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Pentagon responds to cyberattacks with $100 million security surge

The Pentagon has implemented another Iraq-style surge, but this time the counterattack is in cyberspace.

Brig, Gen. John Davis of the U.S. Strategic Command said today that the U.S. military has spent at least $100 million in the past six months to ward off additional Pentagon network attacks.

A month ago the government released information about the downloading of engineering and communication documents of the president’s helicopter, Marine 1. The information was downloaded to an IP address in Iran, after being accessed through a defense contractor’s file-sharing program.

In 2007, computer hackers breached an unclassified e-mail system in Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ office.

In 2006, a Japanese lieutenant inadvertently published U.S. military and coalition movements in Iraq on the Internet. The leak was attributed to a virus on the lieutenant’s personal computer, which was launched through Winny, a file-sharing program.

File-sharing software was recognized as a huge security threat as early as 2004 when a civilian launched the website “See What You Share” to publish pictures, documents and letters from soldiers and military bases in Iraq and other locales.

“We are finding ourselves in an ever-increasing, sophisticated environment where our networks at (the Department of Defense) are increasingly in a contested environment,” Davis said in a CNN interview.

Davis said the $100 million was spent on tools, training and technologies in response to infiltrations and viruses. He also announced plans to increase the number of “cyber-experts” from roughly 80 to 250 by 2010, but said even that cyber-security surge would be inadequate.

“It’s got to be more,” he said. “But it is a sign of progress.”

Published Apr 08 2009, 04:26 PM by IdentityTheft
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