[ISN] First 'Cyber Warrior' Unit Poised for Operational Status

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Jun 17 1998 - 17:05:56 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05at_private>
    By Bryan Bender Washington DC.
    The US Department of Defense (DoD) plans to stand up its first operational
    unit of `cyber warriors' by September to safeguard against and respond to
    computer attacks aimed at the US military, according to defence officials.
    The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is assessing several proposals for a
    Computer Defense Joint Task Force and JCS chairman Gen Henry Shelton is
    expected to make a recommendation to Defense Secretary William Cohen, who
    will have direct authority over the organisation, in the near future.
    The JCS has a computer attack response cell within its directorate of
    operations, but it "has not been codified as a warfighting entity," said
    JCS spokesman Lt Cdr Jim Brooks.
    The task force, which will conduct defensive rather than offensive
    information operations, will have the necessary authority to take action in
    the event of information attacks. Officials are determining how the unit
    should be structured, where it should be and how much it will cost.
    They say that the new unit will have to have a high level of co-ordination
    with other federal agencies, particularly the Federal Bureau of
    Investigation, given the constitutional limitations placed on the US armed
    forces in the area of law enforcement.
    JCS sources add that the task force is only expected to be an interim
    solution to the rising need for a specialised unit to counter incidents of
    cyber warfare. A permanent unit, possibly under the authority of one of the
    US warfighting commanders-in-chief, is planned for the future.
    The Pentagon has seen a steep rise in computer attacks and other attempts
    either to access or contaminate DoD information networks. Art Money, the
    DoD's senior civilian overseeing computer operations, said on 10 June that
    the Pentagon experiences an average of 60 cyber attacks per week.
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