He is married and has four children.He attended St. John’s University where he received his commission after graduation in 1986 through a reserve officer training program. [5][6] Nakasone took command of the United States Second Army and Cyber Command in October 2016,[6] until the Second Army's inactivation in March 2017.

[6][20] He served as commander of the Second Army until it was inactivated for the fourth time in its history on March 31, 2017 and continued to serve as commander of United States Army Cyber Command until his appointment as NSA Director.

“I think it was just a blind spot for us,” says one of Cyber Command's top officials at the time. His grandparents came from Misato village in the Okinawan district of Nakagami.

Subscribe to WIRED. They were so close that Edwin, who would grow up to become an Army intelligence officer, could see one of the pilots. And sure enough, the code worked. The crew was working 14-hour days, seven days a week. Although Glowing Symphony showed the US could take preemptive action, such actions were still the exception. That sense of foreboding only increased in 2017 as two massive state-sponsored ransomware attacks circled the globe—the Russian NotPetya virus, which actually incorporated a hacking tool stolen from the NSA, and the North Korean WannaCry. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. In the years after that, Nakasone amassed four stars faster than almost any other officer of his generation. The NSA's historic strategy was to intercept the telecommunications of foreign governments, eavesdropping on fixed targets over long stretches of time. “That audacity is essentially steeped in the sense that ‘we do the impossible and leave the ordinary to everybody else.’” It was also, however, an institution largely designed to counter Soviet aggression in a world of landlines. [5][6] Nakasone was also given control of United States Cyber Command's Joint Task Force-ARES, a task-force designed to coordinate electronic counter-terrorist activities against the Islamic State. Trump's National Security Council has turned to what it calls Auftragstaktik, a Prussian term that translates as “mission-type orders”: The White House lays out the goal, the commander decides the tactics. Nakasone was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Edwin M. Nakasone, a retired Army Colonel who served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II, and Mary Anne Nakasone (née Costello). As he grew up, Paul kept faith with his family's devout Catholicism and his father's military service. Glowing Symphony was underway. One of the innovations of the Cyber National Mission Force was that all of the various service teams were trained to the same standard—an Air Force interactive operator had the same skills as a Marine one, which was a semi-radical idea for a military that normally lets each branch train according to its own pet priorities. Through the summer of 2016, a group known as the Shadow Brokers had been posting hacking tools and exploits somehow stolen from the NSA, and in August of that year the FBI secretly arrested a former NSA contractor for removing files—approximately 50 terabytes of data—from the agency. The quirkiest thing about Paul Nakasone is that he prefers to write with a pencil. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. [3][4][12][13][14] Nakasone has twice served as a staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the Director of Intelligence, J2, for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

[7], In January 2018, it was reported that Nakasone was on the list of potential replacements for outgoing NSA Director Michael S.

For hours that first day, operators crossed off their targets from a large sheet hung on the wall as each was taken offline. Jump to navigation Jump to search Paul M. Nakasone United States Army general. [1][16], Prior to promotion to lieutenant general in 2016, Nakasone was the Deputy Commanding General of United States Cyber Command and later commander of the Cyber National Mission Force at Cyber Command.

As sketchy intelligence on Russian meddling coalesced through the summer and fall of 2016, his colleagues were so caught off-guard that one of the most senior leaders of Cyber Command told me he remembers learning about the election interference mainly in the newspaper.

Over the next 15 years, as America waged the resulting war on terror, Paul Nakasone became one of the nation's founding cyberwarriors—an elite group that basically invented the doctrine that would guide how the US fights in a virtual world. As one defense official explains it, “Trump, he alone had the courage—or maybe you call it recklessness—to say, ‘Sure, do that thing, unleash this thing.’ He didn't actually spend a lot of time thinking about what's the secondary or tertiary effects.”. James Mattis, Trump's first defense secretary, talked about splitting the roles at the end of 2018 but left office himself before seeing it though. He was on the lookout for like-minded leaders who could help him transform it. In his current role, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, he hosted senior government officials for four-person dinners in the NSA director's dining room.

With ARES, that clash seemed to come to a head.

Eight months after the Russia mission, in June 2019, Iran shot down a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz. [5][6] Nakasone was also given control of United States Cyber Command's Joint Task Force-ARES, a task-force designed to coordinate electronic counter-terrorist activities against the Islamic State. Over the long haul, they realized, the answer was to professionalize a cyber career path in the Army, so there could be career cyber officers the same way there were career infantry, cavalry, and ordnance officers. In April 2018, Nakasone was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as Director of the National Security Agency and head of the United States Cyber Command.

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