US Air Force Solicits Concepts for Cyberwarfare

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If you have cyberspace warfare operations technology capabilities, you may be just what the US Air Force is looking for.

In a public document published August 22, 2012, in Federal Business Opportunities, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) posted a request for concept papers focused on cyberspace warfare capabilities. The US Air Force issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA ESC 12-0011) outlining some of the capabilities it is looking for, specifically:

a. Cyberspace Warfare Attack. The employment of cyberspace capabilities to destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt, or usurp the adversaries ability to use the cyberspace domain for his advantage.

b. Cyberspace Warfare Support. Actions tasked by or under direct control of an operational commander to search for, intercept, identify, and locate or localize sources of access and vulnerability for the purpose of immediate threat recognition, targeting, planning, and conduct of future operational in the cyberspace domain. Cyberspace Warfare Support provides information required for the immediate decisions involving CWO. Cyberspace Warfare Support data can be used to produce intelligence or provide targeting for electronic or destructive attack.

c. Technologies/Concepts for Developing Capabilities Associated with Cyberspace Warfare Attack. (i.e., to disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy, or deceive an adversary’s ability to use the cyberspace domain to his advantage.) This should address, but not be limited to, the following: 

i. Mapping of networks (both data and voice)

ii. Access to cyberspace domain, information, networks, systems, or devices

iii. Denial of service on cyberspace resources, current/future operating systems, and network devices

iv. Data manipulation

v. Ability to control cyberspace effects at specified times and places

d. Technologies/Concepts for Developing and Assessing Cyberspace Capabilities While Disconnected from the Operational Cyberspace Domain (the Internet or Communication Networks) including IO modeling, simulation, and capability; and operational and performance assessments.”

This very public request by the US government for concept papers covering cyberspace warfare attack technologies has raised some eyebrows.

According to a Computerworld article: “This public solicitation of proposals in the area of cyberattacks is a bit unusual, considering that for the past few years the US government has mostly been talking about developing cyberdefense capabilities. However, the open discussion about the use of cyberweapons seems to have become a trend in the past few months.” The article cites recent public statements by US government officials regarding the use of cyberweapons.

The submission deadline is December 31, 2012, and the potential total value of the contracts is $10 million USD.

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Pamela Rentz

Pamela Rentz is a freelance writer and editor who has been working in marketing communications and PR for technology—from startups to Fortune 100 outfits—for more than eighteen years. She’s a regular contributor to TechWell.com and GardenTraveler.com. She’s also a Georgia Master Gardener and, when not writing, can usually be found in a garden somewhere.