Cybersoldiers of the Future Need Brains and Brawn
Computer programmers aren’t stereotypically known for their physical abilities, but the cyber-warfare of the future will require both brains and brawn, Nextgov reports.
For example, to deploy Stuxnet, a computer virus that the U.S. and Israeli governments reportedly sent against nuclear centrifuges in Iran, someone had to physically infiltrate a secure Iranian nuclear power plant to stick a thumb drive into one of the plant's computers.
The U.S. military is now working to recruit people with cyber-security expertise and to ensure they're all trained consistently, even if they graduate from different military-owned technology institutes in the U.S. Nextgov detailed bonuses and pay raises the military plans to offer cyber professionals to entice them to serve.
At the same time, depending on how future operations work, engineers could also contribute to U.S. operations from a safe location at home. The Flame virus that has been infecting the computers of Iranian officials, which researchers at the Kaspersky Lab in Moscow say must have originated from a national government, is likely being deployed from afar. "If that's the case, it's just a matter of specialized training for a special operations soldier," cybersecurity consultant Jeffrey Carr told Nextgov. "They don't need to be a computer engineer."