The USAF's new 'cyber weapon' hunts network vulnerabilities

The Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter will shore up traffic on Air Force command networks.

The US Air Force's Space Command recently announced that its latest cyber weapon, dubbed the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter (CVA/H), has come online and is "fully operational". The CVA/H is designed to perform threat assessment and compliance within the Air Force's command network. Basically, it tracks down and fixes potentially exploitable network security flaws that may hamper USAF missions.

Though it is referred to as a "weapon" the CVA/H will primarily be utilized as a defensive measure. It offers "in-depth assessment of information system assets such as computers, infrastructure, applications, data, and cyberspace operations," Air Force Space Command said in a statement.

This launch is part of the DoD's larger efforts to modernize and develop its cyber capabilities. The CVA/H launch comes just a month after the Air Force's first cyber weapon, the Air Force Intranet Control Weapon (AFINC), which acts as a first-line firewall moderating the flow of traffic into and out of the Air Force's network. The USAF also recently fired up its Cyberspace Defense Analysis Weapon System, which monitors unsecured traffic out of the USAF network to ensure that classified information is not being transmitted. These tools are under the command of the 26th Network Operations Squadron, who reportedly block roughly a billion instances of suspicious network activity every week.