April 04, 2018

The Next NSA Chief is More Used to Cyberwar than Spy Games

Source: Wired

Journalist: Andy Greenberg

AFTER SAILING THROUGH two friendly Senate hearings—one so uncontroversial that only six senators tops bothered to even show up at any given point in the hour—Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone seems set for confirmation as the next director of the National Security Agency. That means he'll soon lead not just one agency, but two: the world's most powerful spying operation, the NSA, and the world's most powerful military hacker force, US Cyber Command. And for the first time since those two roles were combined in 2010, the man leading them may be more comfortable with the latter—leaving the NSA with the unfamiliar feeling of being the not-quite-favorite sibling.

The NSA and Cyber Command have been conjoined since the latter was created in 2009, controlled by the same leader and working out of the same Fort Meade headquarters. But over the years, Cyber Command's mission has increasingly shifted from defense to attacking enemy networks to achieve military goals—such as penetrating or disrupting enemy command and control systems in wartime—a contrast to the NSA's more general spying mission, so-called "signals intelligence" or Sigint.

Read the full article at Wired


  • Michael Sulmeyer

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael Sulmeyer is the Belfer Center's Cyber Security Project Director at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a Contributing Editor for the national security blog Lawfare....