 (Eastern) radar broadcasting the Woodpecker signal was located in the forests surrounding Chernobyl.

The ‘over the horizon radar’ was designed to listen for incoming U.S. missile attacks. (Photo: Luke Spencer)

While the nuclear reactors and the abandoned ghost town of Pripyat receive the most attention from photographers and urban explorers, there is far more to the Exclusion Zone that remains secluded. According to my guide, the Exclusion Zone, covering some 30 square kilometers (12 square miles), was once home to over 90 villages. With a night time curfew still in place, most of the officially sanctioned guided tours into the Zone remain day trips.

To reach the Duga radar base requires a much longer stay. Fortunately and quite surprisingly, there is still a working hotel inside Chernobyl. The staff at the Chernobyl Hotel work on a strict rotation of 15 days inside the Zone and 15 out, to maintain relatively safe levels of radiation exposure. There are several thousand workers still active in the Zone, occupied with either patrolling the checkpoints or working on a new giant sarcophagus, which one will one day cover the still precarious reactor number four.

Chernobyls hidden secretimage

Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East

The PNAC report spelled out that control of the middle east was the next focus of American imperialism. It was written 8-10 years before 9-11.

 

 

 

Military officials stopped answering a reporter’s emails and calls about overseas bases, so he filed FOIA requests. The Pentagon was not pleased.

Source: Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East

Cyber War

The face of war as we know it has changed in the last 7 years. The war for the interwebs and destruction of infrastructure and now be done over a computer. Cyber war has become very advanced in the last 7 years. Stuxnet’s destruction of Irans centrifuges was the first volley.

 

WASHINGTON — There is a consensus that aggression by one nation against another is a serious matter, but there is no comparable consensus about what constitutes aggression. Waging aggressive war was one charge against Nazi leaders at the 1946 Nuremberg war crimes trials, but 70 years later it is unclear that aggression, properly understood, must involve war, as commonly understood. Or that war, in today’s context of novel destructive capabilities, must involve “the use of armed force,” which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says is constitutive of an “act of aggression.”

Cyberskills can serve espionage — the surreptitious acquisition of information — which is older than nations and not an act of war. Relatively elementary cyberattacks against an enemy’s command-and-control capabilities during war were a facet of U.S. efforts in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, in the Balkans in 1999 and against insurgents — hacking their emails — during the “surge” in Iraq. In 2007, Israel’s cyberwarfare unit disrupted Syrian radar as Israeli jets destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria. But how should we categorize cyberskills employed not to acquire information, and not to supplement military force, but to damage another nation’s physical infrastructure?

In World War II, the United States and its allies sent fleets of bombers over Germany to destroy important elements of its physical infrastructure — steel mills, ball bearing plants, etc. Bombers were, however, unnecessary when the United States and Israel wanted to destroy some centrifuges crucial to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. They used the Stuxnet computer “worm” to accelerate or slow processes at Iran’s Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, damaging or even fragmenting centrifuges necessary for producing weapons-grade material. According to Slate magazine columnist Fred Kaplan, by early 2010, about 2,000 of 8,700 “were damaged beyond repair,” and even after the Iranians later learned what was happening, an additional 1,000 of the then-remaining 5,000 “were taken out of commission.”

For fascinating details on the episodes mentioned above, and to understand how deeply we have drifted into legally and politically uncharted waters, read Kaplan’s new book, “Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.” Three of its lessons are that cyberwar resembles war, much of it is very secret and everything essential to the functioning of modern society is vulnerable.

WASHINGTON — There is a consensus that aggression by one nation against another is a serious matter, but there is no comparable consensus about what constitutes aggression. Waging aggressive war was one charge against Nazi leaders at the 1946 Nuremberg war crimes trials, but 70 years later it is unclear that aggression, properly understood, must involve war, as commonly understood. Or that war, in today’s context of novel destructive capabilities, must involve “the use of armed force,” which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says is constitutive of an “act of aggression.”

Cyberskills can serve espionage — the surreptitious acquisition of information — which is older than nations and not an act of war. Relatively elementary cyberattacks against an enemy’s command-and-control capabilities during war were a facet of U.S. efforts in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, in the Balkans in 1999 and against insurgents — hacking their emails — during the “surge” in Iraq. In 2007, Israel’s cyberwarfare unit disrupted Syrian radar as Israeli jets destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria. But how should we categorize cyberskills employed not to acquire information, and not to supplement military force, but to damage another nation’s physical infrastructure?

In World War II, the United States and its allies sent fleets of bombers over Germany to destroy important elements of its physical infrastructure — steel mills, ball bearing plants, etc. Bombers were, however, unnecessary when the United States and Israel wanted to destroy some centrifuges crucial to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. They used the Stuxnet computer “worm” to accelerate or slow processes at Iran’s Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, damaging or even fragmenting centrifuges necessary for producing weapons-grade material. According to Slate magazine columnist Fred Kaplan, by early 2010, about 2,000 of 8,700 “were damaged beyond repair,” and even after the Iranians later learned what was happening, an additional 1,000 of the then-remaining 5,000 “were taken out of commission.”

For fascinating details on the episodes mentioned above, and to understand how deeply we have drifted into legally and politically uncharted waters, read Kaplan’s new book, “Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.” Three of its lessons are that cyberwar resembles war, much of it is very secret and everything essential to the functioning of modern society is vulnerable.http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865652485/The-destructive-threat-of-cyberwarfare.html?pg=all

Furthermore..

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They’ll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

U.S. officials have confirmed to NPR that over the past year, the cyber campaign has taken off. They describe an escalation in operations, from using cybertools to geolocate a particular ISIS leader to hacking into and then conducting surveillance on a particular computer.

The activity occurs even as the rules for cyberwarfare remain a work in progress. Among the outstanding questions: Who’s in charge when the U.S. wages cyberwar?

“The chain of command is clear on paper,” says Susan Hennessey, who served as a lawyer at the National Security Agency until November 2015. “It’s much more difficult to understand in practice.”

Hennessey, now a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution, describes an “invisible war of lawyers” within senior government ranks. She says their debates range from questions over who has authority to approve a proposed operation to the distinction between a cyber operation and electronic warfare, such as jamming enemy radar.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They’ll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

U.S. officials have confirmed to NPR that over the past year, the cyber campaign has taken off. They describe an escalation in operations, from using cybertools to geolocate a particular ISIS leader to hacking into and then conducting surveillance on a particular computer.

The activity occurs even as the rules for cyberwarfare remain a work in progress. Among the outstanding questions: Who’s in charge when the U.S. wages cyberwar?

“The chain of command is clear on paper,” says Susan Hennessey, who served as a lawyer at the National Security Agency until November 2015. “It’s much more difficult to understand in practice.”

Hennessey, now a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution, describes an “invisible war of lawyers” within senior government ranks. She says their debates range from questions over who has authority to approve a proposed operation to the distinction between a cyber operation and electronic warfare, such as jamming enemy radar.

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They’ll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

U.S. officials have confirmed to NPR that over the past year, the cyber campaign has taken off. They describe an escalation in operations, from using cybertools to geolocate a particular ISIS leader to hacking into and then conducting surveillance on a particular computer.

The activity occurs even as the rules for cyberwarfare remain a work in progress. Among the outstanding questions: Who’s in charge when the U.S. wages cyberwar?

“The chain of command is clear on paper,” says Susan Hennessey, who served as a lawyer at the National Security Agency until November 2015. “It’s much more difficult to understand in practice.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/04/20/475005923/rules-for-cyber-warfare-still-unclear-even-as-u-s-engages-in-it.