Inside 'Plan X:' The Pentagon’s plan for cyberweapon central

December 1, 2012

Jeremy A. Kaplan

The Pentagon plans to bring warfare into the 22nd century, creating a new system to "map" the digital battlefield of cyberspace, defining a playbook for deploying cyberweapons and designating a management facility in Arlington, Va. to bring it all together.

It’s called Plan X, and it makes one thing very clear: Cyberwar is the future.

On Nov. 20, Pentagon research arm DARPA -- short for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- released a document called “Foundational Cyberwarfare (Plan X),” a 52-page outline of how to fight a cyberwar. Its heart is a new map of cyberspace, a real-time rendering of the world of computers and how they connect -- switches, bridges, nodes and so on. It then seeks “support platforms” that can deploy cyberweapons, measure damage, strengthen defenses and communicate.

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