What Internet-Connected War Might Look Like

What Internet-Connected War Might Look Like

By Jonathan Terrasi

May 10, 2017 5:00 AM PT


A technician hurriedly slings his backpack over his shoulders, straps on his M9 pistol, and bolts out of the transport with his squad of commandos in a hail of gunfire. As soon as his team reaches the compound, he whips out a laptop and starts deploying a rootkit to the target server, bullets whizzing overhead all the while.

This might sound like the action movie of a hacker’s dreams, but
The Army Cyber Institute at West Point is training its recruits to do just that. At Chicago’s
Thotcon hacker conference last week, attendees got a glimpse of what its elite units might look like.

During their talk, the institute’s Major Natalie Vanatta and Captain Erick Waage mused on dramatic changes ahead. Conventional warfare soon may be shaped by computer networks, and the race to perfect techniques to infiltrate them has touched off an ambitious effort to bring experts in the public and private sectors together.

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