US Cyber Command Developing its Own Intelligence Hub

Foreign Affairs

Falls Church (USA): US Cyber Command, tasked with defending Department of Defence IT networks and coordinating cyberspace operations, is developing its own intelligence hub, after years of relying on other information-gathering sources.

The endeavour, still in its infancy, is meant to buttress data collection and augment CYBERCOM’s understanding of foreign capabilities in the ever-expanding cyber realm.

“We know everything about a T-72 tank, all the way to every nut and bolt in there, for the Army,” Col. Candice Frost, the leader of the Joint Intelligence Operations Centre at CYBERCOM, said at a February 28 event hosted by Billington Cybersecurity in Virginia. “But we don’t have that for networks, with respect to an all-source capability.”

“Congress asked us: Do we need a centre that is focused on all-source intelligence to support Cyber Command, in the cyber domain?” Frost said. “And the answer was a resounding yes.”

The prospective Cyber Intelligence Centre was previously teased by CYBERCOM’s director of intelligence, Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci. He told the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association International’s Signal magazine in November that an in-depth review of assets highlighted a need for a hub dedicated to analysing cyber expertise and exploits abroad.

It would complement the slate of well-established centres and intel-collecting practices with products that are sought-after but still not available, Martemucci said at the time.

Cyber as a discipline and general interest area has exploded in recent years. Paralysing ransom ware attacks, as was seen with Colonial Pipeline, and the bloody Russia-Ukraine war have pushed discussions about digital destruction to the popular fore.

Frost in her remarks acknowledged the work already done by the National Ground Intelligence Centre, the National Air and Space Intelligence Centre and others, which feed the US defence colossus scientific and technical information about faraway forces.