America’s military conducted offensive cyber operations to support Ukraine in its response to Russia’s illegal invasion, US Cyber Command chief General Paul Nakasone has said.
“We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum; offensive, defensive, [and] information operations,” General Nakasone told Sky News in an interview that aired Wednesday.
Nakasone, who also serves as director of the NSA, didn’t provide specific details about the offensive operations, though he said they were lawful and complied with US policy.
“My job is to provide a series of options to the secretary of defense and the President, and so that’s what I do,” he said.
White House press spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre doubled down on the message, saying: “We don’t negotiate our security assistance packages to Ukraine. We are doing exactly what the President said he would do … to provide security assistance that is above and beyond.”
Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware, called the move “historic.”
“Since 2013, the Russians have waged an insurgency in American cyberspace and our retaliation and disruption has been muted,” Kellermann, who is also a global fellow for cyber policy at the Wilson Center, told The Register.
“The paradigm has changed as Russia must play defense now,” he continued. “The US brings to bear the formidable capabilities of Cyber Command against rogue nation states. Cyberspace is a new domain for warfare.”
Tenable CEO Amit Yoran added: “That the US has engaged in offensive cyber operations should be of no surprise to anyone. There are very few countries around the globe today who do not use such measures. The fact that these operations are acknowledged in a public way is unusual.”
Last month, the US and the European…