DoD on Cybersecurity Diplomatic Mission

Deputy Defense Secretary in London to Coordinate Efforts with Britain
DoD on Cybersecurity Diplomatic Mission
The United States is busily engaged on the diplomatic front in keeping the Internet channels flowing safely for everyone.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week made Internet freedom and secure computing over the web an American diplomatic priority, and this week Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III seeks further cooperation from our European allies to assure cyber channels remain secure.

Lynn was to be in London Monday to address attendees at the European Security and Defense Conference and members of Great Britain's Parliament at the House of Commons in London. Some 250 European diplomats, military and government officials, and think-tank researchers are attending the conference. Lynn also will meet with top British officials.

"We're going to have some meetings with the British leaders of the British cyber security effort," the Defense Department's news agency quotes Lynn. "We want to make sure that critical new threat area that we're building a foundation of cooperation with our oldest ally as we tackle the critical challenges that cyber security poses."

Lynn said cybersecurity issues are of immediate concern because both countries are relatively early in the development of the tools and the structures they have to address the cyber security threat.

Last Thursday, speaking to military and civilian attends at the 38th Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis-Fletcher Conference on National Security Strategy and Policy, according to an American Forces Press Service report, Lynn said the cyber-warfare threat is a major national security issue that has captured his attention. "If we don't maintain our capabilities to defend our networks in the face of an attack, the consequences for our military - and indeed, for our whole national security - could be dire." Lynn said.

Cyber attacks on key military systems aren't new, as Lynn cited a 1998 attack by two California teenagers and an overseas accomplice who targeted U.S. military computer networks. "The threat was so serious that the president was briefed," said Lynn, who characterized the 1998 hack as "child's play" as virtual assaults have increased exponentially over the past decade and become more sophisticated.

"Cyber (warfare) is an especially asymmetric technology; the low cost of computing devices means that our adversaries don't have to build an expensive weapons system like a fifth-generation fighter to pose a disproportional threat," Lynn said, explaining the build up in the military's defensive and offensive cyber capabilities.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates last June ordered the establishment of the U.S. Cyber Command to be based at Fort Meade in Maryland, with the aim of safeguarding the military's 15,000 computer networks spanning 4,000 installations in 88 nations.

The Defense Department operates 15,000 computer networks across 4,000 military installations in 88 countries, Lynn said, noting the department spends billions of dollars each year to administer, monitor and defend those networks.

"Combining offensive and defensive capabilities under a single roof and bringing those together with the intelligence we need to anticipate attacks will make our cyber operations more effective," Lynn told the conference attendees.

Around the Network

Our website uses cookies. Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing, you agree to our use of cookies.