Defense

March 27, 2012

DOD needs industry’s help to catch cyber attacks

The Defense Department needs private-sector cooperation in reporting computer network attacks in real time to stop what has been the “greatest transfer of wealth in history” that U.S. companies lose to foreign hackers, the head of U.S. Cyber Command told a Senate committee March 27.

Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who also is the National Security Agency director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he supports legislation that would require private companies to report attacks, and added that such reporting needs to happen before an attack is complete.

“We need to see the attack,” he said. “If we can’t see the attack, we can’t stop it. We have to have the ability to work with industry – our partners – so that when they are attacked, they can share that with us immediately.”

Many cyber defense bills have stalled in Congress over concerns about privacy, over regulation and the military’s role in cyber protection, Alexander and the senators noted.

The general compared the current situation, where DOD computers receive some 6 million threatening probes each day, to a missile being fired into U.S. airspace with no radars to see it. “Today, we’re in the forensics mode,” he said. “When an attack occurs, we’re told about it after the fact.”

Alexander added, though, that industry should be monitoring their own systems with help from Cyber Command and the Department of Homeland Security. “I do not believe we want the NSA or Cyber Command or the military in our networks, watching it,” he said.

Alexander explained the federal partnership of U.S. cyber security as one in which Homeland Security leads in creating the infrastructure to protect U.S. interests, Cyber Command defends against attacks, FBI conducts criminal investigations, and the intelligence community gathers overseas information that could indicate attacks.

“Cyber is a team sport,” he said. “It is increasingly critical to our national and economic security. … The theft of intellectual property is astounding.”

The Defense Department’s request of $3.4 billion for Cyber Command in fiscal 2013 is one of the few areas of growth in the DOD budget, senators noted. The command has made progress toward its goals of making cyber space safer, maintaining freedom of movement there, and defending the vital interests of the United States and its allies, Alexander said. The command also is working toward paring down the department’s 15,000 separate networks, he said.

Cyber threats from nations – with the most originating in China – and non-state actors is growing, Alexander said.

“It is increasingly likely, as we move forward, that any attack on the U.S. will include a cyber attack,” he said. “These are threats the nation cannot ignore. What we see … underscores the imperative to act now.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 
 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 

 

Future of AF helicopter fleets discussed at conference

Air Force Global Strike Command’s Helicopter Operations Division hosted the Worldwide Helicopter Conference at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 7-9, to discuss the current and future state of the Air Force’s helicopter fleets. The conference promoted cross talk among the Air Force’s helicopter forces, which are principally operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific Air...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First F-35A operational weapons load crew qualified

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Airmen with the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew one, prepare to load a GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition on to an F-35A Lightning II during a qualification load on Eglin Air...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>