American Cyber Aggression

The U.S. has officially acknowledged the involvement of the U.S. military in offensive computer operations against Russian critical infrastructure facilities. In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the head of U.S. Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone said that the U.S. is conducting offensive hacking attacks in response to the Russian invasion.

These activities are a logical extension of the U.S. military cyber community’s Hunt Forward Operation (HFO) initiative launched in 2018, presented as an effective mechanism to protect America and its allies from threats associated with the use of digital space to damage Western democracy.

The purpose of these operations is to detect malicious activity in cyberspace and help allies parry threats. Under HFO, U.S. military cyber-specialists are dispatched “at the invitation of the host nation” to other states. Such cyber squads are equipped with the latest technology. In April 2022, for example, U.S. Cyber Command awarded a nearly $60 million contract to Sealing Technologies for cyber operations equipment.

The Head of U.S. Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone

Allied information and communications networks deploy hardware and software systems that can uncover hacker activity, identify the tools they use, and locate threats at an early stage. Once it is over, U.S. specialists leave special sensors (hardware and software) in the allies’ digital space, allowing remote control of information flows. U.S. Cyber Command has deployed its experts to 15 countries more than 28 times to conduct HFO.

At the same time, positioned as defensive, Hunt Forward Operations initially involves invading the information space of other countries to obtain data about the plans of “potential aggressor”, its technical potential. In fact, the U.S. allows itself to “defensively” attack someone else’s information infrastructure, declaring it legal. At the same time, the entire NATO bloc, led by Washington, has repeatedly announced and enshrined in its doctrinal documents the right of a military response to cyber attacks by third countries, up to the use of nuclear weapons.

Besides, perhaps it is the functioning of the American HFO mission in Kiev since 2018 that explains the amazing sustainability of the Ukrainian information infrastructure. After all, since the start of the special military operation, there has never been a stir in the Western media about “Russian cyberattacks that had catastrophic consequences for the Ukrainian infrastructure”. There were no stories about railroad or airline disasters, explosions at power plants due to attacks of notorious Russian hackers, which the Americans used to scare the entire democratic world with.

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