- Title: USA/FILE: Pentagon outlines new plan to fight cyber attacks
- Date: 15th July 2011
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (NATO FILE) MAN TYPING ON A COMPUTER NATO OFFICER WORKING ON A COMPUTER
- Embargoed: 30th July 2011 13:00
- Location: Belgium, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Conflict,Defence / Military,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA80WMVQIKXWHJKN1PY900BY2MK
- Story Text: The U.S. Defense Department unveiled a new U.S. strategy for protecting military computer networks from hackers on Thursday (July 14), designating cyberspace as an "operational domain" U.S. forces will be trained to defend.
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said that new tools capable of disrupting and destroying critical networks, or causing physical damage mark a "strategic shift" in the effort to curtail the threat of cyber attacks.
"Keystrokes originating in one country can impact the other side of the globe in the blink of an eye," said Lynn. "In the 21st century, bits and bytes can be as threatening as bullets and bombs," he added.
Lynn said the Pentagon wanted to avoid militarizing cyberspace, but aimed to secure strategic networks with the threat of retaliation, as well as by mounting a more robust defense with its new cyber strategy.
"This strategy holds that our posture in cyberspace must mirror the posture we assume to provide security for our nation overall," said Lynn. "Namely, our first goal is to prevent war. We do this in part by preparing for it."
And we do so while acknowledging and protecting the basic freedoms of our citizens," he added.
The cybersecurity strategy calls for the Pentagon to treat cyberspace as an "operational domain" -- like air, land and sea -- where the military must organize, train and equip to take advantage of its full capabilities.
"The United States reserves the right, under the laws of armed conflict, to respond to serious cyber attacks with a proportional and justified military response at the time and place of our choosing," said Lynn.
As part of its active defenses, Lynn said, the Pentagon will introduce new operating concepts and capabilities on its networks, such as sensors, software and signatures to detect and stop malicious code before it affects U.S. operations.
Protecting its systems has become increasingly critical and complicated for the Pentagon. Defense Department employees operate more than 15,000 computer networks and 7 million computers at hundreds of installations around the world.
Defense Department networks are probed millions of times a day and penetrations have caused the loss of thousands of files.
Lynn said in one intrusion in March, 24,000 files at a defense company were accessed, and over the past decade terabytes of data have been taken from military and defense company computers by foreign intruders.
He said a recent estimate pegged economic losses from cybertheft of intellectual property, loss of competitiveness and damage to defense industries at over $1 trillion.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None