Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of 8th Air Force and top officer for cyberwarfare, says USAF has come up with a new “cyber sidearm” program to help defend vital networks. Elder disclosed the move on Tuesday to a gathering of AFA’s Eaker Institute in Washington. He said that, just as all airmen at Balad AB, Iraq, carry a sidearm or other weapon to help defend the base if attacked, airmen will be given ready access to cyber weapons to fend off hackers, crackers, and others intent on crashing the networks. In tests, airmen have been called on to use these weapons when they sense an intrusion (simulated by airmen themselves). Elder said that these kinds of individual actions could play a key role in fighting off attacks while the network itself remains functional.