Report: Cybersecurity Military Command Coming

Coordinate Defense of Pentagon Networks A military command to coordinate the defense of military computer networks and enhance American offensive ability in a cyber war is being planned by the Obama administration, according to a published report.

The plan would remake how the military would protect Pentagon networks from foreign adversaries and others hacking defense computers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, adding the new command will be unveiled within the next few weeks after the White House announces its new cybersecurity policies based on a report just submitted by cybersecurity advisor Melissa Hathaway.

Quoting officials familiar with the proposal, the newspaper said the cyber command would likely to be led by a military official of four-star rank, and at least initially be part of the Pentagon's Strategic Command, which is responsible for computer-network security and other missions.

These Pentagon officials said the front-runner to lead the new command is National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander, a three-star Army general. At the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, in a rare appearance, Alexander called for a team approach in national cybersecurity.

The idea of a cyber military command does not go as far as a more radical proposal forwarded by two Army officers last month. The existing cultures of the Army, Navy and Air Force are fundamentally incompatible to adequately defend against cyber attacks, Lt. Col. Gregory Conti and Col. John "Buck" Surdu argue in an article. They characterize the cyber warfare components of each branch as "ill-fitting appendages that attempt to operate in inhospitable cultures where technical expertise is not recognized, cultivated or completely misunderstood."

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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