[ISN] DOD preps office for cyberdefense

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Tue Jul 21 1998 - 12:04:19 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Gary Porter <grportert_private>
    Federal Computer Week
    JULY 13, 1998
    DOD preps office for cyberdefense
    BY DANIEL M. VERTON (dan_vertont_private)
    The Defense Department plans to create a new military organization to
    spearhead DOD's effort to protect the nation's critical computer systems
    against information warfare attacks, marking the first time DOD has taken
    responsibility for protecting infrastructure within the United States. 
    Under the plan, which is now being finalized, DOD will establish a new
    organization under the assistant secretary of Defense for command,
    control, communications and intelligence, according to Deputy Secretary of
    Defense John J. Hamre, who spoke last month at the Defense Special Weapons
    Agency (DSWA) Annual International Conference on Controlling Arms. 
    The announcement of the office comes at a time when DOD is planning the
    reorganization of the ASD/C3I office.The new organization will oversee
    DOD's role in protecting the nation's critical information infrastructure,
    such as those computer systems that operate electric and natural-gas
    utilities, air traffic control, telecommunications and weapons systems. 
    Although DOD is responsible for defending against attacks to locks and
    dams in the United States, defense of all other infrastructure is the
    responsibility of national and local law enforcement agencies. "I believe
    that's an artificial distinction," Hamre told conference attendees.
    "Cyberspace doesn't know geographical boundaries." 
    DOD officials met this past weekend to discuss the new organization but
    declined to comment last week. 
    The Pentagon also is considering the formation of a reserve cadre of
    "cyberdefense warriors," who would have hands-on responsibility for
    protecting the nation's sensitive information networks and systems from
    information warfare attacks. 
    According to an industry source familiar with the project, about 300
    Ph.D.-carrying reservists would work from home computers that would be
    tied into high-speed communications links. DOD has budgeted $10 million to
    jump-start the effort, the source said.Dan Kuehl, chairman of the
    Information Operations Department of the Information Resources Management
    College of the National Defense University, said, "There are no clear-cut
    answers" as to who should be responsible for domestic infrastructure
    protection. "It's a cooperative effort that requires a partnership between
    the private sector and DOD." 
    John Pike, a defense and intelligence analyst with the Federation of
    American Scientists, speculated that the new organization will be the DOD
    equivalent of the new Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, which
    spearheads multiple-agency efforts to develop better policies, processes,
    procedures and systems to detect and deter attacks, or the National
    Infrastructure Protection Center, which tracks and analyzes electronic
    However, although DOD "has a lot of infrastructure that needs protecting,"
    it is not clear exactly what the department will be doing, Pike
    said.Martin Libicki, a senior fellow at the National Defense University
    who specializes in information warfare, said he is not sure what the
    department will be doing either. 
     "[DOD] may be [planning to conduct] indications and warning [procedures],
    but I can't believe we have an I&W methodology in place yet," he said.
    "Weaknesses [in the network infrastructure] cannot be easily fixed by the
    federal government." Hamre told conference attendees that DOD is
    considering several other IT initiatives to improve domestic defense. 
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