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Army Fights For Ground In Cyberwar; When Will Twitter, Facebook Enlist?

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Army Fights For Ground In Cyberwar; When Will Twitter, Facebook Enlist?
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In the digital age, the keyboard is as mighty as the sword.

Military now employ malware and media to cripple enemies engaged in on-the-ground combat, a form of “multi-domain battle” U.S. officials intend to improve on, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“They [foreign military] have studied us and our vulnerabilities, fielding capabilities that contest us in all domains,” Maj. Gen. Bo Dyess told the WSJ. “We need a new concept to address these peer adversaries.”

The U.S. Army has already acknowledged the importance of hybrid operations but will soon detail a new, comprehensive approach blending traditional combat with cyber tactics.

Beyond The Bombmakers

Hybrid warfare includes “everything from propaganda, from disinformation to actually the use of regular forces, from tweets to tanks,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said last week at the inauguration of the Helsinki Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.

An official government strategy may open the door for defense contractors beyond the traditional Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX).

The Virtual Front

Social platforms have come to serve as both combat zones and weapons, arenas for verbal sparring, secret leaking and election influencing. If social media become official weaponry, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) or Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) may soon become line items on U.S. defense budgets.

Twitter declined to comment on whether it had yet been approached by federal departments, and Facebook and Snap did not respond to outreach.

The U.S. Defense Department could not be reached for comment at time of publication.

Related Link: How Social Media Is Trying To Combat Hate Speech, Terrorism

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