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Pentagon to Add 4,000 Personell to Cybersecurity Force

· National News (psa 33:12) · No Comments

In light of the increasing use (and potential threat) the Internet poses to National Security, the Pentagon has approved a plan which will add approximately 4,000 new personnel to its cybersecurity force.

Pentagon Cybersecurity Force

RICK WILKING/Reuters – A network defender works at the Air Force Space Command Network Operations & Security Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Pentagon is expanding efforts to safeguard critical computer systems and conduct cyberattacks against foreign adversaries, officials say.

This task force is trusted with protecting and maintaing a broad infrastructure ranging from economic security, to power grids, or general attacks from foreign adversaries. The Washington Post adds:

Details of the plan have not been finalized, but the decision to expand the Cyber Command was made by senior Pentagon officials late last year in recognition of a growing threat in cyberspace, said officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the expansion has not been formally announced. The gravity of that threat, they said, has been highlighted by a string of sabotage attacks, including one in which a virus was used to wipe dat a from more than 30,000 computers at a Saudi Arabian state oil company last summer.

The plan calls for the creation of three types of forces under the Cyber Command: “national mission forces” to protect computer systems that undergird electrical grids, power plants and other infrastructure deemed critical to national and economic security; “combat mission forces” to help commanders abroad plan and execute attacks or other offensive operations; and “cyber protection forces” to fortify the Defense Department’s networks.

With protecting the various web infrastructures throughout the U.S., some are concerned with privacy as the task force grows and broadens surveillance.

“Given the malicious actors that are out there and the development of the technology, in my mind, there’s little doubt that some adversary is going to attempt a significant cyberattack on the United States at some point,” said William J. Lynn III, a former deputy defense secretary who helped fashion the Pentagon’s cybersecurity strategy. “The only question is whether we’re going to take the necessary steps like this one to deflect the impact of the attack in advance or . . . read about the steps we should have taken in some post-attack commission report.”

Although generally agreed to by the military’s service chiefs, the plan has raised concerns about how the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force will find so many qualified cybersecurity personnel and train them. It also raises deeper issues — which are likely to intensify as the Cyber Command grows over the years — about how closely the command should be aligned with the National Security Agency, the giant electronic-spying agency that provides much of its intelligence support.

(H/T: The Washington Post)