Pentagon to Create Cyber Command to Hopefully Avoid More Cybersecurity Screwups

Illustration for article titled Pentagon to Create Cyber Command to Hopefully Avoid More Cybersecurity Screwups

After unidentified hackers made away with untold amounts of protected data on a highly-classified fighter jet project, the Pentagon decided to step up their cybersecurity. The first step? Creating the badass-sounding Cyber Command.


At the moment, cybersecurity is incredibly important (Obama compared it to nuclear and biological weapons in terms of its danger to national security) and, from the looks of it, incredibly badly managed. To start with, the Department of Homeland Security is officially in charge of cybersecurity, except when they aren't. For example, the National Security Agency has been exerting more power and controlling more and more of the cybersecurity efforts, and the Department of Defense sometimes either manages it themselves or contracts it out to private companies.

Some of these private companies aren't so great at it, which is how the last breach happened: A firm in Turkey and one other unnamed ally nation screwed up and allowed the maybe-Chinese-maybe-not hackers to copy terabytes of data on the $300 billion fighter jet project. That's not even getting into the myriad other organizations that run their own separate cybersecurity, from the Air Force to the CIA.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to announce the creation of a Cyber Command to orchestrate all of these separate entities and impose some kind of order and standards on the whole bureaucratic mess. The Cyber Command (we will never get tired of typing that) will be under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, and Homeland Security will probably receive a lot of extra funding for the additional unit.

Likely to head the Cyber Command is current NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander, who recently spoke at a cybersecurity conference promoting a sort of team strategy wherein the NSA would handle certain aspects and Homeland Security certain others.

We know military reorganization isn't as sexy as HACKERS HACK FIGHTER JET (WITH HACKING!) stories, but this kind of work will hopefully get our cybersecurity up to speed so we don't have to worry about the safety of our secret awesome fighter jets. [Wall Street Journal, CNET]




How does this differ from the partially abandoned attempt to create an Air Force Cyber Command?